With new coach Steve Alford at the helm, UCLA is shaping up to become the national powerhouse it has repeatedly been throughout the ages.
After years of substandard frontcourt play, the Bruins have nabbed a handful of talented forwards who just might give UCLA the extra boost it needs.
Here’s a look at the players who will be flocking to Westwood next season.
Signed letter of intent
Height/Weight: 6’8”/210 lbs.
Position Rank: No. 2
National Rank: No. 13
Strengths: Movement off the ball, rebounding, team player, versatile, perimeter shooting
Weaknesses: Strength, quickness
Looney is Alford’s first and only 5-star recruit of the 2014 class so far.
His versatility and excellent rebounding skills indicate that he has the potential to be a high-impact player in his freshman season in Westwood.
With the Wear twins not returning next season, Looney should be placed in the starting lineup in the frontcourt alongside Tony Parker.
Height/Weight: 7’0”/240 lbs.
Position Rank: No. 8
National Rank: No. 65
Strengths: Dominance of the paint, rebounding, mid-range proficiency, finishing at the rim
Weaknesses: Athleticism, strength, quickness, running the floor
After three seasons of frontcourt mediocrity with the Wear twins, UCLA has plenty to look forward to as Looney and 7-footer Thomas Welsh come aboard in 2014.
Welsh may need a dozen games or so to get acclimated to the college level, but once he does, he might give the Bruins the advantage in the frontcourt that they’ve long awaited.
Height/Weight: 6’10”/200 lbs.
Position Rank: No. 33
National Rank: n/a
Strengths: Court vision, passing, shooting range
Goloman likely won’t have much of an impact on UCLA in his freshman season, but he adds depth to the Bruins’ frontcourt and has the potential to develop into a unique talent as an upperclassman.
As a native of Hungary who only recently moved to the U.S., Goloman plays Euro-style basketball, which means that even though he’s a forward, his shooting range extends beyond the typical college forward.
Height/Weight: 6’8”/200 lbs.
Position Rank: No. 16
National Rank: No. 64
Strengths: Athleticism, passing, court vision, versatility
Weaknesses: Strength, low-post proficiency, toughness
An Australian native, Bolden hasn’t quite acclimated to the American style of play, but once he does, he’ll contribute plenty to UCLA’s frontcourt.
His athleticism and versatility set him apart from the pack. He still has to put on some muscle in order to be effective at the college level, but he should be set after a few months of training with his new teammates.