UCLA Basketball: The Latest on the Bruins' 2014 Recruits

Robert Pace@Robert_PaceContributor IIIJanuary 20, 2014

UCLA Basketball: The Latest on the Bruins' 2014 Recruits

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    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.

Kevon Looney

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    Signed letter of intent

    Height/Weight: 6’8”/210 lbs.

    Position: Forward

    Position Rank: No. 2

    National Rank: No. 13

    Stars: 5

    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.

Thomas Welsh

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    Signed LOI

    Height/Weight: 7’0”/240 lbs.

    Position: Center

    Position Rank: No. 8

    National Rank: No. 65

    Stars: 4

    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.

Gyorgy Goloman

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    Signed LOI

    Height/Weight: 6’10”/200 lbs.

    Position: Forward

    Position Rank: No. 33

    National Rank: n/a

    Stars: 3

    Strengths: Court vision, passing, shooting range

    Weaknesses: Strength

    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.

Jonah Bolden

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    Verbal commitment

    Height/Weight: 6’8”/200 lbs.

    Position: Forward

    Position Rank: No. 16

    National Rank: No. 64

    Stars: 4

    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.

    *All information compiled from Rivals, Scout.com and ESPN RecruitingNation.

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