- Joel Francisco
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After a slow start to the 2014 recruiting race, the Bruins appear to be finding their groove as they landed one of the nation's better unsigned prospects in 6-foot-8, 205-pound power forward Jonah Bolden (New South Wales, Australia/Findlay Prep).
The ESPN 100 recruit chose the Bruins over SMU, USC, Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky. The Bruins were seen as the favorite and it appeared to be only a matter of time before he chose to continue his career in Westwood, despite Larry Brown and SMU making a strong push.
Bolden is one of the better under-the-radar prospects in the country, but he was able to exhibit his talents in August at the adidas Nations event in California. The finesse 4-man is a willowy, skilled prospect with an intriguing skill set. He can face up his defender and either drain the 19-foot jump shot or display his underrated passing skills. He needs to get considerably stronger and much more assertive, especially in the paint, but his upside is quite impressive.
Steve Alford has a nice nucleus arriving in Westwood next season with the likes of ESPN 100 prospects Kevon Looney (Milwaukee/Hamilton) and Thomas Welsh (Los Angeles/Loyola), as well as skilled 5-man Gyorgy Goloman (Weston, Fla./The Sagemont School). Along with Bolden, this group will provide the Bruins with length, skill and savvy. If UCLA can somehow land a point guard, Alford will have all of his needs met for the 2014 class.