Freshman Impact: UCLA
Can returnees Adams, Anderson, freshman LaVine lift Bruins next season?
- Rick Dahms/ESPNHSZach LaVine, the No. 50 overall recruit for 2013, is the focal point of UCLA's incoming freshman class.
For the "Freshman Impact" series, Insider's college basketball and recruiting experts will be teaming up to examine how 15 of the nation's best recruiting classes will fit in with their teams in the 2013-14 season.
Seth Greenberg: When I look at the UCLA Bruins' roster for next season, I see that they have the potential to have a very solid nucleus. Jordan Adams is a potential star and can be one of the best guards in the Pac-12. Kyle Anderson got a better feel for the speed of the college game as the season went along and showed some nice improvement. If he puts in the work this summer, he could have a great season. And the Wear twins (David and Travis) are the ultimate "blend" big men -- they just need to stay healthy.
But this is a team losing its leading scorer in Shabazz Muhammad and its head coach in Ben Howland, and didn't even make it past its Round of 64 tournament game. So there are still question marks surrounding UCLA, beginning with whether the team's existing role players and incoming freshmen can help the Bruins take a step forward in the 2013-14 season.
Dave Telep: I agree with you, Seth, on Adams. My guess is that he can score about 18-20 points per game this season. And Anderson is probably the most unique player in college basketball because you can't assign him a position. The challenge for UCLA -- and new head coach Steve Alford -- will be figuring out how to use him.
After losing the commitment of ESPN 100 recruit Allerik Freeman following Howland's departure, the Bruins have three freshmen coming in who I think will have the opportunity to make an impact, including one who should start and play a significant role right away in Zach LaVine. But there remain a lot of questions about how UCLA will fit all of these pieces together.
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