UCLA kicked off a major day in the recruiting world by landing Kevon Looney, the No. 13 player in the Class of 2014, per Rivals.
Looney’s final six schools also included Duke, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Most believed the Blue Devils and the Gators to be frontrunners, but in the days and hours leading up to Looney’s announcement, few had any real concrete info on where the Wisconsin native would end up.
Looney is a versatile, 6-foot-9 forward that has somewhat of a blue-collar game. He’s a smart kid that plays the game hard and may be the most aggressive rebounder in the class, particularly on the offensive end. His ability to step out and knock down a three makes him that much more of a threat.
Looney is the second player currently committed to the Bruins in the class of 2014. Earlier this week, they landed a pledge from Gyorgy Goloman, a native of Hungary. Trevon Blueitt was, at one point, committed to UCLA, but he reopened his recruitment earlier this month.
This is a big pick-up for Alford, who has not exactly had the best PR this offseason. After bailing on New Mexico days after signing a contract extension, the first thing Alford had to do as UCLA head coach was apologize for the way that he handled a sexual assault case while the head coach at Iowa. Landing a player like Looney, especially when few thought the Bruins had a chance, is a statement.
With the Wear twins and, in all likelihood, Kyle Anderson leaving after this season, there will be minutes available for Looney. He could fit in nicely alongside big man Tony Parker.
All eyes now turn to Devin Booker and James Blackmon Jr., who will be announcing their decisions later this afternoon.