UCLA secured its biggest recruiting prize in four years Monday night when New Jersey combo guard Kyle Anderson tweeted he was coming to Westwood. That gives the Bruins one of 2012’s top classes with Anderson and 4-star guards Dominic Artis and Jordan Adams.
But the big prize of 2012 – No. 1 overall recruit Shabazz Muhammad – is still out there. UCLA’s one of the eight or so schools he’s considering, but Anderson may not automatically mean Muhammad also comes to L.A.
“They are good friends and have talked about playing college ball together,” Muhanmmad’s dad, Ron Holmes, told the L.A. Times in a text message, “but they both at the end of the day have to do what’s best for themselves.”
Not that Anderson’s a consolation prize. He’s also one of 2012’s game-changers.
The 6-8 guard is rated as the 4th-best recruit by Scout and is No. 2 according to Rivals. Both recruiting sites rave about his incredible blend of size, vision and passing skills. With the size UCLA has in its frontcourt, Anderson and Artis (not to mention Larry Drew) might be enough to send Ben Howland to his fourth Final Four.
“From the neck on up, he’s the best high school player in America, irrespective of class, right now,” longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv. “He elevates your basketball IQ. He has a basketball IQ on steroids.”
That’s why most think Muhammad may eventually be swayed toward the Bruins. Nothing makes a wing look better than a savvy guard who can’t get him the ball for easy scoring chances.
Howland’s offense has had an easy scoring chance since Darren Collison was running the show. And even then it wasn’t always pretty. Efficient, but not pretty.
If Anderson’s as good as scouts say, he’ll change that – which might be as impressive as making the Final Four.
- Bruins’ weighty issues still center on Josh Smith
- UCLA’s Anderson won’t be near L.A.’s big party
- Bruins land a point guard for the future in ’12 recruit Artis
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.