Adria Gasol, a 6-10 forward who played his first two years of high school basketball at Lausanne High School in Memphis, will join the UCLA program as a walk-on according to multiple reports.
His older brothers Pau and Marc were two of the key figures on Spain’s silver medal-winning team at the London Olympics, and are two of the better big men in the NBA.
Adria isn’t thought of as highly as Pau and Marc were before they entered the NBA, but the 6-10 Spaniard will give the Bruins some valuable front court depth in practices.
Whether or not Gasol can earn minutes once the season begins remains to be seen, but with Anthony Stover being lost due to academics getting another player with size without having to use a scholarship is a nice get for Ben Howland’s program.
After receiving minimal playing time in two years at Lausanne, Gasol returned to his native Spain but was unable to crack the country’s U-18 team.
“(Adria) looks like a typical late-developing kid — long, skinny, fast but lost on the court,” said Rafal Juc, a Poland-based scout for EuroHopes.com.
“Adria was on radar of couple of Spanish agents and scouts, but they don’t see him in the future on as high a level as his brothers play. His basketball IQ is limited, he shows some serious lacks of basketball fundamentals and struggles due to many injuries. But in my opinion it’s smart move by UCLA (to add him). It doesn’t cost anything to get the kid a place (on the) basketball team when he pays for his academics, especially when his last name is Gasol.”
In recruiting there are many instances in which coaches gamble on “upside” but have to use a scholarship in order to do so, which makes this a “low-risk, high reward” proposition for UCLA.
Gasol won’t travel with the team on their trip to China later this month, where the Bruins will need their big men to step up on the defensive end of the floor.
Stover wasn’t the kind of player that would give UCLA consistent offense, but his ability on the defensive end of the floor would have made him an asset to this team.
Joshua Smith, who some say has lost weight and looks better this off-season than in either of his prior two seasons in Westwood, will need to step up as do the Wear twins and freshman Tony Parker.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.