One of the biggest reasons why 6-foot-6 wing Trevon Bluiett verbally committed to attend UCLA over the summer was the fact that his old high school coach, Ed Schilling, was hired as an assistant by new head coach Steve Alford. But the familiarity with Schilling wasn’t enough to keep Bluiett on board, as it was reported by multiple outlets on Thursday that UCLA’s lone commit has decided to reopen his recruitment.
The issue, apparently, was the fact that Los Angeles is a long way for the Indiana native to travel in order to attend college.
“I think the distance part of it played a factor,” Bluiett’s father, Reynardo Bluiett, told Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star. “When he sat down and thought about it, I think the distance from home was hard for him.”
As noted above Bluiett’s decision to de-commit leaves UCLA without a verbal commitment in the 2014 class, but it should be remembered that Isaac Hamilton will be eligible to play after sitting out the 2013-14 campaign (UTEP’s refusal to release him from his National Letter of Intent means that Hamilton will have to sit out if his latest appeal isn’t approved). In addition to Hamilton the Bruins add three other perimeter players to the program this season in Bryce Alford, Noah Allen and Zach LaVine.
Just how pressing of a need the Bruins have on the perimeter in 2014 will depend on multiple factors, including how the four newcomers develop and what happens with Kyle Anderson (who many feel is entering his final season in Westwood) and Jordan Adams. But to not have a single commitment at this stage may make some UCLA fans nervous.