Who’s Got Next: Jonah Bolden to UCLA and a Closer Look at Malachi RichardsonPosted by Sean Moran on December 17th, 2013
Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to discussing the recruitments of the top uncommitted players in the country. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Foul dedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at email@example.com.
Jonah Bolden Picks UCLA
Just as the recruitment of four-star forward Jonah Bolden was beginning to heat it up, it ended rather quickly after an official visit to UCLA occurred last weekend. Bolden, who recently arrived to the United States via Australia, currently plays for Findlay Prep (NV), the top prep team in the country. The 6’8” power forward first played at the Adidas Nations this past August and his performance that weekend in Southern California turned him into the No. 6 power forward in the class of 2014 and the No. 30 player overall. Playing on the Australian team, Bolden averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per game while shooting just over 65 percent from the floor. With the commitment to UCLA, Steve Alford now has four players locked up in the 2014 class and the No. 7 ranked recruiting class in the country. The new head man in Westwood caught some flak early in his brief tenure for misses on various point guards, including four-star Jordan McLaughlin who chose the rival Trojans, in addition to a de-commitment from four-star small forward Trevon Bluiett. After this season, UCLA will lose the 6’10″ Wear brothers to graduation in addition to a likely early departure of leading rebounder Kyle Anderson. Sophomore forward Tony Parker and his 20 minutes per game will return along with rarely used 6’9” freshman Wannah Bail. The gem in the Bruins recruiting class is five-star forward Kevon Looney, who is rated as the No. 14 prospect in the country and No. 2 power forward. Along with Looney, the Bruins will also get the services of 7’0″ center Thomas Welsh, who is rated No. 45 overall and the No. 6 center in the class. Closing out the UCLA loaded class will be three-star center Gyorgy Golomon, a native of Hungary who currently plays in Florida.
Alford identified a need for forwards and centers in the class of 2014 and certainly filled the cupboard in Westwood for years to come. During his official visit, Bolden and his father got the chance to see the Bruins practice while also checking out the picturesque campus. Bolden informed Scout.com that he made his decision before heading back to Findlay Prep. “I had told my dad in the hotel room just before I left and he was glad, but I had to catch a plane because I was late to the airport,” Bolden explained. “My dad went to dinner with them and let them know. I talked to coach Grace and he was very excited.” According to ZagsBlog, UCLA assistant coach David Grace visited the Bolden family in Australia, which left a strong impression. “It definitely shows how much they want me, a need, a want,” he said. “I appreciate it a lot.” Bolden chose the Bruins over schools such as USC, Indiana, SMU, Kentucky and Louisville.
Richardson Off to Cuse
As noted on Friday, five-star junior Malachi Richardson committed to Syracuse over Indiana, Arizona, Connecticut, Rutgers and Villanova. The 6’6” wing hails from New Jersey, which is a state that Jim Boeheim loves to recruit. Freshman point guard sensation Tyler Ennis played at St. Benedict Prep in Newark and freshman forward Tyler Roberson played at Roselle Catholic, which also happened to be the high school where Richardson spent his sophomore year. Right now he is currently ranked as the No. 17 player in the class of 2015 and the No. 3 small forward. Over the summer, he started for the Team Final AAU program that played on the Nike AAU circuit where he averaged almost 15 points per game while shooting 34 percent from behind the arc. When he arrives on the Syracuse campus in 2015, Richardson will team with current sophomore shooting guard Trevor Cooney on the wing, who also hails from the same AAU program. While Richardson can score from all parts of the floor he will also be instrumental in the Syracuse 2-3 zone. Whether he plays up top or down low in the zone, his 6’10.5” inch wingspan will produce deflections and give Boeheim the length that he covets. With Syracuse about to begin its first season in ACC play, Malachi Richardson is the type of recruit that will ensure the Orange compete for a title for years to come.