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UCLA lands talented combo guard Zach LaVine

The question regarding 6′-4″ combo guard Zach LaVine of Bothell (WA) wasn’t if he was going to commit to the UCLA Bruins, rather it was when. That was answered on Wednesday evening, as LaVine’s commitment to become the first player in the 2013 class for the Bruins was announced by multiple sources.

The addition of LaVine, who has drawn accolades in recent weeks due to his performances at several all-star camps, is part of tremendous momentum that coach Ben Howland his staff have on the recruiting trail. Some sources considered the Bruins to have the top recruiting class in the land in 2012, with two top-5 players in guard Kyle Anderson and wing Shabazz Muhammad. Add top-25 big man Tony Parker, and the Bruins have cleaned up recently.

Hoopniks.com had the opportunity to extensively watch LaVine at the Pangos All-American camp in early June in Long Beach, California. After the Friday night session, we wrote:

 Simply nasty offensively at times, the frantic fast-breaking style that was shown in the camp games probably fits LaVine’s strong suits as a player. He possesses an advanced offensive game, as a consistent outside shooter, tight handle to create scoring opportunities, and the creativity and athleticism to finish on the break. LaVine demonstrated an advanced skillset on the offensive end and was among the more talented and pure scorers observed on Friday night.

It remains to be seen whether LaVine’s bounce and shooting ability, along with his lengthy frame are better suited to the “2”, or whether he will tighten up his ability to distribute and become a more pure point guard at UCLA. Either way, he’s likely to end up as a top-50 player, and represents yet another significant score for a UCLA program that seems likely it is rebuilding to overcome recent woes.

The top runner-up for LaVine was considered to be Washington, which is virtually LaVine’s hometown school.

About K.J. Hassenstab

K.J. Hassenstab is the publisher of the College Basketball Newcomers Guide book and Hoopniks.com. He founded Hoopniks.com in 2009, and has contributed to SlamOnline, Dime Magazine's HighSchoolHoop.com, and NBCSports.com, along with other publications in the past. Hassenstab has covered grassroots, high school and basketball recruiting for over a decade. Follow on Twitter, @Hoopniks.

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