Every national program involved enters this tournament with the goal of trying to make their country proud. For some countries, that means toppling the mighty U.S.A. For others, it’s one last shot at glory. And a few programs lurking in the shadows are hoping to use this platform to announce themselves as the world’s newest global power. Read More. Written by Brett Koremenos on Aug 29, 2014
Prince Ali has committed to UCLA for the class of 2015.
Ali is considered one of the best playmakers in the class and can play both point guard and shooting guard.
"Perfect fit both offensively and defensively. They will give me the chance to cover the opposing team's best player," said Ali, the No. 44 overall player in the ESPN 100. "I am competitive and look forward to that challenge.
"I like Coach [Steve] Alford because he is an up-front guy, he tells me what I do well and what I need to do better. He didn't sugarcoat anything in the process."
Mention the name Zach LaVine and some of the words you are most likely to hear are dunk, athleticism and explosiveness.
LaVine, who left UCLA after just one season and is projected as a late-Lottery pick, says the public obsession with his athleticism is relatively new. He was the Washington state player of the year as a senior at Bothell High School, averaging 28.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
"People just started noticing my athleticism this year. It’s crazy,” LaVine said Wednesday. "In high school I averaged 25-30 points per game from my sophomore to senior year, so they didn’t really recognize that stuff. They knew I could get up and dunk, but when college hit those dunk and mixtapes started showing up and people think I’m just this freak athlete. I know there’s more to my game than that. I showed all aspects of it during workouts.”
LaVine said he worked out for nearly a dozen teams, including everyone picking six to seventeen except for the Philadelphia 76ers.
"That’s the one team I didn’t work out for there,” he told the media. "I didn’t have time; I had to come up here. I think I had an interview with them [at the combine] and it went well.”
Kyle Anderson will leave UCLA to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft.
“Kyle is totally prepared mentally to come out,” Kyle Anderson Sr. told SNY.tv earlier this season. “He knows he’ll have to get adjusted to the rigors and physicality of the NBA but mentally he’s always been a little more mature than the average age he’s at.
“His approach to the game right now is that of a person who knows this is going to be my job, this is going to be my livelihood.”
Anderson is currently projected by DraftExpress as the 19th overall pick.
Zach LaVine has made an instant impact at UCLA in his freshman season, averaging 13.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in 26.1 minutes.
LaVine's highlight reel dunks have helped him get attention nationally.
LaVine's athleticism and scoring ability, along with the possibility of him being able to play point guard in the NBA has him rising up draft boards.
"I think he has the potential to be a lottery pick," says Chad Ford, who thinks LaVine will go in the top 10. "Just talking to NBA scouts and GMs, he has all the tools that you would look for in a young player. When you talk about an intriguing combination of size for position, athleticism and then a skill set that he possesses, it's pretty unique."
LaVine is drawing comparisons to Russell Westbrook as both attended UCLA and played shooting guard collegiately.
LaVine will consider leaving UCLA after the season.
"That's my ultimate goal, is to get to the NBA," said LaVine. "With the one-and-done, I don't know about that yet. I feel like anyone would consider it. It's going to be a decision me and my family make at the end of the year."