Did you all know that recruiting isn't an exact science? Fortunately, we have Chianti Dan to enlighten us:
It would be an understatement to say college athletics recruiting is an exact science [sic]. Ask any coach across the nation, including our exceptional ones right here in Westwood, and they would tell you that it is definitely more of an art form than a science. A coaching staff must evaluate talent while also assessing whether someone is a good fit for the school and the coaching style.
Then, it's a delicate balance to explain the merits of UCLA relative to other schools that the prospective student-athlete may be considering. A coach must showcase what is important to the prospective student-athlete while often needing to appeal to the priorities of the parents, too. It is no easy task, that's for certain. Despite this challenge, each of our coaches consistently performs well on the recruiting trail, and this year has been no different. Last Wednesday marked the official start of the spring signing period, and several of our coaches have used it to put the finishing touches on some exceptional 2012 classes.
Of course, a highlight this signing period was prospective men's basketball student-athlete Shabazz Muhammad's live announcement on television declaring that he will attend UCLA next season. Uclabruins.com was live in Coach Howland's office when the announcement was made, and you can click here to watch their reaction to the news. Shabazz's decision to be a Bruin adds to an already-stellar recruiting class that also includes Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams.
Coach Cori Close and the women's basketball staff have also attracted a top-notch recruiting class to UCLA, in their first full year in charge. The class is headlined by All-American and California Gatorade Player of the Year Nirra Fields; Kari Korver, whose success behind the three-point arc gave her a win in the national contest earlier this month; and Lauren Holiday, a quality student and tenacious defender who comes from a basketball family that includes older brother and UCLA alum Jrue Holiday. The trio joins Alyssia Brewer, a transfer from Tennessee who was the MVP of the 2010 SEC Tournament and was the conference's Sixth Woman of the Year.
To put it simply, New Pauley Pavilion awaits each of these future Bruins, as well as the solid returning core for both the men's and women's teams, and it's shaping up to be an exciting 2012-13 season. I can't wait to see you all there.
That's a lot of fluff to say "WE GOTS SHABAZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!" Gene Block must be feeling very good about that 750K bonus.