Tyler Dorsey announced his decommitment from Arizona Saturday:
As much as I love the Arizona basketball program as well as the awesome Wildcat fans and highly respect Head Coach Sean Miller and the entire Arizona staff, I realize that, in hindsight, I rushed my college choice and did not provide myself with the greatest opportunity to explore and thoroughly investigate all my possible college options.
This action had been rumored for quite some time, but Dorsey likely held off while he tried out for the USA Under 18 team, for which Sean Miller is an assistant coach. Dorsey was cut Friday, and made his announcement the next day.
Why? Dorsey says point guard is his NBA position (how novel) although most scouts see him as a shooting guard. Arizona had already signed point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and Kadeem Allen, a JC transfer combo guard, for next year. If signing Justin Simons, a true point guard and five-star for 2015 after Dorsey had already committed wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back, then recruiting Allonzo Trier, who did make the U18 team, a 6'4" five-star shooting guard, certainly was.
These are the two key questions for UCLA Basketball going forward on Dorsey:
- Does he want to come to UCLA?
- Do the Bruins want him now?
According to ESPN, Dorsey's offers, in addition to Arizona, include UCLA, UConn, Louisville, Florida and USC. Scout lists Duke as well, so the competition might be steep, but Dorsey's options certainly have dwindled over time, just as they did for his ex-Bosco teammate, and current UCLA player, Isaac Hamilton who decommitted from UTEP.
That said, before the somewhat surprising January commitment to Arizona, Dorsey was thought to be a UCLA lean and Steve Alford's number one 2015 recruiting target.
Certainly, Dorsey will require letters from President Obama, Pope Francis, Dan Guerrero and Steve Alford guaranteeing major minutes at the 1. Are the minutes there? Aaron Holiday, also thought to be a combo guard but onlly 6'1", is signed as point guard for 2015, and Lonzo Ball for 2016. Dorsey thinks he is a one-and-done so he's probably not thinking beyond 2015-16. What about Bryce Alford? I'll get back to that.
It would seem that the point guard position is wrapped up at USC and Duke, but what a disaster it would be if he wound up at USC anyway with Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart.
Do we want him? There are two parts to this question: is there a need for a shooting guard who wants to play point guard, and will the chemistry be good with the rest of the team.
The ebb and flow on the Tyler Dorsey recruitment is interesting. I wrote about Alford's "Lost Season" here. The spin that comes out of the regime shills is mind numbing. The future was bright when it we led for a five-star "point guard," but then Dorsey became a "tumor" when he committed to Arizona. After the Simons commitment, the hopes of the fan base were raised again, but when Dorsey denied his intention to decommit in the run up to USA U18 tryouts, again he is a cancer that we will not pursue.
Some of these same people said the same thing about Isaac Hamilton, who we probably lucked into. I have to tell you, I think IHam has been a model citizen thus far. However, until he steps onto the court on November 14,we won't know much besides occasional practice reports. Same for Dorsey, but as I said in this article about Bellflower St. John Bosco, Dorsey played on a loaded team (Dorsey, DHamilton and Vance Jackson) that didn't come close to winning a state championship and was considered inconsistent. Now with the perceived circus around his recruitment, his desire to be one-and-done (who doesn't want to be) and his insistence on playing point guard, he's classified as a rotten apple.
Let's pause here to say that Dorsey is an honor roll student at Bosco.
In the final analysis, I think we have to grab him, and it would be another major recruiting miss if we don't. He doesn't help our wing problem in 2014-15, but as of now, that issue extends beyond next season.
So he wants to play point guard? Every minute he plays, whether at point guard or shooting guard, is one less minute Bryce Alford plays. Is his father ready for that? The Dorsey outcome will further signal the father's intentions regarding the son even though Holiday should be the only issue as far as chemistry goes.
Looney might be a one-and-done and Isaac Hamilton may leave after next year, but a lineup of Looney, Parker, Holiday, Hamilton and Dorsey is a very potent one albeit small and including three wannabe point guards. If Looney and Hamilton leave, play Welsh at 5, Parker at 4, Bolden at 3 with Holiday and Dorsey at the two guard positions. Ideally, a new traditional 3 is added to the team, and Welsh or Parker comes off the bench.
The Bruins cannot afford another lost season in 2015 after a host of misses at point guard and wing recruiting. Alford! Go get Dorsey!