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UCLA’s 2010-11 Basketball Recruiting Comes to De'End, 2011-12 Pac-12 Race Opens Up

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Some of you noted that Ben Howland referred to a "late signee" during Malcolm Lee related press conference yesterday. We thought it was going to be De'End Parker and the news became official today:

Parker joins the early signing class, which consisted of Norman Powell, a 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound guard out of San Diego, Calif., and Lincoln High School.

"We are extremely excited about De'End Parker joining our basketball program and family," Howland said. "He will give us immediate help as a transfer with the loss of our starting wings (Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt). He is a very good athlete and a great competitor, but most of all, he is an outstanding young man that will represent UCLA to our expectations in all aspects. He's a great kid and has been very well coached."

Here is Parker's statement:

"When UCLA offered me a scholarship, I was really excited, and I knew it was a no-brainer after speaking with my family," Parker said. "I have spoken to the UCLA coaches and know that I can come in and make an immediate impact. I'm excited about getting the opportunity to play because my natural position is on the wing as an off-guard. UCLA produces the most NBA players and I'm very thankful to have the chance to come in and compete."

If you do not know enough about this young man, read P's thorough write-up on Parker here. Let's all give De'End a warm welcome to Westwood.

With Parker's signing UCLA's 2010-11 recruiting class come to a close. Some of you are wishing for Kevin Ware. We do not see a Ware to UCLA scenario unfolding and we think UCLA's 2011-12 recruiting season has officially come to a close (I had to resist the easy line there after using it in the title of this post).

UCLA will most likely close it's 3rd straight recruiting season under Howland without an elite point guard in the incoming class.This will not diminish our expectations for next season. On cue - in a huge but not unexpected Pac-12 news which should be of interest to many here, Derrick Williams to no one's surprise officially announced his decision to enter the draft. This will ensure Pac-12 is a wide open conference next year with no elite teams and it should ensure that UCLA should have as good as opportunity as anyone else to bring back the title in Westwood.

I think BN readers are smart enough to understand the difference between what Williams did and what happened at UCLA last few weeks but just in case it is not clear to the lurkers here, Williams is a sure fire lottery pick. He is not in the same situation as someone like Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt.

I am going to put together some notes with additions thoughts on last few days of hoops related news later this evening and share what I got with you all tomorrow.