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Desperation? UCLA's Ben Howland Takes A Commitment Without Scouting The Recruit In Person

UCLA basketball continues to struggle with recruiting as Ben Howland and his staff are unable to get commitments at point guard and power forward spots.

Howland reportedly offered a UCLA scholarship to recruit without ever seeing him in person.
Howland reportedly offered a UCLA scholarship to recruit without ever seeing him in person.
Mike Ehrmann

Little more than couple of weeks ago we blogged about how Ben Howland's recruiting is not in very healthy shape. Bruins are in desperate need for a point guard as Howland's staff has failed to bring in an elite guard for last years. Bruins also badly need good UCLA caliber PF prospects as our depth is not looking hot for next year and beyond.

So far Howland this year has brought in couple of guards. This week his staff added another player Noah Allen, a 3 star, 6-6, 185 pound wing from Salinas, California committed to UCLA (HT charnaw). His committed to UCLA seem to catch recruiting analysts by surprise:

"UCLA taking Noah Allen was a bit of a surprise, but I do think he is a guy -- because of his motor and athleticism -- who can maybe help them down the road," analyst Evan Daniels told Sporting News on Tuesday. "I don't expect an immediate impact, but he is a four-year guy who could help them in the future."

That is good to hear. Allen didn't have any offers from a major D-1 program (Harvard doesn't count). He was going to get looks from Northwestern and Washington State. Here is a little "mixtape" on Allen:

Nice tape but wouldn't recommend anyone making conclusions based on edited YouTube highlights. Howland and his staff's recruiting strategy seems to be pretty odd at this point. There doesn't seem to be any strategy in place at all. Apparently Howland has never seen Allen play in person per Greg Hicks from, and yet was comfortable with his staff offering him a scholarship to UCLA.

UCLA still does not have any point guard or power forward in its committed list and may be looking at desperation route of looking for players outside the US and picking up transfer/JUCO recruits. These are not the signs of a program in good shape. It's sign of a flailing program treading water.

That said, congrats to Allen for getting his scholarship to UCLA basketball program. We certainly wish him success and welcome him to Westwood. Here is to hoping he has a great career ad experience at UCLA.