It looks like Steve Alford's heralded first recruiting class has just taken a hit, per ESPN, as the NCAA has declared freshman Jonah Bolden ineligible:
Sources told ESPN the issue stems from Bolden leaving Australia after his senior season had already begun to attend Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. Bolden left Findlay in December and finished at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
UCLA will try to appeal, but who knows how successful that attempt will be.
Bolden is a 6'9" forward that thinks he's a 3 but is probably going to be a 4 that committed and should have been ready to go for the fall. What did we say when we looked ahead to his incoming class about Bolden?
Jonah Bolden: 6'8" four-star power forward from Australia and NH Brewster Academy. The conventional wisdom is that he is a post player who would struggle to cover a college 3, and thus he will be sitting behind Looney and Bail next year. I like his swash-buckling style and athleticism. The college 3 is normally 6'4" to 6'6" these days, interchangeable with a 2, and mainly an offensive player. I have to admit, I'm hoping for an Arizona with Ashley-style frontline next year: big across the board, tough on defense and rebounding. With scoring guards, this combination is unstoppable in college basketball. The problem with this, of course, is that either Powell or Adams would be sitting. Maybe we're two years away from that.
Here's a look back at some of our Jonah Bolden coverage:
Bolden Commits to UCLA:
Bolden signs his NLI.
UCLA Recruiting Reset/depth chart
It hurts to lose any players, but the question we also have to ask - did UCLA know there would be a chance he wouldn't be eligible? What did we do to make sure he would pass? Everything? Nothing? If we knew he wouldn't be eligible, why did we waste our time going after a player that would never play in the NCAA?
As always, more questions than answers with our current Basketball program. Someday we can have nice things. Today, the NCAA said we cannot have this one.