The Bruins could have as many as three open scholarship for this season, meaning a late search through the transfer portal is an option.
Check out the latest basketball betting odds and see where the Bruins are for the next season, and the projections are nice with UCLA being projected as a top-10 team next year.
Just because the Bruins are to be good, that doesn't mean they should stop trying to add talent. Here are a few players that UCLA should be considering.
Mouhamed Gueye, Washington State
The Bruins were lucky last offseason when Myles Johnson left Rutgers to enter the transfer portal. It isn't too often that a pure big man with experience as a power conference starter hits the market, and that niche gets trimmed even further when academics are taken into account.
Gueye was a top target for Cronin's 2022 recruiting class, but he wound up committing to Washington State over UCLA and Kansas and reclassifying to 2021. Gueye contributed right away in Pullman, making the Pac-12 All-Freshman squad after picking up five Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors and averaged a decent 7.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game.
F Keion Brooks, Kentucky
According to CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, the Bruins have been in constant contact with Brooks, even though he had previously declared for the NBA Draft.
Brooks was in the same spot as Bernard and Gueye after showing out at the G League Elite Camp but not making the NBA Draft Combine. Brooks already withdrew, though, so he is officially back on the market.
However, this is an "either, or" case – Brooks would almost certainly cross UCLA off his list if Bernard returns to school, since making room for both of them in the wing rotation would be virtually impossible.
If Cronin strikes out on Brooks and Bernard doesn't return, the Bruins could end up empty handed, but starting Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jaylen Clark and Amari Bailey as the three wings is not a bad look. The depth would take a hit, though, which is why UCLA should keep its ear to the ground on wings in the portal.
Brooks is the clearest option out there, now that he’s returning to school. Brooks was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, according to both 247Sports and Rivals, and he even took an official visit to Westwood back in August 2018.