It is hard to write previews after one exhibition game, high school tapes, and a few interviews. However, David Singleton is one guy whom I have a distinct impression of after limited viewings. Watching his first interview, and having watched a lot of these over the years, I was stuck by his poise in his first UCLA interview.
First, his number choice is honoring his cousin who passed away during a high school game. I don’t know about you but I know an interview of me at 18 would have been painful to watch and full of “like, you know” or similar awkward pauses and maybe full of Bull Durham-style clichés.
You can watch his high school mix tape, prepared by his family.
Yeah, it has the dunks and more three-pointers than average, but what sticks out is that Singleton is intense. For example, a number of highlights show him wearing a mask, which doesn’t seem to slow him down.
So, what do make of this? Forgive me for a heretical comparison, but from the interviews of Alford, Singleton himself and watching him play, he reminds me of Arron Afflalo. Now, Afflalo was the best player on offense and, arguably, on defense on a NCAA Final Four team. I am not saying Singleton is there at this point, but watching him play and listening to Alford make this comment makes me think of AA:
David Singleton really knows how to play and I think that’s the thing we have seen the most out of him. Perfectionist. Almost some times to fault. He needs to kind of probably relax a little bit on that but big-time shooter. Good position defender. Hard nose physical guard.
Despite earlier talk of Chris Smith, Singleton looks to be the backup point. When you look at this team and what it may be lacking, it looks to be missing a committed wing defender, a backup point and a consistent outside shooter. Singleton may be all the things this team needs, that aren’t as obvious or quite as sexy.
He even was the tour guide for Moses Brown and those not from California. He capped off his time as a tour guide when he had the team to his house for a BBQ. He also takes in stride getting lost finding his way into Pauley in his second official UCLA interview.
Singleton is likely not a “one and done” like Moses. He is also not likely to be a star like Moses, Jaylen Hands or Kris Wilkes. But he may be a leader on this team and the glue guy this year.