Point guard Jordan McLaughlin commits to USC over UCLA

Four-star point guard Jordan McLaughlin committed to USC this afternoon, picking the Trojans over UCLA, Kansas and Indiana. His decision, announced in a ceremony at Etiwanda High, marked one of the few times in recent memory that the Bruins lost to their crosstown rivals in a head-to-head recruiting battle.

Rated the ninth-best point guard in the country by Scout.com, McLaughlin would have filled a glaring need for UCLA. The Bruins lost a steady presence when Larry Drew II graduated, and don’t have a proven commodity to replace him at the one. Point forward Kyle Anderson is a gifted passer, but is expected to leave for the NBA next spring.

Thus far, head coach Steve Alford has indicated that his son, Bryce, has a chance to inherit the point guard spot. True freshman Zach LaVine could play there as well, but is more of a combo guard.

McLaughlin also attended the same high school as former UCLA star Darren Collison, and a commitment to the Bruins would have signaled a connection to local recruiting. One criticism that dogged former coach Ben Howland was that he had burned bridges with many AAU coaches in the Los Angeles area.

“I believe we lost the connection to the L.A. market in a way that should not have happened,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said in March, hours after announcing Alford’s hire. “This is a way to get it back.”

UCLA’s only commitment for the 2014 cycle so far is four-star wing Trevon Bluiett, an Indiana native once coached by Bruins assistant Ed Schilling. The team still hopes to land four-star point guard Quentin Snider, an ex-Louisville commit deciding between Illinois and UCLA.

*A quick interview and scouting report of McLaughlin from July.

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  • Mark

    Well this is the last we’ll ever hear of this LOSER

    • Joe Blow

      So the guy wants a real education and alumni contacts for a great job if he doesn’t play pro basketball. Loser? You’re there. 8 clap,

      • Scott

        “real education” LOL.

        Based on his decision, I’m sure he’s VERY concerned with his education.

        • Joe Blow

          Bet my degree is making more money than yours.

          • Scott

            Really? And your arrest record is probably more extensive. I represent people like you.

          • Joe Blow

            If I were ever arrested, I’d never use a Public Defender.

  • Marc

    Steve’s doing a heck of a job!

    He better win A LOT of games this year.

    He has Jordan Adams, Tony Parker, Kyle Anderson, and other very good players. The cupboard is NOT bare.

    Also, he does not have Shabbaz; who, IMO, appeared to be selfish, and a team killer. The chemistry should be very good from the get-go.

    This isn’t the first recruit he has wiffed on since he has landed in Westwood.

    How do you think recruiting is going to go if he finishes third or fourth in the league with around 19 wins or so wins?

    The pieces are there for a solid season and a deep run into the NCAAs.