Point guard Quentin Snider picks Illinois over Bruins

Four-star recruit Quentin Snider committed to Illinois this evening, leaving UCLA scrambling to find a point guard for its 2014 class.

Rated the No. 31 overall nationally by Rivals.com, Snider decommitted from Louisville in July. He announced his decision today at a press conference at Ballard High in Louisville, Ky., adding that Illini coach John Groce was a major factor in his choice to stay closer to home. Groce debuted in Illinois last season with a 23-13 record and an NCAA win over Colorado.

Snider visited UCLA two weekends ago with four-star swingman Trevon Bluiett, who committed to the Bruins shortly afterward.

Since head coach Steve Alford was hired, UCLA has missed on a trio of point guards, all of them top-50 prospects: Snider, Josh Perkins (Gonzaga) and Jordan McLaughlin (USC). The Bruins also never got seriously involved with Robert Cartwright, who committed to Stanford.

Their chances for getting a point guard in the 2014 class now look very questionable. The coaching staff has not spent much time pursuing other options, and may need find either an overlooked recruit or a one-year transfer to fill the gap at the one. Ben Howland struggled to recruit top point guards during the latter end of his tenure, finally plugging the hole last year with UNC transfer Larry Drew II.

The roster doesn’t look dire yet for the immediate future. True freshmen Zach LaVine or Bryce Alford may prove themselves capable of manning the offense. Steve Alford can still bolster the 2014 class with a strong debut season, one that could also generate momentum toward 2015 — a year loaded with local talent.

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  • Mark

    Alford will have a plan, I ain’t worried!

    • OCBrewin

      Alford hasn’t coached a game at UCLA yet, if he creates a TEAM that plays well and has FUN, the high schoolers will sign up.

  • bruinblitz

    It’s truly amazing the heat that people are giving Alford (especially the morons at Bruins Nation) when he still has yet to coach one season. I honestly love the guy. I don’t care about his mistake at Iowa. Big deal? He’s human. We all make mistakes. Everyone bitches about his good seasons but bad tournament record. Okay? Ben Howland pretty much had the same tournament resume as Alford did before he came over to UCLA. The only reason that Ben Howland found success in the tournament was because he was able to use the brand name that is UCLA to recruit the nation’s top players. I know Alford hasn’t got any big time recruits yet, but it’s too early (season hasn’t even started yet!) to judge him. He will have success recruiting players. The four letters pretty much recruits itself. I’m excited that Alford is the coach, and I’m excited and optimistic for his tenure here at UCLA.

    Go Bruins!

    • http://www.jonolee.co/ Jono Lee

      I agree about Bruins Nation, their never ending negativity is extremely annoying. They hated on Mora incessantly in the beginning, but look at the program now. Seems like some of the writers there were not loved as children.

      I’ll give Alford at least 2 years before I start passing judgement.

      • OCBrewin

        I agree…haters hate.

  • Marc

    I think the PG recruits see the writing on the wall.

    Coaches son is the anointed point guard for the foreseeable future. Whether he deserves it or not.

    Like I said yesterday, the team has a ton of retiring talent and what appears to be great chemistry. Win.

    No excuses and no mercy. If he’s as good a coach as everyone says, then he should have this talented team in the top 15 and winning the PAC-12.

    That should set up a favorable position on the NCAA tourney.

    • Marc

      *returning.

      Damn iPhone.

      • bruingold2013

        A ton of retiring talent? Adequately stocked and meh talent is more like it. top scorer gone. Starting pg gone, and no true pg on the roster. Top big man is still very raw. twins are serviceable but nothing special. Kyle is talented but his lack of athleticism hinders his game at the college level. Adams was a pleasant surprise but UCLA fans overrate his play. some freshmen coming in but not at critical spots. They’ll play pg but not their natural spots. If ucla finishes in top 15 and wins pac12 SA should be hands down coach of the year. You sound like a Howland supporter trying to stir the pot here by placing unrealistic expectations.

  • Sam C

    Never a good sign losing recruits to usc and Illinois. Geez alford losing McLaughlin felt like getting kicked in the teeth. U gotta recruit pg. coaches son is gonna keep hoisting it, not what we need at pg

    • OCBrewin

      Let’s see these kids live up to any of this recruiting hype, in college, before we lament ‘losing’ a recruit.

  • Cliff Sakata

    Alford just seems creepy to me. Sorry for the unscientific analysis.

    • The EDGE

      Cliff you nailed it, just creepy that’s all.

  • OCBrewin

    ESPN Sources: UCLA to add Isaac Hamilton

  • OCBrewin

    ESPN ranked Hamilton, the younger brother of NBA forward Jordan Hamilton, as the No. 5 shooting guard and 32nd player overall in the ESPN 100.

  • Sam C

    Hamilton is nice but we need a pg and some tall guys, wears will be gone next year