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.
Snider says right after his UCLA visit, he wanted to commit to Bruins. Illinois won him over.
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonRivals) September 12, 2013
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.