UCLA lands four-star center Thomas Welsh

After a slow start, UCLA is starting to form a solid recruiting class under first-year head coach Steve Alford.

The latest addition is four-star center Thomas Welsh, a local 7-footer whose stock shot up this past summer. The Loyola High senior picked the Bruins over Stanford and Cal, and should help shore up a frontcourt that loses seniors Travis and David Wear.

Scout.com first reported the commitment.

The gem of UCLA’s haul this early signing period is five-star power forward Kevon Looney, a top-15 national recruit, but Welsh projects as a solid four-year starter who can contribute immediately. The Bruins have also inked Hungarian forward Gyorgy Goloman, who is starting his first year of American prep ball in Florida.

The team now awaits a decision from five-star swingman Justise Winslow. Assistant David Grace was in Houston Tuesday night to watch Winslow and St. John’s School take on Westside High.

Tomorrow is the last day for players to sign until April 16.

— From this summer, a short Q&A with Welsh.

  • Hogsman

    Terrific news!

  • LTEfan

    Pretty good young core is forming for next season, when you add in transfer Isaac Hamilton who is sitting out this season.

  • anno nimus

    awesome job by coach Alford. Next year we will have two 5-star players and one 4-star in our squad, that’s impressive recruiting!!! Go Bruins!!!!

  • HeySUCs

    Just yesterday Alford was still being criticized as a lousy HC selection. I don’t agree. Alford will be a great UCLA HC and return the BB program to its rightful place – The #1 college BB team and program in the nation.

  • ProbationU

    Welcome to UCLA, Thomas!

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    I just watched the video of him playing versus Crenshaw. Based on what I saw, I think this is a solid signing. Welsh is about average athletically, but he already has good big man fundamentals including boxing out, establishing position and space in the post, and keeping ball and hands high. Another nice thing is that although he does not jump particularly well, he exhibits good timing and aggressiveness in shot blocking. His frame will lend itself to filling out nicely as he matures, especially his relatively strong lower body, which will keep him from getting pushed around in the paint.

    Very pleased with this pick up. Welcome to the Bruins, Thomas Welsh!

    • Oz

      Andrew Bogut

      • Lifelong Bruin Fan

        Considering Bogut was the Naismith and Wooden Award winner and first overall draft pick, UCLA would be very fortunate if Welsh even comes close to matching Bogut’s college career.

        • Oz

          Yeah, I meant to say Poor Man’s Bogut. But in my defense, they are both tall & white so I’m obligated to make that comparison.