UCLA’s offensive line recruiting still needs work, but the Bruins have picked up two four-star prospects in two weeks.
Offensive tackle Alex Akingbulu announced his decision on Thursday to join UCLA, making him just the second incoming member of that position group. The only other offensive line recruit currently committed to the Bruins’ 2016 class is four-star offensive guard Michael Alves.
Akingbulu is rated as four stars by Rivals.com, and three stars by Scout.com. A former basketball player, the Harbor City Narbonne product has upside but still needs to fill out his 6-foot-6 frame. He’s currently listed at 265 pounds.
UCLA lost a commitment from three-star center Toleafoa Sean Auwae earlier this week.
UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure makes his pitch for why nose tackle Kenny Clark should be Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and also talks about the development of sophomore Matt Dickerson and offensive tackle Kolton Miller.
UCLA’s 80-77 loss to Wake Forest on Wednesday night marked the Bruins’ worst opening month in four years.
For the first time since 2011, the team suffered its third loss before the end of November, falling to fourth place in the Maui Invitational. UCLA (3-3) closed its deficit to 70-69 with 4:32 left in the game, but couldn’t find the basket again until the final minute.
The Demon Deacons’ biggest edge came at the free-throw line, where they made 30 of an astounding 42 attempts — though 14 came in the last 62 seconds. The Bruins hit 8 of 14. Center Thomas Welsh and freshman guard Aaron Holiday both fouled out while trying to stop the clock late.
“I’ve been doing this 25 years,” Alford said. “I’ve been on the short end of a lot of things. I’ve never had an experience where I’ve had a team get out-shot 42-14 at the free-throw line. That was the difference in the game.” Continue reading →