It’s still early, but UCLA’s recruiting class for the Class of 2018 is officially heating up after the commitment of four-star shooting guard Jules Bernard.
For Bernard, the decision was easy. The Bruins represent a hometown option for one of the nation’s top-50 overall recruits. They also represent an opportunity to team up with four-star guard David Singleton III. Like Bernard, Singleton III hails from Southern California and was drawn to UCLA by its prestige and coach Steve Alford willingness to play a talented freshman.
Of course, given the ongoing investigations into college basketball recruiting and improper benefits for players, it’s also at least possible that Los Angeles Windward School star Bernard’s decision was driven by a deep desire to avoid any program that could be implicated in the ever-expanded probe.
Here are the other schools Bernard listed as finalists: Kansas, Miami, Oregon and USC. We already know that both Miami and USC are under investigation for their own actions related to recruiting and athlete benefits. It’s unknown if Kansas or Oregon could face similar charges and penalties in the months ahead, or UCLA for that matter.
UCLA has thus far skated free from any significant connection with scandal, and to be fair the school’s new uniform contract could not have come any sooner (or better). The team’s first season as an Under Armour school is apparently coinciding with the brand’s skating outside the blast radius of the ongoing scandal.
Whatever the reason, Bernard is in the fold for UCLA, and that’s very good news for Alford and UCLA fans everywhere.