Getting a commit from consensus Top 5 rated recruit Kyle Anderson, a player that Bruin fans hope is the 2nd coming of NBA Hall of Fame PG Magic Johnson, has to feel good for UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland.
After all, while it doesn’t seem that long, the Bruins are now 3 seasons removed from making it to 3 consecutive Final Fours between ‘06-’08. Even though the Bruins continue to send numerous players to the NBA over the past 3 seasons, Howland hasn’t been able to get his team past the 2nd weekend of March Madness, even missing the Tourney altogether in ’09-’10.
All that is about to change as Coach Howland was able to secure a commitment from arguably the most talented player(at least from the head up) in the 2012 Class, by adding elite level PG/SF Kyle Anderson to an stellar recruiting class next year that already included Top 50 rated players PG Dominic Artis and SF Jordan Adams.
The commitment has a dual meaning for the Bruins going forward as not only are they potentially getting a Magic Johnson/Penny Hardaway clone, but it may put them in an extremely good position with Anderson’s close friend Shabazz Muhammed, the #1 ranked player in the 2012 Class. The players has voiced on numerous occasions that they would like to play together in college.
A New Jersey native, Anderson chose UCLA over hometown schools Seton Hall and St John’s, along with Florida and Georgetown. In fact, he had an in-home visit with members of the Seton Hall coaching staff just 90 minutes prior to tweeting his ultimate decision.
The 6’8 and 210lb playmaker with the nickname “Slo Mo” is described as the total package in the ’12 Class. He can run the offense, hit a shot or play underneath. His basketball IQ is off the charts-the proverbial “game seems to move at a different speed for him” applies. He fills out a stat sheet besides scoring-rebounds, steals, assists, blocks. Anderson is a skilled small forward that can play all three perimeter positions. He is a great passer with excellent court vision and is a good decision maker and is probably best playing a ‘point forward’ position where he is a match up problem.
While he’s not the fastest, can jump the highest, or is the most physically imposing, the reason he most compares to Magic is that he wins the most games. He originally starred for NJ’s Paterson Catholic before it closed then helped lead the legendary St. Anthony’s HS in Jersey City to a HS National Championship and a final #1 ranking in the ESPN Fab 50 rankings. There’s no doubting he’ll do the same for UCLA.
Check out Kyle Anderson’s 2011 Mixtape – Future UCLA Bruin:
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen also provides content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.