Coming off of a strong recruiting effort in the class of 2014, Steve Alford and his staff at UCLA are off to a strong start in 2015. They added a big piece on Saturday when shooting guard Prince Ali picked the Bruins.
Currently ranked as the No. 27 player in the class of 2015, the 6-foot-4 wing from Weston (Fla.) Sagement School decided to end his recruitment for the second time on Saturday. Ali initially committed to Connecticut in November, 2013, but decided to open his recruitment back up in late May.
"A lot of things have been going on these past couple of weeks," Ali told Rivals.com. "I just felt that UCLA was the best situation for me to go and excel as a college basketball player and the best situation for me to ultimately play in the pros, which is everybody's dream."
Ali's brother Sayed echoed his younger's sentiments and said that it really stuck out that what the UCLA staff said in the recruiting process matched up with how they actually play.
"Everything they told him about his game aligns with their style of play and what he can do on offensive end," said Sayed Ali. "They will give him the freedom to show what he can do and make an impact in the Pac-12 on both ends of the floor. They know his game better than any coaching staff."
What Ali's game is about is aggression. He's strong, he's athletic and he is relentless in his attacking of the basket. Because he plays in attack mode, Ali draws lots of fouls and frequently gets to the free throw line, which allows him to rack up easy points.
Though his strength is getting to the rim, Ali has developed into a very capable jump shooter. His one and two dribble pull-ups are solid and he has worked to extend his range. Because of his strength, long arms and quickness he can be a standout defender as well.
Ali is the Bruins second commitment from the class of 2015. He joins combo guard Aaron Holiday who currently ranks No. 43 in the Rivals150. Ali is scheduled to take his official visit to Westwood at the end of August and he is glad to have his future decided.
"It feels good, it feels really, really good," said Ali. "I don't have to worry about all the phone calls anymore. I have a lot of respect for the schools that recruited me but now I can focus on school and getting ready for UCLA."