2022 Record: 31-6 (18-2)
Head Coach: Mick Cronin (Career Record 462-206) (UCLA Record 99-36)
PG: Dylan Andrews (3.3 Pts, 1.1 Reb, 0.9 Ast)
SG: Jan Vide
SF: Lazar Stefanovic (Utah 10.2 Pts, 3.0 Reb, 2.7 Ast)
PF: Berke Buyuktuncel
C: Adem Bona (7.7 Pts, 5.3 Reb, 0.7 Ast)
6: C Aday Mara
7: SG Sebastian Mack
8: PG Will McClendon (1.0 Pts, 1.1 Reb, 0.8 Ast)
9: C Kenneth Nwuba (1.3 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 0.2 Ast)
10: PF Devin Williams
11: SF Brandon Williams
12: SG Ilane Fibleuil
UCLA returns both Dylan Andrews and Adem Bona this season. Andrews will need to take a massive step up this season as he slots into the starting PG position taking over for Tyger Campbell. As a freshman last season, Andrews showed some flashes that he can be an elite player. He shot 43% from the floor and 32% from 3 although he’s capable of shooting better from beyond the arc. Bona is the Bruins returner that played the most on last seasons team. He shot a very efficient 68% from the floor as a freshman and also proved to be a quality rim protector. Also returning to the Bruins are reserves Will McClendon and Kenneth Nwuba. Will McClendon had a rough season last year but is poised for a bounceback. He will backup Andrews if Vide isn’t playing the point. Nwuba is going into his 5th season with the Bruins seeing reserve minutes. He will again serve as the backup for Bona.
The Bruins took the international route where they were able to sign 4 members in the class of 2023. Jan Vide is a guard from Slovenia. He slots in at the SG position for the Bruins but is a pass first European guard who is capable of running the point as well. Big man Aday Mara from Spain is a unique player at 7-3 245lbs. He is a great passer for his size and will also excel on the defensive end for the team. French wing Ilane Fibleuil is further down the rotation this season but does add some depth at the guard position. Berke Buyuktuncel out of Turkey was the last international addition the Bruins made this offseason. The lefty an exceptional athlete that should slot right into the starting lineup for UCLA this season. He will make an impact on both sides of the floor including scoring from all levels and impacting the glass.
The lone transfer that UCLA added this offseason was interconference transfer from Utah Lazar Stefanovic. He has great size and length for his position. He has also been an impact player in the Pac-12 already. He’s an elite three point shooter and free throw shooter while also adding value passing the ball and attacking the glass. UCLA also brought 3 US freshman to the team this season. SG Sebastian Mack is ranked as the #66 player in the class. SF Brandon Williams is ranked as the #70 player in the class. PF Devin Williams is ranked as the #81 player in the class.
This UCLA team will look completely different this upcoming season. The Bruins will need to rely on a bunch of freshman to dictate their success. The international prospects they signed have a ton of potential and should make an immediate impact. UCLA certainly has the pieces to be a great team, there is just a few question marks with the team being so young. It may take a bit for the chemistry to flow but this team is full of talent and should claim a relatively high seed in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA has an outside chance to win the conference, but they project to be more in the 2nd-4th slots in a loaded Pac-12.