The UCLA Bruins already have quite a bit of talent assembled on their roster, but they may have just taken the next step to restoring the roar in Westwood following Wednesday evening. The nation's best prospect, Shabazz Muhammad, gave his pledge to Ben Howland and UCLA over Kentucky and Duke, immediately giving the Bruins one of the more dynamic guards in the country.
ESPN updated their top-25 preseason rankings on Thursday. Where was UCLA spotted?
Here are the rankings from Andy Katz. He has them ranked No. 13:
The Bruins might be the most fascinating team of 2012-13. How will this all shake out? Not only is the embattled Ben Howland bringing in the No. 2 recruiting class led by a pair of top-five players (guards Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson), but also adds another stud recruit in Jordan Adams and UNC transfer Larry Drew II. And who knows what you'll get with a frontcourt that includes the Wear twins and the enigma that is Joshua Smith. Tyler Lamb and Norman Powell will also play signifcant roles. This has a true boom-or-bust feel to it. Nothing less than Howland's job security rides on it.
If everything goes right for the Bruins in 2012-13, they could have more talent than just about any team in the nation. They have one of the better recruiting classes of anyone, the Wear twins and Josh Smith are capable of dominating the paint, and guys like Lamb and Powell could both be in for breakout years with so many playmakers around them.
It will not be easy for Ben Howland to get this unit to gel early, especially with so many newcomers to the program, but they could be very dangerous come March.
For more on the team, head over to Bruins Nation.