UCLA Preview Capsule
Last season: 31-5, lost to Kentucky in Sweet 16.
Coach: Steve Alford.
Who’s gone: G Lonzo Ball, F TJ Leaf, G Isaac Hamilton, G Bryce Alford, F-C Ike Anigbogu.
Who’s back: C Thomas Welsh. The senior led the team with 43 blocks while starting 32 games last season. G Aaron Holiday. He was a solid sixth man last season and will help replace Lonzo Ball’s production. F G.G. Goloman. Now a senior, the veteran big man contributes off the bench. G Prince Ali. He redshirted as a freshman last year after left knee meniscus tear. F Alex Olesinski. Also redshirted last year with foot problems.
Who’s new: G LiAngelo Ball. The freshman is Lonzo’s middle brother and he averaged 33.8 points as a high school senior, so he’s used to a boatload of attention. But following his big brother in Westwood and playing in the same city as Lonzo’s Lakers team won’t be easy. G Jaylen Hands. He averaged 29.2 points and 8.0 rebounds as a McDonald’s All-American in his senior season. G Kris Wilkes. He was a McDonald’s All-American and Indiana Mr. Basketball 24 years after Steve Alford earned the honor. F Cody Riley. Highly regarded national recruit. G Chris Smith. A top-100 recruit.
The Skinny: Alford has reloaded with another talented roster that will contend for the Pac-12 title and is capable of a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, which is the annual expectation for a school that owns 11 national championships.