The Bruins and Trojans are set for a fierce crosstown recruiting battle.
Class of 2023 power forward Devin Williams narrowed his list of suitors from five to two on Monday, his AAU team the Compton Magic announced Monday evening. The Centennial (CA) product will decide between UCLA men’s basketball and their crosstown rival, USC.
Williams previously listed Arizona, Texas Tech and UNLV in his top five back in June, but they appear to be out of the running for the time being. Williams also had offers from Cal, Cal Poly, George Mason, Loyola Marymount, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Pepperdine, Portland State, San Diego, San Diego State, Santa Clara, Washington and Xavier.
Williams took an official visit with the Trojans on June 9. He has an official booked with the Bruins on Aug. 16, and he previously stopped by Westwood for an unofficial in June.
The Southern California prospect is heading into his senior year at Centennial, the same high school Ike Anigbogu and Jalen Hill attended. Anigbogu and Hill are also two of the eight UCLA players in the past seven classes who played for the Compton Magic, the same AAU program that produced TJ Leaf, Jaylen Hands, Jules Bernard, Johnny Juzang, Jaylen Clark and incoming freshman Dylan Andrews.
UCLA assistant coach Rod Palmer is closely connected with Etop Udo-Ema, with the two being fellow co-founders of the Compton Magic, and he has played a part in upholding the Bruins’ connection with the program into the Mick Cronin era.
Williams marks a potential extension of that Magic-to-UCLA pipeline, as the Bruins are squarely in the race for the local big man’s impending commitment.
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Leading the way for Centennial down low as a junior, Williams helped the Huskies post a 33-1 record and CIF Open Division State Championship last season. The 6-foot-10, 200-pound forward has excelled as a shot-blocker and high-flying athlete, and he has also managed to develop an outside shot over the past year.
Centennial produced another Bruin this year, as incoming UCLA women’s basketball freshman guard Londynn Jones was a year ahead of Williams at the Corona, California, high school. The two appear to be a couple, which could factor into Williams’ eventual decision.
Williams is a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports, ESPN and On3 but a three-star prospect according to Rivals. In the 247Sports Composite, Williams is the No. 16 player in California, No. 19 power forward in the country and No. 86 overall recruit in his class.
The Bruins do not have a single commit in their 2023 class, which will be a pivotal one considering they could have anywhere from four to seven scholarships available to hand out.
UCLA’s post rotation may not need to be completely rebuilt like other position groups, but McDonald’s All-American center Adem Bona could go one-and-done and Mac Etienne is still recovering from a torn ACL.
Five-star point guard Isaiah Collier, five-star power forward Ron Holland, four-star small forward Andrej Stojakovic, four-star center Isaiah Miranda and three-star center Michael Nwoko are among the other top prospects Cronin and his staff are in the running for.
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