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UCLA loses top 100 guard Allerik Freeman as he reopens recruitment

Apr 24, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT

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UCLA’s recruiting class suffered a blow last night when Allerik Freeman announced that he will be seeking a release from his letter of intent and reopen his recruitment. 

The No. 81 recruit in the Class of 2013, per Rivals, Freeman is a strong, 6-foot-4 scoring guard known for his ability to get to the rim and finish through traffic. He immediately becomes the best available recruit nationally not named Andrew Wiggins. 

“I think Al just wants to exercise all due diligence in making this major life decision with the change in circumstances at UCLA,” Freeman’s high school coach told CBSSports.com.

That change in circumstances was a month ago, when Steve Alford was hired from New Mexico to takeover for Ben Howland. So why did it take this long for Freeman to reopen his recruitment? Jeff Eisenberg has a theory:

One possible explanation is that once Alford had time to evaluate his roster thoroughly, he realized Freeman was unlikely to earn much immediate playing time. Even with the early departure of Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA has an abundance of options at shooting guard next season, between sophomore Jordan Adams, junior Norman Powell and incoming freshmen Zach Lavine and Bryce Alford.

UCLA does have minutes available at the point guard spot, as Larry Drew II is graduating and there really isn’t a natural replacement for him to run the team. Kyle Anderson is a playmaker, but he’s not a point guard. Zach Lavine isn’t a point guard. Neither is Bryce Alford. 

Perhaps the reason he decommitted is that he saw the writing on the wall: he was going to play sparingly on the wing or be forced into a situation where he was playing out of position at the point. 

Neither are ideal.

It will be interesting to see where he winds up. He picked UCLA over Duke, Kansas, Villanova and Ohio State back in November.

(Image via Findlay Prep)

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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