Just a few days ago, Shareef O’Neal decommited from Zona after the rumblings surrounding coach Miller and his doubtful ethics. Our own Stephen Rodgers covered O’Neal’s potential future choices in no time and just a few hours after leaving Arizona in the dust, Shareef called UCLA his new home. And oh boy should both parties be happy about this decision.
The Bruins are about to enter the National Tourney in their post-Lonzo, LiAngelo-empty era after finishing with the third-best Pac-12 record this past season only under Arizona and SoCal, but brights lights and promising chants are ahead with the arrival of Shareef. UCLA will lose its two pure centers in Thomas Welsh and Ikenna Okwarabizie after they complete their senior years at the college, while Kenneth Nwuba and Moses Brown (Bruins’ Center commits for next year) will be the ones covering the position in twelve months. Shareef profiles as more of a hybrid Forward and has been calling for mobile phone cameras and highlight tapes all season, and if that means something, we should have plenty more coming with him donning LA’s electric-blue jerseys.
Maybe to celebrate his commitment, or just because he can and to give good-old Crossroads-alumn Baron Davis (attending the game) a glimpse of what he can do on the court (as if the point guard didn’t know already), O’Neal smashed Salem in Round 1 of the CIF State playoffs prior to facing La Jolla Country Day today, March 10th in Round 2 (5pm ET).
Shaq was already a walking-muscle at age 16. Shareef is the lanky, slippery guy you don’t want to face on the court. In common? Men among boys in high school. The rebound, the tip, the block, the steal, the spin, the reverse dunk. If this were a video game, O’Neal looks like he’d have all power-ups activated.
It is early, but Shareef O’Neal and UCLA could be on the path to a Pac-12 title in no-time.
We don’t even know the bracket for this year’s tournament, but UCLA must be pumped about what is yet to come, as Shareef enters the Bruins roster as the No. 33 best prospect in the Nation per 247Sports Composite rankings. Add that to the aforementioned Brown, coming all the way from New York, and you have a frontcourt that would scare anyone those youngins face come next year’s season.