LaVine Has a Clear Leader

Zach Lavine

Zach Lavine, the 6-3 combo guard from Bothell, Washington, is pretty candid about one program standing out for him...

At the beginning of the last basketball season, Zach LaVine, the 6-3 combo guard from Bothel (Wash.), clearly had UCLA as his leader. There was even some strong indications of him committing early to the Bruins.

Then, toward the winter, LaVine opened up things a bit more, wanting to take a look at a wider variety of schools.

But things have swung back toward UCLA in recent months.

"UCLA is the leader for me right now," LaVine said.

LaVine listed the other schools he's also considering: "I've got to put Washington up there. I have to put Louisville. I've loved all the schools I've talked to, and I thank God for them recruiting me and putting in the time. And I've got to mention Gonzaga, they really like me, and Arizona."

He also hasn't gotten a new offer in a while, but says he's getting a lot of increased interest from Missouri and Memphis.

But the Bruins are standing out, for a number of reasons.

"I just talked to my uncle and my sister lives down there (in Los Angeles), and right now I just feel like it's the best fit for me," LaVine said. "It's such a great school, and they've got a great recruiting class coming in. I just hope, if I go there, that I can fit right in and help them to get a lot better."

Right now, LaVine is being recruited primarily as a point guard by most of the schools recruiting him, but thinks that he could grow out of the position. He lists himself at 6'3 ½, but thinks he could keep growing, and anticipates possibly playing more of a combo role in college.

UCLA's rise to the top of LaVine's leaderboard comes after a tumultuous time for the Bruins. First, there was the downer of the season, with UCLA not making the NCAA tournament and Coach Ben Howland suffering a reputation hit with the Sports Illustrated article. For LaVine, though, neither situation had much impact.

"It didn't really have much of an effect on me," LaVine said. "And then Coach Howland told me to just take it the way I want to, but that most of the stuff isn't true."

Academics-wise, LaVine currently stands at about a 2.9 GPA, but he's been progressing steadily upwards, and for that, he's appreciative of the help he's gotten.

"I just want to thank all of my teachers for helping me through this process, helping me to get better grades, and sticking with me," LaVine said. "Just helping me to get everything together, and helping me grow as a person."

LaVine isn't planning on making a commitment until after the AAU season this summer. but he has his parents support in his decision.

"My parents said, ‘Make this decision for yourself, it's your own life,'" LaVine said. "My dad said he'd like to see me go to UCLA, but the decision's up to me."

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