Lavar Ball at it Again: Pulls LiAngelo From UCLA

Lavar will be Lavar. News broke today that LiAngelo Ball will not return to the UCLA men’s basketball team. Reports indicated that Lavar Ball pulled his son from school due to his suspension on the team. The suspension of course, stems from the shoplifting incident that took place in China just a few weeks ago.

This decision is only surprising in the sense that it took this long to happen. There was no way Lavar was going to let his son sit on the bench all year long, no matter what he did. This is the same guy who is home-schooling his youngest son because he does not agree with the coaching. He’s the guy who can be seen publicly criticizing the Los Angeles Lakers players and coaches on any given night. What gave you any indication that he was going to let Steve Alford get away scot-free? This is the Ball family, negative publicity cannot happen ever.

Big news for LiAngelo, but what about his brother?

I think this story actually makes things more interesting for LaMelo Ball. He’s being home-schooled, and cameras follow him at every tournament he plays in. I can’t help but think that LiAngelo’s departure is some long con so LaMelo can decommit from UCLA. A lot can change in for a high school athlete in four years. The way recruiting is now, being committed to a school for four years prior to enrolling is unheard of. LiAngleo was not a one-and-done player. He was going to be at UCLA when LaMelo was finally able to enroll. It would be an awkward situation for LaMelo to decommit if LiAngelo were apart of the UCLA program.

This is strictly speculation, but with Lavar Ball you truly cannot rule anything out. With LiAngelo withdrawing from school, it is assumed LaMelo will decommit eventually as well. If this happens, it will bring an interesting twist to his recruitment. There is no word currently on where LiAngelo will end up. LaMelo could follow him, or Lavar could put him on his own path. Only time will tell, but for now, we’ll keep talking about Lavar, LiAngelo and zero minutes he played at UCLA.

LaVar Ball is Bad For Basketball

At first, the theatrics were amusing. The proclamations, the interviews, thew swagger. It was enjoyable. But at a certain point, enough is enough. Lavar Ball is bad for basketball. With his oldest son in the NBA, and his middle son enrolled at UCLA, Lavar Ball has decided to focus on his youngest son. It was recently announced that LaMelo Ball would be removed from school to train with his Dad for two years before attending college.

At a time when college basketball recruiting is under its biggest microscope, the Ball family is going completely off the map. Instead of playing in premier high school events, LaMelo Ball will be training. While one side can argue that Ball doesn’t have anything to prove, as he is already committed to UCLA, one also has to see how bad this looks. This move was made so LaMelo could train more, it keeps him from getting exposed for the next two years. It avoids negative criticism is Chino Hills were to underachieve, and it helps keep bad LaMelo highlights off the internet.

Lavar Ball has been quoted many times saying he loves the attention. As a businessman he is pulling all the right strings with the media to keep his Big Baller Brand relevant. Lonzo was able to play and succeed through the circus, but with two years of high school left, it will be tough for LaMelo. While the negative social media may disappear, the spotlight is going to be enormous once he walks onto UCLA campus.

Lavar Ball isn’t afraid to take a shot. This shot is just one of many that seemingly mocks basketball. This move says the his son doesn’t need anyone but him to succeed. And while there’s no problem betting on yourself, what happens when it’s time for college? Do they decide to skip another year and train some more? Does Steve Alford put up with this nonsense for two more years?

Lavar Ball mocked sneaker brands with his Big Baller Brand. He mocked the entire game by saying he was better than Michael Jordan, joke or not. And not he’s taking a shot at high school athletics and recruiting with this home-schooling. Lavar Ball may be a good businessman. He did get people to pay ridiculous prices for shoes after all. But Lavar Ball is bad for basketball.

Marvin Bagley’s Possible Impact if He Reclassifies

It was reported weeks ago that Marvin Bagley, the top player in the class of 2018, filed paperwork to re-class and enroll in college next season. Last night, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that Bagley will make his college decision tonight. This move is less about playing college basketball this season, and more about declaring for the NBA Draft this Spring. Bagley is doing everything possible to make himself eligible for a team by this Fall. With his commitment coming tonight, let’s take a look at how Bagley could impact the six schools with the chance of landing him.

Duke

Many perceive Duke to be the favorite to land Bagley tonight. The Blue Devils once again brought in a strong recruiting class. But with Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum going pro, Amile Jefferson graduating and Chase Jeter transferring, there still could be added firepower to the front court in Cameron. The addition of Bagley would deepen Coach K’s roster, something they have struggled with come March. Bagley, who already took an official visit to Duke, could slide right into the line up alongside Wendell Carter and give Coach K a much more solid front court duo to compliment a strong back court ofTrevon Duval and Grayson Allen. Having landed Tre Jones yesterday, it could be quite the two days for the Blue Devils if Bagley chooses Duke.

USC

USC woud love to pick up where they left off last season with a late commitment from Bagley, who has already taken an official visit. The Trojans won a play in game before winning a last second thriller over SMU in the NCAA Tournament this past March. They return key contributors to last year’s NCAA team and are expected to be a top team in the Pac 12 this year. Unlike most teams on this list that could use front court help, the Trojans’ two top returning players are 6’10 Bennie Boatwright and 6’11 Chimezie Metu. While this would be a problem welcomed by head coach Andy Enfield, it could prove to be an issue if the three cannot play together.

UCLA

Steve Alford would love nothing more than to replace two NBA lottery picks with the probable #1 overall pick of whatever draft he enters. After losing Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf to the NBA, Alford has holes to fill. He also lost son, Bryce and fellow senior Isaac Hamilton to graduation. Those four players contributed 60 points per game last year for the Bruins. And while Alford’s incoming group of freshman is another strong group, Bagley would put them over the top and give Arizona a run for its money for Pac 12 champ. Bagley would be paired alongside incoming freshman Cody Riley, and give UCLA as big and strong of a front court as any team in the country.

The three schools above are clear favorites to land Bagley, as he took official visits to all three spots. However, anything can happen in the college basketball world. Arizona, Kentucky and Kansas are all long shots to land Bagley, but with three of the best recruiters in CBB running each team, you can’t call them dead. My guess is Bagley ends up at Duke and there will be a new preseason #1 in College Basketball. Twitter seemed to agree.