The Bruins will have to go back to the drawing board for their future frontcourt rotation.
Class of 2022 center Ernest Udeh Jr. committed to Kansas over UCLA men's basketball live on CBS Sports HQ on Wednesday. The big man from Dr. Phillips High School (FL) will join a Jayhawks recruiting class that now ranks No. 3 in the country with four top-50 commits, while the Bruins remain at No. 19, according to 247Sports.
Udeh had previously narrowed his list to 10 back on Aug. 16. Alabama, Baylor, Florida, Goergia Tech, Miami (FL), Michigan and Tennessee were the schools that ended up on the cutting room floor when he went down to just UCLA and Kansas on Oct. 13.
The last visit Udeh made was to Lawrence back on Oct. 8. Udeh stopped by Westwood on Oct. 1, although he never personally posted an album of photos from his visit to UCLA like he did with Kansas.
There had been a building belief that Udeh would pick the Jayhawks over the past week, with both 247Sports Basketball Recruiting Analyst DuShawn London and 247SportsDirector of Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer submitting high confidence crystal ball predictions that he would continue his career at Kansas on Oct. 13 and 14, respectively.
Udeh is ranked as the No. 29 prospect in the country by both the 247Sports Composite and Rivals, but No. 38 by ESPN. All three major outlets have him pegged as a high four-star recruit.
As a junior at Dr. Phillips, Udeh averaged 10.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game last year.
UCLA currently has Cody Riley and Myles Johnson set to eat up most of the minutes down low this year, but both of them could be playing their final year of college basketball this season. Mac Etienne and Kenneth Nwuba, both 6-foot-10, would be the only post players left on the roster should the two others leave in the offseason, leaving the rotation down low very much in flux.
The rest of the minutes remain up for grabs with Udeh committing to Kansas.
Five-star combo guard Amari Bailey and four-star point guard Dylan Andrews currently make up UCLA's entire 2022 recruiting class. With as many as seven players departing the program next offseason, there are presumably going to be plenty of scholarship spots available, meaning the incoming recruiting class still has plenty of room to grow.
Five-star small forward Mark Mitchell recently said he plans to make his commitment in December, and the Bruins are in his final four. The nation's No. 1 power forward Yohan Traore also has UCLA in his top 10, although he isn't likely to commit until the spring.
The target who could best fill the void left by Udeh in the immediate future is center Adem Bona from Prolific Prep (CA). Bona is 6-foot-9 with a reputation as an athletic rim-protector right up there with Udeh, if not better. Rivals has him as a four-star recruit ranked No. 33 in the country, but both ESPN and the 247Sports Composite have Bona pegged as a five-star ranked No. 19 and No. 17, respectively.
Bona is set to visit UCLA on Oct. 22, and he told On3 he would be committing right after he sees Westwood. Kentucky is the other favorite, with Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas, Miami (FL) and USC also in contention.