The Bruins have now made the second cut in their pursuit of one of the Midwest’s top prospects.
Class of 2023 wing Rayvon Griffith had UCLA men’s basketball in his top 10 back in January, and he once again listed the Bruins in his top five on Sunday. The high school junior has Ohio State, Cincinnati, Kansas and Alabama as his other four finalists.
Griffith had Penn State, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Arizona State and South Carolina in his top 10, but trimmed them off the list in his most recent update. Kansas State, Alabama A&M and Grambling State had also offered Griffith, but have not been in contention for his services over the past few months.
Griffith shares a hometown with coach Mick Cronin, as he plays his high school ball at Taft (OH) in Cincinnati and is the consensus top recruit in Ohio. Griffith told 247Sports that Cronin was recruiting him when he was still with the Bearcats over three years ago, and that they have remained in touch ever since.
Griffith is competing at the adidas 3SSB camp in Indianapolis to open up the first live recruiting period of the year and assistant coach Rod Palmer is in attendance, according to Bruin Report Online’s Tracy Pierson.
Back in 2019-2020, Griffith earned a spot on MaxPreps’ Freshman All-American First Team after leading his team to the second round of the Division III Ohio state tournament and averaging 26.5 points, 13.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and four steals along the way.
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Griffith rode that late season surge into more recognition as a sophomore, earning the Division III Southwest District Player of the Year award while putting up 23.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Griffith also shot 54 percent from the field, 46 percent on threes and 69 percent from the stripe.
The 247Sports Composite has Griffith ranked as the No. 42 player in the nation, while ESPN has him at No. 59 and Rivals has him at No. 64. All three outlets have him designated as a four-star recruit.
The 6-foot-7 Griffith is listed as a guard by some outlets but projects to be an all-around wing at the next level if he continues to grow, something the Bruins could end up needing in the near future.
Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Peyton Watson are all potential threats to leave for the 2022 NBA Draft, and Jules Bernard appears to have played his final season at UCLA. That leaves Jaylen Clark and Will McClendon as the only wings set to be on the roster by the start of the 2023 season, under the assumption of top 2022 recruit combo guard Amari Bailey going one-and-done.
UCLA does not have any 2023 commits seven months out from the early signing period, but it is in the running for several blue chips in addition to Griffith. Power forward KJ Evans, shooting guard Dusty Stromer and point guard Isaiah Collier all have the Bruins as a finalist or semifinalist, and nine uncommitted recruits have outstanding offers from Cronin and his staff.
Griffith does not have a concrete timeline for announcing his decision, and told multiple outlets he does not know when he plans to visit his top five schools.