Monday afternoon Brandon Williams No. 74 ranked 247Sports player in the Class of 2023 announced at Christ the King’s Middle Village (NY) that he would be traveling across the country to play college basketball for Mick Cronin and UCLA.

A long and versatile 6-foot-7 combo forward, Williams became a top target for Cronin and the Bruins in the spring and summer. Now that he’s committed, what can Bruins fans expect from him? What is its advantage? How can he help immediately? And how can it fit in with some of the other high-profile targets that remain on the UCLA board in the class of 2023?

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While many aspects of Williams’ game made him a must for Cronin and his team, some things really stood out.

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To begin with, Williams is the type of long-legged and versatile forward that Cronin has long coveted. He is able to get bigger defenders out to the perimeter where he shoots well at mid-range and is very capable of attacking from dribbling. He also has a weak post game that makes him hard to defend if you want to try and slow him down with a smaller player.

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He is only scratching the surface of his potential, and one cannot underestimate how young he is for the class of 2023. Williams is only 16 years old, and he won’t turn 17 until early November. He is a whole year young for the senior class and in many cases two years younger than some of the other players in the 2023 class. Considering the jumps he’s made physically and on the court since the start of the calendar year, the reason is that he still has room to take one more jump before he arrives on campus and the UCLA coaches get to work with him.

Playing in EYBL Nike with the PSA Cardinals, Williams averaged 10.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. While he is showing promise as a deep jump shooter, he is currently likely hitting too many threes (only 18.6% of three in the EYBL) and his lack of strength could cause him some trouble finishing near the rim. Still, the kick looks clean, and the UCLA gym and fitness he’ll be doing over the next few years will help take care of any lack of strength.

Moving forward, Williams fits the big man Devin Williams, which has already been done, and it doesn’t take up room for the Bruins’ remaining flanking targets, Andrey Stojakovich and Cody Williams, both ranked among the top 25 players of 2023. As a bit of an inside out combo forward who will do the dirty work, Williams potentially fits alongside a guy like Stojakovic, who is a sharp shooter from deep and an experienced flanker. bombardier. Another Williams, Cody, is hired more as a ball dealer/facilitator in what UCLA sees as an updated offense with many long-range, interchangeable, versatile flank types that can play fast.

Time will tell what happens to the other targets going forward, but today UCLA got a great player with huge upside potential in Brandon Williams.