Two transfers leave UCLA basketball in biggest flux of Mick Cronin era

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UCLA forward Mc Etienne shoots during a game against Arizona State in February 2021. Etienne has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. (Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

UCLAContinuity of longtime roster under coach mick cronin is over.

Together mac etienne And Abramo Kanka Entering the transfer portal this week, the Bruins are assured of having more newcomers than holdovers next season, causing their roster to undergo the biggest flux of the Cronin era.

kenneth nubaDylan Andrews and Will McClendon However, only scholarship players remain on the roster from the previous season. sow edamame And jaylen clark Should the latter two players be selected for a second season of college upon entering the NBA draft, they may be redrafted. Bona and Clarke have until the end of this month to make their decisions.

UCLA has signed freshmen Sebastian Mack, Brandon Williams and Devin Williams (no relation); received a verbal commitment from French shooting guard Illane Fibeleuil; and landed a transfer from in Lazar Stefanovic. The Bruins are also recruiting additional international prospects, including 7-foot-3 center Ade Mara from Spain.

Whatever roster appears on Opening Night will bear little resemblance to last season's roster which featured seven returning players and four seniors. Last season, UCLA brought back every player it attended in the 2021 Final Four.

Depending on the decisions Clark and Bona make, UCLA's starting lineup could be completely new next season. Even if Clarke and Bona returned, UCLA would bring back only 30.7% of their scoring production from the previous season. With Clarke and Bona gone, this figure will drop to 7.2%.

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Canka and Etienne played sparingly last season and it was not assured that their roles would expand significantly amid the influx of newcomers. They become the third and fourth UCLA players to transfer since Cronin's arrival in April 2019, joining Sharif O'Neal (Louisiana State) and Jake Kieman (Wyoming before transferring again to Eastern Washington). Are.

Etienne, a redshirt freshman center, averaged 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game after returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for the 2021-22 season. He sparked controversy while sitting out for allegedly spit on over hostile Arizona fans following a game at McKell Center in February 2022. Etienne was cited by police for assault with intent to injure, insult or maim before completing a diversion program to resolve the matter.

Canca, a freshman swingman from Genoa, Italy, showed promise as he averaged 1.5 points and 0.7 rebounds in 5.5 minutes per game. He displayed confidence as a ballhandler and a shooter, making five of 10 three-pointers, though at times he struggled defensively as young players tend to do in Cronin's complex defense.

In view of the massive turnover, a lot of teaching will take place in the coming months.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,