UCLA shoots early, scores recruit

One day after UCLA coach Ben Howland said he was intent on adding at least another player to his recruiting class and that something was "in the works," the Bruins received a verbal commitment from guard Matt Carlino.

Carlino played at a high school in Bloomington, Ind. and had previously committed to Indiana, but now he's part of a continuing trend of players graduating from high school early to enter college.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Carlino said that Bruins Coach Ben Howland talked to him about leaving high school a year earlier. Carlino was held back in second grade after coming down with mononucleosis. He has the necessary credits to graduate and will enroll at UCLA in June.

"Coach Howland brought it up and I thought about," Carlino said. "UCLA has a lot of good players coming back and some good players coming in. This was an opportunity I had to take."

Howland's recommendation that Carlino enroll early suggests that he'll get a good shot at playing time on a team that loses Michael Roll to graduation and is looking to rebound after a rough year.

The Bruins might have lost out on bigger-name recruits during the late signing period, with the program maybe not looking as hot as it once did coming off a 14-18 record.

But hey, at the very least, the impending addition of Carlino confirms that playing for UCLA beats going to senior prom.