Shareef O'Neal has reportedly committed to UCLA. He backed off of his long-standing pledge to Arizona over the weekend.
It has been a tough few days for Arizona basketball. The program, and specifically head coach Sean Miller and superstar freshman Deandre Ayton, was the focus of an ESPN piece, which alleged that the head coach had discussed a $100,000 payment for the former five-star recruit.
There have been some questions about the timeline of ESPN's story, and the wiretapping on Miller's phone. In any case, it is a tough moment for those associated with the Arizona program.
He didn't waste much time in reportedly finding a new home. Kentucky was seen as the favorite to land NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal's son, but instead, he appears to be staying in the Pac-12.
Earlier today, TMZ reported that UCLA was the favorite to land the four-star power forward. During tonight's ESPN broadcast of Alabama-Florida, Sean Farnham swooped in with a mid-broadcast announcement that O'Neal will be a Bruin. A number of recruiting insiders are now reporting the same.
Shareef O'Neal's decision has a big impact on the class of 2018 recruiting rankings.
He is the sixth player to commit to the Bruins in the class, joining four other blue-chip players. With the commitment, UCLA now has the No. 3 class in the country, and No. 2 in the Pac-12, per 247's composite rankings.
O'Neal joins five-star center Moses Brown and four-star point guard Tyger Campbell as UCLA commits. Four-star shooting guards Jules Bernard and David Singleton, and three-star center Kenneth Nwuba have already signed.
Meanwhile, Arizona has just four-star point guard Brandon Williams remaining in its 2018 recruiting class. Like O'Neal, Williams had signed a financial aid agreement in November, but not a binding National Letter of Intent, so he is still free to look elsewhere. Arizona's one-man class is now ranked No. 94 overall and No. 10 in the Pac-12.
Only Duke and Oregon have classes ranked higher than UCLA. LSU and Kansas round out the top five.