Pundits have sharply different opinions on UCLA basketball as a competitor to USC

Kevin Sweeney of Sports Illustrated is buying UCLA basketball stock before this college hoops season.

“At the top, I will say I think UCLA has probably been a little undervalued nationally in my opinion. I don’t think people quite understand the talent level of the international kids that they’ve brought in,” Sweeney said.

“Aday Mara and Berke Buyuktuncel, I’ve probably butchered those names as well as Jan Vide from Serbia. Those three kids all come from Europe. They are three of the best players in Europe. They’re all three legitimate NBA prospects. If these were one-and-done freshmen, I think UCLA would be a consensus top-15 team, but because they’re one-and-done international kids who people haven’t talked about and heard about for three years and gone to the (Nike) EYBL events and seen play three, four times, I think there’s a little bit more skepticism.

“Yes, it’s going to take a while because (Mick) Cronin’s system isn’t easy to learn. They’ve got three new starters, they’ve got a new point guard in Dylan Andrews. They’ve got stylistic stuff to figure out up front. But I think UCLA’s upside is really immense because they’re adding multiple potential NBA players into the mix. And I do believe Andrews is the point guard that can lead them through that. So maybe they’re not the best team of this group in November and December or even January. That might cost them a regular season Pac-12 title. But part of me thinks this might be the most dangerous of the three (UCLA, USC, Arizona) come March just because of the talent.”

Sweeney likes what UCLA has. National college basketball commentator and reporter Jeff Goodman does not.

Goodman made an eye-opening pick on a Field of 68 college basketball season preview show:

The college basketball season begins on Monday, November 6.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire