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Daishen Nix poised to solve Mick Cronin's UCLA standout player mystery

Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES -- Mick Cronin entered his first season at UCLA wondering who would be the standout players.

There won't be any mystery a year from now.

The Bruins landed the nation's top point guard prospect Wednesday when Daishen Nix signed a binding letter of intent, becoming Cronin's first official recruit and the expected future cornerstone of the team's offense.

"He's just a guy that makes everybody better," Cronin said. "There's not anything he can't do. He can score if you need him to score, he's got unbelievable vision as a passer. He has to score a lot for his high school team, but his default, he would much rather pass the ball at times, so just really excited about him."

Nix, a 6-foot-5 senior at Trinity International High in Las Vegas, was rated the No. 1 point guard in his class by 247Sports. Last season, he averaged 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while playing in a league comprising prep schools from around the country. His teams have won the last two National Christian School Athletic Association Division I championships.

Nix will greatly enhance the Bruins' point guard depth with redshirt freshman Tyger Campbell widely expected to be a multi-year college player. Campbell has thrived as a playmaker in the Bruins' first two games, compiling 11 assists to go with five turnovers.

 

"You can never have enough guys that can create offense," Cronin said. "You can always teach defense. You can get creative on defense, you can change defenses, it's the beauty of college basketball. But scoring is important."

Cronin said it was doubtful that UCLA would bring in another player during the early signing period. The Bruins will have at least three scholarships available, including the departures of redshirt seniors Prince Ali and Alex Olesinski, because they also have one scholarship open.

It's also possible that other players could opt for the NBA with remaining college eligibility.

"We don't have anybody all-league," Cronin told the Los Angeles Times recently, "but that doesn't mean somebody may not leave, because you never know what's going to happen, especially at high-level programs.

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