Kyle Anderson commits to UCLA, choosing Bruins over Seton Hall
By Brendan Prunty/The Star-Ledger
Published: Monday, September 19, 2011, 10:37 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 12:27 AM
It's official: Kyle Anderson is heading west.
Ninety minutes before his 18th birthday, the highly sought-after St. Anthony recruit announced on his Twitter page Monday night that he will attend UCLA in 2012. The 6-foot-8 point guard from Fairview chose the Bruins over Seton Hall after a long, drawn-out recruiting battle.
The decision came down to the very last hours, with Anderson and his family entertaining Pirates coach Kevin Willard for his final in-home visit with the recruit.
As internet rumors began to swirl that Anderson had officially chosen UCLA, the first-team Star-Ledger all-state selection last year Tweeted for everyone to pump the brakes on that line of thinking.
"NOTHING IS OFFICIAL!!!!!!!" Anderson tweeted, before following up that he was still discussing the decision with his family and for everybody to "relax."
Thirty minutes later, he announced he would be headed to Los Angeles to play for UCLA and head coach Ben Howland. His versatility at the point guard position was the main reason for the heavy recruiting war that came down to five schools in the end: UCLA, Seton Hall, Florida, Georgetown and St. John's.
Just this weekend, Anderson traveled to Florida for an official visit, taking in the Gators football game against rival Tennessee. But as the weekend drew to a close, smoke signals began to arise that his decision would come down to the Pirates and the Bruins. Willard, about to begin his second season as Seton Hall's head coach, had spent the majority of the summer trying to woo the St. Anthony star to South Orange.
Several recruiting analysts and websites said that Anderson would be an instant difference-maker for the Pirates and could instantly jump-start Seton Hall back into the recruiting mix.
According to Rivals.com, Anderson is rated as a five-star prospect. He is ranked No. 1 overall at the point guard position and No. 2 overall in the class of 2012.
Originally beginning his high school career at Paterson Catholic, Anderson transferred to the Jersey City powerhouse when the school closed after the 2009-10 school year. Behind Anderson, the Friars went 33-0 and won the Tournament of Champions title over Plainfield.
"We had no idea how good he was when he first got here," legendary St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley said recently.