This post was last updated Dec. 6 at 11:31 p.m.
Less than a week into his second season at the helm, coach Mick Cronin is already lining things up for year three.
UCLA men’s basketball (1-1) locked in its third top-50 recruit for the class of 2021 when center Mac Etienne committed to the Bruins on Monday morning. Etienne is the No. 7 center in the country, the No. 1 player in New Hampshire and the No. 43 overall prospect according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
The 6-foot-10 Etienne was the 2019-2020 Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks per game as a junior at Suffield Academy.
Etienne picked the Bruins two weeks after announcing his top four of UCLA, Miami, Marquette and Illinois on Nov. 16.
With Etienne joining the fold, the Bruins now boast the fourth-best 2021 recruiting class in the nation and the top-ranked group in the Pac-12. Etienne is the lowest-rated of UCLA’s three commits, with five-star small forward Peyton Watson and four-star shooting guard Will McClendon currently ranked inside the top 40.
The Bruins went back-to-back cycles without multiple four-star-or-better commits in 2019 and 2020, with a coaching change and G League poaching standing in the way of the program’s usual recruiting prowess. UCLA’s past two recruiting classes ranked 77th and 112th in the country.
While national rankings are certainly subject to change over the next few months, UCLA is on pace to boast its eighth top-25 recruiting class in 10 years.
Etienne will join a post rotation consisting of redshirt junior forwards Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, as well as redshirt sophomore forward Kenneth Nwuba. Depending on Riley and Hill’s NBA futures – considering both have already entered their names into the draft pool in the past – Etienne’s role as a freshman could vary.