Meet the 2024-25 UCLA basketball transfer class: The quick-fix six

The new faces of the UCLA men's basketball team (clockwise from top left): Skyy Clark, Tyler Bilodeau, Eric Dailey Jr., William Kyle III, Dominick Harris and Kobe Johnson.
The new faces of the UCLA men's basketball team, clockwise from top left: Skyy Clark, Tyler Bilodeau, Eric Dailey Jr., William Kyle III, Dominick Harris and Kobe Johnson. (Associated Press)

Mick Cronin didn’t sit still after UCLA’s first losing season in nearly a decade and his first losing season since early in his career at Cincinnati. The coach landed six transfers as part of a roster overhaul intended to vault the Bruins into contention in their first Big Ten season. Here’s a look at each transfer:

Kobe Johnson (transfer from USC)

USC's Kobe Johnson drives to the basketball during a game against Washington in March.
USC's Kobe Johnson drives to the basketball during a game against Washington in March. Johnson will be playing for UCLA this season. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)

Size: 6-6, 200

Year in 2024-25: Senior

Seasons of remaining eligibility: One

Stats last season: Averaged 10.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals while making 40.4% of his shots and 31.3% of his three-pointers.

Expected impact: Johnson could supplant Lazar Stefanovic as the starting small forward because of his defensive prowess and sneaky-good passing skills. He was a member of the Pac-12’s all-defensive team last season and has a chance to become UCLA’s second national defensive player of the year in three seasons after Jaylen Clark won the award in 2022-23. Cronin describes Johnson as a “plus-plus guy” because of his ability to defend, shoot and pass at a high level.

Fun tidbit: Johnson is believed to be the first basketball player to compete for USC and UCLA since Frank Bowman during the final years of World War II, when players were allowed four years of varsity eligibility. Bowman had completed his pre-medical degree in three years at UCLA before playing for the Trojans during his first year of medical school.

Read more:How UCLA thrived in basketball free agency after its 'NIL grew exponentially'

Eric Dailey Jr. (Oklahoma State)

Oklahoma State forward Eric Dailey Jr. (2) drives to the basket.
Oklahoma State forward Eric Dailey Jr. puts up a shot against Iowa State in January. (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Size: 6-8, 230

Year in 2024-25: Sophomore

Seasons of remaining eligibility: Three

Stats last season: Averaged 9.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 49.6%. He started 16 games but moved into a sixth-man role over the second half of the season.

Expected impact: Possibly the Bruins’ best athlete and most versatile player, Dailey played some point guard while in high school before transitioning into more of a big-man role while at Oklahoma State. Cronin said Dailey could play alongside fellow power forward Tyler Bilodeau because of their different skill sets and ability to complement each other.

Fun tidbit: Dailey comes from a basketball family that includes his mother, Shell, who played at Texas and coached at Texas A&M, Florida and Texas Christian in addition to the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars and the ABL’s Nashville Noise. His father, Eric Sr., played at TCU and professionally for 10 years in Europe, Asia and South America.

William Kyle III (South Dakota State)

South Dakota State's William Kyle III holds the ball under pressure from Iowa State's Demarion Watson.
South Dakota State's William Kyle III, left, controls the ball in front of Iowa State's Demarion Watson during a game in March. (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Size: 6-9, 230

Year in 2024-25: Junior

Seasons of remaining eligibility: Two

Stats last season: Averaged 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 62.3%.

Expected impact: Kyle could be UCLA’s starting center in the season opener if the Bruins opt for his proven defense and rebounding over sophomore Aday Mara’s upside on offense. Mara has a long way to go to match Kyle’s conditioning and ability to stay on the court for long stretches.

Fun tidbit: Kyle didn’t need any coaxing to make the jump from the Summit League to the Big Ten, informing Cronin of his decision during his recruiting visit. “He was here with his dad and we were doing part of our presentation midday and whatever I was talking about, [Kyle] said, ‘Well, coach, I already know where I want to go — I’m coming to UCLA.’ And his dad was like — they had to have a sidebar, it was a cool moment because his dad starting crying, it was great.”

Dominick Harris (Loyola Marymount)

Loyola Marymount guard Dominick Harris controls the ball during a game against Gonzaga in January.
Loyola Marymount guard Dominick Harris controls the ball during a game against Gonzaga in January. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Size: 6-3, 190

Year in 2024-25: Graduate transfer

Seasons of remaining eligibility: Two

Stats last season: Averaged 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist while making 42.9% of his shots and 44.8% of his three-pointers — ranking third in the nation — in his only season with the Lions after starting his college career at Gonzaga.

Expected impact: His elite long-range shooting could help him immediately move into the starting lineup given the Bruins were on pace for much of last season to set a dubious school record for three-point ineptitude before finishing at a reasonably respectable 33.2% accuracy from beyond the arc.

Fun tidbit: Harris, who is expected to officially join the Bruins around the start of August after graduating from LMU, could be considered the player to be named later in a trade involving the teams after UCLA guard Jan Vide joined the Lions this spring.

Tyler Bilodeau (Oregon State)

Oregon State forward Tyler Bilodeau looks to shoot over UCLA guard Brandon Williams during a Pac-12 tournament game in March.
Oregon State forward Tyler Bilodeau looks to shoot over UCLA guard Brandon Williams during a Pac-12 tournament game in March. (John Locher / Associated Press)

Size: 6-9, 220

Year in 2024-25: Junior

Seasons of remaining eligibility: Two

Stats last season: Averaged 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists while making 53.3% of his shots and 34.5% of his three-pointers.

Expected impact: Bilodeau’s ability to stretch the floor means he could play alongside Dailey, a fellow power forward, as part of some smaller lineups.

Fun tidbit: Cronin gave his assistant coaches a hard time about not recruiting Bilodeau out of high school in Washington state given his emergence as possibly the Beavers’ best player last season. “I was all over my staff,” Cronin said, “and I found out he was 6-5½ and 190 as a senior [in high school]. But I was like, how come we didn’t recruit this guy? Are you kidding me? I said that after we played him his freshman year. Like, this guy’s going to be really good. How did we miss on him? But apparently everybody missed on him.”

Skyy Clark (Louisville)

Louisville guard Skyy Clark controls the ball during a game against North Carolina in January.
Louisville guard Skyy Clark controls the ball during a game against North Carolina in January. (Chris Seward / Associated Press)

Size: 6-3, 205

Year in 2024-25: Junior

Seasons of remaining eligibility: Two

Stats last season: Averaged 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists while making 41.2% of his shots and 35.3% of his three-pointers.

Expected impact: Clark finished with one more turnover than assists last season, but that was at least partially a function of having to do too much on an undermanned team. Surrounded by far more offensive firepower in Westwood should allow him to flourish as a distributor while opening him for more uncontested shots.

Fun tidbit: Showing his wry sense of humor, Clark tweeted #MickIsThePick alongside his commitment to UCLA, a playful shot at Louisville fans who had been using the same hashtag to court Cronin for their coaching vacancy on social media. A former high school star at Heritage Christian in Northridge, Clark and his father, Kenny — a former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver — have known Cronin for years. Cronin said as Skyy Clark assessed his interest in the spring, the player made two queries: “His first [question] was, are you coming to Louisville? And I said, ‘No’ and he said, ‘OK, I want to come home.’ ”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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