Kevon Looney picks UCLA in a shocker

Kelly Kline/adidas

In one of the biggest recruiting coups of the year, Milwaukee native Kevon Looney spurns Wisconsin, Duke and others to head to the West Coast.

It was a bizarre whirlwind day for Milwaukee prep star Kevon Looney and family, but his secretive recruitment came to a close when the 6-9 forward was finally able to announce he would be attending UCLA next fall to play basketball. Looney chose the Bruins over Wisconsin, Duke, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan State.

Looney, a consensus five-star and top-15 player in his class, admittedly grew up watching more of the NBA game than college basketball and had no built-in connection to the University of Wisconsin despite growing up just down the highway from Madison.

UCLA hosted Looney on his final official visit Oct. 18.

Since Looney and his family were very tight-lipped during the recruiting process, there was not much information to go on besides the insistence of Duke outlets that he was theirs to lose. Reportedly both Duke and Florida made visits to Milwaukee yesterday to meet with Looney, leading to the suspicion that Billy Donovan and company were on the rise. Adding to the confusion, in the hours leading up to the reveal, there were indications that UCLA and Tennessee were the two finalists.

The decision leaves Wisconsin with one more potential scholarship to play with in the 2014 class. Or it could opt to continue using the scholarship on forward Duje Dukan, who would be a fifth-year player next season.

Currently Taylor Ridge (Ill.) native Ethan Happ is UW's lone commitment for next year. Happ is projected to play a similar hybrid forward role that Looney would have filled for the Badgers.

Looney's original plan was for an 11 a.m. in-school announcement at Hamilton High School, but superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools nixed the idea early this morning, which delayed the event until 1 p.m.

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