Carlino commits to UCLA, will graduate a year early

Matt Carlino, a guard at Bloomington South High School and former Indiana commit, confirmed a report from that he has committed to UCLA and will graduate early to be part of the Class of 2010.

After decommitting from Indiana in late March, Carlino had also visited Florida and had heavy interest from UNLV, Butler and California among other schools. He chose the Bruins, however, after a visit to Los Angeles this past weekend.

“It has great tradition,” said Carlino, who moved to Bloomington from Arizona last summer. “It’s close to home and they’ve got a great coach in coach (Ben) Howland. There are great players coming in there and there currently. I just feel like it’s a great situation for me to come in and help out.”

Carlino said Howland threw out the possibility of reclassifying so he could join the team next year. Carlino had already been taking online courses just to get ahead and said he will easily be able to complete the requirements necessary for his diploma.

“It’s just something I thought was a really good opportunity and I didn’t want to pass it up,” Carlino said.

South coach J.R. Holmes thought Carlino would have been better off waiting another year.

“I don’t agree with the decision to leave high school a year early,” Holmes said. “I think he would have benefited from another year. But that’s a decision for the parents and the player. Hopefully it works out for him.”

The 6-foot-3 Carlino averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists, helping South to an unbeaten record before a loss in the regional finals against Jeffersonville.


  1. I’m guessing, among other things, Carlino moved here, and it didn’t take him long before he started wondering why the hell he would move from sunny, warm California out to Indiana.

    He had a chance to stay in the state and commit to Butler. He didn’t.

    I’d say this is a case of a kid who pulled the trigger too quickly, and has since developed a longing for home.

    Not to say he won’t be a great college player, but I also happen to think that if the “rebuilding” situation at IU scared him enough to decommit, then he wasn’t going to be the player to come in and steer us back to success.

    We need a player to look at IU’s team and say “I’m going to make this right.”

    Best of luck, Matt. I hope you know what you’re doing, leaving high school a year early.

  2. Doesn’t every high school kid wish they could skip their senior year? I wish him the best … it is a big deal to move so far from home in the middle of high school. Would’ve loved to have him at IU though.

  3. I personally do not see him making an impact out there in LA, nor do I think he would have done much at IU. To me it was kind of a relief when he decommitted since it loosened up our 2011 scholly situation a bit and lets us concentrate on more of a pure PG prospect for that class, or at least room for Jeremiah Davis. Now that Gibbs is out of the picture I see IU going really hard after Nic Moore as well as continued pressure on Davis. Carlino’s game seemed to me as being good, but not great. I think he would have been a role player and nothing more at IU, and I am sure that will be his ceiling at UCLA where they will recruit over him. They really are in need of guards out there, though, so this comes as no shock to me that Howland wants him now, but I think this is just a band-aid situation for them while they are down.

  4. He was a huge loss to IU. Crean could have gone to the NCAA with Carlino. Crean fails again to land an Indiana kid.

  5. Not a huge loss! Seemed like a nice enough kid. We can do better! We really need a true point! Our team really could use some speed! Bigger loss for South than for IU!

  6. Obviously he didn’t move to Bloomington because he fell in love with the quaint little college town. Get the feeling he has a pretty high opinion of himself and realized he wasn’t going to be the star of the show at IU.

  7. I would have liked to seen him at IU but if he didn’t want to be there I’m glad he figured it out now rather than later. Let’s keep in mind he is a 3 star recruit. It is not the end of the world.

    Something tells me he came to Indiana thinking his game would elevate and it didn’t. He could not dominate in a more structured state where basketball is a serious game and the talent is strong.

  8. I wonder if he wanted to come out early and Crean had the same opinion about that as Holmes??? Any parent that knows a thing about getting a kid to big time college ball would have told his son to stay in school his senior year to develop a better skill set. This whole thing was weird…as I said a while back, don’t let the door hit ya!

  9. Aw shucks, part of JR Holmes’ blue chip recruiting class is skipping town early…what a shame. Good thing he has the other 5-star recruit from Illinois lined up for next year. The Calipari of HS basketball.

  10. I am one of those who thinks that Crean was a very good hire and that he’d be able to recruit and coach Indiana back to where it should be. That being said, this is distressing. The kid lives in Bloomington (regardless of where he is from, he didn’t just drop out of the sky—he came here for a reason), he commits to IU, then much later decommits and chooses UCLA (read his comments about why—Coach, Tradition,etc). Like I said…This is worrisome.

  11. As long as we use his former scholarship to land somebody big *cough J Davis cough*, then who cares about Carlino (although I wish him luck, which he’ll need entering college a year early)?

  12. I’m with JPat on the development end of it. Its not good to come out early. I’m thinking he didn’t like the winter and chose to move to warmer climes as soon as he could.

    I have no hard feelings for the kid though. Good luck to him.

  13. According to the Hoosier Nation web site, Negedu wants to play at IU this fall. Seems like a lot of stuff has to fall into place for that to happen.

  14. I don’t see this as a huge loss, and I don’t think the IU staff do either. Carlino was a Shooting Guard that wasn’t much of a shooter, and he’s not quick or agile enough to play the point. Good luck Matt, but IU will glady use your scholly on another 2011 prospect.

  15. Carlino was never going to start at IU as the point guard. He could not beat out Hulls, Dee Davis or Jeremiah Davis. He sure could not beat out Creek or Jones at the shooting guard position. He does not have the size or athleticism of Oladipo or Sheehey. He would have been a nice bench player. Let’s see how he plays at UCLA. I could certainly be wrong, but I do not see him as a big time college player. It is nice to think that UCLA NEEDS a player IU was recruiting over.

  16. Has any one thought that maybe he wanted to play this year and TC didn’t believe he was ready, so he found somewhere he could play at now!

  17. Carlino did have an interesting quote on about how he felt he would be able to come in to UCLA and make an impact right away…..don’t know exactly how the quote went, but was enrollling early because of playing time available

    This kinda supports the IU recruiting over him & him getting made at IU theory

  18. Thinking about this true life Carlino adventure is like something out of a novel. No one could have authored it because fiction has boundaries.

  19. IU recruiting over him? At this point they don’t have a point guard coming in. Anyone who is thinking that Hulls will be a big time point guard is dreaming. He’s too slow, can’t penetrate, and takes forever and a day to get a shot off.

  20. Good Luck Matt. We all wish you the best. Staying for 4 years in HS under a good coach and in a program as visible as BSouth would have given you more development though. You said you got it too big of a hurry when you committed to IU. Seems like getting in a hurry is in your blood. I hope you don’t regret missing your Sr. year. College ball is much tougher than HS.

  21. Inside UCLA with Jon Gold

    Title: Quick chat with Matt Carlino

    Superbruin said:

    I’ve seen him listed at 6’3 and 195. Recent pics seem to confirm he’s about that weight now.
    April 27, 2010 9:52 PM

    Fan4Life said:

    If UCLA is to win an NC, Howland will need to recruit solid 4 yr types with high BB IQs with a splash of 1 or 2 and done players. I really don’t see any other formula.

    It might be great to get the best 1 and done player every year, but I have yet to see Calipari win an NC with Rose, Evans or Wall. While I just saw Coach K win one with a bunch of pasty face dudes with little or no NBA prospects.
    April 27, 2010 10:51 PM

    KLove’s Slow Too said:

    Watch these 2 videos and you will see that he will fit right into Howland’s style of half court offense style of play. Good ballhandler and passer, good outside shot and good leadership qualities.

    We need more guys like this to balance out the superstar mentality players.

  22. We’re sure not going to get anywhere with J.Rivers as our point guard. He can’t even shoot! Hulls will help in the position until we get more help. Our Sophomores will really step up next year.

  23. greg,
    Hulls is our only viable option at PG. I for one think he is going to be very good. We just need to keep him at pg and give him the majority of the minutes. Junior and Senior year watch out.

  24. I was really big on Carlino, seeing the highlight films, reading the articles wrote about him and meeting him last summer. Then I watched him play more than a game or two at South last year.

    It wasn’t long before I was telling myself “he’s just a high school junior, he has the AAU season and his senior year to develop”. Looks like now he doesn’t have that.

    I really don’t know how good he could have been at IU with another AAU season & his senior year in high school to get better, but I have zero doubt he will be a bust at UCLA.

  25. Sam is right. Carlino may have looked good in Arizona high school basketball but hey this is Indiana. he was only the 3rd or 4th bst player on his team. Lots of guys in high school average 13 points 5 rebounds and 4 assists. I just read about a kid from McCutcheon who averaged 18 points and he had to go to a NAIA school. Carlino started out his freshmen year in high school ranked in the top 50 and now is only what 120 or 130 something? We can find 6′ 2″ guards who will walk on. His Dad is a lawyer so he is just trying to land the best deal for his kid. No way he will play much or make any impact at UCLA.

  26. greg, Hulls has a quick release on his shot, very quick off the shoulder. I would think Jones has the slow release.

    Mike P, I have missed ya man!

  27. Mike P. he wasn’t “just a junior.” He is already 18. He repeated a grade due to an illness in second grade.

  28. By Jeff Showalter

    Emmanuel Negedu was another kid that IU missed on when he spurned IU for Tennessee. Negedu is not at UT anymore when the Vols athletic department would not clear the sophomore to play after Negedu suffered cardiac arrest and was rescued because the UT staff had a defibrillator on hand. Negedu had an internal defibrillator installed but UT would not allow him to compete so the player left. Negedu has been seen at IU and he lived in Bloomington in the summers since he has been in the states. It looks as though Negedu will be offered a scholarship at IU.

    This move my Crean could be a disaster. Are you willing to take on the responsibility of an athlete with a heart problem in an effort to rebuild the fallen program? Negedu has been cleared by doctors in Tennessee and Los Angeles. He also met with team physician, Larry Rink, who is also a respected cardiologist. The issue? You can name a number of players that have passed away from this very same issue. Is IU willing to take the risk of having an athlete die on the court because he was the 40th ranked player in the class of 2008 and you have a team that quite frankly has been terrible? For me, this is too risky for the player and the coach. If Negedu dies on the court, Crean is done and the IU program, already on life support, dies as well. Too much pressure for anyone to handle. Unless someone can guarantee, 100 percent, Negedu will not have an issue, IU has to say no. This program can’t take another hit. Crean’s desperation has led him to a place where he is making a decision that could have unimaginable ramifications. It’s not worth it.

  29. No doctor gives a 100% guarantee that is ridiculous. I wonder how many coaches have had heart attacks or problems yet continue to coach? That some people believe this kid shouldn’t be allowed to play college basketball ever again is beyond me.

  30. greg, did you watch Hulls play last year? His release it quick, period. I don’t care if he shoots it granny style… quick is quick. You were wrong up top.

  31. Read a little bit about internal defibrillators. The general consensus seems to be that football is definetly out. Weight lifting is also questionable. Basketball is very iffy. The main concern is the connectors from the heart to the defibrillator. If, by way of contact the connectors becomes dislodged the athlete has a problem.
    There is a lot of information available for reading. There was player at UTEP about 4 years ago who played with a defibrillator. The manufacturer had personnel at all practices and games.

  32. J Pat, I am with you, his shot release is quick or Holmes or someone through the years would have changed it. Just because it is different does not mean it won’t work. A 6’3″ or bigger defender is a problem for his height no matter where the release point is. For him shooting is position, execution and timing with a heavy dose of shot fakes for breaking down those taller defenders.

  33. Glad to see him out of Bloomington, sucking the town for its resources and publicity. He didnt seem all too sharp. Pack your bags to the next show dad.

  34. this, as many have said, is not a huge loss for IU or the state on Indiana, I’d also be shocked if he ended up staying at UCLA for 4 years, he’ll transfer at least once is my guess…

  35. Hoosier in the Desert, he is still just a high school junior. He might be a year older, but that year he lost was when he was 7 or 8 years old. Not like he took a year off between 8th grade and his freshman year or that he is a 4th year junior.

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