Monday, April 17, 2006

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/17)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup published periodically during the offseason.


The UCLA basketball program is still awaiting news on the admission of Marko Spica to the university. Spica, a skilled 6-9 post player from Serbia and Montengero, needs a qualifying SAT score by the end of this current school year in order to gain admission to attend UCLA next fall. Spica, who turns 20 in September, had been pre-admitted to UCLA when he signed a national letter of intent last December. He's already had his previous course work evaluated by the NCAA committee that oversees student-athlete admissions, a prerequisite to forwarding a national letter of intent. Bruin Basketball Report 4/16

Senior post players James Keefe of Santa Margarita and Alex Stepheson of North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake and junior swingmen Taylor King of Santa Ana Mater Dei and James Harden of Lakewood Artesia were selected to the All-State first team by Keefe, who has signed with UCLA, and Stepheson, who is headed to North Carolina, led their teams to Southern Section title games. L.A. Times 4/12


Russell Westbrook, the top unsigned player in the West Coast class of 2006, has seen his recruitment pick up dramatically in the last month. Westbrook, a 6-2 combo guard from Leuzinger High in Lawndale, Calif., has taken official visits to Miami, Wake Forest and San Diego in recent weeks. Arizona State, with new head coach Herb Sendek, has also offered a scholarship. But Westbrook is holding out for UCLA, which may or may not have a scholarship available, depending on whether or not Jordan Farmar goes pro. If Farmar decides to put his name in the draft, and UCLA extends a scholarship offer, look for Westbrook to end up a Bruin. FoxSports 4/14

The spring evaluation period gets underway this week and several top prospects will be competing in the Las Vegas Easter Classic. Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Brandon Jennings and Darnell Gant are among the elite prospects expected to be in Vegas when action gets underway on Thursday. College coaches are allowed to watch the players beginning on Saturday. Fox Sports 4/14

Lake Oswego's basketball star Kevin Love helped lead his Southern CA All-Star team over the H-Squad in the championship game of the Las Vegas Easter Classic tournament held over the holiday weekend. Love was voted the MVP of the tournament. Bruin Basketball Report 4/16

Bayless was big at the Las Vegas Easter Classic, but he was not alone. Junior point forward Harper Kamp of Mesa Mountain View committed to Cal Thursday and four-star small forward Zane Johnson's (Phoenix Thunderbird) hot shooting continued to turn heads and should garner some big offers. With quality AAU programs developing people earlier and earlier, their will be more and more talent coming out of the Phoenix and the entire state. Tucson Citizen 4/17

KU coaches scouted a pair of AAU Tournaments over the weekend — the Easter Classic in Las Vegas and Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville, Ark. The top KU prospect in Vegas was Kyle Singler, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound junior from South Medford High in Oregon, who plays for Portland’s Elite Legends.’s No. 4 rated player has a list of KU, UCLA, Arizona and Duke. KU Sports 4/17

The team already has verbal commitments from three players and has a prime target for what appears to be the final slot. Arizona would like to add a combo-forward to a class that includes guard Jerryd Bayless, wing Jamelle Horne and center Alex Jacobson. Along with Portland's Kyle Singler, Houston native Gary Johnson is the top choice. Tucson Citizen 4/15

Senior post players James Keefe of Santa Margarita and Alex Stepheson of North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake and junior swingmen Taylor King of Santa Ana Mater Dei and James Harden of Lakewood Artesia were selected to the All-State first team by Harden led Artesia to the Division III state championship and King helped the Monarchs reach the Division II title game. ...Seniors Landry Fields of Los Alamitos, Deon Thompson of Torrance, Tyre Thompson of Compton Centennial and junior Dane Suttle of Westchester were selected to the second team.Brandon Davis of Ontario Colony, Calvin Haynes of Woodland Hills Taft, Jervaughn Johnson of Compton Centennial, Drew Viney of Villa Park and Russell Westbrook of Lawndale Leuzinger were third-team selections. Complete teams, including those picked by divisions and class levels, can be found at L.A. Times 4/12

Five-star forward Anthony Randolph is starting the AAU season strong. The gangly 6-foot-10 junior from Dallas (Texas) Woodrow Wilson High School scored a game high 23 points in a 67-54 win over Louisiana Future....Randolph said he is wide open and holds offers from a number of schools including North Carolina, Memphis, Louisville, Texas, UCLA, USC, Baylor and others, he said. Never one to show any favoritism to any particular school, Randolph maintained his openness to schools. Hickory Husker 4/15

The not-so-raw skills of a high school freshman forward were leaving the camp's directors wanting for more. It wasn't long that news reached University of Arizona men's basketball coach Lute Olson. Olson made a personal visit to watch the young phenom. There has been no question about the level to which Oxnard High's 6-foot-6 forward Omondi Amoke can take his game. By the time his career is over at the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, Amoke could hold Oxnard career records for points and blocked shots as well as ranking No. 2 for rebounds. Statistics don't always make the player or the man. In becoming the driving force for the Yellowjackets' run to the program's seventh Pacific View League championship in the last eight years and appearance in the CIF-Southern Section Division I-A semifinals, Amoke learned that an important element in pursuit of an all-around game is found from within himself. "Coach (Henry) Lobo taught me that it takes more than talent to be a good basketball player," said Amoke. "He taught me how to play with heart. Ventura County Star 4/15

Harper Kamp didn't need an official, red-carpet visit to California to make up his mind that was where he wanted to play college basketball.After working out with some of the Golden Bears during an unofficial visit last weekend, the 6-foot-8 Mesa Mountain View High junior center committed to the Berkeley school. AZ Central 4/14

The U.S. Albert Schweitzer basketball team concluded its preparations for Saturday evening’s tournament opener against Croatia with a 76-75 victory over China on Thursday night...Recipient of Jardine’s passes was his Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti High School teammate Rich Jackson, who scored 16 points. Luke Babbitt of Reno, Nev., added 14 points for the U.S. Stars and Stripes 4/15

Lin is the first CCS player named to the first team since Archbishop Riordan's Marquise Kately in 2001-2002, the first from Santa Clara County since St. Francis' Senque Carey in 1997-98 and the first from Palo Alto since David Weaver in 1992-93. Serra's Decensae White, a senior swingman, was named to the second team and Archbishop Mitty sophomore center Drew Gordon was a third-team choice. Mercury News 4/13

Drew Gordon- The cerebral big man runs the floor, blocks shots and has an old school post up game. In fact, on one play he swept across the lane and sank a one footed sweeping hook shot. He definitely has work to do on his face up game. At this point, he is not much of a threat as a passer or a shooter when facing the basket.Gordon said that Duke, Connecticut, UCLA, California, Kentucky, Washington and Oregon among others are recruiting him. Hickory Husker 4/15



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