Monday, May 29, 2006

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/29)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup published periodically during the offseason.


What else can you do to stop the Southern California All-Stars? For the third time in the AAU season, the answer is nothing. The boys from the West Coast came to North Carolina for the Tournament of Champions and dominated the field to claim back-to-back championships. [...] From start to finish, there hasn't been a better player at the TOC than Brandon Jennings. The sophomore point guard dazzled the crowd in the championship game with his athleticism, passing skills and overall feel for the game. He glues the talent all together like few point guards, regardless of class, can. Jennings finished with 16 points in the title game. He makes the difficult shots look elementary. There isn't a point guard with the kind of athleticism that he brings to the table. The beneficiary of so many great Jennings passes was Kevin Love, the official tournament MVP. Love scored the high percentage buckets because Jennings put him into position to get the easy scores.Love has been one of the most dominant players on the AAU circuit this spring. He has the championship trophies to prove it. There are few players that can say they have back-to-back championships at the Kingwood Classic and the Tournament of Champions. Love can. Gator Bait 5/28

Day Two of the Memorial Day Classic revealed how many top prospects react to pressure-packed situations. [...] The highest-ranked prospect in the event, Kyle Singler (No. 6 in 2007), didn't make it to the second round either, but he still managed to leave a lasting impression. Despite sitting out much of the first half with foul trouble, Singler nearly carried the Portland Legends past the ultra-talented Boo Williams team, which held on for a 65-62 win. Singler poured in a game-high 24 points, scoring in transition and also relying on his soft shooting touch. [...] Point guard Jordan Crawford went 9-of-9 from the free throw line and scored 16 points. Michigan State-commit Kalin Lucas chipped in nine and top 50 prospect Corperryale Harris added eight more. Hickory Husker 5/28

Think stats don't matter in the world of AAU basketball? Don't tell the folks at the Memorial Day Classic. [...] Kyle Singler, who is ranked the No. 6 prospect in the class of 2007, didn't disappoint in his opening game either. Singler scored a game-high 24 points against All-Ohio and the Portland Legends needed every single one to hold on for a 56-55 win. He also added seven boards. Gator Bait 5/28

Saturday at the Tournament of Champions provided several fireworks from all of the classes. [...] Brandon Jennings, Southern California All-Stars – He's so good, he just toys with people. The rising junior pilots the superstar SCA ship like a seasoned veteran and his understanding of the game is second to none. Ball-handling? Jennings went through the Memphis Magic defense like he was the one with the tricks up his sleeve. There is even talk amongst media row of Jennings as the top overall prospect in 2008. Jennings has made a strong case from start to now on the AAU circuit. But has he played good enough? That answer is still up for grabs. [...] Alex Legion, Michigan Hurricanes – Things were clicking on Saturday for the four-star guard. After having a mediocre spring showing, the athletic and smooth wing went to work with four three-pointers and countless drives to the basketball for scores. With his future head coach Steve Smith of Oak Hill watching from the stands, Legion played like the Legion of last year. If that happens, then that is good news for the host of high-majors that have him on the short list. Legion scored 24 points against Team Philly. Gator Bait 5/28

"Kevin Love is the number one player that I've seen in the Class of '07, and that includes (highly regarded guard) O.J. Mayo," Gibbons said Friday night.Despite that, Love might be the third-most famous man in his family. An uncle, Mike Love, was a member of the Beach Boys. His father, Stan Love, played in the NBA for the Baltimore Bullets and Los Angeles Lakers. He also played at the University of Oregon, and taught his son fundamentals early. Kevin said there are baby pictures of him with a basketball, and Stan had him watching Larry Bird instead of Big Bird growing up.Love said he won't rush his college decision, and probably won't commit until the end of the summer. He has narrowed his choices to 2006 NCAA runner-up UCLA and 2005 NCAA champion North Carolina, and if he has a favorite he isn't revealing it. Charlotte Observer 5/27

Kevin Love has decided on light blue. Aside from that, he's not so sure. Love, a 6-9 forward from Lake Oswego High in Oregon, is visiting the Triangle this weekend for the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. Ranked the No. 1 player in the country for the Class of 2007 by Gibbons, Love helped lead the Southern California All-Stars to an 86-47 victory over Texas Top Prospects at the Smith Center on Friday night. Love, an AAU teammate of Duke commitment Taylor King and Class of 2008 phenom Brandon Jennings, has narrowed his list of colleges to North Carolina and UCLA. "It's still going to take a while, but this definitely influences my decision," he said, surrounded by a pack of reporters after walking off the court following his team's victory. "Coming out here has opened my eyes and my family's eyes also. I mean, L.A. and N.C. are the two places I'm looking at right now, and there's so many pros and cons in both places." Herald Sun 5/27

Greg Hicks' quick hitters from the West: The first annual Arizona Cactus Classic was held last weekend at the University of Arizona and there was plenty of talent on hand. The MVP of the tournament was James Harden, a 6-5 junior shooting guard from Artesia High in Lakewood, Calif. Harden has a very well-rounded game and he does just about everything well. He should have a great shot at making the McDonald's All-American game next year. Harden's list of schools consists of Arizona State, UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Texas. Fox Sports 5/27

One day after an NCAA announcement that hampered first-year Indiana University basketball coach Kelvin Sampson from recruiting for the next calendar year, Sampson landed Phil Jones, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center from Laurinburg Academy in North Carolina. Jones, ranked 106th in the top 150 prep players in the country, confirmed that he mailed his formal scholarship agreement to IU Friday, according to the Indianapolis Star. Jones did not sign a letter of intent in the April signing period. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 5/27

The Class of 2007 has been called the "Year of the Guard" and the Memorial Day Classic will offer a great example of why. It includes the nation's No. 3-ranked prospect Derrick Rose, Michigan State-commit Kalin Lucas (No. 13), Florida-commit Nick Calathes (No. 17), and Chris Wright (No. 21). Three other guards who are ranked among the top 50 are also expected to play, E'Twaun Moore (No. 30), Jai Lucas (No. 42) and Corperryale Harris (No. 45). Blue Demons Nation 5/26

Among the top players in this year's event are 6-foot-9 post player Kevin Love and 6-foot-0 speedy point guard Brandon Jennings of the Southern California All-Stars. Love and Jennings are both being highly recruited and look to showcase their talents on the east coast for the first time this AAU season. GoAZCats 5/26

Kevin Love of the Southern California All-Stars also could attract plenty of attention from UNC fans -- he already has from the team's coaching staff. Love, a 6-9 post player from Lake Oswego, Ore., is Gibbons' No. 1 player in the Class of 2007. He plans to use this weekend to visit the campuses at UNC and Duke, Gibbons said, but UNC and UCLA are thought to be his favorites. "He reminds me of Sean May with a little more skills as a high school player," Gibbons said. "He's got great hands. They call him Unseld Jr. because his dad played pro ball with Wes Unseld, and he has a great outlet pass. He's exceptionally gifted." Herald Sun 5/26

This year, King's team also features 6-foot-9 Kevin Love, a consensus top-five player from Lake Oswego, Ore., and highly regarded sophomore point guard Brandon Jennings of Compton, Calif. Southern California has won prestigious tournaments in Las Vegas and Kingwood, Texas, this year."We have the best big man in the country in Kevin Love, and Brandon Jennings is best point guard in the class of 2008," King said. Charlotte Observer 5/26

Kevin Love, a 6-9 power forward and center from Lake Oswego, Ore., who Gibbons ranks No. 1 among rising seniors, will make an unofficial visit to UNC."He's a very skilled and talented basketball player," Gibbons said of Love. "He's 6-9, he's lost weight and is down to about 245, and he reminds me of Sean May. He's a Sean May type with better quickness. He has great hands like Sean May and is a more powerful guy as a high-school player."Love will play for the Southern California All-Stars, the defending champions in the 17-and-under division. Also playing for Southern California will be Taylor King, a high-scoring 6-7 forward from Santa Ana, Calif., who has committed to Duke and is ranked among Gibbons' top 10. Winston-Salem Journal 5/26

invited to U18 trials Kyle Singler of South Medford is among 22 players nationwide who will compete for a slot on the USA Basketball Men's U18 national team. The trials, to be held June 16-18 in San Antonio will be used to select a squad that then will compete for the U.S. in the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship June 28 through July 2. Singler, a 6-foot-8 junior who is considered one of the top recruiting prospects in the nation, participated in the 2005 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival last summer in San Diego. Oregonian 5/26

2006 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Slots. Accepting invitations to participate in the USA U18 Trials were: Cole Aldrich (Bloomington Jefferson H.S., Minn./Kansas); Chris Allen (Meadowcreek H.S., Ga./Michigan State); Jerryd Bayless (St. Mary's H.S., Ariz./Arizona); Michael Beasley (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Charlotte); Joevan Catron (Thornton Township H.S., Ill./Oregon); Johnny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S., N.Y./Syracuse); Drew Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S., Calif./Undecided); Donte Greene (Towson Catholic H.S, Md./Syracuse); Blake Griffin (Oklahoma Christian/Oklahoma); Spencer Hawes (Seattle Prep, Wash./ Washington); James Hickson (Southwest Atlanta Christian, Ga. /Undecided); Gary Johnson (Aldine H.S., Texas /Undecided); Taylor King (Mater Dei H.S., Calif./Duke); Gani Lawal (Norcross H.S., Ga./Georgia Tech); Tajuan Porter (Renaissance H.S., Mich./Oregon); Reggie Redding (St. Joseph Prep H.S., Pa./ Villanova); Stanley Robinson (Huffman H.S., Ala./Connecticut); Kyle Singler (South Medford H.S., Ore./Undecided); Nolan Smith (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Duke); DaJuan Summers (McDonogh School, Md./Georgetown); Lance Thomas (St. Benedict's H.S., N.J./Undecided); Julian Vaughn (Reston South Lakes H.S., Va./Undecided). CSTV 5/26

Tournament of Champions (TOC) attracts big names again. Memorial Day Weekend in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. area can mean only one thing. It is Tournament of Champions time. The campuses of North Carolina, Duke and NC State are taken over by some of the nation's top prospects and this year's field is loaded once again. [...] It is a yearly tradition during the Memorial Day Weekend. A number of top prospects will also mix in an unofficial visit to Duke, North Carolina or North Carolina State. Perhaps the biggest name on campus is Kevin Love. Cardinal Sports 5/25

After a 2005-06 season in which Arizona had some significant problems shooting the ball, the UA coaches are trying to make sure the problem isn't repeated in the future. For the 2007 recruiting class, Arizona plans on bringing in a shooter. One option is Zane Johnson who is one of the top shooters in the country and the UA just happens to be his dream school. GoAZCats 5/25

Top 2008 Performers at the Cactus Classic including: Jerime Anderson, Luke Babbit, Jrue Holiday. The first annual Cactus Classic held at the University of Arizona was loaded with top talent from the West Coast and many of them turned in impressive performances. Gator Bait 5/24

Top 2007 Performers at the Cactus Classic including: James Harden, Kamyron Brown. The first annual Cactus Classic held at the University of Arizona was loaded with top talent from the West Coast and many of them turned in impressive performances. It was a sign of great things to come for this event. Blue Demons Nation 5/24

Kevin Love, PF, Lake Oswego (Ore.) High School. Enthusiasm for Love is growing as he improves his body. He was thick and earthbound at the Reebok ABCD Camp last summer -- partly because of a knee problem -- but still showed off amazing skills in the low post. One analyst,'s Jeff Goodman, went so far as to suggest that Love's return to health and improved conditioning had allowed him to pass Mayo as a prospect. That's a bit rich, but Love is a powerful rebounder and passes out of double-teams with flair. North Carolina is fighting UCLA to land him. Sporting News 5/24

Recruit Luke Babbitt liked what he saw, and that's one of the benefits for UA in hosting some of the nation's top high school basketball players at the Arizona Cactus Classic. Last weekend's inaugural tourney, involving about 350 players, gave stars such as Babbitt of Reno, Nev., the chance to see McKale Center and get a feel for the city. "The weather was great and so was the campus," said Babbitt, a 6-foot-7 forward from Reno's Galena High. Babbitt, a left-handed shooter who has a busy summer AAU schedule ahead, called the tourney here "a good trip." It would have been a better trip had his team - the Las Vegas Prospects - made the championship game, but it fell in the semifinals. Other schools after Babbitt include Texas, Syracuse, Duke, UCLA and Washington. Arizona "is up there," he said. "But I haven't narrowed it down. I don't want to make a time when I'll decide. I'll take it slow, but if the right school comes along, I don't think I'll wait." Tucson Citizen 5/23



At May 29, 2006, 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love is probably just waiting to see which program is going to have the most potential to win in 2007, right? He knows that either program will get him to the NBA and both schools are elite academically; plus, he is going there anyways. It's going to come down to who he is more comfortable with as far as Howland or Roy Williams and which team he likes better. Why is he visiting Duke, though?

At May 31, 2006, 12:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the Duke situation A great read:

Setting The Facts Straight
by TRLBoost, 5/3/06 14:33 ET
Re: Kevin Love by duckman12, 5/3/06
I have to say that you people are wacky washerwomen. Did you read the article? Do you know the details?

Nike told Coach K to stop recruiting Kevin Love this summer after Kevin stated that Duke was his dream school, in an interview during the ABCD Camp. Then Duke must have done some soul-searching and realized that Nike shouldn't be making their basketball decisions.

So they started recruiting him again in November through assistant coach Wojo. In December Coach K called and told Kevin that Duke was going to aggressively recruit him. What they did was send a couple of e-mails and a Duke book.

What Coach K and staff didn't do was what every other major coach did...come to games and watch him practice. That's what every coach worth anything does. Up to Oregon came Roy Williams, Bill Self, Thad Matta, Bruce Weber, Ben Howland, Lorenzo Romar, and Jim Calhoun. They came in and watched K-Love workout. What it also showed was interest.

Duke also sent a fax to Love wishing him good luck in their playoff game against Benson. They were playing Redmond.

Then Love goes out and dominates the Las Vegas Easter Classic, and the biggest AAU tournament of them all, the Kingwood. He wins the MVP award at both tournaments. His team wins both tournaments, including 4 tough games in 6 hours on Sunday at the Kingwood...playing a total of 9 games in 3 days.

Coach K was at both tournaments, yet never made any form of contact with Love. College coaches are at least allowed to say hi and shake a recruits hand. He did that with Taylor King and Kyle Singler.

A few days later, Duke assistant Chris Collins sends Love a note telling him how much they are looking forward to Kevin's upcoming trip to the AAU TOC Tournament over Memorial Day, and his unofficial visit to Duke. He went on to say how much they were looking to showing him around campus, and presenting Duke life to him. Collins also talked about how good Duke could be with Love in their lineup.

Then Coach K comes to Oregon to see Kyle Singler, and doesn't have the decency--or the smarts--to take his private jet from Medford to Portland to see Love. Now don't you think that's a slap in the face? If you don't, you're simply fooling yourself.

Kevin Love has emerged this spring as the #1 HS player in America. That's not from me, it's from the experts. I'm sure that the kid is wondering why he was dissed by Coach K. I am too. I'm sure that Roy Williams and Ben Howland are too...but are also delighted by Coach K's ineptitude.

Some background: Coach K is known as a distant person who expects recruits to come to him. They have had many transfers through the years, by many McDonald's All-Americans. Most expected Josh McRoberts to declare for the draft after being miserable at Duke all year. Coach K must have come in there and given him a real snow-job for him to stay.

So do yourself a favor and read Kevin Love's quotes to Joe Freeman.

"(Duke) hadn't been calling me and showing as much interest, so I just decided that if they weren't going to put the time in, I wasn't going to worry about it," Love said Sunday.

What's wrong with that? I find it refreshing that he was asked a question, and answered it eloquently. I'm sure Love doesn't care about a ton of phone calls and letters, but when you are in the area, give the best player in the country--and one that you claim (to him) that you will be aggressively recruiting the respect of a visit.

And you're not talking about Clint Chapman or Andy Poling here. You are talking about the #1 HS player in the country...and a big man who many claim in among the best passing big's ever, and perhaps the best outlet passer ever.

Don't call Kevin Love names. He is one of our own. Look outward at how Duke has bungled Kevin Love's recruitment.

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous said...
Wow...It's really hard to detect any sort of bias comments left on this site. Let's go guys, do you really think, I mean actually believe that Coach K is so interested in your boy "K-Love", that he flew all the way to the west coast and then you believe Coach K didn't contact him because why...He didn't care? He's a poor recruiter? He's plain stupid? .... Come on, that's "redick-ulous"! What if...oh my gosh...Coach K wasn't after Love at all. What if, oh no!...what if all he wanted was Singler and appearing to pick Singler over Love might give Duke the edge it needs while recruiting SINGLER, and not Love. In fact, there never was a love between Duke and the "other recruit," he just played a part in a larger recruiting plan for Singler...the reason Coach K took his private jet to Medford, and

At May 31, 2006, 3:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Duke is his dream school, then I am sure Duke will do what it takes to get him. Love might just end up forgiving and forgetting what happened with that snub. It sounds like if he is visiting Duke, then that might be the case and he is still interested. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were Howland. We're going to win anyways with the talent that is coming here so if it happens, it happens. It would be great if we can get Jennings in '08.

At May 31, 2006, 4:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...






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