Monday, June 12, 2006

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (6/12)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup published periodically during the offseason.


For my money the absolute best high school basketball event of the summer in the Northwest is the War of the Border hosted by Coach Bill Bakamus of Mark Morris High School in Longview. The 14th annual event, featuring a ton of high school basketball squads from both sides of the Columbia River will be played June 17th and 18th at four sites in Cowlitz County.This year, as is usually the case, numerous future Division-1 players will be playing. Among the 2006 field are players like Lake Oswego’s 6-9 super stud Kevin Love and 2008 big man Andy Poling of Westview. Benson Tech, Jesuit and Jefferson of Portland seem to always have D-1 talent on their squads. Washington Prep Sports 6/11

Just when you thought the Campbell Hall of North Hollywood boys' basketball team can't get any better, it does. There's a good possibility the Vikings, who have reached the Div. IV state championship tournament each of the past three years — winning the title in 2005 — are going to be significantly better. Transfers Dallas Rutherford, who played at Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills a season ago, and Keegan Hornbuckle, formerly of Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, were in Viking uniforms for the first time Saturday in a pair of games at the 39th annual L.A. Watts Games. "On paper, we have a pretty good squad, There s a lot of talent on this team," said Rutherford, who scored 21 points in 57-46 victory over St. John Bosco of Bellflower. Hornbuckle scored 29 points in a 59-40 victory against Culver City later in the afternoon. Jrue and Justin Holiday, Robert Ford, Joe Finnerty and Taylor Henry are returning starters. L.A. Daily News 6/11

Once the fall period arrives, Kyle Singler stated that he is planning to take a number of official visits before he makes a final decision. He would like to get a better look at the schools on his list before he picks a school. "Duke, Arizona, Kansas, Washington and UCLA are the schools that I like," said Singler. "I am actually making an unofficial visit to Washington in a couple of weeks. Those schools, right now, are the schools that I am looking at. I've been to UCLA and I've been to Duke, so I do have more of a better feel for those schools." Yahoo Sports 6/10

Jerryd Bayless did not simply phone Lute Olson last fall to tell him he wanted to play basketball at Arizona. It was not a leak, a secret or a half-hearted promise. Bayless organized a news conference at Phoenix St. Mary's High School, complete with TV crews, print reporters, Internet scribes, family, friends, teammates, assorted posse members and hangers-on. It was over the top, but that's the sad culture of teenage basketball in the 21st century. "Hey, look at me.'' "Hoosiers" it ain't. In return for Bayless' very public commitment to be a Wildcat, the UA made its own commitment. It stopped recruiting guards from the high school classes of 2006 and 2007. UA coaches phoned Senario Hillman of Atlanta and wished him the best of luck. Hillman later chose Alabama. They informed Eric Gordon, a successor to Jason Gardner at Indianapolis North High School, and thanked him for considering Arizona, but that Bayless was their man. Gordon signed with Illinois. Why would Arizona not believe Bayless after the spectacle he made of himself? Lakewood, Calif., standout James Harden, who played at Olson's Elite Camp last summer, had been an active UA recruiting target. When Bayless said, "I want to be coached by Lute Olson," the Wildcats phoned Harden and told him available scholarships were gone. And now Harden is likely to play at Arizona State. That's the accepted way of recruiting in college hoops. You want to believe it's a gentleman's game, but that's bull. Scripps Howard News 6/9

New Arizona State basketball coach Herb Sendek completed his staff for next season with an announcement Thursday that Dedrique Taylor, formerly of Nevada, will work as an assistant and Scott Pera, a Los Angeles-area high school coach, will be his director of basketball operations. Pera coached Artesia High, of Lakewood, Calif., to a state title last season with a 33-1 record. An Artesia swingman, 6-foot-5 James Harden, is considered one of the nation's top prospects. The Arizona Republic 6/9

Drew Gordon, a 6-8 sophomore power forward from Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., is one of the elite prospects in the class of 2008. An explosive athlete, Gordon is very active at both ends of the court. His offensive skills still are developing, but Gordon shows all the signs of becoming an outstanding player. We spoke with Gordon recently and he told us that he's hearing from Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Louisville and Kentucky, among other programs. He also said that he's particularly high on Duke in the early stages of his recruitment. Fox Sports 6/8

Matt Simpkins, C – There's a great debate out West as to which class he's going to fall into. If he's a senior, we really like him. Should he be ruled a junior (unlikely) his stock would be valued even higher. Either way he's improved his body and his game and he's the real deal. Fox Sports 6/8

Matt Simpkins, Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian; Position: Power forward; Height: 6-foot-8; Class: 2008. A live body who has only been playing basketball since the eighth grade, Matt Simpkins appears to be coming into his own as a prospect. He consistently played above the rim and ran the court as well as any big man at the camp. Always around the ball, Simpkins constantly impacted the play with his defense, rebounding and scoring at the basket. Still raw with his ball skills, Simpkins did knock down some jump hooks in the post, and his delivery looked smoother as the camp progressed. He also put the ball on the floor for a couple dribbles to get into scoring range. His shooting mechanics need work along with his other skills with the ball, but his overwhelming potential is quite evident. Gator Bait 6/7

Phoenix high school star Jerryd Bayless, an incoming senior guard at Phoenix St. Mary's, told the HoopScoop recruiting Web site that he planned to reopen his recruitment, though there has been no official word from Bayless or anyone around him. "I don't feel 100 percent comfortable with my original decision," Bayless told HoopScoop's Clark Francis. "And since I'm making one of the most important decisions of my life, I want to look around and make sure that I get it right. Arizona is still on my list, but I'm now wide open on schools and willing to listen to anybody who has interest in recruiting me." AZStarnet 6/7


(photo credit: Washington Prep Sports)


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