Monday, July 10, 2006

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (7/10)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Marko Spica, the 6-9 post from Serbia, who has signed a National Letter of Intent, took his last attempt at the SAT in early June, and his academics are now at the NCAA Clearing House. His fellow countryman, 6-7 Nikola Dragovic, has also done the same. While Dragovic is considered the better prospect, and more than likely UCLA would like to have his skills next season, the word is that Spica probably has a better chance of getting through the Clearing House. BruinReportOnline 7/5

The small forwards in 2007 are a talented and deep group, easily thebest in the west at any position. Chace Stanback gets a very slight nod asthe top prospect right now. He's got a very solid all-around game with no weaknesses. 7/6

He isn't getting a lot of run but Chace Stanback is playing very well. The reason no one is really chatting him up because his game isn't about showing off, it's about production. And he's simply producing. CardinalSports 7/8


The Nike camp will also have a big impact on the 2007 rankings. Twelve of the top 25 seniors are expected to be there, including Kyle Singler (No. 6), Herb Pope (No. 10), Kosta Koufos (No. 12), Michigan State-commit Kalin Lucas (No. 13), Syracuse-commit Donte Green (No. 15) and Gary Johnson (No. 24), who committed to Texas on Monday. Hickory Husker 7/4

Fellow Californian, point guard Jrue Holiday, who is also vying for the top-ranked spot in the class of 2008, is also heading to the Adidas camp, along with another high-profile junior Luke Babbitt, a promising power forward from Reno, Nev. Hickory Husker 7/4

Kyle Singler, SF – Reportedly he was outstanding at Nike Skills Academy so there’s a real chance to continue making a statement here. He’s pretty laid back and keeps a low profile but hey, this is July and after all, there are going to be some heavy hitters in the stands at his games. Bears Illustrated 7/4

Kevin Love, PF – Considered by some to be a contender to knock off Mayo, the spotlight will be in love with Kevin all month long. Can he do it? Can he withstand 3 straight grueling weeks with all eyes on him? What’s it matter? He’s good. No pressure, he can just go out and play. Bears Illustrated 7/4

Darnell Gant has not heard much from the Cats, but said at the Pangos camp that he’d like to hear from Olson’s program. Two obstacles are in the Cats’ way. First off, Gant is believed to favor UCLA. Grades could also be a problem for the athletic big man from Crenshaw High School. CatTracks 7/4

The first is Matt Simpkins. Simpkins is an athletic 6-9 forward from Sacramento who likes Arizona quite a bit. The problem is that Simpkins has a lot of academic issues and was trying to reclassify to the 2008 class to better his chances of getting in school. If, and it is a big if, Simpkins could qualify for 2007, he’d seem like a natural fit to fill out the class. More than likely, the Cats will have to wait another year to add Simpkins to the fold. CatTracks 7/4

Corperryale Harris – The 6-4 Detroit product isn’t your stereotypical jump-shooting two-guard, but that hasn’t kept him from climbing into the top 50 in’s rankings for the 2007 class. While others have made a name for themselves with their outside shooting stroke, Harris does more of his damage with offensive putbacks, with a solid mid-range jumper, and with his back to the basket when guarded by a smaller defender. Hoosier Nation 7/5

Class of 2007 shooting guard Zane Johnson committed to the Wildcats on Saturday after a meeting in Arizona head coach Lute Olson's office. "I was excited, happy, everything," said Johnson who compares himself to former Stanford shooting guard Dan Grunfeld. Despite a long list of schools after the Phoenix Thunderbird High School senior, including Southern California, Florida, UCLA, Nevada-Las Vegas, Louisiana State and Washington, Johnson said, "I knew right away." AZWildcatOnline 7/6

Darnell Gant has one of the best upsides in the class. He's still relatively inexperienced, buthe has a chance to develop into one of the best players in the country. 7/6

Brandon Jennings, a Los Angeles native rated among the nation's top five juniors, said Mayo's decision to attend USC would trickle down and cause other, less-talented players to do the same. "I think a lot of players listened to him," said Jennings, who will attend Oak Hill Academy this fall. "I did especially because I have a lot of respect for him. If he can go to college, I can go. I would have considered the NBA. [But] I'll just go to college. College is the option." Washington Post 7/7

ABCD Camp: On the court, it was another top five prospect Kevin Love who stole the show with a 29 point outburst against Clint Chapman and Renardo Sidney. Chapman's finesse style was no match against Love in the first half, and Sidney did not have much luck guarding him in the second half. Love drained multiple three-pointers and then when the defense pressed up against him, he put the ball on the floor and scored. Cardinal Sports 7/7

Five area standouts are taking a break from playing with their respective high school teams this week to compete in the prestigious ABCD camp in Atlanta, Ga. Taft of Woodland Hills' Larry Drew, Oscar Bellfield and Garrett Green are going up against the nation's top prep players, along with Campbell Hall of North Hollywood's Jrue and Justin Holiday. L.A. Daily News 7/7

Mayo's biggest competition in this camp will come from Kevin Love, a 6-10 center from Lake Oswego, Ore., who is the son of former Oregon great Stan Love. Love started fast this week, shooting 11-for-14 and scoring 29 points in his first camp game. Love, the best prospect on the West Coast, is reportedly down to UCLA and North Carolina. If Mayo chooses USC and Love selects UCLA, it could turn laid-back L.A., an NBA town, into an epicenter for college basketball, much like Tobacco Road. New York Daily News 7/7

Bayless to Texas: He hasn't committed yet, but it's only a matter of time. Jerryd Bayless, one of the top guards in the class of 2007 and a no-brainer future NBA player, is expected to pick Texas after decommitting earlier this summer from Arizona. Coaches throughout the Southwest say they're barely bothering to recruit Bayless because they're that sure he's headed to the Longhorns. SportsLine 7/7

But with the way Kevin Love is playing right now, it might be time to pencil in the 6-foot-10 big man as No. 1A. Love was absolutely dominant on the first day of ABCD, showing a wide array of offensive skills (including post moves, drives and even a trio of three-pointers) to score 29 points in his opening performance. He's been easily the best player in camp so far. 7/8

Drew Gordon, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.): Despite playing on the same team as Love, Gordon still managed to shine. The 6-foot-9 rising junior brought his normal high-energy play, but he also showcased improved skills on both ends of the floor. A monster putback dunk in the night session capped his strong first day, which also included a 15-point, 11-rebound performance in the day session. 7/8

Corperryale Harris, 2007 – Think Paul Harris. Not in the freakish body, freakish athleticism, freakish power kind of way. But more in Harris's personal motto: Do it all. The Detroit native has played the point for a majority of the camp because he has to. His team lacks a real leader in the backcourt and he has taken it upon himself to take the reigns and roll. He is rebounding with the big boys, attacking with the dribble, fighting and clawing his way to loose balls. You can't knock the effort Harris brings either. GatorBait 7/8

Brandon Jennings, PG – Other than the first game, the lefty floor leader has struggled to find his groove. He is trying to do way too much himself instead of making sure that his teammates get involved. Jennings is still one of the most talented players in the Class of 2008, but there’s no reason that a team with Love and Jennings should have suffered three straight losses here. BruinReportOnline 7/8

The big news Saturday at the Reebok ABCD Camp is the apparently imminent commitment of James Harden to Arizona State. Harden scored 22 points in Saturday's first game.With his former high school coach now on staff at ASU and with his mother preparing to move into a house in the Phoenix area, Harden had already stated that Arizona State was a slight favorite over USC, Arizona, Washington and Washington State. Now with the commitment yesterday of his former high school teammate Derek Glasser to Arizona State, Harden spoke as if a commitment to the Sun Devils was a forgone conclusion. Cardinal Sports 7/8

Alex Legion came off a strong scoring outing against O.J. Mayo on Friday night but had trouble making shots on Saturday. He went a combined 7 of 24 on the day. A very strong one-on-one scorer, Legion is not nearly as good at involving his teammates in the action. CardinalSports 7/8

And not bad for a 15-year-old. Yes, Drew Gordon is every bit a kid, except on the court, where it is rapidly becoming one of the best prospects to come out of the Bay Area. He doesn't even have a driver's learning permit yet — he turns 16 on Wednesday — yet he gets 15 text messages daily from college recruiters. Having just completed his sophomore season at Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose and beginning his fourth year as part of the Oakland Soldiers Slam N Jam AAU program, Gordon spent the past week testing his talents against the nation's elite high school players. Inside Bay Area 7/9

Kyle Singler was a tad out of synch – he never got into any sort of shooting rhythm – but did enough to remind those who have watched him multiple times why he is the best “combo-forward” in this class. He’s got the savvy (at both ends of the floor) of a 30-year-old who has been collecting NBA paychecks for eight or nine years. Phog.Net 7/9

Defense? What defense? All-Star games are not for defense. It is almost a dirty word. The Reebok ABCD all-star games on Sunday held true to form on that belief. J.J. Hickson finished with 22 points and eight rebounds and Kevin Love, who led the camp from start to finish in scoring and rebounding, had 14 points and 12 rebounds, including a game-high six boards on the offensive end. Blue Demons Nation 7/9


(photo credit: an Inside Bay Area)


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