Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (11/27)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


O.J Mayo and Kevin Love may have different motives, but they're heading to the same city with hopes of reaching their goals. Right now, Mayo is giant fish in the small pond of Huntington, W.Va. In less than a year, Mayo will be in an ocean of people at Southern Cal. As one of the millions of people in L.A. waiting for their big break, he will be handed the ball and asked to put USC basketball on the map. Love said he picked UCLA because of the school's undeniable tradition and history of outstanding big men. The Lake Oswego, Ore., native has a skill set that will likely be featured the minute he steps foot in Westwood. Who will be the king of Los Angeles? Buckle up, that will be a fun back-and-forth rivalry to watch. Gator Bait 11/22


A few weeks ago, UCLA hired Clay McKnight, whose father, Gary, happens to be the coach at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif. You think having Clay, who has previously worked at Oregon State, Syracuse and USC, might give the Bruins a leg up in their pursuit of David and Travis Wear, 6-foot-10 sophomore twins at Mater Dei? Sports Illustrated 11/21

Those three teams could challenge for the Northern 4A title and the right to play for the NIAA 4A State title along with Galena, who returns two of Northern 4A's top players in Luke Babbitt and Eric Maupin. North Valleys, which returns Archie Kovich, is another team that figures to be reckoned with. Nevada Appeal 11/23

Taft kicks off the year Thursday night with a glitzy celebrity fundraiser headlined by the greatest basketball player in Los Angeles history - former Lakers' great Magic Johnson. The Magic Man, a long-time family friend of Taft star guard Larry Drew Jr., headlines a guest list that includes basketball stars Pooh Richardson, Mark Jackson, John Salley, Wayman Tisdale and former baseball great Eric Davis. Tickets, ranging from $10 general admission to $25 VIP, are available through the school. L.A. Daily News 11/25

One of just two area boys' basketball teams ever to finish undefeated with a 32-0 season two years ago, Campbell Hall of North Hollywood again will be hardto beat this season - byanyone. The defending Southern Section Div. IV-A finalist Vikings' top three scorers return - Jrue Holiday (21.0points per game), Justin Holiday (20.0) and Robert Ford (14.8) - joined by impact transfers Dallas Rutherford and Keegan Hornbuckle.  L.A. Daily News 11/25

Taking in the game from behind UW's bench was Justin Holiday, who signed with UW earlier this month, and his younger brother, Jrue....Jrue Holiday, a 6-3 guard, is a high-school junior and is considered one of the nation's top recruits for next fall. Justin Holiday said the brothers flew up Friday morning for an informal visit and were flying out today. He took his official visit in September. "We just wanted to see a game before our season starts next week," he said. The two play at Campbell Hall High. "I liked it. It was a competitive game, the crowd was good." As for what his brother Jrue thinks of UW? "We don't really talk about it that much," Justin Holiday said. "But he likes it. It's one of his top schools, I think."  Seattle Times 11/25

Brandon Jennings said he picked USC over Connecticut in part because he wanted to play in front of his family, which lives in Lakewood. He said he also felt he could make an immediate impact regardless of whether Mayo stays for a second season or declares for the NBA draft. "The only reason I didn't go to UConn is because they have point guards already," said Jennings, who said he wouldn't even bother with an official visit to the campus in Storrs, Conn. "Those guys being from the East Coast and already being there a couple of years, you know how that is. Coming in to SC, I'll play right away because they need some point guards."..."He told me I didn't play defense real well and needed to get stronger. For a guy to keep it real with me, it made me want to go there." L.A. Times 11/25

Brandon Jennings, a 6-2 junior point guard from Los Angeles, made an oral commitment to USC. UConn had appeared to be the front-runner for Jennings, the No.7 rated player and top-rated point guard in the 2008 class by Jennings is a close friend of former UConn point guard Marcus Williams. Kelly Williams, Marcus' father, is Jennings' AAU coach. Jennings is playing at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He can't sign until next November, but his commitment appears solid.  Hartford Courant 11/25

Verdell Jones, one of the state's top juniors, led Champaign Central with 25 points and six assists. The Maroons (1-1) will face Simeon on Friday. Chicago Sun-Times 11/26

(photo credits: Oregonian and Steve Helwagen/Bucknuts)



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