Saturday, May 20, 2006

Afflalo, Farmar Part-Time Bruins

By Dan Weber
The Press-Enterprise

They cut their course loads to focus on NBA pre-draft tryouts.

UCLA sophomores Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar became part-time students Friday in order to pursue an NBA tryout schedule.

"The NCAA requires that," Afflalo said in a telephone interview Friday, after cutting back to two classes in the spring quarter that has four weeks remaining.

Afflalo, who averaged 15.8 points a game as the NCAA-finalist Bruins' leading scorer, will do individual workouts next week starting with the Lakers and finishing up with the Cleveland Cavaliers with trips to the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls in between.

"They'll have you do a lot of two-on-two, one-on-one, with a lot of drills and maybe some competition stuff," he said. "Usually they bring in no more than four guys."

Afflalo and Farmar, who plans to do no interviews until he makes his decision on officially entering the draft, have until June 18 to withdraw from the NBA Early Entrant Program they entered April 20. The NBA draft is June 28 in New York.

By maintaining their two-course class loads as part-time students and not hiring an agent, both would be eligible to return to UCLA if they withdraw by June 18.

Afflalo said he doesn't feel like much has changed.

"I'm still on campus every day, going to class, talking to the guys," he said. "The only difference is the NCAA says I can't play with the rest of the UCLA players while I'm doing this. And I'm 100 percent motivated to do this."

Afflalo said he had no further workouts with teams set up.

Saying UCLA coach Ben Howland "has definitely been helpful in all of this," Afflalo said the UCLA coaches have been the ones working with the NBA teams to set up his workout schedule.

"I could see myself coming back here next year, but right now I have another goal ahead of me," said Afflalo, who does not yet plan to attend the NBA Pre-Draft Camp June 6-10 in Orlando, Fla.

(reprinted with permission)


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UCLA Guards Will Audition in L.A.

By Steve Springer
Los Angeles Times

The Lakers and Clippers will stage workouts for Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo, according to the families of the UCLA sophomore guards.

They have made themselves available for the NBA draft June 28 but neither has hired an agent so they can retain their eligibility by withdrawing from draft consideration by June 18.

They are projected to be low first-round or high second-round picks. Farmar, a point guard, is rated slightly higher than Afflalo, a shooting guard.

Each player has said he wouldn't consider leaving school unless he was confident he would be a first-round pick.

"Either way, it's win-win for Jordan," said his mother, Mindy Kolani.

"If he comes back to UCLA, he will bring with him the knowledge he learned in this process. If he moves on, he will be doing something that he is very excited about."

Farmar and Afflalo have been working out with the Bruins since the team's season ended in the NCAA championship game, which UCLA lost to Florida. A player is not permitted to try out for an NBA team unless he is a part-time student.

Farmar and Afflalo plan to qualify for that status by dropping one class each by week's end.

Teams routinely work out eligible players in their areas and the Lakers have already worked out two UCLA seniors, swingman Cedric Bozeman and center Ryan Hollins.

(reprinted with permission)


Monday, May 15, 2006

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/15)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup published periodically during the offseason.


The Cal Bears received their second commitment of the spring in 6-7/205 small forward Omondi Amoke this weekend. The 4 star Oxnard (CA) HS wing joined power forward Harper Kamp who earlier committed to the Bears last month. "I was up with my father (Ruben) this weekend," said Amoke. "I had a chance to check out the dorms and see the campus and I also had a chance to hang out with some of the players – Theo Robertson and Jordan Wilkes - and some of the guys. They were all really cool. "I really liked it up there," he continued. "It’s a real nice campus and all the guys on the team had great things to say about the area." Amoke is a strong student, with a 3.3 grade point average at Oxnard. Bear Insider 5/14

Luke Babbitt is only a sophomore, but he's generating strong interest from some of the elite programs in the country. Babbitt, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Galena High in Reno, Calif., is currently being recruited by the likes of UCLA, Washington, Arizona, Duke and Georgetown, among other programs. Babbitt is very skilled for a young prospect, with the ability to play equally well on the perimeter or in the paint. He should end up among the top 25 players in the country for 2008. FoxSports 5/12

Corbin Moore, a 6-9 sophomore center from Los Alamitos High in Los Alamitos, Calif., told us recently that he's been receiving early interest from UCLA, Arizona, Stanford, Washington and Notre Dame. Moore said that UCLA has been his favorite school for some time, as his father graduated from UCLA and his sister is currently a freshman in Westwood. Moore has a nice face-up game and he moves well for a young big man. With continued development, we expect him to be among the top post players in the west for 2008. FoxSports 5/12

Power of the internet: “I am still committed to Arizona," Jerryd Bayless told West Coast Recruiting Analyst Greg Hicks. That is the power of the internet. Because the original writer got erroneous information, you’d assume from a trusted source, suddenly people all over the country and the world were scrambling to learn more about what was going on with Bayless. I myself was blindsided. I was watching the Suns/Lakers game and logged on the computer after it was done. It was pushing 11:00 when I read the news. I was scrambling to find out why my sources did not call me. Only an hour later did I learn, they could not inform me because they could not tell me about something that did not happen. 5/11

Out west, Reno, Nevada, forward Luke Babbitt has nearly every elite program in the country pursuing him. And in California, Troy Gillenwater and Drew Gordon are potential five-star material. Gordon established himself as a top prospect while on the circuit last summer. Guillenwater put his name on the national map this spring with a strong showing against five-star 2007 prospect Gary Johnson in Las Vegas. West coast guard play California is also very strong at the guard position. Brandon Jennings of the SoCal All Stars makes a strong claim as the best pure point guard in the class. Californians Jrue Holiday, Larry Drew and Nate Garth are also exceptional with the ball in their hands. WVSports 5/11

"You see kids changing their minds all over the country, this isn't just a Michigan issue," Amaker said from his office Wednesday. "I don't think in any of those instances it had to do with something we did or didn't do."It was more about what a kid and their family wanted to do." Detroit Country Day junior standout Alex Legion was the latest recruit to change his mind. Legion, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, reopened the recruiting process last month and intends to play his senior season at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy. UofMSports 5/11

The Arizona Cactus Classic is expected to attract many of the region's top elite-level players and their AAU teams to McKale Center next weekend. According to event organizer Jim Storey, among those expected to attend include Alex Jacobson, Jamelle Horne, Gary Johnson, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love, Kamyron Brown and Jai Lucas.Jacobson and Horne have verbally committed to Arizona, while Johnson (2007), Brown (2007) and Jennings (2008) are UA targets. Brown is the cousin of UA assistant Miles Simon, and Lucas is the son of former NBA coach John Lucas. It is unknown whether point guard Jerryd Bayless will participate, Storey said. Bayless, who committed to the UA in November, is the subject of speculation that he is now considering other schools. AZstarnet 5/11

Dallas power forward Anthony Randolph also moved into the top ten, going from No. 25 to No. 7. "Although he is at No. 7 right now, Randolph has the type of talent to move up even higher in the rankings," Meyer said. "He is an extremely long and athletic player that can play inside and out. The question is can he discipline his game enough to be a productive player night in and night out." WVSports 5/10

Most of the "hyped" guys in the Top 20 Junior game apparently thought it was a "No Defense Day," although James Harden of Artesia showed enough glimpses to demonstrate why he's the top prospect in the Southern California Class of 2007. Press Telegram 5/9