Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nets To Look Closely at Farmar

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA point-guard Jordan Farmar heads the list of players whom the New Jersey Nets will work out this week in preparation for the upcoming NBA draft, as reported in the New York Post.

The Nets may be looking for an eventual successor to their veteran point-guard Jason Kidd.

Kidd, who turns 34, will be starting his 13th NBA campaign next season.

Farmar has been projected to be a mid to low first round draft pick; and the Nets own the 23rd pick in the NBA draft this year.

Some basketball experts have compared Farmar's style of play at the point-guard position to Kidd.

Although not as big or strong as Kidd, Farmar is similar to the NBA All-Star veteran in both are saavy point-guards with very high basketball IQs which make up for some of their athletic deficienices, and both Kidd and Farmar are natural-born leaders on the court.

Getting drafted by the Nets would be an ideal situation for Farmar who could learn from one of the best point guards in NBA history without having the pressure to perform right away in a starting role.

The Nets only have Jeff McInnis under contract after this season to back-up at the point - and some feel McInnis will be traded during the offseason.

Former Kansas Jayhawk Jacque Vaughn was the Nets' main back-up at the point this year but he becomes a free-agent after this season.

Jordan Farmar has repeatedly stated he would likely enter the June 28th NBA draft if he is guarenteed a first-round selection.

At this time, Farmar is committed to participating in only private NBA team work-outs, although, its been reported he may still attend the NBA pre-draft tryouts (June 6-10) in Orlando to improve his draft position.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Final Field For Wooden Classic Announced

By Bruin Basketball Report

The George Washington Colonials and Texas A&M Aggies will join the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans in the four-team line-up at the John R. Wooden Classic college basketball doubleheader on Dec. 9.

UCLA, which lost to Florida in this year's national championship game, will play Texas A&M in the first game; while USC will take on George Washington in the second game.

Texas A&M, which lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament, and George Washington, the regular season Atlantic 10 Champion, will be making their first appearances in the Wooden Classic, which began in 1994.

UCLA will be playing for the tenth time, while USC will be back for its fourth appearance.

The games will be played at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim.

In the second game of last year's Wooden Classic, UCLA's Jordan Farmar hit on 10 of 13 field goals for 24 points to lead the Bruins to a 67-56 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack.


Zeigler Interviews, Bruin News Updates

By Brian Dohn
L.A. Daily News

Central Michigan athletic director Dave Heeke contacted UCLA assistant coach Ernie Zeigler about the Chippewas vacant men's basketball head coaching position, and an interview is expected, sources said.

Zeigler, 40, is a Michigan native with strong ties to the area. He was born in Detroit, prepped at Detroit Cody High and played at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich., and Northwood University in Midland, Mich. He also recruits the state for UCLA.

Heeke also spoke with Bruins coach Ben Howland about Zeigler, who has been a member of Howland's staff for the past five seasons. The position opened when Jay Smith resigned May 11.

Zeigler had an informal interview with Pepperdine during the Final Four, but was not one of the finalists.

Farmar update: Howland said Monday point guard Jordan Farmar, who declared for the NBA draft but could pull his name out by the June18 deadline and return for his junior season, remains undecided on whether he will participate in the pre-draft camp next month in Orlando.

Farmar began his workouts for NBA teams Monday with the Clippers, and Howland said "Jordan said everything went well." Howland added Farmar finalized details to work out for the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers. Farmar already had workouts scheduled with the Lakers and the New Jersey Nets.

Scheduling look: UCLA has a tentative agreement to play Texas A&M in the Wooden Classic at The Pond in Anaheim on Dec. 9.

It would pit the Bruins, who reached the national championship game in April, against an Aggies team that was ousted in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Texas A&M returns its top six scorers from a team that was 22-9 last season and won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 1980.

Also, UCLA reached an agreement to play Brigham Young at Pauley Pavilion in November. As previously reported, the Bruins will also host Michigan, UC Irvine and Long Beach State, and travel to West Virginia in non-conference matchups. They will also play three games in the Maui Invitational.

UCLA still has a few games to fill on its non-conference slate.

(reprinted with permission)


Monday, May 22, 2006

Afflalo, Farmar Set Workouts

By Brian Dohn
L.A. Daily News

The most significant stretch of UCLA's 2006-07 basketball season begins today, nearly six months before the season tips off.

The two prominent players in UCLA's unexpected run to the national championship game loss to Florida - shooting guard Arron Afflalo and point guard Jordan Farmar - begin workouts for NBA teams.

Afflalo said he has workouts scheduled with four teams, beginning with the Lakers. By this time next week, Afflalo said he will also work out for the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Through UCLA, Farmar said he is not conducting interviews until he reaches a decision on whether he will remain in the draft. But he will work out for the Clippers today. His mother, Mindy Kolani, said her son also had workouts scheduled with the Lakers and the New Jersey Nets.

Farmar is also trying to solidify workouts with Sacramento, and possibly a few others, but Kolani said "I'm not sure that's been completely cemented."

It's common for hometown teams to work out college players. But more intriguing for Farmar, as well as UCLA, is the Nets' interest.

New Jersey has the 22nd and 23rd picks in the first round, and it could be willing to select Farmar to back up, and learn from, Jason Kidd.

Both players have until June18 to withdraw from the June 28 draft and return to UCLA for their junior seasons. Both said they would return if they were not certain of being first-round choices.

Several mock drafts have Farmar being selected in the bottom third of the first round, and sources said he is leaning toward leaving UCLA.

Afflalo is hoping to use the workouts to play his way into the draft.

Despite being listed as either a second-round pick, or not being selected at all, Afflalo was unconcerned.

"I want to show my other aspects of the game I didn't get to show (at UCLA)," said Afflalo, who outlined a few of his perceived limitations with the Bruins.

"Probably my ability to put the ball on the floor as much as I can. I took a lot of jump shots. Also, my ability to post up."

(reprinted with permission)


Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/22)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup published periodically during the offseason.


When other top backcourt recruits - like maybe St. Mary's star Jerryd Bayless - realize that they could be playing with a front line that includes a McDonald's All-America center in Boateng and an emerging star in forward Jeff Pendergraph, then maybe they'll follow. Arizona Republic 5/22

Austin Daye dominated the opening of the game, event MVP James Harden was solid throughout the game and 2008 point guard Larry Drew shared the sugar as the Pump N Run Elite easily defeated the Houston Hoops 67-48 in the finals of the inaugural Arizona Cactus Classic. Cardinal Sports 5/21

Pump N Run Elite all purpose guard James Harden has been one of the most impressive prospects at the Arizona Cactus Classic. A smooth and also explosive lefty, Harden slashes and shoots it, defends and rebounds, handles and passes.Harden is a big time all purpose guard.In a hard fought 68-66 win over Total Package Red, Harden led all scorers with 28 points ... The Las Vegas Prospects are playing very solid ball as they went through their pool play undefeated behind the five-star caliber play of 2008 combo forward Luke Babbitt. The versatile lefty has led the Prospect in scoring in all three pool play games with 24, 18, and 16 points. Although his release is a little slow, Babbitt has been continuously draining outside shots with his smooth stroke and taking defenders off the dribble from the perimeter. Looking every bit like a big time small forward, Babbitt listed Texas, Duke, Washington (offer), UCLA, Arizona, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Syracuse (offer) and Nevada (offer) as schools of interest.... Jerime Anderson could not control the quickness of Lucas....Big time 2008 prospect Jrue Holiday did have a little more success checking Lucas than his teammate Anderson, and he also lit it up on the offensive end in his two pool play games Saturday. He scored 22 points and had 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal in an earlier game, and then scored 25 points, along with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals against the Hoops. A physical guard, who hunts down the ball and plays a complete game, Holiday has been a joy to scout during this event..... The Utah Pump N Run took advantage of a SoCal All Star team playing without Kevin Love and Daniel Hackett, beating SoCal 70-69 in a thriller. GatorBait 5/20

Kamyron Brown, a 6-foot-1 guard who just finished his junior year of high school, is the cousin of former UA star and current Wildcats assistant Miles Simon. Brown lists Arizona, Washington and Oregon as his top choices.Is there any pressure in being the cousin of Simon? "There's no big pressure," said Brown, who helped the SoCal Razorbacks to a 100-65 win over the California Supreme Prospects at McKale Center in the inaugural Arizona Cactus Classic on Friday. Brown had 12 points, three rebounds and one assist. Tucson Citizen 5/20

On the opening night of the inaugural Arizona Cactus Classic ... None were better than North Hollywood combo guard Jrue Holiday. Jrue Holiday has a mature game for a 2008 prospect.Double Pump Elite 88, West Coast All Stars 77. This game had several top 2008 prospects, including future five-star prospect Jrue Holiday. The sturdy and athletic 6-foot-4 combo guard scored 17 points along with 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. He has impressive strength with the ball and defending the ball, and he has the frame to get even stronger. With a pure shooting stroke, he hits shots off the dribble and off the catch and is a polished ball handler with the right or the left. His three assists came off diagonal dishes while penetrating the lane. Holiday said he is open as far as colleges go, but he does like UCLA, Arizona and Washington.His brother, 2007 prospect Justin Holiday is a long 6-foot-6 slasher. His skill set is still a little raw, but there is definitely high-major potential in this prospect.The elder Holiday named Washington, UCLA, Oregon, Connecticut, Syracuse and Louisville as the schools pursuing him the hardest. Also playing well for the Double Pump Elite was 2008 point guard Jerime Anderson. He put up 16 points with 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. Very smooth with the ball, Anderson attacks the basket with poise and had some nifty left handed finishes.Anderson said UCLA is recruiting him very hard as is USC. Arizona and Stanford are also showing interest. CardinalSports 5/20

Scout 2007 Top 100 Recruits Listing... Sandwiched in between the best player (Mayo) and potentially one of the best prospects (Randolph) is the top outlet passer of his generation, Kevin Love. The immensely gifted Love, owner of a 30+ rebound game in high school, impacts games in every way these days. He’s earned the right to move high up this list. Scout 5/19

The first annual Arizona Cactus Classic has finally arrived. Tucson, Arizona has never had so many elite high school basketball players in town at the same time and this event looks to be one of the best AAU tournaments of the summer... Also at 6:00pm on McKale Court 3 will be Double Pump Elite vs. West Coast All-Stars. On Double Pump Elite, Arizona is recruiting 2008 guards Jerime Anderson and Jrue Holiday... At 8:20pm, SoCal All-Stars take on Las Vegas Dogcatchers East on McKale Court 1. SCA features one of the nation's top few players in 2007 power forward Kevin Love, 2007 center Alex Jacobson, who is committed to Arizona, 2007 Duke commit Taylor King, 2007 USC commit Daniel Hackett, 2008 USC commit Malik Story, 2008 top-ranked point guard and big time Arizona recruit Brandon Jennings and 2007 UA recruit Darrington Hobson. GoAZCats 5/19

Austin Daye, a 6-foot-9, 180-pound junior forward from Irvine, Calif., and the son of former UCLA forward Darren Daye, has committed to the Zags after taking an official visit to the campus last week."It was good," the younger Daye said Wednesday. "Everything that I was looking for in a college, I found — small classrooms, students and coaches that care. I met with everybody, pretty much. It was all-around a very good visit."Daye was recruited by several Pac-10 programs including Arizona State, USC, Oregon and Washington. UCLA, which just got a commitment from L.A. junior Chase Stanback, didn't pursue Daye hard, and Daye said, "I didn't really want to go to the same school my dad did." Seattle Times 5/18

The Arizona Cactus Classic kicks off at 6:00pm on Friday and the championship game is scheduled to be played on Sunday at 2:00pm. It's highly unlikely that any team wins the title without one pretty significant accomplishment – defeating the SoCal All-Stars.Kevin Love and SCA haven't been defeated yet this spring.In SCA's two tournaments so far this spring - the Las Vegas Easter Classic and the Houston Kingwood Classic - the team has been completely unstoppable. Led by the dominance of 2007 star big man Kevin Love, the thrilling play of 2008 point guard Brandon Jennings, the shooting and rebounding of 2007 Duke commit Taylor King, the leadership and all-around play of 2007 USC commit Daniel Hackett, the presence down low of 7-foot-1 2007 Arizona commit Alex Jacobson, the triple-double threat of 2007 wing Darrington Hobson and shooting ability of 2008 USC commit Malik Story, SCA has been the team to beat on the AAU circuit thus far this spring. GoAZCats 5/17

Oxnard High junior Omondi Amoke has made a verbal commitment to play basketball at UC Berkeley. The 6-foot-6 forward informed Cal coach Ben Braun of his decision on Saturday. "I went up for a visit and really loved the coaching staff and the players," Amoke said. "The school has a good tradition of academic excellence, and I just liked the direction the program was headed." Amoke averaged 19.6 points and nine rebounds this season, and was named the Pacific View League's Most Valuable Player and The Star's Boys' Basketball Player of the Year. Ventura Country Star 5/16

It looks as though the Kyle Singler recruiting show will go on for several more months. Singler, the South Medford High basketball standout who’s among the top junior recruits in the country, said Monday that he won’t make a verbal commitment to the college of his choice until sometime in the fall. The 6-foot-8 forward is leaning toward UCLA and Duke but remains interested in Kansas and Arizona. Singler said he’ll likely make official recruiting visits to all four schools once his senior year at South Medford begins in September. "I want to make the right decision — this is obviously a big deal in my life," says Singler, who indicated earlier he would make a verbal commitment by the end of the current school year. "I’ve decided that I really should make some official visits and see what these schools are all about." Mail Tribune 5/16

Despite the speculation swirling around him, heralded UA basketball recruit Jerryd Bayless is planning to show up but not play in this weekend's Cactus Classic at McKale Center. Whether that is a good sign for the Wildcats remains to be seen. Ever since word spread two weeks ago that he might be wavering on his November verbal commitment to the Wildcats, Bayless has faced questions among fans, players and media about where he stands. Arizona Daily Star 5/16

The summer shoe camps have always been reserved as a place for elite prospects and others who have earned a name in the recruiting world. A handful of virtually unknown prospects will get a chance to play against Kevin Love and other big-name recruits in Reebok's ABCD camp this summer.But, this year, a few of the coveted invites will be going out to players who aren't on the radar of any major college. Those sleepers will get a chance to play on the same courts as O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love and all the top prospects from the class of 2007 in front of hundreds of college coaches. WVSports 5/15


(photo credit: Rivals)