Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/16)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Unlike the 2006 game when USA Basketball fell behind early and had to mount a comeback, the 2007 team led from start-to-finish, racing to a quick 7-0 lead following a 3-pointer by forward Kevin Love (Lake Oswego, Ore/Lake Oswego). The UCLA-bound Love finished with 13 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. US Olympic Team 4/9

Kevin Love is getting more love.This time, it's as the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Love, who is headed for UCLA next season, added to his accomplishments Tuesday morning in a ceremony at Lake Oswego High School. Love is also a McDonald's All-American, the nation's Naismith player of the year and The Oregonian's player of the year. USA Today 4/10

Malcolm Lee, the 6-4 junior point guard from Riverside (Calif.) North, gets a slight edge as the top West Coast player in attendance. His length, quickness and deep range make him a very exciting prospect at the next level. Lee has the ball-handling ability to play the one, but his shot is getting good enough that he may play significant minutes at the two. As an illustration of just how much we think of Lee as a prospect, we think he’s a better prospect at the same age than Arron Afflalo. BamaMag 4/12

Draped in red, white and blue USA practice uniforms, Kevin Love and Kyle Singler flash hand signals, playfully taunt each other and pose for pictures as a photographer snaps away....More than 2,000 miles from home and four weeks removed from competing in one of the most memorable state championship games in Oregon history, two of the best prep players in the nation revealed that their friendship had survived a topsy-turvy senior season and was stronger than ever. The Oregonian 4/15


Jrue Holiday, a 6-foot-3 junior guard at North Hollywood Campbell Hall, was named as the state boys basketball player of the year by Gatorade. Holiday averaged 22.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 steals as Campbell Hall (33-1) won the CIF State Division IV championship with a 70-34 win over Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman last month. North County Times 4/9

Brandon Jennings, not surprisingly, "de-committed" from USC. The 6-2 Jennings "committed" to the Trojans last November, but I immediately got an e-mail from a source very close to Jennings who told me that Connecticut or Arizona would still be in the mix. Team Reebok was led by one of the California's most underrated (although not for long) juniors in 6-6 Tyreese Breshers from Los Angeles Price.  Press Telegram 4/10

Brendon Lavender, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Mesa Mountain View, attracted an offer from UA coach Lute Olson on Sunday after playing in the Las Vegas Easter Classic. Saying it was a “dream come true” to get an offer to play for the Wildcats, Lavender said he is trying to work around his club team’s practice schedule and take an unofficial visit to Arizona this weekend. If things go well, Lavender said, he could commit on the spot, though he also said he wanted to stay patient and possibly take other recruiting trips. Ranked No. 79 overall by Scout and 101 by Rivals, Lavender said he has had interest from ASU, USC, Washington State, UCLA and Utah. Arizona Daily Star 4/10

Brendon Lavender was one of the biggest surprises from the event. He was stellar for the Arizona Magic and earned an offer from the Arizona Wildcats. The opportunity to play for the in-state school might be too hard to pass up. "I am most likely going to commit," Lavender told "I am going to see the campus and talk to family and just be patient with it but I feel good. I am going to see the campus as soon as possible. I am talking to my dad right now and we're going to go down there this weekend." Gator Bait 4/10

Arizona has also scheduled San Jose forward Drew Gordon for an unofficial visit this weekend. While Gordon is a much-higher ranked recruit, the Wildcats face stiff competition to get him. Arizona Daily Star 4/10

The most impressive aspect of Jrue Holiday's play was his work at point guard during crunch time in close games. has always recognized his ability to run the point, but in Arkansas we had the opportunity to watch Holiday take the ball and break down the press when his team needed it most. Along with his smooth handle, he has overwhelming power for a point guard. Double teams melted away in front of him, and he either found shooters in rhythm or attacked the basket with authority. 4/10

While in Los Angeles, Renardo Sidney has continued to improve his conditioning. In Arkansas this past weekend, he looked like a man playing against boys on many occasions. He attacked the rim in transition, scored in the post, made 3-pointers and handled the ball well. Along with his improvement physically, Sidney was playing with more mental intensity as well. 4/10

Built like a brick but also possessing strong athleticism, Reeves Nelson is a throwback-type player who competes on every possession.... He has the strength and mobility to guard the three and the four positions. Offensively he can score with his back to the basket, but is most dangerous in the half court when he faces the basket and attacks off the dribble. Very strong with the basketball, Nelson can power through traffic and dunk in a crowd. 4/10

Branch West rode the play of power forward Tyreese Breshers, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Price High School in California. The three-star forward is coming on at the right time and should see his recruitment expand over the next couple of weeks. Gator Bait 4/10

Drew Gordon, a 6-9, 237-pound forward from San Jose, Calif., could be an ideal fit in the Wildcats' frontcourt, which will lose Kirk Walters after next season. The Wildcats are up against the nation's elite for his services — Gordon said he has visited Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, Washington and Cal so far unofficially — but the fact that he's spending his own money to visit Tucson is a positive sign for UA (recruits can't take official paid visits until their senior years begin). It also can't hurt that the Wildcats have playing time to sell him, a factor Gordon said he is weighing. "I want to see how the players mesh together and how I'd fit in with the team," Gordon said Wednesday. "I'm definitely going to be expecting to play the first year." Arizona Star 4/12

Percy "Romeo" Miller is putting his career on hold for a while. The 6-foot music star/actor and son of Master P was one of three players that committed to Floyd and the Trojans on Friday. Demar Derozan and Angelo Johnson, a pair of's Top 100 players in the Class of 2008, joined Miller in giving a pledge to USC....The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Derozan is one of the best players on the west coast and ranks 46th nationally in's rankings of the top junior players in the country.  "It's a good program, a building program and it's been a school I've loved for a while," Derozan said. "They've been interested in me for a while."  Fox Sports 4/13

(photo credit: Vern Uyetake / The Lake Oswego Review)



At Apr 17, 2007, 1:40:00 AM, Anonymous Derek said...

Any Alex Legion news?

At Apr 17, 2007, 8:52:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

How would Alex Legion affect recruitment of Jrue and Drew Gordon?
Or is it Lee and/or Anderson that would be affected?

At Apr 18, 2007, 1:24:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

The issue of whether Legion would impact recruiting may be mute considering that it now appears UCLA is no longer on his list.
On the other hand, with the dynamics of recruiting, I'm of the opinion a program should take the best available talent now rather than wait on a pending recruitment which may never materialize into a commitment.

At Apr 19, 2007, 3:53:00 AM, Anonymous clyde said...

What would you consider the priority for the 2008 recruiting class. You have verbals from 2 guards (Lee/Anderson) but also the potential of landing the prize guard of Jrue Holiday. Do you have any insight on where UCLA stands in his recruitment and how that affects signing the other two fellows? Drew Gordon would also be a priority - where are they with him in the scheme of things?

At Apr 19, 2007, 3:57:00 AM, Anonymous clyde said...

With all of these sponsored "amatuer" summer basketball clubs/teams what brand of sneaker does UCLA pair with and what impact on recruiting does this have if any?

At Apr 19, 2007, 4:10:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

Those are great points clyde, if Malcom and Jerime are both verbals, how does that effect the recruitment of Jrue? Are verbals binding on the bruins part?
Also, any idea on the chance of picking up both Holiday and Gordon from the 2008 class now that the extra scholarship is available?
Great job BBR... Best college sports blog out there by far!


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