Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/28)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


The best high school
basketball tournament in the Bay Area takes place this weekend at Santa
Clara's Leavey Center. It's the fourth annual Patrick Dennehy Rumble in
the Bay, a three-day event starting Saturday that features 88 AAU teams
and some of the top recruits in the West. Among the players expected to participate: Archbishop Mitty's Drew
, who plays for the Oakland Soldiers and is headed to UCLA; Jrue
Holiday, the top-ranked shooting guard in the junior class; and Renardo
Sidney, the No.1 power forward in the sophomore class. San Jose Mercury News 5/25


Jordan Hamilton, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, is expected to make an
unofficial visit to N.C. State on Monday after playing in the
tournament. Hamilton plays with the Lamar Odom I Can All-Stars. They open their play at 6:30 tonight at the Dail Center on the State campus. News Observer 5/25

Oak Hill Academy's Howard
"Trey" Thompkins
, the 6-foot-8 power forward from Lithonia, ranked
among the top prospects in the country at his position, gave Georgia
his verbal commitment on Thursday. rates Thompkins the No. 6 power forward in the nation and No. 13 college prospect overall in the 2008 class. Atlanta Journal-Constitution 5/25

The University of North Carolina went cross country Tuesday night to
secure a commitment from basketball point guard Larry Drew Jr. Drew
is ranked among the best high school point guards in the country. As a
junior last season, he averaged 14.8 points and seven assists on a
Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft High team that finished 20-4. News Observer 5/25

(photo credit: LA Times)



At May 28, 2007, 4:00:00 PM, Anonymous clyde said...

Thanks for the insight and comments regarding Ryan Wright. From what I understand and have read - he was a good kid and worked hard - so definitely wishing him luck - just not against UCLA. So time to turn the page on that.
Turning new attention in this downtime ... what about Nikola Dragovic ? Obviously, he had to serve out his suspension to start the season and never fully got a decent shot to contribute (pardon the pun). So that's behind us. What's the deal with him and where do you see him fitting in. He is supposed to be a terrific spot up shooter which when used with the inside presence of Kevin Love should balance out well. I suppose he will get time in the 3 position. Either him or Roll should have some open looks but are they both going to play??? Howland talked about him playing defense too tall - which I guess translates to not having a good defensive posture. Will that be the kiss of death as far as playing time. Just curious what your insight is to Dragovic's contribution to next years team or is he um the next transfer student?

At May 29, 2007, 2:36:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Forget Larry...hello HOLIDAY!!!
Bring it to Westwood buddy!!

At May 29, 2007, 6:39:00 AM, Anonymous The Big Woof! said...

The Rumble in the Bay was held this past weekend. Unfortunately Jrue Holiday was not there as advertised, nor were most of the touted SoCal players, including our other UCLA signees. The two major players in attendance were signee Drew Gordon and Renardo Sidney. After playing about 8 games each over 3 days including 4 on the final day for Gordon's team, in the final the LA Dream Team, led by Sidney, defeated Gordon's Oakland Soldiers by about 10 points in a game that was not that close. The Dream Team was older, bigger, faster, played better trapping defense, and pretty well dominated in a poorly officiated, high testosterone game. Individually, Sidney played a little better than Gordon in this one, but that was a direct result of the respective team play. However Drew looked very good in some of the other games and provided many highlights with some great rebounds and big time slam dunks, including one left handed rebound - follow dunk that brought down the house.
Drew Gordon, in addition to being a hard working player with great quick hops and a Mata-like work ethic, appears to be a bright and very fine and polite yet humble young man and he and his family are looking forward eagerly to a great future as a Bruin, as should we. Coach Howland is going to love his effort on the court and WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE HE CHOSE UCLA.
Renardo Sidney is a man-child with an incredibly strong body, and great skills. He does everything with extreme ease, although does have a propensity to commit too many silly fouls and complain to the refs a bit too much. He seems capable of playing all 5 positions, as he likes to dribble up the floor and throw long passes to teammates. He's very strong around the basket and has good 3 point range. He would certainly be a good addition to the Bruins in 2009 should he sign, but appears to this viewer to be a "one and done" college player.

At May 29, 2007, 6:44:00 AM, Anonymous JonW said...

Excellent recap of the tournament. Aside from his slams did Drew Gordon demonstrate any low post offensive moves or a mid-range game?

At May 29, 2007, 7:12:00 AM, Anonymous Big Woof! said...

Based on what I have seen the past couple of days, and on TV, and what I have heard, Drew's offense needs some work. He does not have much of a mid range game at this time, he does have some very nice low post moves. He stays well within himself at midrange,and does not force any shots, instead he likes to look for his teammates when he has the ball away from the basket, made some nice passes, although he tried to force a few of those. He seems to enjoy playing defense (will fit in perfectly at UCLA in this area,) and sticks with his man well, though is so intense he has to be careful to avoid fouling (remind you of any one or two we have now?). His greatest asset at this time is his strong rebounding at both ends. He works hard to get good position, can rebound in front of or over the opponent. He has great hops and is a quick leaper - can go up again and again barely touching the floor, and he runs the floor and finishes very well on fast breaks. He also enjoys blocking shots, and when not too eager swatted some good ones without fouling.
He also gets to the foul line a lot and has a nice free throw motion, and is not happy when he misses from the line. My guess is he should be about 75% from the line, with a chance to improve. Here, as in other areas, he will do better than Aboya and Mata (and I love Lorenzo's game which has improved immensely over the years.)

At May 29, 2007, 7:51:00 AM, Anonymous clyde said...

Big Woof !!!
Excellent, man. Thanks for the quick recap of the rumble in the bay tourney.
Any idea why Jrue Holiday was a no-show?
As far as Drew Gordon goes ... that's pretty much what I expected from what I've read as well. And when you think about it ... that is exactly the type of player that fits well in Howland's system. Mid-range and perimeter scoring would be a bonus of course but not without the other skills he provides like rebounding and shot blocking and defense. That was really good to hear. Who isn't excited for UCLA basketball for the next couple of years and beyond.
Now let's get some of them top ucla prospects back down here in the Los Angeles area so I can watch and drool.

At May 29, 2007, 2:34:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Excellent contribution to the site. Thanks.

At May 29, 2007, 2:59:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Nikola is a smart, hard working kid. The ten game suspension was a big setback for him last season.
He worked very hard during the season to improve his defense, however his physical limitations make him a question mark defensively.
At 6'8 with average speed and athleticism, he may have difficulty guarding smaller quick wings, on the other hand, he may not have the strength or experience to guard more physical 4s.
His obvious value to the Bruins will be his outside shooting, and he should earn minutes on the floor next season. With a better low post presence inside and the departure of Arron Afflalo next season, the Bruins could use additional outside firepower. He is probably the team's best outside shooter at this point and is an excellent passer. How much time he plays will depend on his improved conditioning and defensive play.

At May 30, 2007, 4:41:00 AM, Anonymous Bob said...

I've appreciated your use of the sidebar to recap the recuiting status at a glance. What about putting below it a top-10 (or top-5) of the recruits still out there that you are hoping that we get, from your perspective.
Thanks for all the work you do on this site!
- Bob

At May 30, 2007, 5:12:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Good suggestion. Done.

At May 30, 2007, 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

Do you have any new info on the Pauly Pavilion Renovation? Also, are they going to install retracting seats behind the baseline to bring seats closer to the court? What would BBR like to improve? Thanks for any news!

At May 30, 2007, 5:48:00 PM, Anonymous clyde said...

Bob - great suggestion.
BBR - excellent implementation.
Nuff said.

At Jun 1, 2007, 4:20:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

UCLA is still in the process of lining up major donors for the renovation. Its our understanding a work group was assembled earlier to develop a list of needs and improvements.
The end line seats will definitely be brought closer to the action and the court finally centered under the scoreboard.
Pauley Pavilion will be renovated rather than torn down. Definitely a preference at BBR.
The upgrade needs to the arena are well known. Modernized concessions, more bathrooms, new seats, new locker rooms, installation of practice courts.
Other ideas considered, that we're not so excited about, are luxury suites and Donor rooms. Sure, suites may bring in additional revenue and UCLA certainly appreciates its donors, but we'd prefer to keep Pauley Pavilion simply about the game, the players, the students, and the average fan.
As always, as Bruins, we should let our championships do the talking.

At Jun 2, 2007, 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous Big Woof! said...

As one who attended virtually all games in Pauley from its inception through the 1997 season before moving north, I completely agree with your assessment and ideas about the renovation. Hopefully, those responsible will keep it about the game and the true fans and not give in to the big donors and the profit angle, but we all know that is very difficult in these days. A compromise: no luxury boxes (most donors prefer to be courtside, I think,) and give them their private rooms.
No one I spoke to had any idea why Jrue Holiday did not show. By the way, Drew Gordon is an accomplished weight thrower in track and field, don't know if he will be interested in competing for the Bruins in track, but it shows his physical strength in addition to his hoops skills.
I know you're more interested in sticking to the message than disclosing your identity(ties), but I still wonder who you are and whether I used to speak with you in the old days. You do an absolutely exceptional job, far better than any other past Bruin Hoops Site (and there have been some good ones.) My real name is Leon. Feel free to contact me if you have access to my E-mail: I can keep a secret!

At Jun 3, 2007, 4:14:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks for responding with the renovation info!


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