Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (3/10)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Among the many standouts, Modesto Christian's 6-foot-7 junior Reeves Nelson, for the second year in a row, often looks like a man against boys. The UCLA recruit is a multidimensional offensive force: The kid can handle, rebound, pass and shoot. At approximately 225-230 pounds, Nelson is a good athlete with skills. What he does not do is defend – not a lick, other than an occasional step into a passing lane or blocking a shot. However, that will change in a major way as long as Ben Howland remains UCLA's coach. Sac Bee 3/4

Those who didn't get there early didn't get in, as about 150 people were left standing outside - but they could still hear the hooting and hollering as Jrue Holiday put on a show in an 85-22 victory.
The 6-foot-4, UCLA-bound senior scored 26 points with 12 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and three steals, becoming only the second player in area history to surpass 2,600 career points.
In four seasons, Holiday has 2,605 points, trailing only Mitchell Butler, who scored 2,682 points for Oakwood of North Hollywood from 1986 to 1989. Daily News 3/4

Junior forward Reeves Nelson opened the game with dunks on consecutive possessions on his way to a game-high 33 points. Senior swingman D.J. Seeley finished with 27 points — including a 15-point outburst in the second quarter.
"Nelson and Seeley, they're just physical specimens," Chieftains coach Paul Alioto said. "We knew coming in they had more talent. We were hoping our 13 guys could stop their two, but it didn't happen. They just wore us out." Monterey Herald 3/5

Drew Gordon
made a surprise entrance for Mitty in its 71-51 victory over visiting Shasta. He scored 12 points in eight minutes during his first game back since breaking his left foot Jan. 18.
The Monarchs advance to the NorCal semifinals in Division II where they will play host to Hayward on Thursday. Mercury News 3/4

It's never easy going up against Campbell Hall of North Hollywood star Jrue Holiday, and nobody has to convince teammate Dallas Rutherford. The two go head-to-head every day, and Rutherford is a much better player for it.
"I take it as a challenge," Rutherford said. "It's made a big difference guarding him in practice every day."
It's not easy for Holiday, either.
"He works me," Holiday said. "Dallas can score. He can pretty much score on anybody, and he's been doing it all year." Daily News 3/5

Mitty, with the return of 6-foot-9 UCLA-bound forward Drew Gordon, outsized the Farmers in the post. Gordon finished with 15 points in limited action, but his partner, 6-6 guard Collin Chiverton, finished with 25 points. Inside Bay Area 3/6

Modesto Christian 87, Kennedy 72: The Eagles' Jonathon Williams scored a team-high 41 points, but the host Crusaders countered with 43 from DJ Seeley and 27 from Reeves Nelson in this semifinal.
Modesto Christian jumped out to a 22-8 lead in the first quarter behind Seeley and Nelson, who scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, in the opening period.
"We started out in a zone trying to get Reeves (Nelson) off the block and we started to tripling him and that's when the other kid Seeley started to shoot over the top of our guards," Kennedy coach Michael Booker said. "Then we tried to double on (Seeley) and then Nelson starts going off." Contra Costa Times 3/6

To get his product out, Keating goes global. His Web site ( is replete with a blog and sales pitch to attend Santa Clara. His recruiting tactics keep pace with today's youth. Keating sends instant messages on his Blackberry. At UCLA, he got Kevin Love and Malcolm Lee to commit through online instant messaging. SF Chronicle 3/6

Collin Chiverton had 26 points and nine rebounds to lead Archbishop Mitty of San Jose past Fairfield 76-56 and win the boys Division II Northern California championship Saturday at Arco Arena.
The Monarchs (32-1) also got 20 points and nine rebounds from Drew Gordon, who blocked five shots. Chiverton will play for St. Mary's in the fall, and Gordon, who has battled a stress fracture this season, will go to UCLA.  The Monarchs will face the Southern California champion in the Division II boys title game Friday at Arco Arena. Mercury News 3/6

Brew's tenacious second-half play silenced D.J. Seeley, allowing the Panthers to pull away for an 82-70 win over Modesto Christian and the Northern California Division IV championship....Seeley finished with 18 points, including four treys, while 6-7 junior Reeves Nelson scored 27. Nelson also tied the NorCal D-IV championship-game record with 12 field goals and 17 rebounds.
While MC (29-5) might have had the two best players on the court, St. Mary's (32-1) had the better team. Modesto Bee 3/9

The highlight of the night - maybe even the season - came with about four minutes to go in the game. Dallas Ruther- ford had the ball in the open court. Jrue Holiday trailed the break. Rutherford spotted him for a perfect alley-oop pass.
Holiday could have thrown it down and given the 2,000 or so fans who had made the drive to Mater Dei High to watch Campbell Hall of North Hollywood demolish San Joaquin Memorial 76-45 in the Southern California Regional Div.IV championship one more monster dunk.
Instead, he turned in mid-air, flipped the ball back over his head and into the arms of James Johnson, who slammed it home.
That's the play those in attendance Saturday night will remember. The play they will tell people about when others ask if Holiday, Campbell Hall's all-everything UCLA-bound guard, is really that good.
It was the most impressive, sure. The most athletic, definitely.
But the play that showed why Holiday is a name people should remember, the reason he should be able to play basketball for as long as he chooses to, happened a lot earlier in the night.
Holiday had missed a layup, a tough runner with his left hand. He tried to follow the shot, but couldn't grab the rebound. So he hustled downcourt, got into his defensive stance, clapped his hands loudly, three times, and stared into the eyes of his opponent.
The kid looked terrified.
"I always said, 'If Jrue makes a mistake, God help the kid he's guarding." Daily News 3/9

Archbishop Mitty got out of the blocks quickly against Fairfield on Saturday night at Arco Arena, as Collin Chiverton drained a three-pointer to ignite an early run featuring inside baskets from Enoch Andoh and John Adams.
A few minutes later, Coach Brian Eagleson brought in Drew Gordon and the Monarchs hit full stride.
The 6-foot-9 senior was his usual athletic self, working the ball inside for dunks and wreaking havoc on defense as Mitty rolled to a 76-56 victory in the Division II NorCal boys basketball final.
Mitty (32-1) will get a rematch of last year's Division II state final when it faces defending champion Mater Dei (34-1) at 8 p.m. Friday at Arco Arena.
Immediately after entering the game with five minutes left in the first quarter, Gordon blocked a shot. Seconds later, he thrilled the crowd with an emphatic one-handed slam on a putback.
It was his best game since returning last week from a broken foot that sidelined him for nearly all of the regular season. Gordon played 22 minutes and scored 20 points, with two dunks, nine rebounds and eight blocked shots.
"What a lift that is having Drew come off the bench," Eagleson said. "With each day back he is getting in better shape and becoming stronger." Mercury News 3/9


Fairfax High School's Renardo Sidney, largely considered to be the top junior center prospect in the country, had 21 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in the third-seeded Lions' 66-54 win over sixth-seeded Etiwanda on Tuesday. If only his numbers said half as much as the pictures.
The agile 6-foot-10, 260-pound junior was effective from 20 feet all the way in during his 10-for-16 shooting performance.
"He's the best player Etiwanda has played in 12 years," Eagles coach Dave Kleckner said. "You can't front him because they'll lob over the top. You can't play behind him because he'll back you down. He can shoot the 3 but if you come out and defend it, he'll put it on the floor. He's got soft hands and great touch. I can't even think of anyone to compare him to."  SB Sun 3/4

Renaissance Academy (25-3) will play in Thursday's Southern California
regional semifinals.
A put-back basket by Anthony Stover gave the Wildcats a 47-42 advantage
with 3:34 to play in the fourth quarter, but Bryce Jones' layup cut the
lead to 47-46 with 1½ minutes to play....
Justin Cook led the Wildcats with 14 points, and Stover had 12 points,
13 rebounds and six blocks. Pasadena Star News 3/4

And finally, there were a few potential recruits at Monday night's game with Pitt, but perhaps the most significant guy on West Virginia's radar was in Hartford Saturday when the Mountaineers lost to Connecticut. Ater Majok, a 6-foot-10 forward, was making a visit to UConn, but he has West Virginia on his radar, too, along with Kentucky, UCLA, Maryland and Kansas. Charleston Gazette 3/5

Menlo-Atherton saw its season end in a 65-60 loss to host Rocklin on Tuesday night in the opening round of the CIF NorCal Division II playoffs. The Bears (21-11) were seeded No. 7 while Rocklin was No. 2.
Brendan Lane, a 6-10 center who has drawn interest from Stanford, led the Thunder with 22 points. The Bears weren't intimidated by Lane, however, and held a 38-33 halftime lead as Lane had just seven points. Lane, however, produced nine of his 15 second-half points in the fourth quarter to help shoot down the Bears' hopes. Palo Alto Online 3/5

Forward Ater Majok, one of the top unsigned players in the Class of 2008, is being recruited heavily by UConn. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound power forward is scheduled to attend UConn's game against Cincinnati Saturday, but got a sneak preview of the Huskies Thursday night.
Majok, a native of the Sudan who currently attends high school in Australia, attended Thursday's game at the Dunkin' Donuts Center as a guest of the Friars. Providence, perhaps like UConn, is also interested in Majok's 6-foot-7, 17-year-old cousin, Majok Majok.
Both young men are in the United States to visit various colleges. The duo attended Wednesday night's Syracuse-Seton Hall game.
The elder Majok is considering UConn, Baylor,
Maryland, Kansas and West Virginia, among others. He attends American International School in Carlingford, Australia. Conn Post 3/6

With the win, Renaissance Academy (26-3) advanced to the regional final against Price on Saturday at Mater Dei High.
Renaissance forced the Eagles (25-6) into numerous turnover early, while 6-foot-10 junior center Anthony Stover clogged the middle with perfection.
Stover, collected 12 blocks to go along with 13 points and seven rebounds.
"Every time someone shoots, I'm going to go after it because that's pretty-much what I do," Stover said. "This was the first time in a while that we got up and down the floor and played Renaissance basketball, and I was happy to see it. Daily News 3/6

Fairfield a 62-59 win over Rocklin in a Northern California Division II basketball semifinal. Fairfield jumped to a 21-14 lead early in the second quarter, but Rocklin, which was led by Brendan Lane's 19 points, scored the final seven points of the period to lead 32-28.
Lake, however, was the one constant Rocklin could not counter. He scored a game-high 29 points, and Fairfield made four three-pointers during the third quarter. Sac Bee 3/7

Top-ranked Bishop McGuinness defeated eighth-ranked Southeast 80-63 in the class 4A state championship game Saturday afternoon at Jim Norick State Fair Arena.
This is the third consecutive title for the Irish (26-4). In addition, McGuinness has now won basketball and football championships in back to back seasons.
All five starters for the Irish finished in double figures. Ryan Randolph finished with a team high 19 points.
Daniel Orton and Jeffrey Merritt both scored 14 points for McGuinness.
Orton, a 6-10 junior center, also had 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots before fouling out with 4:16 left. Tulsa World  3/8

The Dons couldn't pull away but never seemed in danger of losing control of things as they knocked off the Riverside Martin Luther King Wolves, 83-74, in the CIF Southern California Regional Division I final.
The victory improved Coach Russell Otis' team's record to 32-2 and earned the Dons a spot in next Saturday night's state title game in the Arco Arena in Sacramento....
Forward Jordan Hamilton scored 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Dons, who won the CIF Southern Section I-AA title a week ago Saturday night in the Honda Center by handing Mater Dei its first loss of the season. Press Telegram 3/9

Renaissance Academy of LaCanada's Anthony Stover, who is averaging 7.4 blocked shots per game heading into the CIFState Div. V basketball championship next weekend at Arco Arena in Sacramento, has a secret weapon (besides being 6-foot-10, which helps a lot): He jumps rope for 15 minutes before every game.
"It seems to help my timing a lot," Stover said.
In Saturday's 55-52 victory over Price of Los Angeles in the Southern California Regional championship at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Stover was limited to two points (and one blocked shot) in just 14minutes because of foul trouble. Daily News 3/9

The Longhorns had two high school recruits visiting: Renardo Sidney, a junior from Los Angeles, and Wesley Witherspoon, a senior from the Atlanta area. ranks Sidney as the top junior in the country. Statesman 3/9

(photo credit: Modesto Bee)



At Mar 9, 2008, 11:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the pac10 Tourney, I say win 1 game, then lose the next. Don't want our guys to tire themselves out with such difficult and stressful games. We need to regroup for the Big Dance. A #1 should be locked up. I could care less about the conference tourney. We already played all these guys and have proven we can beat them all. No need to do this again. Only risk injury and tire our guys out.

At Mar 10, 2008, 2:11:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

I second that above!

At Mar 10, 2008, 4:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruins have to win 1-8 matchup to retain #1 seed.

At Mar 10, 2008, 6:54:00 AM, Anonymous Brewin said...

Hey BBR,
Is there any news w/ regards to Renardo Sidney in terms of UCLA's interest? I'm curious because of the vacancy that Love and Mata will leave or is this dependent on who we get for the next class? Thanks!

At Mar 10, 2008, 7:59:00 AM, Anonymous Dan-O said...

What's weird about the Sidndey situation is no has offered him a scholarship yet according to I have heard he has a serious attitude problem and maybe wouldn't buy into Howland's style.
That being said we need good players for the 2009 class. It would be a bummer not to get him, but if SC got him I would be pissed. The 2009 class has been a lot of misses (e.g. Wear twins, Hollis Thompson), but rebounding by getting Sidney would be a coup. Nelson should be an excellent player when he arrives.

At Mar 11, 2008, 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Rob said...

I couldn't disagree more about the strategy of losing in the Pac-10 tournament. If they win it they will have plenty of time to "rest" for the #16 seed on Thurs or Fri. Remember the last regular season game between the Giants and Patriots? The Giants went all out despite having nothing to gain and everything to lose. They lost the game, but gained momentum and a swagger that helped them win the next four games in a row on the road as underdogs to win a Superbowl. Winners win. Losers need "rest".


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