Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (3/31)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Jrue Holiday- Never out to individually impress, Holiday's serious minded approach to the game has had a positive effect on the West squad since he began practicing on Monday. Primarily scoring with his unorthodox tendency to finish with his left hand in the lane, Holiday has been happy to keep the ball moving and get his points off moving without the basketball and hitting the glass. His best work was on the defensive end today where he did a sound job defending Jennings. It will be interesting to watch him defend Evans on Wednesday night. Rivals 3/25

Malcolm Lee- Lee displayed his defensive prowess locking up Demar DeRozan along with others during the West practice. At 6-foot-4, Lee can get low to the ground and move his feet with the best of them while pressuring the ball with his hands. He and Holiday are custom built for the UCLA system, but Lee is going to need some time in the weight room before he can have the impact that the physically stronger Holiday is ready to have. Rivals 3/25

Jerime Anderson did it all as a 6-foot-3 senior point guard at Canyon. He averaged 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists a game. With Anderson leading the way, Canyon went 10-0 in the Century League, won 15 in a row and reached the CIF-Southern Section Division I-A quarterfinals. Anderson, the most valuable player to an Orange County team, is the Register's county player of the year for the 2007-08 boys basketball season. OC Register 3/25

Even before the McDonald's All-American basketball game commences today in Wisconsin, Campbell Hall of North Hollywood's Jrue Holiday and Taft of Woodland Hills' Larry Drew Jr. already celebrated victories at the Powerade Jam Fest. Holiday teamed with girls' standout Nneka Ogwumike - representing Cy-Fair High of Houston - to win the team-ball competition and Drew captured the title in the 3-point contest. The UCLA-bound Holiday, who didn't arrive in Milwaukee until Monday because of flight complications that forced him to miss the first day of practice, was signed up by Ogwumike, who decided against competing as the lone female in the slam-dunk contest. Holiday and Ogwumike defeated Marlborough of Los Angeles' Nicki Speed - signed with Rutgers - and UCLA-bound Malcolm Lee of JWNorth of Riverside. Daily News 3/25

One player representative with several well-known NBA clients said agents are likely to spend at least part of the McDonald's game milling about the arena's concourse, hoping to run into players' parents, even if just to say hello. Players such as Malcolm Lee understand the game -- not just the one they play on the court but also the one agents play off it. Lee, a 6-4 guard who has signed with UCLA, said his AAU team's coach, Elvert "Kool-Aid" Perry, already has begun fielding phone calls from agents. Lee said there is no added pressure playing in front of agents. He understands they are just gathering information for what could be a significant investment on their part. Washington Post 3/25

In the four years since he arrived at North, Malcolm Lee has impressed Coach Mike Bartee as much with his unselfishness as his uncanny court vision and quick first step to the basket. When North lost several top big men before the season, Lee, who is 6-foot-5, volunteered to switch to center for the Huskies, playing out of position for the rest of the season because that's where the team needed him most. Lee still put up gaudy statistics as a senior, averaging 23.7 points per game and grabbing 7.4 rebounds among taller, stronger kids. He led the Huskies to the CIF-Southern Section Division 1-A quarterfinals, where their fourth-quarter comeback against Glendora fell two points short. "You put Malcolm on a team where he can play his natural position and he's 10 times more effective," Bartee said. "He's a natural point guard, and he played totally out of position. Press-Enterprise 3/25

The UCLA-bound Jrue Holiday had 14 points on six-for-nine shooting and the USC-bound DeRozan had 10 points on five-for-10 shooting. Holiday's highlights included a one-handed hanging flip-in, and DeRozan resembled former Trojans star Nick Young on a turnaround fadeaway jumper. North Carolina-bound guard Larry Drew Jr. of Woodland Hills Taft had seven points and five assists, and UCLA-bound guard Malcolm Lee of Riverside North had three points. LA Times 3/27

Jrue Holiday, 6-4 combo guard, UCLA: Holiday, whose game has really grown on me, showed off his skill and versatility, but all-star games aren’t really his thing–he simply plays too hard and doesn’t realize that defense isn’t a requirement, leading to things like point guards viciously banging on his head on the break. Still, he’s the only incoming Bruin recruit I see playing a whole lot next year, unless there’s an early exit or two on the current squad. SLAM 3/28


Brendan Lane: Only a junior; has committed to the Pacific Ten Conference; has narrowed his college choices to half of said conference; may have a fear of the Atlantic Ocean. SLAM Online 3/25

Ater Majok has taken the decision to wait this long (the NCAA late-signing period runs from April 15 to May 15) to see which coaches will stay with the program and which players will stay, rather than transfer to another school or leave for the NBA Draft." Daily Telegraph 3/27

When the U.S. Albert Schweitzer Tournament basketball team plays in Saturday’s third-place game, spectators are guaranteed to get their money’s worth....Anthony Stover, a 6-10 junior from La Canada, Calif., and Brendan Lane, a 6-9 junior from Rocklin, Calif., each of whom claimed seven rebounds, ignited the U.S. break, battling the burly Spaniards in the no-holds-barred action under the boards the international game allows. “They push hard,” Stover said of the game underneath the hoop. With Stover and Co. pushing back, the U.S. launched a game-ending 11-4 run behind seven points from Walker and two from Releford. Stars and Stripes 3/29

The boys' team includes Milton Jennings of Pinewood Prep, who repeats as a first-team selection. Jennings, a 6-9 forward, is considered to be one of the top 40 juniors in the country. Jennings averaged 18.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.2 blocked shots per game. He hit 50 percent from the field, 72 percent from the foul line, and was a threat from behind the arc, hitting 59 3-pointers. He is expected to announce his college decision soon. Some observers predict he will choose either Clemson or Florida. Charleston Post-Courier 3/30

(photo credit: OC Register and Daily Telegraph)



At Mar 31, 2008, 6:18:00 AM, Anonymous BruinBlue said...

This 2008 class just has me salivating.
Good times in Westwood!

At Mar 31, 2008, 6:47:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Salavating yes, but we need big guys...
Aboya graduates early, Mata is the only senior, Love should go pro...all the awards he's won and he will not get drafted higher than #15 anyways...
I know Howland has some bigs up his sleeve....that's why they are not posted...

At Mar 31, 2008, 7:45:00 AM, Anonymous Grrr said...

"I know Howland has some bigs up his sleeve..."
BruinFan, I hope you're right. Great guards and strong, talented bigs win basketball games. It looks like the Bruins have the guard position in good hands over the next few years.

At Mar 31, 2008, 8:42:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Good point BruinFan. Great to see Keefe developing and Drew Gordon coming in will help down low, but I think these two are more complimentary players and aren't the leader on the inside. I'm not sure if there is any impact players available for 2008. We most likely will have some Big Man concerns.
Could we all start to do some type of kinetics or voodoo dance to get Kevin Love to stay...College campus experience, become a legendary figure in Westwood, be mentioned in the same sentence with Jabbar (Alcindor) and Walton, he is not desperate for money (thanks to his father), next year he will polish his skills to be an even more valuable NBA prospect... stuff like that!
Maybe one of us could convince Jrue Holiday to contact Love and tell him "I guarantee the NCAA Title if you stay and play with me one year"!
Damn, now I'm salivating too!

At Mar 31, 2008, 8:45:00 AM, Anonymous dee said...

how bout ucla has overtaken arizona as PG University... i guess with 3 pg coming in collison and westbrook are leaving... and leaving us with LRMM and Keefe for the PF and C position? and should i say drago?

At Mar 31, 2008, 8:48:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

"Brendan Lane: Only a junior; has committed to the Pacific Ten Conference; has narrowed his college choices to half of said conference; may have a fear of the Atlantic Ocean. SLAM Online 3/25"
Hey BBR, do you have any insight on which Pac-10 teams Lane has reduced his choices to? I think I heard he would like to stay in California, so do you think we could nab him any from Stanford or Cal?

At Mar 31, 2008, 11:39:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

Klove will stay another year. Unfortunately pros sports tend to draft based on potential instead of readiness cause none of the Bruins are ready for NBA.
I say this seriously as there are huge flaws in all the Bruins players. As much as I love the Bruins, I will be honest here. If its just about the money, sure grab the chance to get that contract when you can. However if it is about becomming a better player, then even Love and Westbrook need another year.
Here is the breakdown in my opinion. I will focus on the flaws since we all know what they can do.
K Love-Too short for Center and too slow for power forward. Needs to work on speed, endurance, stamina, and agility while losing probably 20 pounds. Remember it is at least a 82 game season and the NBA is much faster game with much better players.
Westbrook-Need a better outside shooting game and better handles. As a guard in the NBA, if you cant shoot well, you wont get by anyone. It is essential for guards to have a good outside game to make penetration easier. There are lots of fast guards in the NBA.
LRMM-Need midrange game and beef up as a powerfoward or a strong small forward. Most likely a Malik Rose type of forward, or Bruce Bowen type of player since he cant really create his own offense.
Shipp-Need better handles, midrange game and offensive skills. Most likely a shooting guard in NBA as he is kinda small as a small forward. Also need to work on the defensive end.
Collison-Get stronger as there are too many powerful guards in the NBA and they will back him down. Small guard so will have to rely on speed to create passing lanes.
All the Bruins basically except for Collison will have to improve on their side speeds. I like to see Bruin players in the NBA but honestly they do need a lot of work.

At Mar 31, 2008, 12:26:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

Very good assessment of the current class. Really not too much to add to what you said.
As far as Love goes ... if he can come back next year - I would think he would be the premier big man in the draft certainly higher than where he would go in the draft this year. I do agree that he needs to work a bit on the defensive end and his lateral foot speed etc - but in many ways he is a very polished player and is perhaps the most ready of any of the bruins to make that transition to the pros.
Westbrook - although extremely exciting to watch at times - is also a wild card and could greatly benefit from another year especially if he moves over to the point and handles that position.
I think Shipp has shot himself back into another year here. His disappearing act for a few months here has been tough to watch. I do like his ability to finish on the move but he really needs to nail those outside shots with consistency.
If Love does happen to leave ... certainly the dynamic changes a lot - but I do like Keefe stepping into the big man slot. He does have the ability to knock down the mid-range shot and his work on both ends of the boards improved greatly this year with the added bulk which we would see continued growth.
That being said ... I would feel a whole lot better if some quality giant was inked and in the pipeline. I'm definitely going to miss Mata-Real and what he has brought to the team when he plays (ok apart from his free throw shooting).
The next crop of youngsters are guard heavy but also diverse players each with their own skill set which will integrate nicely I believe. Jrue Holiday from the get go and the others in time.
Lest us not forget Stanback either - he will surprise many of us next year in size and skills that he hasn't been able to showcase yet. As both Keefe/Westbrook did after their freshman year.
Good times ...
And now back to the real excitement at hand ... THE FINAL FOUR - and Memphis on Saturday. Should be an outstanding game.

At Mar 31, 2008, 1:19:00 PM, Anonymous LN23 said...

K-Love and Collison are gone. Ideally, players that aren"t ready for the NBA will come back to improve their game. The reality is players worry about their positioning in the draft. Love will be a high 1st round pick so I doubt he would come back to move up a few spots in the draft. Players are capable of developing in the league, college isn't the only option to improve your game. If you're a high to mid 1st rounder you're going to the league, just ask Jordan and Afflalo. Westbrook is the wild card, Not sure what he's going to do. Jrue Holiday is the kind of talented player that sits on the bench. This is exactly why either Collison and/or Westbrook are leaving. If both come back, its going to affect their playing time aka Draft stock. Lets hope they bring home the championship to attract some more quality big men. Because a great backcourt can't do it alone, just look at Texas

At Mar 31, 2008, 1:21:00 PM, Anonymous LN23 said...

Jrue Holiday ISN'T the kind of player to sit on the bench

At Mar 31, 2008, 3:23:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Late braking news....Taylor King is leaving Duke...
BBR, did Howland contact him???

At Mar 31, 2008, 3:37:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Don't know, but I doubt it.
At this point, UCLA really doesn't have a need for a 6'6 one dimensional, spot-up shooter.

At Mar 31, 2008, 3:53:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Taylor King cant play D if his life depends on it.
It is really difficult to get multi classes to overlap which is usually what you need to win championships unless you are just lucky to have gotten variety in same class.
Usually I do not think one and done players will make a big difference for a team's success unless the foundation is already there and they are bringing in the missing piece which I hope is what Love can do for UCLA the next two games.
The reason I do like college players staying another year to develop is that sure while in the NBA they can do so as well, but it is usually a longer road to do so since you arent going to get much of a playing time. Not to mention the lifespan of players are short and expectations are high. When you are drafted high in the pick, the time table for you to learn the game is very short in the professional level.
No matter how much you practice, the best way to improve is to play. The fans in the NBA arent as patient and expects much more. Not to mention the possibility of just riding the bench behind someone that is already established there.
In any case, I think in the long run Klove will make more money and improve more as he stay another year. Hopefully this year we win the title as it is hard to get players to overlap classes unless you happen to get Florida type players who were good coming out of highschool but were never great to be expected to be one and done and they turn out to be better than expected.

At Mar 31, 2008, 4:09:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Klove staying...c'mon now...we are all speculating....
He won the Pac-10 player of the year.
He is a 1st team ALL NATION
He has nothing left to prove...Do you see him losing lbs and becoming more athletic...NO...we love him but his waddle will be the same next year....
IF and when we win the title, I'll let him go with DC to the Pros...
I'd let all 7 go pro so we have more scholarships available....hang a banner for Wooden boyzzzzzzzzzzz!!

At Apr 1, 2008, 6:33:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Probably right about DLove and DC. I toast (w/a brew of course)to their future success!
The Lopez twins have declared for the NBA draft! I really like Brook Lopez! He is talented and should be a top five pick! Maybe those boys know that their chance of taking Stanford to the NCAA Title would probably very well hit a roadblock by having three losses to UCLA next year too!
BBR, I might have to disagree with you about King! Imagine both Roll and King coming in for spot minutes shooting the 3's from all directions!!!
It might not be such a bad thing having a lot of outside firepower! In most of your write-ups about good teams that played the Bruins this year, it seems the common denominator was lighting it up from 3 point range! I ALWAYS find that a plus! Go-to-guys in the middle are far and few between!

At Apr 1, 2008, 4:35:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

Taylor King ... uh ... no thanks. He had his chance to come here and backed out of his verbal.

At Apr 1, 2008, 4:39:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Bruin Meetup Update:
Saturday - Yankee Doodles (look for signs)
Monday - Q's on Wilshire in Santa Monica
we will be upstairs at this location...east side....
At both locations...look for red meetup signs on tables.....

At Apr 2, 2008, 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

I watched a few Taylor King games while he was at Mater Dei. He certainly did not have any "D", but he is a deep threat!
If he ever even wished to become a Bruin, he'd better please and beg to Coach H and then work on "D"ing up for two extra hours after every practice!
What I have seen Coach H and staff do with Love and Keefe and their defense over the course of the season, I think proves that the Bruins coaches really can make any offensive minded player into a defensive "animal" within one season!
I'm also wondering what's up with Sidney... He definitely wants to become a Bruin but there must be some sort of skeleton in the closet for no one to make him an offer yet! Anyone hear anything? I do know ASU is working hard on him...We'll probably see them offer him soon!


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