Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/14)

By Bruin Basketball Report


Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Commits


In our current team recruiting rankings, UCLA is No. 2 in the country. The backcourt should be in good shape even though the Bruins might lose all three starting guards. Three talented guards - Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee - are on their way and will work well together in Howland's three-guard offense. The only problem is that they are all freshmen. To replace Love in the middle, there is incoming freshman Drew Gordon. A different player than Love, Gordon is a top-level athlete with a high motor. However, he is limited offensively. His game is centered on his ability to outrun opponents down the court and out work/out jump them around the basket. Rivals 4/11


Incoming Bruin big man, Drew Gordon scored 15 and grabbed 7 rebounds to help lead the USA Select basketball team to a 98-78 victory over the World Select team at the 11th Annual Nike Hoop Summit held at the Rose Garden in Portland. Gordon demonstrated the type of athleticism and hustle he will bring to Westwood next season. Gordon added four blocks and seemingly was always around the action in his 18 minutes of play. The USA roster included four players who are committed to play at UCLA next fall. The group included Gordon and guards Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee, and Jerime Anderson. Three of the Bruins, Gordon, Holiday, and Lee were in USA's starting line-up. Bruin Basketball Report 4/13


Drew Gordon and Demar DeRozan sat side by side at the post-Nike Hoop Summit press conference, offering insights into a 98-78 victory for the U.S. Junior National Select Team over the World Select Team on Saturday at the Rose Garden. It didn't take them long to start talking about the future. Gordon, from San Jose, Calif., is bound for UCLA next year. DeRozan, from Compton, Calif., is headed to USC. Oregonian 4/13


Fueled by seven points from Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall H.S./ North Hollywood, Calif.), the USA posted an 11-0 run over the first four minutes of the third quarter to open a comfortable 54-42 lead and then rolled on to a comfortable 98-78 victory over the World Select Team in the 11th Nike Hoop Summit held Saturday at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. USA Basketball 4/13



Recruits


Now, there is an interesting rumor involving J'Mison Morgan which is gaining legs. Word is circulating that Morgan would like to get out of his Letter of Intent with LSU and is looking at UCLA, which was one of his final schools before picking LSU. We will see if anything comes of this, but there would certainly be an opportunity for the five-star center at UCLA assuming Love leaves. If the Bruins were to land a post talent like Morgan, it certainly would help their chances of making it four Final Fours in a row.Rivals 4/11


In the end, Milton Jennings’ decision about where to play college basketball wasn’t that hard after all. “I am officially committing to Clemson,” the 6-9 junior at Pinewood Prep told The Post and Courier earlier this week. “I want to be an in-state memory.” Only a junior, Jennings, 17, has another year of high school basketball ahead of him and could have strung this decision out for many more months. But he has been recruited by some of the country’s top schools since he was a ninth-grader and thought it was time to stop the madness. Charleston Post and Courier 4/8


Upon returning from the Final Four this week, UCLA coach Ben Howland offered to hop on a plane and visit standout recruit Milton Jennings if it might delay his college decision. Howland didn't make the trip, knowing it would be a waste of time. Jennings, a 6-foot-9 forward from Pinewood Prep, said he basically made up his mind early. He committed to Clemson over UCLA, Florida, Georgetown and South Carolina. Myrtle Beach Online 4/11


Memphis and Kansas are rivals on the court tonight and recruiting every night. “We go against Kansas more than anybody else in recruiting,” Calipari said. The two are after Oklahoma City sensation Xavier Henry, son of former KU player Carl Henry. The coaches can’t discuss specific recruits in accordance with NCAA rules. KU Sports 4/8


Putnam City guard Xavier Henry said Monday that he would have to reconsider his favorite schools if Kansas coach Bill Self left Lawrence for Oklahoma State. "If he was to leave, I won't say I wouldn't consider Kansas anymore, but I'd have to re-evaluate where I am with them,” Henry said. Oklahoman 4/8


Henry likes NCAA finalists: KU and Memphis are the top two schools for Xavier Henry, a 6-6 junior guard from Putnam City, Okla. Henry, the son of former KU standout Carl Henry, also likes UCLA, Texas, North Carolina, Louisville and Ohio State. He plans on taking five official visits before choosing a school next fall. “Kansas winning the national championship is awesome, but it won’t really influence my decision,” Henry told Rivals.com. “They’ve always been a great team, and my feelings about the program have not changed.” KU Sports 4/12


Tom Crean has five scholarships remaining and has been pursuing other seniors, though most top players already have signed. The late signing period is April 16-May 21. Crean also has been reaching out to several highly touted underclassmen, including Lawrence North big man Stephan Van Treese, the state's top-ranked junior. Because of IU-imposed restrictions, Crean must wait until Aug. 1 to recruit off campus or bring players in for official visits. Muncie Star Press 4/9


Boo Williams Invitational: Daniel Orton THE ID: Oklahoma City, Bishop McGuinness High School, 6-9, C, Athletes First 17-and-under. CONSIDERING: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Maryland and Syracuse. THE SKINNY: Rated the No. 14 prospect in the class of 2009, Orton erases shots and finishes with authority in the paint. Daily Press 4/9


Boo Williams Invitational: DaShonte Riley THE ID: Beverly Hills, Mich., Detroit Country Day School, 6-10, C, The Family 17-and-under. CONSIDERING: Duke, Boston College, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, UCLA and USC. THE SKINNY: Rated the No. 16 prospect in the class of 2009, Riley isn't as polished offensively, but his defensive presence and rebounding ability are what makes him tough. Daily Press 4/9


As next week's national signing day for high school basketball players approaches, Gophers fans await the decision of 6-11 center Krys Faber, a star at Ribet Academy in Los Angeles who has attracted more interest recently from big schools like USC and UCLA. But even if the Bruins come calling for Faber, his high school coach, Willie Middlebrooks, said he believes Minnesota will remain the front-runner, even after a recruiting trip to DePaul today. "If everything was [finalized] today, he'd be a Gopher," he said. Star Tribune 4/10


Lance Stephenson's tour will likely include a stop at UCLA on Saturday while he is in Los Angeles for the Difference Matchup Tournament. "While we're out here we're going to take a look at UCLA," Lance "Stretch" Stephenson Sr. said Friday by phone from L.A. "Probably (Saturday)." The 6-foot-5 Stephenson, the No. 4 player in the Class of 2009, is playing on Renardo Sidney's AAU team, the LA Dream Team, for this event. The 6-foot-10 Sidney is ranked No. 1 in the Class by Rivals. Scarlet Nation 4/11


Frank Ben-Eze 6-foot-10 C Arlington Bishop O'Connell (Va.) - This former Harvard commit re-opened his recruitment in March, but its just recently started to take off for this raw, but athletic big man. He is currently hearing from UCLA, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, LSU, Pittsburgh and Rutgers. He could also add Indiana, since he visited Marquette in the fall, stay tuned on that one. CSTV 4/11


(photo credit: AP)

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18 Comments:

At Apr 13, 2008, 5:36:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

O.K. the suspense is killing me. Are the Bruins going to offer to anybody in the late signing period - especially anybody over 6'9". Above - is mentioned that Howland had some serious interest in Milton Jennings. First I've heard of that. Come on bigs ... come one come all.

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 2:01:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Biggie Biggie Biggie can't you see
Love is coming back to play w/ Thee....
The new class is beggin him.....and so are we....

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 2:44:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

Sorry Jake but we are going to have some issues if we dont pull Sidney. I think Ben was counting on having the twins in his back pocket...was anyone else suprised that they decided on UNC so early.

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 3:21:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

The Wear twins are going to be lost at NC, we don't need them. We need athletic long rebounders/shot blockers to complement these backcourt players coming in... And we need them to be multi year players if possible. Nelson will be a nice continuation but still need the size to go with it.

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 4:20:00 AM, Anonymous David G. said...

Wow... Lance Stephenson making an unoffical visit to Westwood? He's LEGIT. He dominated that Rucker 24 event and would be a HUGE get if Jrue is one and done. I wonder how valid the rumor is about J'Mison Morgan? I would love to have him, but I can't help but think that all these prospects are just using UCLA to bolster their "national" recruitment.

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 5:47:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Looks like Fox is reporting Love is going to announce Wed. he is gone...
Coach BH, call Jmison Morgan today....

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 10:41:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Ok, now Fox says K Love is undecided....
Stay darn it...
Win the Wooden award and hang a fatty banner

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Kevin Love - please STAY! Become the legend you can be at UCLA for all the right reasons. The incoming Freshmen want to help you win that National Title. You have succeeded at the highest level on the court all though your life, why change that now! With you Jrue, Drew, Jerime, Malcolm and our returning squad, that banner is yours for the taking!
Then you will be a 1 thru 5 pick in next year's lottery instead of the projected 5 thru 15 this year!
Makes sense Mr KLove, makes sense!!!

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

BruinFan ... you are a poet and don't know it !!!

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 11:56:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

O.K. while we have some hard core readers still around here thinking Bruin stuff. Anybody given serious thought as to how to predict what players Howland covets. It seems to be locally based - defensive minded - players knowing how to win ie leading their teams to playoffs and beyond. They seem to have that commonality. I certainly was surprised that the Wears committed so early to NC since it appeared that Howland was hitting them up pretty hard. I thought they would have fit in well here - but I'll turn the page on them.
I have not seen Renardo Sidney play in person so can't really comment on him. It is odd that nobody seems to have offered him? I saw Jordan Hamilton play - and I must say as good as he is (offensively) I just wouldn't see him fit in to the Howland schemes (defensively). Who else is local around here that is worth a look at?

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 3:36:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

BruinFan says the Wears are soft and we will not miss them....our guards are better than the shorty Larry Drew Jr. as well...
Sidney's attitude is not welcome w/ Howland...cannot blame him
Ok those r my 2 nickels....

 
At Apr 14, 2008, 3:45:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Renardo Sidney is still a possibility for UCLA in 2009. Don't count out the Bruins just yet.
- BBR

 
At Apr 15, 2008, 5:45:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Anybody hear about a possible Sidney/Stephenson package deal for UCLA?
I know Sidney's been really interested in UCLA, but has an attitude that may not be welcome in Westwood, but I haven't heard much about Stephenson. I think he was in the Rucker game, but from what I remember, he was really a flashy, "playground style" type of player. Or am I thinking about somebody else?

 
At Apr 15, 2008, 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous JonW said...

Yep, there is 'rumor' that Lance Stephenson (top 5 - 2009 wing recruit) came to visit UCLA over the weekend and said afterwards that he'd come to UCLA with Renardo as a package deal. If there is any validity or legs to this - who knows????? The suggestion is that both guys want to go a west coast school - either UCLA or USC.
Of course who knows if Renardo feels the same way. Or if either kid will have the grades to come here. But at the end its just a 17-18 yo kid talking out loud....who know what to make of it.
Stephenson from what Ive read is uber athletic wing though...6'5, 6'6?

 
At Apr 15, 2008, 12:31:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Yes I have said before that Lance is an awesome player. A bigger version of Jrue with not yet a softer touch of Jrue. A backcourt of him and Jrue would be tremendous. Lance is a tenacious player which UCLA can put him as a small forward as well thus having Jrue, Malcolm/Jerime, and Lance in the lineup is a lot of firepower.
Grades wise I am not sure if they are there, but really people, getting a 3.0 gpa in highschool is such a cakewalk.
In any case if that is true that both him and Renardo would come to Ucla, it would be foolish not to take them.
The truth is that UCLA they way the system and academic requirements are, its very difficult to get lots of high talents in here. This is ok if players stay but if your most talented players consistently stay for only a year or two, and you do not have multiple high talented players, most likely you wont win the big one.
At the end of the day, the big one is almost always won by more talented teams. I cant remember one that wasnt for the last 20 years. Having a good (not great) defense and hard working players are nice, but you need a few very athletic and talented players to take you to the top.
If the last 3 years show anything, it is that Ben can do a lot with average talent, but still when it comes to the end, we are still one step below the champs. We arent even talking about close games, we got blown out 3 years in a row in the final four.
Dont get me wrong, I love the Bruins and Ben is doing an awesome job, but the reality is, the team with much more talent almost always wins.
You gotta remember this too. When you are not taking great players, other programs are, and most likely when you play them, they will win. To take good players into your program is also to deny and weaken your opponent's team.
Also one and done players are nice, but thats usually only good when you are pretty solid already and that one little xtra push will take you over the top. IMO the best are solid players that usually turn out well 2-3 years into the program. These are the players you rely on to win at the end of the day. Proof is shown as this year all these great freshmen lost early in the NCAA and none led their team to win.
Hopefully we get players like Tyler who is solid and stays for a few years. Even if he leaves this year, I think NC fans are extremely greatful he stayed this long.

 
At Apr 16, 2008, 5:23:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

in addition to J'mison Morgan another intriguing possibility from 4/14 recruiting roundup...
Frank Ben-Eze 6-foot-10 C Arlington Bishop O'Connell (Va.) - This former Harvard commit re-opened his recruitment in March, but its just recently started to take off for this raw, but athletic big man. He is currently hearing from UCLA, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, LSU, Pittsburgh and Rutgers. He could also add Indiana, since he visited Marquette in the fall, stay tuned on that one. - CSTV
- BBR

 
At Apr 17, 2008, 6:09:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

With the impending announcement by Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook to go pro, what are the chances that all five starters will bolt? Personally, I think Love and Collison are probably the most ready to make the transition, but it won't be easy. But, I think they have the best mindset to at least make a strong attempt.
I don't think Shipp's ready. He was a basket case at the end of the season, thinking about things too much and not going out there and just playing ball.
I think Westbrook needs to improve his jump shot and three point shooting, and Luc really has to prove that he can stay healthy. Although not a big scorer, I thought Aboya was an integral part of the team, from the toughness of his play to the awesome screens he laid on unsuspecting defenders. He's the only wide body we have right now. And what happens if he pursues his master's degree and quits altogether? That'll leave the cubboard pretty bare, at least with the existing players. Assuming they all leave, will the imcoming freshmen be able to get us back to the final four? At this point, I have my doubts without a big body to man the post. I just don't think Drew Gordon will be able to post up bigger guys. Love that Jrue though! He's the one that'll have to push the others to overachieve. Ok, enough about Basketball.
Anybody think Ditch day did damage to the football team, especially in recruiting? Stupid! Just stupid!

 
At Apr 17, 2008, 6:19:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

I agree with you KDL 1984
If you were in a mediocre program for years, the last thing you want people to see is you goofing off in open practice. When you are winning and you goof off, its fine since you get the job done still. However when you are bad to almost being a joke of a program, you need to present yourself being different.
I am disappointed at the Bruins players for not trying to be more focus and turn the bad status around from their school's program. UCLA football is one of the worse sports programs in that school. I mean wake up and see why you get your butts kicked....

 

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