Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/21)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Modesto Christian junior Reeves Nelson was named to the all-state first team for boys basketball. That means, which has covered high school sports for 30 years, feels Nelson is one of the top 10 basketball players in the state, regardless of division. Nelson, who was also named to the all-state Division IV and all-state junior teams, averaged 26 points and 17 rebounds per game for the 29-5 Crusaders. Nelson, The Bee's 2008 Boys Basketball Player of the Year, is verbally committed to UCLA. Modesto Bee 4/15

Following a postseason filled with accolades, Campbell Hall of North Hollywood's Jrue Holiday and Taft of Woodland Hills' Larry Drew added two more honors this week with their selections to the Cal-Hi Sports' all-state list and EA Sports All-America roster. The UCLA-bound Holiday, Cal-Hi Sports' Mr. Basketball and the Gatorade national player of the year, was one of 10 all-state first-team honorees and among 20 first-team All-Americans. Daily News 4/16

2008 Nike Hoop Summit Official Measurements:
Player Name, Height (W/Shoes), Wingspan
Jerime Anderson, 6-3, 6-5.25
Malcolm Lee, 6-5.5, 6-9
Jrue Holiday, 6-4, 6-7.75
Drew Gordon, 6-9.25, 7-0
Malcolm Lee has always been listed as a 6-4 combo guard, but with his near prototypical size for an NBA shooting guard, particularly with his superb 6-9 wingspan, there is really no need for that. He should even have the size to play the 3 at UCLA, although he clearly needs to add some bulk to his skinny frame. Draft Express 4/18

USA TODAY held a roundtable discussion with Arizona-bound Brandon Jennings, UCLA recruit Drew Gordon, North Carolina signee Ed Davis and Connecticut-bound Kemba Walker as part of the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game this weekend. USA Today 4/18

Jrue Holiday's final stop in a star-studded prep career will be today at one of the country's basketball meccas. After appearances in the McDonald's All-American game and Nike Hoop Summit the past month, the Campbell Hall of North Hollywood senior will compete in the seventh annual Nike Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game at 6 p.m. PST today at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. The UCLA-bound Holiday will compete on the Blue team, along with fellow Bruins signees Drew Gordon (Archbishop Mitty of San Jose) and Malcolm Lee (JW North of Riverside). Daily News 4/18

UCLA is getting one terrifically athletic basketball recruit in 6-9, 230-pound Drew Gordon of Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif. As a 15-year-old, he threw the shot put 58-3 and the discus 177-6..... Another UCLA big man, Dan Gadzuric of Governor Dummer in Byfield (now Governor's Academy), was a rather impressive athlete. At New England Preps his senior year, he won four events: shot put (57-5), discus (160-4) and high jump (6-6) while running a 50.4 relay leg at the New Englands. Eagle Tribune 4/20

Arizona-bound Brandon Jennings (Oak Hill Academy/Los Angeles, CA) earned co-Most Valuable Player honors tonight on basketball’s biggest stage, Madison Square Garden, as he finished with 10 points and 14 assists to lead the Blue Jerseys to the 124-114 victory over the White Jerseys at the 2008 Jordan Brand Classic, presented by Foot Locker and Boost Mobile. Roster of players going to UCLA: Drew Gordon (San Jose, CA/UCLA), Jrue Holiday (N. Hollywood, CA/UCLA), Malcolm Lee (Riverside, CA/UCLA). Business Wire 4/20

Malcolm Lee – Lee has the savvy and floor game of an older, more experienced player. While he is far from leaving anything to be desired with his great athleticism, he is a very heady point guard with an accurate outside shot, which he only utilizes in appropriate situations. He rarely forces things the way most high school guards do. NBA DraftNet 4/20

Zeller, the only nonguard in the contest, edged UCLA signee Jerime Anderson. Zeller, a 7-foot forward and Indiana's Mr. Basketball, led Washington to the Class 3-A state title. Courier Journal 4/20

Jordan Brand Classic Practices (Day One): Jrue Holiday didn’t seem to be get the memo that the players here are preparing for an all-star game, and in his all-business, no-nonsense fashion, quietly began to set the tone for his team by picking up his intensity on the defensive end. His size, strength, wingspan and fundamentally sound defense were a little too much for the smaller Jennings to handle, and the flow of his offense really began to sputter as the tempo of the game slowed down. He looked a little bit frustrated at certain points, either pounding the ball excessively with nowhere to go, or just dishing it out passively and getting out of the way—wanting no business with Holiday, who didn’t seem to show any emotion at all. Draft Express 4/18

Jordan Brand Classic Scrimmage (Day Two): Amongst the wing players, possibly the most impressive of the bunch today was Malcolm Lee, a super-long armed athlete who brings tons of versatility to the table as well with his defense, unselfishness, playmaking skills and transition play. He got in the passing lanes on a few occasions and didn’t have a problem giving the ball up, while also knocking down a couple of not-so-pretty looking spot-up 3-pointers. He looks to us like a shorter version of Corey Brewer, lanky frame and all. Draft Express 4/19

Jordan Brand Classic Games (Day Three): The fact that this was an all-star game where many of his colleagues played virtually no defense didn’t seem to impress Malcolm Lee at all—he continued to get right in his man’s face, contesting shots and also making a significant effort to crash the glass. He’s a tough kid who doesn’t back down and never gives up on a play—which is going to make him very popular with Ben Howland. He’s still a raw player who has plenty of work to do on polishing up his all-around skill-set in many facets of the game (his off hand, body, perimeter shooting, advanced ball-handling skills), but has considerable upside and should emerge as a legit prospect down the road. Draft Express 4/21

Jordan Brand Classic Games (Day Three): Fellow UCLA commit Jrue Holiday also played his typical fantastic defense, but wasn’t much of a factor on the other end of the floor (5 points, 3 assists, 6 turnovers, 1-9 FG, 19 minutes). He did a great job staying in front of his man on the perimeter, contesting and even blocking shots and showing terrific timing recovering when getting beat, again putting a lot of effort into doing little things for his team. He did settle for some ill-advised 3-pointers at times, and looked out of control at times with his ball-handling, but also showed terrific body control taking the ball to the rim on a beautiful drive. Draft Express 4/21


J'Mison Morgan, a five-star recruit and the nation's sixth-best center prospect according to, remains mum about his commitment to the Tigers and has reportedly contacted other universities. UCLA assistant coach Donny Daniels left a message for Morgan shortly after LSU fired Brady, according to a February report in the Press-Enterprise. Despite Johnson's hiring, Morgan's AAU coach, Jazzy Hartwell, told the Press-Enterprise that UCLA has continued to pursue the Dallas prospect. "They call a lot," Hartwell told the paper. Daily Reveille 4/16

Ater Majok played this year at the Heat Academy in Martinsville, Va. He originally committed to Baylor, then changed his mind and is now considering Connecticut, Kentucky and KU. He's visiting Kentucky this weekend, UConn on April 26 and KU on May 2-3. Wichita Eagle 4/16

Renardo Sidney, who is presently at No. 1, is about as skilled a player you will see at 6 feet 10. Beyond being highly skilled with the basketball, Sidney also has tremendous body control. However, he is not what you would term an explosive athlete. Rivals 4/18

No. 2 ranked prospect Xavier Henry was quite impressive last weekend at the Boo Williams Invitational. A left-handed pure shooter at 6 feet 6, Henry also has the strength and skill level to do pretty much everything well on the court. He's not overly creative on the bounce at this stage of his career, but he can get his shot off whenever he needs to. Rivals 4/18

Krys Faber may not have grown tired of Los Angeles weather, but he is ready for a new area for basketball. Faber, a 6-foot-11-inch senior center from Ribet Academy in Los Angeles, committed to DePaul late Thursday night, drawn in part by the Big East's style of play. "I've been playing West Coast ball so long," Faber said Friday. "I'm looking forward to going against the same strength and size night in, night out." Chicago Tribune 4/18

One of the more interesting developments is for the ASU basketball team. Christian Polk is transferring, opening up an extra scholarship. There have been rumors of that scholarship going to a “foreign big-man” this year, but we haven’t even been given a name. More likely, this will put ASU on the offensive in trying to land a 2009 big man like Renardo Sidney, Brendan Lane, or Anthony Stover. Sidney, the #1 power forward in the 2009 class and future NBA lottery pick, could come to ASU if his good friend James Harden decides to stay for his junior year. AZ Sports Hub 4/18

Ater Majok's background is intriguing. He's a refugee from Sudan who lived in Egypt for a few years before moving with his family to Australia eight years ago. He loves history, reading and debating and hopes someday to use those skills as a lawyer.Oh, and he's also a budding basketball prospect. Only three years after taking up the game, the 6-foot-10 Majok has become one of the hottest unsigned names in the 2008 recruiting class....Majok said he has cut his list from more than 30 schools. He'll visit Connecticut next weekend and will make one more visit, to either Kansas, Memphis or UCLA. Courier Journal 4/18

Daniel Orton, another Oklahoma City product who plays for Bishop McGuinness High School, is also rated as one of the best juniors at his position. But unlike Xavier Henry, Orton is in no hurry to trim his college options, saying there are 25 schools that remain in the hunt. Orton and his 7-5 wingspan were enough to inspire Oklahoma State Coach Travis Ford to head out to Conway about 48 hours after he was formally introduced as the program’s new coach. Arkansas Democrat Gazette 4/20

New Louisiana State coach Trent Johnson has asked Butch Pierre to remain on the staff as an assistant, the newspaper in Baton Rouge, The Advocate, reported on Saturday. Pierre was instrumental in recruiting highly regarded big man J'Mison Morgan. Morgan, who considered reopening his recruitment, told The Advocate that he liked what he heard from Johnson, who has tutored such big men as Brook and Robin Lopez and Jason and Jarron Collins at Stanford, plus Nick Fazekas at Nevada. Lexington Herald-Leader 4/20

(photo credit: AP)



At Apr 20, 2008, 4:38:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

Come on BIGS ... UCLA awaits.

At Apr 20, 2008, 10:52:00 PM, Anonymous 1&done said...

Thanks for the recruiting update BBR! Have we contacted any other bigs besides J. Morgan. Does Howland have an ace in the hole?

At Apr 21, 2008, 12:01:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

J'mison are welcome to come to an elite university...oh, we're pretty good at basketball too....
join the dynasty run!!

At Apr 21, 2008, 1:17:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Harvard 2008 de-commit Frank Ben-Eze is a possibility - see 4/14 update. Don't count out the possibility of an overseas player if the frontline becomes too depleted.

At Apr 21, 2008, 5:25:00 AM, Anonymous Rome 06' said...

Thanks for the update. Love my BBR

At Apr 21, 2008, 5:54:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Thanks BBR for always keeping we Bruins up to date. With your extensive inside knowledge, any names you want to drop on us of those foreign-born "bigs" possibilities.

At Apr 21, 2008, 8:24:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

Surely we can do better than a low 3-star player. As far as I can tell ... Frank Ben-Eze is not ranked in the top 150 of high school players and not even one of the top 25 centers. What are the reasons for de-committing from Harvard ??? Anybody else have any clue from this kid?

At Apr 21, 2008, 8:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rather have Ryan Wright back then this guy Jake...

At Apr 21, 2008, 10:50:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Ryan Wright was a tremendous loss. Not only was he a terrific player,albeit raw talent, he was a solid, intelligent kid. His transfer definitely altered Howland's roadmap.
He could have been a two-year starting center at U-C-L-A if he had redshirted instead of transferring last summer.

At Apr 21, 2008, 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous 1&done said...

Incase anybody cares, here's Dick Vitale's top five ranked teams for next year. 5)Georgetown 4)Texas 3)Louisville 2)UCLA 1)North Carolina. He said UCLA's ranking was due to the outstanding freshman class coming in!

At Apr 21, 2008, 1:36:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Dickie V...It's Awesome Baby!!
Love you see this....Put your stamp on your legacy!!

At Apr 22, 2008, 3:33:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

How does Bobby Knight see it ???

At Apr 22, 2008, 5:51:00 AM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Dickie V still sucks, has since '95

At Apr 22, 2008, 6:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby Knight sucks, has since... forever. JERK!
p.s. could he have been ANY more negative than he was against UCLA during the tourney?

At Apr 22, 2008, 6:27:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Actually, I'm really suprised that Dickie V has UCLA ranked so high. In the past, it was always the "other team" that was superior to UCLA. He'd even side with the Athletes in Action team!! Ha ha!
But, as bad as he and Bobby Knight are, they don't hold a candle to the likes of Tommy Heinson or Red Auerbach!
Go Lakers!
Oops, sorry. I forgot that this blog was supposed to be about UCLA.

At Apr 22, 2008, 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

Ryan Wright played as if his hands were covered with KY jelly. Personally, I think we need a big who can run the floor. We are probably back to having a manufactured inside game, but I'm hoping our outside game will be better than ever. I think transition offense and transition defense will be key for this team. I feel the need for speed. Should be fun.

At Apr 23, 2008, 12:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memphis almost won the whole thing without an inside game... why can't we next year?

At Apr 23, 2008, 2:30:00 AM, Anonymous Justin said...

Memphis had a Dorsey, although not much of an offensive presence, he was a monster and a bruiser inside. Aboya and Luc (if they return) and Keefe are not that guy.
I'm not saying we can't win without a big, but without one this team will resemble the Love-less Bruins of the past few years that always came up a little short.

At Apr 23, 2008, 5:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhhhh.... ok. So the Love-less Bruins = Final 4. The Love-full Bruins = Final 4. Seems they did the same either way and both came up a little short.

At Apr 23, 2008, 6:15:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Gentleman, We needed Love's presence this year, we got there last year because of Afflalo's sheer determination although Noah & Florida's bigs finally exposed our inside flaws, and the year before our center Hollins' play peaked in the tourny and he was arguably our team's MVP in the tourny!
Bottom line...we need BIGS...otherwise we will live (and maybe die) by the 3...

At Apr 23, 2008, 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Brew In said...

So true on the BIGS. If we had better guard play (more physical like next year's crop) and Shipp's shooting being on, I think we may have been able to hurdle over Memphis.
It was unfortunate we were hit with a double whammy, Howland not having his best coaching day, and maybe DC having his worst performance as a Bruin.
Let's bring in some more bison to go with our gazzelles... Together they can hold off any lions!
And let's not be so hard on Dickie V. He has really come around and finally given peeps out to the Pac10 and UCLA this!!!
Hey Morgan, I'm having a brew in anticipation of Howland landing you! Then I start callin' you Captain Morgan...Full (80) Proof!

At Apr 23, 2008, 5:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a bit of a Captain in ya?

At Apr 24, 2008, 12:15:00 AM, Anonymous 1&done said...

Hey BBR, do you have any updates on either Malcolm Thomas or Alex Stepheson transferring to UCLA? If so, would they both have have to sit out a year? I'm concerned about our shortage of bigs. I don't think playing "small ball" can get us another banner.

At Apr 24, 2008, 1:30:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

We may not hear anything definite on those two potential transfers until the end of the school year (i.e. early summer). Stephenson would certainly help inside next season. Thomas wouldn't be available until '09.
Morgan is staying at LSU per the Press Enterprise.

At Apr 24, 2008, 6:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morgan stays at LSU = No Captain in him!

At Apr 25, 2008, 6:25:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Hey BBR,
Any idea on which of the many PF prospects in 2009 will end up at UCLA?
Inquiring minds want to know....

At Apr 25, 2008, 7:29:00 AM, Anonymous alan said...

isn't the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft Sunday? considering it's already Friday afternoon and we haven't heard a peep from Collison, doesn't that mean he's probably staying? let's say Love, Westbrook and a Moute all leave. Our starting line-up next year could look like:
C Aboya
PF Keefe
SF Shipp
SG Holiday
PG Collison
with Gordon, Lee, Anderson, Stanback and Roll off the bench, that's not too shabby. Better than our Final Four teams of '06 and '07 i case scenario a Moute comes back though...

At Apr 25, 2008, 9:19:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Bruin Nation:
Check out
Great article today on our incoming talent...
BBR, copy and paste before he removes it.....

At Apr 26, 2008, 11:59:00 AM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Hooray, one smart kid in the bunch! COLLISON RETURNS! Hopefully, the rest of the bunch that declared for the draft suck in their NBA workouts!
Even if they did, I don't see K Love coming back though. The others would probably return for another year, if they're smart.
But, we would still have a hole at center. Aboya's servicable, but foul prone. If we went small, we'd be pretty athletic and could probably match up with a Memphis type team. How's this for a lineup...
PG- Collison
SG- Holiday/Westbrook (if he comes back)
SF- Shipp
PF- Mbah A Moute (if he comes back)
C- Gordon
If Luc leaves, then we move Gordon to PF and slip Aboya in a Center.
Think it'll work?

At Apr 27, 2008, 1:40:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

In 2009 Greg Smith is a definite possibility but his grades are questionable . Stover and Lane are definite possibilities. I wouldn't give up on Renardo Sidney yet, the Bruins are still going hard at him. Orton and Riley are longshots.

At Apr 29, 2008, 9:23:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...



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