Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/7)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Up until Jrue Holiday's arrival at Campbell Hall, the private North Hollywood school had the reputation of a one-room schoolhouse -- an ideal setting for an intimate education, but hardly the place to develop an elite boys' basketball player, much less an entire team. Nearly four years later, Holiday has made a name for himself among the best players in the nation and, in turn, helped the Vikings become one of the Southland's most successful basketball programs. When he graduates this spring, Holiday will take with him three state championships, an appearance in the McDonald's All-American game and the distinction of being selected Gatorade's national player of the year. He can now add one more award, as he has been selected The Times' boys' basketball player of the year. Holiday said playing for a small school provided him with just the right mix -- he benefited from the school's academic environment while building a name for himself on the travel-ball circuit. LA Times 4/2

Best in the West selections on the Parade Magazine All-America team are Demar DeRozan (Compton) and Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall), first team; Luke Babbitt (Reno Galena), second team; Larry Drew (Taft), third team; and Malcolm Lee (J.W. North), fourth team. Fairfax junior center Renardo Sidney was a fourth-team selection. If those putting the Parade team together had been a bit more thorough in their research, two more Best in the West selections, Jerime Anderson (Anaheim Canyon) and Klay Thompson (Santa Margarita), as well as Jordan Hamilton of Dominguez, would also have been chosen. Press-Telegram 4/2

Jrue Holiday has received several impressive awards during his four-year career at Campbell Hall of North Hollywood, but his latest honor might be the most impressive of all. The UCLA-bound Holiday became the first area player in nearly three decades to be selected as Cal-Hi Sports' Mr. Basketball, recognizing the state player of the year for the 2007-08 season. Holiday joins Kennedy of Granada Hills graduate and former UCLA and Boston Celtics talent Darren Daye, who received the award in 1979, a year after Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta standout Greg Goorjian was honored. Daily News 4/2

North Carolina coach Roy Williams can swoop in and get nearly whoever he wants — whenever he wants. Kansas coach Bill Self is one of the nation's elite recruiters and has stockpiled McDonald's All-Americans. For a program knee-deep in rich tradition, UCLA coach Ben Howland has done it primarily the old-fashioned way: Evaluating talent and developing players...."Ben Howland is so comfortable in his own skin and what he likes," national recruiting director Dave Telep said. "He doesn't have to go out and get a list of the top 100 kids and start at No. 1. He's a feel guy. If it feels right, he goes for it." Howland's approach hasn't changed, although he will bring in a pair of McDonald's All-Americans next season: guards Jrue Holiday and Malcolm Lee. Fox Sports 4/4


Will power and manpower problems consigned the U.S. to an 87-67 defeat in Saturday’s bronze-medal game of the 24th Albert Schweitzer tournament for players aged 18 and younger....“We wanted to make a name for the U.S. and get us back on top,” said Anthony Stover of La Canada, Calif., who snared six rebounds. “But last night’s game really took it out of us. We’re all really sore, really worn out.” Stars and Stripes 4/1

Putnam City junior Xavier Henry was named to the Parade All-America Basketball second team. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward is one of 30 high school players honored by the magazine, which will be included in Sunday's editions of The Oklahoman. Henry was on The Oklahoman's Super Five team after averaging 25.8 points and 6.4 rebounds while leading the Pirates to the Class 6A state tournament. Oklahoman 4/1

Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) 31-3 (12): A 63-60 head-to-head win over Mater Dei in the CIF Southern Section Div. I-AA championship was the key for the Dons to stay high in the final rankings. They also won the CIF Division I Southern California title. The team's top player, 6-7 junior Jordan Hamilton, may not be eligible next season and if that happens he could be playing at a prep school back East. CaliHiSports 4/2

The top prospect in the state for the 2009 class, 6-8 Milton Jennings of Pinewood Prep, probably is too far down the road with his decision for Horn to have an impact. "Time is of the essence with Milton," said his AAU coach and mentor Rufus McDonald Tuesday. "It's very possible next Wednesday. or some point next week after the Final Four, an announcement will be made. He's been pretty firm on four different places for about seven or eight months...Clemson, UCLA, Georgetown and Florida." All indications point towards Jennings picking Clemson. Palmetto Sports 4/2

t appears as if the recruiting process is picking up, at an alarming rate, for Anthony Stover since we last heard from him. Stanford and USC have offered scholarships, as well as Washington and Washington St. Other programs that have expressed interest include: UConn, Texas and UCLA, just to name a few. Stover has been on unofficial visits to Arizona St., Cal and San Diego and plans on making several other trips over the next couple of months. A decision about his future could come as early as November. LA Times 4/2

Los Angeles Ribet Academy center Krys Faber has received a scholarship offer from USC, according to The Palmdale resident is expected to make an unofficial visit to the Trojans' campus this weekend and is scheduled to make an official recruiting visit to DePaul on April 10. Faber, who averaged 15.8 points and 17.5 rebounds this season, is considered one of the state's top unsigned seniors. South Florida, Minnesota and Northern Illinois are also in the running for his services. LA Times 4/3

(photo credit: LA Times)



At Apr 7, 2008, 12:48:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

I love Howland but he's starting to use excuses and cliche's that remind me of Steve Lavin. Hey Ben, we're 0-3 now! Let's try a new uproach of offensive schemes and also put a halt to the recruiting of these skinny (nice guy type) student athletes. We don't want thugs but nice guys usually finish last in sports! It time to focus on recruiting some athletic bigs who are 6-10+! Jrue Holiday & Drew Gordon are outstanding but how bout a frickn 7 footer? We're UCLA! We need an enforcer out their who can put a little fear into somebody. Intimidation matters! Please Ben, stop recruiting soft players and smurfs!

At Apr 7, 2008, 2:34:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

I trust Ben's recruiting and do not think that we have recruited soft players. For the past 3 years I have been proud of every player that has stepped on the court. At no point could we be considered soft.
UCLA is an outstanding academic institution with the greatest NCAA basketball program in history. I am not willing, and no bruin should be willing to select anyone who is not up to those standards. We should always recruit student athletes I have serious questions about several players that we are looking at for 2009. We need to stay focused on who we are and the wins will come with out comprimsing our standards.
Just ask yourself What Would Wooden do?

At Apr 7, 2008, 3:24:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Howland has a keen eye for talent...
Long live coach BH....
I'll betcha he has big guys lined up...they are just out of the country...

At Apr 7, 2008, 3:44:00 AM, Anonymous Rome 06' said...

I agree with the last two statements, Howland is the man and you know it. Next year, I don't think height will be a problem. And if we can fix the "outside the arch shooting" we will be a threat second to none.

At Apr 7, 2008, 5:20:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

As much as I'm annoyed by Skip Bayless - he did make a valid point in my opinion that UCLA would have won the game had they played smart. Sometimes the shots don't fall - and they didn't. Yes - I can sit on my couch and whiteboard exactly what UCLA should have done to win ... blah blah blah. In reality ... it is very difficult to win one of these championships. That we've gotten to 3 final fours here lately should not be taken lightly. I would also argue that it is tougher to win a national championship in this era than it was in Wooden's. Note - I love John Wooden but what he would or wouldn't do means absolutely nothing now. Certainly remember his accomplishments - but at the same time turn the page. Or if you can't ... tell me how many years coaching at UCLA before Wooden won a national championship or took 3 teams to the final four. I'm enjoying the Howland era of basketball.

At Apr 7, 2008, 2:17:00 PM, Anonymous Don said...

Good points Jake, and with Jrue and the rest coming in next year we will build another solid team no matter who leaves... Basicall this team has overachieved for three years running and Howland can be thanked for that...

At Apr 7, 2008, 2:44:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Yes the incoming group of players are great but we will still be short of big men if Love leaves. Unless you have a tremendous recruits year after year, you need to have overlapping classes of players to be successful.
One and done players arent usually going to win a championship for you more often than not unless you are just so there already. Look at this year's freshmen group. Only Rose was able to take his team to the championship where imo they should have won.
Love, Luc, Keefe, and Gordon will make a nice frontcourt rotation, but if Love leaves, we are pretty much in the same position we were at the previous two years except for a little better outside scoring.
I have been saying all year long that I do not believe any Bruin players as of right now will make any real impact in the NBA this upcoming year if they leave. Unless they just want to get a quick solid paycheck, no Bruins should really leave right now as ALL of them have serious flaws they need to get better on before moving to the next level.
If love leaves, hopefully the 08 class will all stay another year and have a good 09 class come in to contribute otherwise wed have to get lucky on the tournament matchups.
At least it seems all 3 guards coming in next year can shoot the rock well and are bigger guards.

At Apr 7, 2008, 2:54:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

What would Wooden do? He would win one or more championships if he was in the final four 3 years in a row! Also, please tell me who on our team is an intimidator? Several are mentally tough but none of them strike fear in any opponents who drive into the paint. Ben Wallace is and Charles Oakley was an intimidator and bye the way, their both college graduates! Former Bruin Sidney Wicks was very intimidating. I really thought Mata-Real had the potential to be an enforcer but it did not happen. Hopefully Drew Gordon may become an enforcer in the next couple years. I'm not saying recruit a bunch of thugs but we don't need choir boys out there either. I'm still a huge UCLA basketball fan (35 years now) and will remain a yearly donor to UCLA athletics as I have for six years now. I still believe Howland is one of the top three coaches in the NCAA and he will bring #12 back to Pauley real soon!

At Apr 7, 2008, 3:08:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Will it is unfair to wanting to compare other coaches to wooden. The era and mentaility of players are so much more different now. It is much more of a business nowadays than then. Wooden had so many bad years before he started winning. Of course no one will ever match his championships but Ben did a phenominal job with what he had.
Really the previous two years to final four were overachieving. That finals year no one would have thought theyd go that far. The second year people kinda expected that only cause majority of the players came back.
Basketball is probably the biggest matchup team game. UCLA would have done much better against Kansas than Memphis. UNC would have matchup advantage against Bruins as well. Sometimes you just need a lucky break as who you are playing as well especially in these one and done games.
In any case offensively there wasnt much Ben could have done really. Players cant hit their outside shots is just a slow death in the game anyways. I said days before the game that it was all about Love inside BUT players need to hit their outside shots still for Bruins to win and that didnt happen.
Howland did much better imo than most would have anticipated. Sure UCLA talks about winning championships every year in basketball, but really if you look at the talents we had vs those from other teams, we had the least of the four teams left. It is because of Bens great coaching and ability to get the most out of his players that got the team that far.
However we do need to focus on more offensive minded players here and there. Having a great defense is good, but you do need to be able to score to win especially without the reliance of other team's turnover to do so.
A solid defense with good offense will be needed to win it all. Having a lopsided of one or the other wont do it. Balance is the key as it keeps your opponents honest.

At Apr 7, 2008, 4:58:00 PM, Anonymous Grrr said...

Okay, after seeing the final, I still believe the Bruins beat themselves, instead of the popular opinion - of them being dominated. (that's for another day)
Howland is darn good coach, and going to the Final Four three years in a row is quite an accomplishment. I highly doubt any of this year's Final Four teams will have a decent chance of getting back there, with an exception of UCLA.
Howland has built a strong program and I don't see it going downhill any time soon. Bruin fans are all just a little spoiled and we tend to look things as being half empty.
For UCLA to get back there, Howland needs to get stronger big men with skills, and athletes that play with heart. At times, it seemed like Love and Westbrook were the only two Bruins playing with any fire this season.
Next year is Shipp's last chance to prove he can play in the next level. His soft play didn't do the Bruins, nor himself any favors. Hopefully, Shipp and D.C. find their hearts again. Also, has Mbah a Moute improved since his freshmen year? I feel he should be involved in the offense more.
Anyways, I can't wait till next year. Go Bruins!

At Apr 7, 2008, 5:08:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Never ever compare Wooden years to Howland...
Did DC, Mbah, Westbrook even get looked at to compete at a D1 level...we all know the answer....
Read articles below...Howland takes average players and makes them better....
Patience Bruin Fans..we'll hang a fatty soon.....
SH** the guy has only been here a few years...It's not as easy to get to the Final Fours these days w/ one a done
Love, I know you like the college life...I know u want to come back..Hold the animal stlye In-N-Outs....
Collison and Westbrook, u need to ro-sham-bo to of you must leave to make room for Mr. Holiday....
Shipp - see u in Europe...darn, I guess u r coming back...don't expect minutes....
BBR, let's have a party in Santa Monica...u have a great group of fans...

At Apr 8, 2008, 12:09:00 AM, Anonymous John said...

I am proud of the Bruins and Howland's accomplishments.
Wooden did not win championships when he first arrived. He acheived competitive greatness only after years of persistence.
Wooden defines success as being the best you can be. Wooden never used "winning" as a means of defining success. We have been the best that we could be over the past 3 years.

At Apr 8, 2008, 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous Daniel T. said...

UCLA had a great season. it was their best non national championship season. 35 wins, PAC 10 title, tournament title, Final 4.
UCLA fans need to stop only measuring success by natiojnal titles. Wooden won those titles so long ago. To new recruits, those baners are ancient relics.

At Apr 8, 2008, 2:28:00 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

Sports is 99% losing. In each sport, there is only one winner. Who would rather be: sc losing to Kansas St., Memphis choking the game away or maybe Davidson a mid-major or any of the 65 teams?? November brings you a ticket to ride and where the road ends in March is really 99.9% of all ticket riders as a loser.
It is the reason some people walk away from sports. I get that. However, I will punch my ticket in November, no matter what. I will follow my team in September when I am there for Tennesse, and I will be there when 1995 comes again, no matter what. I do so because I Love UCLA and I Love sports.
Time to turn the page...

At Apr 8, 2008, 4:58:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

If Love stays - I believe we will be an even better team next year than we were this year. That would be more of the same inside presence and better overall perimeter shooting (holiday, roll, and shipp can only get better).
If Love goes - we become a different type team and impossible to judge or evaluate till we see it in action. I believe it would have to be a more up tempo style of offense to make up for the lack of inside presence. I don't believe our front court would be soft just different. Keefe, Aboya (if returning), Gordon will just fill the front court roles as hard-nosed relentless bangers. See Hill's role at Arizona for an example.
We have the upcoming late signing period that starts next week to see how the bigs situation works itself out. Rest assured Howland is on it ... he just has his own way of evaluating and going about it. You're the man Howland. Stay the course.

At Apr 8, 2008, 7:31:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Guys, I know this is kind of dreamer-type stuff here, but can you imagine if ALL our boys came back next year. Look at this jam packed roster of talent:
2008/09 Roster Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
Darren Collison PG 6'1 165 Sr NBA?
Malcolm Lee PG 6’4 170 Fr
Jerime Anderson PG 6’1 170 Fr
Russell Westbrook PG/SG 6'3 187 Jr NBA?
Jrue Holiday SG 6’3 200 Fr
Josh Shipp SG/SF 6'5 220 Sr NBA?
Michael Roll SG/SF 6'5 200 Jr
Chace Stanback SF 6'8 210 So
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute SF 6'8 230 Sr
Nikola Dragovic SF 6'9 215 Jr Transfer?
James Keefe PF 6'8 220 Jr
Drew Gordon PF 6’8 237 Fr
Alfred Aboya PF/C 6'8 235 Sr
Kevin Love C 6’9 260 So NBA?
Wouldn't that be a shame if we had no room for our walk ons? CBH would have to be very careful that all that talent wouldn't kill eachother in practice.
Even if say we lose two to the NBA, next year still looks pretty good to me! But if KLove goes, a big man is really needed as Keefe and LRMM are not post up guys!
Stay Kevin stay...for the Wizard's sake!

At Apr 8, 2008, 2:58:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

LA Times reports Love & Collison are leaving and probably Westbrook too! Also, Aboya probably will quit the team to focus on getting his masters degree and will assemble furniture in his spare time! Dragovic might go back to Serbia to play. Well miss those guys but no worries! We have more explosive athletes arriving soon. Jrue Holiday is the real deal folks!!! He will be the "Derick Rose" of 2008/09!!! Show time baby! Go Bruins!

At Apr 8, 2008, 4:57:00 PM, Anonymous LN23 said...

I respect Aboya for finishing his education in 3 years, I would never say he "quit the team." He's just another example of the type of student athletes Howland recruits! If we do lose 4-6 player like they reported I think we could afford to give Krys Faber a scholarship. He's not great, but it would give us some size.

At Apr 8, 2008, 11:54:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

Faber is ok but Howland would need to lock him in the weight room along with Chace Stanback. BBR might know more about this guy? Also, Ben Howland would prefer a player to consider his committment to his teammates and not bail out on them! Aboya has plenty of time to get his masters, what's the hurry? You can put whatever spin you want on it but the definition of quit is; to stop,discontinue,depart from; leave.

At Apr 9, 2008, 1:17:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

ESPN's First Take just reported that Love's mother is saying that no decision has been made yet about Kevin turning pro. That's great news, hopefully he'll stay one more year. The LA Times should wait till they are 100% sure when putting out those kind of reports! BBR, do you have any inside information about Love that you are able to share with us?

At Apr 9, 2008, 2:37:00 AM, Anonymous Moses said...

Speaking of Chace Stanback, do you guys see this player starting to blossom his sophomore year a la Collison and Westbrook? He was a highly recruited, skilled player from high school. He also has the length and outside stroke to give other teams problems. If he puts on muscle, this is an enigma I would like to see unravel.

At Apr 9, 2008, 3:23:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

BBR ... can you shed any light on Bruins opting for the NBA. Since Howland apparently is the last to know ... any substantiated rumors flying around ???

At Apr 9, 2008, 6:32:00 AM, Anonymous Grrr said...

I'm going to take Mrs. Love's words to heart and say that Bruin fans won't know Kevin Love's future until Monday.
I'm betting that Westbrook and D.C. go on to the NBA. I'll be missing Westbrook's athleticism the most next year. I'll feel bad for D.C. if he doesn't get picked in the first round.

At Apr 9, 2008, 9:44:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Response to Moses: I wouldn't get my hopes up on Stanback. Not only did he look completely lost when on the floor this year, but I think he is easily the worst defender on the Bruins. He was always a step slow on defense and this was usually against the other teams subs. Stanback needs an awful lot of work...About as much as Mbah a Moute's outside shot...OUCH!
I'm with Scott. Let's wait to hear the words directly from Love's mouth before we speculate like certain newspapers do. By the way, where did I put my copy of the L.A. Times... My bird cage needs relining!

At Apr 9, 2008, 9:48:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Oh way the way Bare Gunner, great list you posted there. I think we all could only wish that roster would be available next year! I'll keep dreaming too...meanwhile I'll have another beer!

At Apr 9, 2008, 9:55:00 AM, Anonymous PCN (Pete Carroll's Nephew) said...

Faber probably would not come to UCLA because their offer would look like "second choice" at this stage.
He is going to the USC baby, as the boys from Troy continue to close the gap!

At Apr 9, 2008, 10:07:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

We can scratch Milton Jennings off our list. I was guessing Florida but he committed today to Clemson.
Also for all those SUC lovers like PCN, the Trojans will ALWAYS lace the Bruin's shoes and gather their jock straps for washing. The Univ. of Spoiled Children doesn't have an ounce of discipline in their program.
In fact, in my spare time I'm making calls to various NBA teams and soliciting the services of Tim Floyd. Your school (especially your uncle) doesn't deserve his talents!

At Apr 9, 2008, 11:24:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

Collison is in a real decision problem in terms of leaving or not. If he does, his recent gameplay hurts his stocks a lot and depending on other schools' underclassman declaring for the draft, there is a big chance he wont go first round.
Now if he stays but does not play starting point, his stock goes down as well. Westbrook although not ready for the NBA like all Bruins would probably leave early since he will most likely not get the big minutes next year with all those guards coming in. Although UCLA can utilize full court high intensity press a lot next year if they are filled with that many guards.
Not to mention both Jrue and Malcom can play 3 spots.
I just dont see a position for Klove to play in the NBA right now. Too short for Center, too immobile for a PF. Not to mention NBA game is much faster and more athletic.
Westbrook will get killed right now in the NBA against a league filled with many great point guards. Especially more so if players like Rose, Augustine and other good guards come out. Westbrook is a good defender but there is no way he can stop the likes of those type of players and cant score as much as those as well. He also lacks great ballhandling and weak outside shot.
DC needs to bulk up 20 pounds and have better court vision. Only player his size that is decent or great in NBA is Allen Iverson and that boy is awesome.
Shipp, dont even think about coming out. Your stock is a guarantee non first round and you are probably an european player as of now. Your height says you are SG but you dont have a good outside shot, cant pop up and shoot, so so handles, weak defense. You will get schooled by every starting SG in the NBA league.
Luc needs focus on outside midrange game, mobility and strength and play a power small forward or quick PF like a Malik Rose.
I love Bruin players but in all reality, none of them are ready. I guess if coming out for a few million short term contract is what they seek then by all means, declare for the NBA. However if you want to last and be at least somewhat known in the NBA league, all you guys need to improve your game or be a 1 time contract and cya player.

At Apr 9, 2008, 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

Forget about USC. They have zero standards period. They have at many times drop their requirements to get certain players they want drastically. Old news here but regarding next year's trojan basketball, ya scholarship to Little Romeo says it all. Nothing like giving a scholarship to a player no other Div. 1 school wanted just to recruit a high profile player.
I am wandering if Pdiddy or other rap stars have sons or nephews thats willing to come to UCLA if they bring a high profile talented friend as well.
What USC did is pretty much a legalized version of buying a player over since Little Romeo's dad declare they are basically a package deal.
It is things like this that makes me respect UCLA and coach Ben as well a Jrue holiday more. Jrue could have easily stated him and his brother are a package deal and Jrue's brother Justin is actually a potential and recruited by a few schools.
Looks like Romeo's daddy bought him a spot to the team.

At Apr 9, 2008, 3:58:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

BruinFan - Each team is allowed 13 scholarship per year. In the very unlikely event no one leaves early and all four 2008 recruits join the team next season, then UCLA will be one player over the limit. I wouldn't even want to speculate who gets their scholarship taken away because this will NOT happen.
Scott, Krys Faber is a nice prospect and the team has definintely been scouting him. If the Bruin frontline is completely depleted with early defections (i.e. Love, Aboya, Luc) then I can see the Bruins moving on him, otherwise, we'll probably see him going elsewhere.
Jake, anyone who reports they know whether a Bruin is leaving early - really doesn't know. Right now, its just all speculartion and folks looking for something to write about during the offseason. And as you can see, some of the players were quite upset about the reporting.
The only thing we know for sure is what Coach Howland stated in his pressor today.

At Apr 10, 2008, 4:20:00 AM, Anonymous LN23 said... If Aboya finishes school then he completed the job.

At Apr 15, 2008, 2:01:00 PM, Anonymous Perry guthrie said...

Hope Love and all stay, unless you need money pro sports a bummwe need a 7 footer, to be in there with love so take heat off them, then run run and,,


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