Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/19)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Here are some of the noteworthy local athletes and teams to watch leading up to the state meet at Cerritos College in Norwalk (Los Angeles County) May 30-31...Drew Gordon (Mitty, shot put/discus) - The UCLA basketball recruit made state in both throws each of the past two seasons. SF Chronicle 5/16


This would be like watching a 2005 AAU game matching Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Two bad things happened: Jeremy Tyler wasn't there, or if he was, he was disguised as a folding chair. Second, Renardo Sidney turned out to be an overweight ball-hog who didn't play defense, rarely moved quickly enough to work up a sweat and, when he wasn't pouting or yelling at the refs, scored 16 points against woefully inferior competition. Over the weekend, Sidney made it known that he is strongly considering enrolling at Arizona State. Good for Herb Sendek, although the Sun Devils may have to build a new dorm just to house Sidney's posse. That group includes his coach/father, Renardo Sr., who recently told Sports Illustrated that he was hired as a consultant for Reebok, moved his son from Mississippi to California and has twice switched AAU teams so that Junior "could call his own shots." Arizona Daily Star 5/13

If Tampa Yankees outfielder C.J. Henry comes off the disabled list in time to make his team's road trip here, fans could be in luck. But they had better hurry. Henry, 21, hit just. 181 last season. The former first-round draft pick has been contemplating a switch to college basketball and could try to team with his brother Xavier Henry, the No. 3-ranked incoming senior in the nation, according to Hoop Scoop analyst Clark Francis. Kansas, Memphis and North Carolina are among the schools recruiting Xavier Henry. C.J. Henry verbally committed to Kansas before deciding to try professional baseball. News Press 5/13

Then, of course, there were the players. Several of the 2009 prospects I spoke with said they are not planning to decide until at least later this summer “I’m still open,” said Avery Bradley, a teammate of committed UA recruit Abdul Gaddy who scored 31 points in the Northwest Panthers’ defeat of Jim Harrick’s Pump N’ Run Elite team tonight. Arizona “offered me, but I’m not making a decision now.” That’s good news for the Wildcats, because it is going to take time for the new staff to get up and running, and re-create some inroads with these guys. Arizona Daily Star 5/14

Trent Johnson said that he contacted Morgan’s AAU Coach, Jazzy Hartwell, on Monday to inform him that he would grant the highly touted player a release from the letter of intent he signed with the Tigers in November. J'Mison Morgan is leaning heavily toward seeking a scholarship at UCLA, although Hartwell said Kansas and Alabama also remain options. 2 The Advocate 5/14

UCLA is "99%" of the way to replacing Kevin Love with another highly regarded center. That's the likelihood that J'Mison "Bobo" Morgan, a 6-foot-11 high school star from Dallas, will play for the Bruins next season, his mother, Bianca, said Tuesday. LA Times 5/14

Renardo Sidney, a 6-foot-10 forward from Los Angeles, dropped to No. 4. North Carolina-bound forward John Henson, a Texas native, climbs to No. 5. The basketball rankings have grown from 100 players to 150. Gator Bait 5/14

The Thunder varsity boys took third while the varsity girls were sixth but Rocklin’s junior varsity boys and girls both took first place. Junior Brendan Lane was the only member of Rocklin’s varsity to win a league title (high jump, 6-2) and he led the Thunder into the DII trials at Bella Vista Wednesday. The finals will be at Bella Vista Friday. The top finishers will advance to the Masters Meet. Rocklin View 5/14

A Baton Rouge sports radio program reported earlier this week that Pierre's pending exit was spurred by him steering players away from LSU. When highly touted recruit J'Mison Morgan sought a release from his letter of intent, a theory surfaced Pierre was behind Morgan's change of heart. 2 The Advocate 5/15

Avery Bradley (6-2, 170), Junior, Tacoma, Wash./Bellarmine Prep: Bradley's stock continues to rise with each event. His jump shot was solid throughout the weekend and his relentless play at both ends is peerless. Defensively, he was a menace as he slides his feet as well as any guard in the country -- just ask standout Jordan Hamilton. Bradley is a tad undersized for the 2 at the next level, but his athleticism, tenacity and ever-improving jump shot should make up for his lack of height. ESPN 5/15

Renardo Sidney (6-9, 260), Junior, Los Angeles/ Fairfax: No one will ever question Sidney's overall talent and upside, but his effort and desire to be the best can be questioned with no valid argument attached to it. Sidney was having a very productive spring up until this event. He had spurts where he dominated (Boo Williams game), but overall his effort and attitude were troublesome to say the least. He looked out of shape and rarely played hard at either end. Sidney has the makings of the next Chris Webber, but if he can't keep his weight under control we may be looking at the next Oliver Miller (former Arkansas and NBA player). ESPN 5/15

Jordan Hamilton, a 6-7 junior out of Compton/ Dominguez, continues to exhibit why he is one of the most skilled players in the country. He gets most of his notoriety from his perimeter skills, but his desire to hit the boards has made him a better all-around player. However, quicker defenders can be troublesome to him -- Avery Bradley (NW Panthers) comes immediately to mind. ESPN 5/15

(photo credit: WA News Tribune)



At May 18, 2008, 5:01:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

I guess Avery Bradley is a guy we should be shooting for - sounds like a budding Westbrook.
BBR - have you heard of UCLA contacting or having any interest in Alex Stepheson - I've heard conflicting reports.

At May 18, 2008, 6:01:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

Wow. Sidney sounds like a loser. Perfect fit for $UC.

At May 19, 2008, 2:23:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

UCLA is in the running. Stepheson will likely base his decision on available PT and whether the NCAA will forego the requirement of sitting out a year. His mother has already been quoted as not wanting to prolong the decision.
With Morgan possibly joining UCLA next season, the front court will now ironically be crowded if both LRAM and Aboya return as expected. The Bruins' are probably better off if Stepheson has to join as a redshirt junior in the 09-10 season.
Although wouldn't be surprised if he picked a non-Pac-10 team on the west coast either.

At May 19, 2008, 4:18:00 AM, Anonymous Bee said...

With the mention of Avery Bradley's defensive capabilities, it seems like he could be a better fit than Elijah Johnson.
You'd think with Renardo Sidney's awesome physical abilities, he would've been signed a long time ago. It's becoming clear that there is no fight/leadership in him. What we need are more warriors, like our incoming Fantastic Four (and then Reeves Nelson the next year). I'll wait a bit before I call J'Mison a 'warrior,' but I'm glad he's coming nonetheless!
Not too sure Stepheson is the right guy for this team...who does he take PT from???
pg- Collison/Jerime
sg- Jrue/Malcolm
sf- Shipp/Keefe
pf- Luc/Gordon
c - Aboya/J'Mison
You know, as I'm typing this up, our 2nd unit looks pretty damn good! Practices are going to be competitive next year!

At May 19, 2008, 6:41:00 AM, Anonymous chez said...

Avery Bradley reminds me of Russell Westbrook.

At May 19, 2008, 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

Bee: I'm thinking Roll and Shipp at the three, J'Mison and Keefe at the 5. Not sure where that leaves Aboya.

At May 19, 2008, 3:51:00 PM, Anonymous Shaun said...

Im just curious... is there any sort of consensus to what position Keefe is? I've seen all kinds of message boards where people place him at 3, 4, or 5. Personally, I like him best at the 4, but I don't think there's room there with Gordon coming in and Luc probably returning. But he's kind of small for the 5, right? And yet he plays much more like a post player than a small forward. So where does he fit?

At May 19, 2008, 5:53:00 PM, Anonymous DorianGraysBlues said...

I could be wrong, but Keefe seems a lot like luc, as far as positions. A very good 4 at the college level, but more than likely a 3 at the pro level, if either can make it that far.

At May 19, 2008, 6:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So common' already. What's taking SOOOO LONGGGG with Morgan and Stepheson? Why have they not been signed yet? Are there second thoughts?

At May 21, 2008, 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Brui Master said...

They say patience is a virtue,
So let 'em think things through,
The decision an athlete makes,
Is one that he'll have to take,
As his path to his future,
So let's respect them wanting to be secure,
For their livelyhood and their career,
As you would for your curricular,
Your wants and needs are similiar,
Give them time for their heads to clear,
And the decision they make is most sincere,
With only the determination to come and win,
And proudly to be known as a UCLA Bruin.

At May 22, 2008, 4:05:00 AM, Anonymous Mark said...

Best recruiters in the country...
1. Ben Howland
2. John Calipari
3. Roy Williams
4. Lute Olsen
5. Rick Pitino
6. Jim Calhoun
7. John Thompson III
8. Bob Huggins
9. Coach K
10. Bill Self
What do you guys think?

At May 22, 2008, 4:17:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Brui Master, words of wisdom by way of a rap(ture) spin! Good points made!
I think we are all getting a little too anxious and treating these kids like prized cattle.
I'll kick back and relax with a brew or three and just wait for the good news.

At May 22, 2008, 5:03:00 AM, Anonymous CLS said...

The Daily News reported today that Morgan will have a press conference this afternoon announcing his decision. Barring any miraculous recruiting efforts by other suitors, Morgan should be a Bruin.

At May 22, 2008, 8:47:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Hold your horses CLS. This came in from the Bruin Nation blog by way of
[Quick Update: J'Mision Morgan, who decommitted from LSU and was expected to commit to UCLA today has postponed his announcement until Monday]
Let's just hope some of the formalities are not squared away and Morgan isn't doubly fickle and now wants to "feel" out Oklahoma State. That would be a big mistake!
There is no better opportunity that Westwood for him!

At May 22, 2008, 6:43:00 PM, Anonymous Bee said...

I see various youtube clips re: KLove's NBA workouts...any news on how Russell's are going? I wish him the best, although I wouldn't be the saddest person in the world if he came back!


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