Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (7/21)

By Bruin Basketball Report


Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Commits


Kemba Walker, Malcolm Lee and Matt Humphrey each scored 15 points to lead a balanced attack as Team USA pulled away in a surprising 106-64 rout of Puerto Rico in the third round of the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship on Wednesday night in Formosa, Argentina. Team USA, 3-0 in pool play, now advances to the semifinals Montgomery Advertiser 7/16


UCLA incoming freshman Malcolm Lee scored 12 points as the U.S. advanced to championship game of the FIBA U-18 Americas tournament with a 82-66 victory over Canada. Press Enterprise 7/17


UCLA freshman-to-be Malcolm Lee scored 13 points, but the U.S. fell to Argentina, 77-64, Friday night in the championship game of the FIBA U-18 Americas Championship. The U.S., now 33-2 all time in this tournament, will still advance to next year's U-19 world championships by virtue of finishing in the top three. "It seemed like everything we tried to do to stop them, they had a counter for it," Lee said. "At the end of the first half they'd go into the post and we'd help and they kicked it out and would shoot a three. Press Enterprise 7/19


Jrue Holiday is already in his fourth week of summer school classes and has been lifting weights and getting acquainted with his new teammates. “We have five freshmen coming in this year and a lot is expected from us,” he says. “We’re pushing each other. Our team is all seniors and freshmen. The seniors are going to school us and give us the knowledge we need to do well We’ve been to the Final Four the past three years and are hoping to get back there.” As far as his personal goals go for next season, Holiday told me that he’s hoping to scoop up Pac-10 defensive player of the year honors like Russell Westbrook did this past season for the Bruins. “I’ve always prided myself on my defense,” Holiday says. “I’m so competitive. I’ve always wanted to stop the other team’s best player. I love the challenge of it. The opposition’s best player is usually the one who triggers their offense.” SLAM Magazine 7/18


Jrue Holiday: On which team was better last season - Campbell Hall, or Taft of Woodland Hills: "It could have gone either way. I would have liked to play them - Larry Drew and I really go at it - and I wish they would have won the Div. I championship." On dorm life at UCLA: "We're having a great time. It's the summer, so we're not walking around like we own the place, but it's fun." On what position he might play with the Bruins: "It doesn't matter. Whatever the team needs. Honestly, I kind of think of myself as a scorer, but I could be a point guard." Daily News 7/19


Recruits


Tyler Honeycutt (Sylmar), Derrick Williams (La Mirada) and Devonte Elliott (Paramount) were the standouts during the "Best of the Best" All-Star camp that wrapped up the second session of the West Coast All-Star Basketball Camp at Cal State Dominguez Hills Sunday afternoon. The 6-7 Honeycutt, who was a first-team All-L.A. City volleyball selection as an outside hitter last spring, has seen his stock with college basketball recruiters climb immensely since April. Honeycutt is being recruited by the likes of UCLA, Arizona State and Washington. Williams and Elliott are also likely to have multiple college options from Pacific-10 Conference programs. Press Telegram 7/14


Six-five Michael Snaer of Rancho Verde High, expected to be among the most heavily recruited half-dozen or so California prospects in the class of 2009, was the most impressive performer during the Fullcourt Press All-West Camp All-Star game played in the new and spiffy Hangar Athletic Exchange in Hawthorne on Sunday. Press Telegram 7/14


So it was refreshing to see Xavier Henry, a 6-6, 214-pound guard from Oklahoma City, make 30 of 34 (88.2 percent) attempts in five games of pool play. Henry, who is ranked the nation's No. 2 prospect for 2009 by Rivals.com, also led the tournament in scoring with 23.8 points a game. So what is Henry's secret at the stripe? "I won't lie," Henry said with a wide smile. "I hardly ever practice my free throws. ... I just know to concentrate. It's all in your head. It's not like a like a jump shot where you're moving and you've got to shoot over someone. It's a free throw. Take your time." Henry is considering Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and Texas. He said he wants to take official visits to all his finalists before he makes a decision. Sports Illustrated 7/15


Keith Gallon's size, skill set and ironic nickname have produced obvious comparisons to Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who helped LSU to the 2006 Final Four and who was a role player this season for the NBA champion Boston Celtics. Mississippi State, a program that saw plenty of Davis during his three seasons in the SEC west, is the favorite to win Gallon's signature, but Gallon also is considering Oklahoma, Cal, USC, UCLA and UNLV. Gallon, who is from Humble, Texas, but plays for Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., led the Peach Jam in rebounds (11.2 a game in pool play) and offensive rebounds (4.4 a game), but even more impressive was his ability to guard players on the wing. Gallon, playing this weekend for Houston Hoops, had no qualms about guarding a player near the three-point line, and his quick feet allowed him to stay with much smaller players. Sports Illustrated 7/15


Some think Jennings will be a trendsetter and top high school recruits in the future will forego a year in college in favor of experience and a paycheck in Europe while they wait to be eligible for the NBA draft. Los Angeles native Renardo Sidney, Rivals.com's No. 4 player in the class of 2009, said in a phone interview that it's not the case for him. "That's a good idea but I want to go to college," said Sidney, who lists Texas A&M, ASU, Memphis, USC and UCLA in his top college choices. "I want to be a college student before I start the rest of my life. It's a good idea but I don't think it's for me. Arizona Daily 7/16


UCLA extends offer to Stover: Anthony Stover, a 6-foot-10 forward from Renaissance Academy of La Canada Flintridge who is one of the state's top shot-blockers, was offered a basketball scholarship today from UCLA. Stover has blossomed in the past two years, going from project to major prospect. "I thought an offer might come because they (UCLA coaches) were coming to see me play a lot the past week," Stover said. "I was hoping they would offer. They are in my top five. I will still take my visits in the fall, though." Stover has been offered scholarships by nearly half of the Pacific-10 Conference schools and also has Connecticut very interested in his services. Daily News 7/16


UCLA has been busy lately, offering a scholarship to its second area player in less than a week. A few days ago, Bruins coach Ben Howland extended an offer to Sylmar's 6-9 wing prospect Tyler Honeycutt. Honeycutt burst onto the scene in recent months, showcasing himself at travel ball tournaments with the Chatsworth-based Pump-N-Run team. Daily News 7/16


Putnam City guard Xavier Henry was the Nike Peach Jam Tournament leader in scoring, averaging 24 points per game. Henry, who is still slowed by an ankle injury, had 36 points against Howard Pulley, which was the highest individual scoring performance at the tournament. Scouthoops.com, ESPN.com and Rivalshoops.com recognized Henry among the most impressive players at the tournament, which is held in North Augusta, S.C. ESPN.com basketball recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons called Henry "the best all-around player at the Peach Jam.” And one coach told Rivals.com analyst Justin Young: "Henry should be playing in the NBA summer league, not the high school summer league.” Several analysts lauded Henry for playing with the injury despite having very little to prove as the No. 2 player in the nation.
"People tell me I shouldn't be playing, that I have nothing to prove,” said Henry, who lists Memphis, Kansas, UCLA and Texas as his final four schools. "Until I get that No. 1 by my name, there's still something to prove.” News OK 7/19


(photo credit: SLAM Magazine)

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15 Comments:

At Jul 21, 2008, 1:41:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

BBR, thank you

 
At Jul 21, 2008, 5:33:00 AM, Anonymous alan said...

Wow...we went guard-heavy with 2008 class, so i guess going after all the trees in 2009.
already got Reeves and Lane, and now have given offers to a couple of more tall ones in Stover and Honeycutt
I guess BH is counting on Holiday, Lee, and Anderson to all stick around?

 
At Jul 21, 2008, 6:21:00 AM, Anonymous george said...

Boy, read what Jrue says above and go back a few posts to read what Sidney and others say and the difference in maturity and character is obvious. Jrue already presents himself like a tried and true Bruin. BH knows how to pick 'em. Congrats!

 
At Jul 21, 2008, 8:42:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

BBR whats the deal with Alex Stepheson, I have been reading conflicting reports about a decision to go to U$C.

 
At Jul 21, 2008, 11:51:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Can't wait to see Holiday play. I have a feeling if you could mix Afflalo, Collison, and Westbrook in a blender, out would pour Holiday! He seems like he'll be a very "special" player!!!

 
At Jul 21, 2008, 1:29:00 PM, Anonymous bruin66 said...

Coach Ben knows how to pick 'em. These guys are going to be special.

 
At Jul 21, 2008, 3:16:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

From what I have read and heard...the stellar '08 guys are not like the Durants/Odens and Loves....they are surprisingly expected to stay 2 years minimum...(even Holiday) I know I know it is all speculation...remember DC is in front of him to school him...we'll see how many minutes are divided between Holiday, Lee, Anderson, Shipp and Roll
We'll lose our seniors but bring on the tall studs in '09...who wouldn't come here??
Hey, who has season tickets??? I'll be at Westwood Brew b4 every game.....
thanks BBR for all your hard work...as a season ticket holder and a West LA native, I might make t-shirts for your site to wear at the games....jump ball already...Brew-In has cold ones for all of us....

 
At Jul 21, 2008, 6:07:00 PM, Anonymous Bee said...

The thing that sets Jrue apart from other players is his INTENSE competitive nature, he is basically ambidextrous, absolutely LOVES defense, will give up the rock willingly, has a reliable stroke, and has very high basketball IQ. He is ranked the #1 PG by Rivals.com for good reason. You will love watching him play.
I absolutely believe that he will be Pac-10 defensive player of the year before his career is over at UCLA. I've seen him defend many D-1 level recruits, and when he's on them, they want no piece of him.
I was really sad to see Russell go, because they could've really shut down just about any backcourt in the nation next year.
Side note: anybody at UCLA right now, able to see Drew Gordon? Is he playing in any summer pick-up games? Does he look good? The status of his left-foot scares me.

 
At Jul 22, 2008, 5:18:00 AM, Anonymous george said...

Let's not forget the defense DC can play. He is fast enough to guard just about any PG in the nation who is not named Rose. The backcourt of DC and JH will be difficult for any team to guard and more difficult to score against. It will be a fun year.

 
At Jul 22, 2008, 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Alex Stepheson is in no hurry to make a decision. An NCAA decision on whether he would be required to sit out this season is still pending. Until he enrolls at a school, Stepheson is free to sign with any school.

 
At Jul 23, 2008, 4:09:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

w/ our team now, I am officially over Mr. Stephenson....
when r the pick up games at Pauley?

 
At Jul 24, 2008, 1:50:00 PM, Anonymous j said...

Whats going on at Pauley, are they upgrading it right now?

 
At Jul 24, 2008, 3:16:00 PM, Anonymous JD said...

Nothing happening down at Pauley. Still going through planning and fundraising for the project....its going to be awhile.

 
At Jul 25, 2008, 11:00:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

Bruinfan...My only interest in Stephenson was getting another big on the roster with some maturity and experience.

 
At Jul 26, 2008, 3:37:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Bruin2005 I am with ya....we need bigs...
Can't wait for the season to start....

 

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