Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (7/7)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Malcolm Lee (UCLA)- Lee scored four points before suffering an injury during the late stages of the scrimmage. With only two true point guards trying out for the team, Lee ran the point for the third team. More suited for the shooting guard position, Lee didn't assert himself much by penetrating from the point guard position, but did finish with four points. Gator Bait 7/2

Reeves Nelson (UCLA commitment)- After seeing Nelson for the first time this spring/summer, it appears that he might just be getting too strong. He was very good on the defensive glass, but struggled to muster up anything offensively. He did get one baseline dunk for his two points. Gator Bait 7/2

Standing 6-5 with a 6-9 wingspan, California native Malcolm Lee is a lot of things – a point guard, a shooting guard, a USA Basketball veteran and a USA hopeful. The UCLA bound Lee is also one of 18 athletes in Washington D.C. this week competing for one of 12 roster spots on the 2008 USA U18 Men's National Team. "So far, trials are going really well," Lee said. "There is a lot of great talent here, and we've got tons of good coaches from different colleges. At every position, there are really good players. The intensity level is really high. The coaches are running tough practices, and there is no taking plays off." USA Basketball 7/2

Malcom Lee (John W. North H.S. / Riverside, CA) is the most veteran USA Basketball finalist and is one step closer to making his third USA Basketball squad. Most recently Lee helped lead the USA to a 98-78 victory over the World Select Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in April and helped force 25 World turnovers and 18 USA steals. Lee first showcased his talent in a USA Basketball uniform at the 2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, held in Colorado Springs, Colo.Rivals 7/3

Three other players who were invited to the trials canceled at the last minute due to injuries: Kenny Boynton, a 6-2 guard from Florida; Dexter Strickland, a 6-foot-3 guard from New Jersey who has committed to North Carolina; and Drew Gordon, a 6-9 forward who will be a freshman at UCLA next season. Sports Illustrated 7/3


Moser joins California forward Greg Smith as the UA's two 2009 verbal commitments. In late May, Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep point guard Abdul Gaddy opted out of his 2009 commitment, citing changes in the Wildcats' coaching staff. Moser is friends with Gaddy and another highly recruited Bellarmine Prep guard, Avery Bradley. Arizona Daily Star 7/2

Lance Stephenson- Simply put, Stephenson had a tough day at the office. He couldn't get his shot to fall, managing only two points, didn't assert himself on the boards and turned the ball over at an alarming rate. Perhaps just trying to do too much, Stephenson played at a frenetic speed that just wasn't meshing with his teammates. He clearly was frustrated. Gator Bait 7/2

Renardo Sidney’s father told me that Kansas is the school that is currently the most active in recruiting his son. The elder Sidney said that both USC and UCLA aren’t recruiting his son nearly as much as they once were. He also mentioned that Arizona State, Memphis and Louisville are in the mix. Fox Sports 7/2

Lance Stephenson- 11 points on 5-10 shooting, 1-2 from the line, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 2 turnovers. Session two started out as poorly as session one for Stephenson, but things started clicking for him after the halfway mark of the scrimmage. Still figuring out how to blend in with the team concept as a wing player here, Stephenson shunned the high degree of difficulty passes and shots and began to just muscle his way to the rim. There aren't many defenders in the country who can stop him when he takes this aggressive, streamlined approach. Rivals 7/2

When it came time for full-court scrimmaging, Lance Stephenson, the much-heralded guard who has led Brooklyn's Lincoln High to three consecutive New York City championships, tried taking over the point guard duties. Stephenson wanted to show off the skills he picked up at Nike's Steve Nash camp last month, but he turned in an awful performance. He dribbled into traffic and committed sloppy turnovers. He fired no-look passes that sailed out of bounds. He drove to the basket and heedlessly forced up bad shots.
Even worse, after every mistake he acted like it was someone else's fault. He barked at his teammates. He whined to the refs. He rolled his eyes and slapped his thighs. He shook his head and muttered to himself.
In other words, he acted like what he is: a 17-year-old kid. Sports Illustrated 7/3

Lance Stephenson was the first to admit that he had to go through an adjustment period."I'm trying to get used to not getting the ball like I'm used to getting it," said Stephenson. "Now when I get the ball I'm trying to finish the play quicker." He also rejected recent talk that he might take some other route than attending college after next year. "I'm more focused on school and getting an education. I'm more about learning new stuff and then go to the NBA. Skipping college and going to Europe is something you think about as a last resort when your messing up in school, but I'm doing well in school." St. John's, Texas, North Carolina and Duke are still in the running to land Stephenson, but three other schools standout at the top of his list. "Kansas, Memphis and Tennessee, those are the three schools I'm looking at really hard," said Stephenson, who is planning to wait until the spring before committing to a college. Gator Bait 7/3

Nolan Dennis, a highly ranked shooting guard from the Dallas area, ended his recruitment Thursday with a verbal commitment to the University of Memphis. He is the first member of coach John Calipari's 2009 recruiting class, which could ultimately include four or five of the top high school seniors in the country. Commercial Appeal 7/3

Xavier Henry, 6-6 SG: The most significant recruiting battle of the summer could be between Memphis and Kansas for the sharp-shooting lefty from Oklahoma City. Henry is one of the three best players in this class, bar none, and could be the key guy to a Final Four run in 2010. Henry's father and mother both played at Kansas, but that was in the era when a young assistant named John Calipari was also in Lawrence. The feeling here has always been that Henry would sign with the Tigers because of his relationship with Calipari, but it's a close call either way. Commercial Appeal 7/6

Stephan Van Treese has long been on Indiana’s radar and received a scholarship offer from Kelvin Sampson shortly after the former coach arrived two years ago. But Van Treese was mostly an unknown to Crean. The two recently met in Bloomington, with Crean ultimately telling the Van Treese family that he was looking forward to building a relationship and deciding whether to make a scholarship offer. Times Mail 7/5

Small forward Jordan Hamilton of Compton, Calif., is considered one of the top 20 prospects in the 2009 recruiting class, but he did not create a positive initial impression at Nike's Paul Pierce Skills Academy. Hamilton frequently was passive during early drills at the camp, although he eventually became more assertive. Michael Snaer of Moreno Valley, Calif., who ranked far lower than Hamilton, drew raves for his intensity and desire to improve. Sporting News 7/6

(photo credit: USA Basketball)



At Jul 7, 2008, 5:50:00 AM, Anonymous jojoenglish said...

BBR and/or fans,
Based on the following UCLA Scout official website, do you have any idea why the offer and interest status of Lance Stephenson changes from Yes to No (offer) and High to Med (interest) compared to a few months ago? Did UCLA cancel the scholarship offer to Lance Stephenson? I thought based on ESPN report, "Lance Stephenson, ranked No. 4 overall in the ESPN 100, has narrowed his choices to Southern California, UCLA and Kansas, his father, Lance Sr., told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette." Please advise.
We had already lost Nolan Dennis to Memphis and Greg Smith to Arizona. How's our chance of landing Daniel Orton, Michael Snaer, or Avery Bradley? Any insider news?

At Jul 7, 2008, 8:37:00 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

I have been asking the same as the above... what gives?

At Jul 8, 2008, 12:19:00 AM, Anonymous Brad said...

I'm glad to hear that Sidney isn't being recruited as hard by UCLA. The kid seems like bad news from what I've read.

At Jul 8, 2008, 1:40:00 AM, Anonymous dan-o said...

2009 has been a tough recruiting class. I don't know what gives. But I should not be ungrateful looking at the latest batch Howland has coming in. Also, the 2005 class was a bunch of nobodies that helped get us to three straight final 4.
i am not so worried about not getting stephenson as the current state of nelson. does anyone know why he has dropped like a ship from a heaven in the PF rankings?

At Jul 8, 2008, 3:55:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

Howland will be fine with the 2009 class. Nelson will be solid as well, if a player doesn't dunk everytime he has the ball in these camps, they downgrade them... so I trust Howland and his coaches more than the current hip hop state of evaluation from these camps.

At Jul 8, 2008, 10:51:00 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

Don: Excellent post; I agree completely. Ever take a look at SLAM magazine? Not worth buying, but it's all about slam-dunking recruits who are mainly interested in shoe contracts. If you are trying to build a winning TEAM, it's probably not the best place to get scouting reports.

At Jul 9, 2008, 3:16:00 AM, Anonymous Ricky Bobby said...

Howland will the victim of his own success. UCLA hang CHAMPIONSHIP banners not Final-Four appearances.

At Jul 9, 2008, 7:13:00 PM, Anonymous clyde said...

Don - great point.
I don't see any issues with Nelson whatsoever. He has been sidelined a bit and under the radar because of it - we will be happy to have him.
I would like to see some of the elite 2009's come aboard but I guess all in good time. Certainly we are on the right track and I'm sure we will land a high percentage of the kids we actively recruit.

At Jul 10, 2008, 1:10:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Don, we all think your comments are right on! And Rob, good exclamation point with your follow-up!

At Jul 10, 2008, 6:42:00 PM, Anonymous Bee said...

Heads up on the recruiting front:
According to
"Smith and Wroten are attracting huge crowds in Cincinnati. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, UCLA boss Ben Howland, Washington's Lorenzo Romar, and Tennessee head man Bruce Pearl all made it a point to track Seattle Rotary. Not to be outdone, schools like Louisville, Memphis, and nearly every school on the west coast dispatched assistants to track them."
The 'Smith' is referring to is Josh Smith, who reportedly did well against Derrick Favors. I saw Derrick Favors' game vs. Jrue at Pangos, and he is really a legit PTP. No one from Campbell Hall could come close to matching up with Favors, even with double/triple teams. Favors game that day was eerily similar to Michael Beasley's style of play. That game was a classic thriller, with Jrue putting up monster stats in a very tight loss.
"At the end of the game it was the Atlanta Celtics that were celebrating, but Smith more than cemented himself as an elite big man by slightly outplaying Favors. Smith finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Favors countered with 21 points and 10 rebounds, with some of those points coming once the game was decided late."
Josh Smith is 6'9", 265. What's interesting about the Coach Ben sighting and tracking him at the Adidas event is that maybe (just a maybe) Jeremy Tyler may not be priority #1 for the Bruins in the 2010 class. Jeremy has been listed as a possible top 3 2010 prospect for some years now, but lately his game has been inconsistent. One game against Renardo Sidney he scored 0 points(!).
Anyhow, just maybe this gives us an alternative in 2010, and someone else for BBR to track. It's always fun to see what Coach Ben has up his sleeve! Wouldn't it be great if we got him AND Jeremy Tyler!
Still remaining on my wish list:
1. Lance Stephenson
2. Xavier Henry
3. Avery Bradley
4. Daniel Orton
5. Anthony Stover


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