Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (9/29)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


UCLA, last year's winner in the team rankings, debuts at No. 13 thanks to the commitment of Tyler Honeycutt. The top-30 prospect from Sylmar (Calif.) High School gives the Bruins a long presence on the wing. He made the biggest debut of any player in the Rivals150 after a very impressive summer showing. The four-star prospect joins Reeves Nelson and Brendan Lane, both Rivals150 prospects, in the recruiting haul for the Bruins. Rivals 9/25

Reeves Nelson's role for the Modesto Christian High football team is to go out and play, as he did in Friday's 46-12 victory at Orestimba.
Mike Parsons' role is to sweat the details. As the Crusaders' head coach, Parsons is the one ultimately responsible for delivering Nelson through the season unscathed, at least as much as someone on the sideline can control the physical remnants of such a violent sport. But at the same time, Parsons knows if he tries to baby Nelson or treat this elite basketball player in a way inconsistent with the way he treats the other Crusaders, he risks losing the team. "I have to watch him physically," Parsons said. "If he has anything questionable going on physically, I have to consider that because there is so much at stake with him. Modesto Bee 9/26

Perhaps it took a few games to get used to the bulky uniform, but Modesto Christian's 6-foot-8 Reeves Nelson, one of the nation's top basketball forwards who has verbally committed to UCLA, appeared right at home Friday. Though MC fell 46-41 to potent Chowchilla, Nelson had two long TDs -- a 76-yard catch and a 73-yard interception return. The lead changed hands four times in the fourth quarter, and MC had an opportunity to score last before fumbling the ball away in the final minutes. Nelson was also in on several tackles, and showed folks that friendly personality that makes him a favorite of fans and foes alike on the court. He inadvertently grabbed the quarterback's face mask to erase what would have been a six-yard loss. Nelson smiled a guilty smile, then helped up Rob Diepersloot and gave him a pat on the butt. Modesto Bee 9/28


Anthony Stover the 6-foot-9 basketball star from the Los Angeles area lists Arizona as his top choice, but he won't make up his mind until after an Oct. 3-4 visit to UCLA, said his father Craig Stover. California, under first-year coach Mike Montgomery, has an in-home visit with the Stovers this week. Creighton also is interested in the center. Craig Stover said he and his son, who would be part of the 2009 recruiting class, had a good time during Anthony's recruiting trip to UA this past weekend. "Lute Olson is just a living legend; UA has a great legacy," Craig Stover said. "It was my first time in Tucson and UA, and it rivals any program that I've ever seen.'' Craig Stover praised Olson and his new coaching staff for their recruiting efforts, speaking highly of former UA player-turned-assistant Reggie Geary. "I think (Geary) is going to be a great upcoming coach," the father said. "I can't say enough about him."
He called UA his son's "No. 1 school," but the family wants to finish the recruiting process before making a decision. Tucson Citizen 9/22

Noel Johnson, a 6-foot-7 guard from Fayetteville, Ga., will commit to USC, according to his father, former NBA player Cheese Johnson. Noel, who is expected to make a formal announcement on Tuesday, was ranked among the top 40 prospects in the nation by He had visited campus with his family and godfather, Xavier McDaniel, an NBA veteran. "We looked at the student part first -- we were really impressed," Cheese said. "And that arena too. [Athletic Director] Mike Garrett did a good job." LA Times 9/22

South Atlanta’s Derrick Favors, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 basketball prospect by Scout, has listed Georgia Tech and Georgia among his finalists....The other finalists for Favors are Kentucky, Memphis, Connecticut and Florida State. Tech has a lot of appeal to Favors, according to his coach. Atlanta Journal Constitution 9/22

Elijah Johnson, a 6-foot-2 senior guard from Cheyenne High in Las Vegas, will attend Kansas University’s Late Night in the Phog on an official recruiting visit, Johnson told KU coach Bill Self had an in-home recruiting visit with Johnson on Tuesday night. He’s also considering Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA and others. KU Sports 9/24

St. John's holds its version of "Midnight Madness" this evening, and Lance Stephenson, the 6-5 phenom from Brooklyn's Lincoln High, is planning to attend the season tip-off at Carnesecca Arena. Stephenson, among the top five seniors in the class of 2009, reportedly is considering USC, Memphis, North Carolina and Indiana, but St. John's is making a serious push. Newsday 9/25

Three-star prospect Bawa Muniru gave a verbal commitment to Tom Crean and the IU men’s basketball program, confirmed late Thursday. The commitment of the 6-foot-11 Muniru means Crean has signed his maximum allowed allotment of six players for his first full recruiting class. Indiana Daily Student 9/26

Durand Scott, a 6-5 senior guard from Rice High in New York, arrived late Friday afternoon for his official visit to UConn. Scott's host is his former high school teammate, UConn freshman point guard Kemba Walker. Scott visited Pittsburgh last weekend and will likely make two more visits (Tennessee and Miami are among the schools he is interested in) before making a college choice. Hartford Courant 9/26

Arizona recruiting target Anthony Stover, a Top 150 forward in the class of 2009, is taking his final official visit to UCLA this weekend. Stover's father, Craig, said the family moved up the visit so that Anthony could reach a decision sooner and get on with his upcoming season at Renaissance Academy in La Canada, Calif. "Now, we're going to compile all the different things, the pros and cons, and have a sit down with the grandparents and everyone," Craig Stover said. "Then he's going to make the decision where he's going to play." Stover's finalists are Arizona, ASU, Creighton and UCLA, though the Wildcats may have helped themselves during Stover's visit to the UA last weekend. Craig Stover said he was particularly impressed with lead recruiter Reggie Geary, associate AD Gayle Hopkins and academic counselor Lisa Napoleon. "It was excellent," Craig Stover said. "Coach Olson is a living legend. He has a great staff and a great support staff … (Anthony) loves Arizona." Arizona Daily Star 9/27

Michael Snaer was in the gym early and spent his time working on his catch-and-shoot and free-throw shooting. I'm not breaking any ground in saying this, but Snaer sppears to be every bit the deadeye perimeter shooter he's been billed as being. He possesses picture-perfect form, has nice lift and a feathery follow-through and touch. The new three-point line didn't pose any problems to Snaer as he warmed up, and when he was through with that I watched him drain about 10 straight free throws without touching the rim once. It was a stroke that was, dare I say, reminiscent of Steve Novak's from a few years back. To say Marquette University could use Snaer's talents next season would obviously be a huge understatement. Physically, Snaer was a few inches taller than McNeal, which would put him around 6-foot-4 or so. He has a slender but solid build, and looks to be a top-notch athlete. Very often in these open-gym situations, high-schoolers are a bit tentative and willing to defer to the veterans but from the outset Snaer was aggressive even with McNeal in his mug and cutting the newcomer no slack. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 9/27

Michael Snaer, one of the nation's most highly sought-after recruits, wrapped up his official visit to MU and headed back home to Moreno Valley, Calif. on Sunday...."Next weekend I'm going to UCLA, and I'm not sure when I'm going to Kansas." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 9/28

(photo credit: Modesto Bee)



At Sep 28, 2008, 7:05:00 PM, Anonymous Joe said...


At Sep 29, 2008, 6:43:00 PM, Anonymous alan said...

read in an espn article by Chad Ford that:
"Now, heading into the college season, I'm hearing whispers out of UCLA that Holiday is so good that it won't be long before he, not Collison, is running the offense at UCLA. "
Have you heard any rumblings of this sort?

At Sep 30, 2008, 1:50:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Snaer, there is a spot for you!!!
Howland will make you a lot better than the natural skills you possess.

At Sep 30, 2008, 8:31:00 AM, Anonymous george said...

Fortunately, it is Ben Howland and not Chad Ford that makes the decisions on the UCLA basketball team. Howland has traditionally rewarded committment, effort and performance. If Darren has not, over the past three years (and from what I have heard over the summer) demonstrated all of the above, then no one ever has.

At Sep 30, 2008, 11:18:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

I agree, you dont take away a senior player who has started for you and played hard and committed to a freshman. Especially a freshman that can also play other spots.
What separates UCLA from many other colleges are prestige and excellence and to make such a move would certainly be wrong. Especially when Darren is a very good player.
Sure he got outplayed by D Rose, but pretty much just about every pg did.

At Oct 1, 2008, 3:18:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Jrue Holiday is the ultimate teammate, a hard worker, and an extremely talented player - he certainly has the tools to be a one-and-done.
But will he leave after a single season at UCLA?
No one will know until Jrue steps on the floor. How does he react to a new system? New teammates? Not to mention a tougher competition and schedule. How far the Bruins go in March will also play a factor. But sure, Jrue has the chance of being a one-and-done.
For those who think Jrue can supplant Darren Collison at PG - now that's a different story.
Barring any unfortunate injury, Collison is the team's first-string PG this season. No doubt about it. But Howland does love his combo-guards and you'll definitely see Holiday playing PG at times even with Collison on the floor. And Jerime Anderson should see time at PG this season as well.

At Oct 1, 2008, 4:52:00 AM, Anonymous alan said...

thanks for the insight BBR. I agree with everyone that Howland will do the right thing with the PG situation.
what excited me about the Chad Ford quote was not the possibility of Collison being supplanted by Holiday, but by the possibility that Holiday is already showing to be THAT good
the first twinkling of news i heard down the grapevine last year as KLove started playing on the UCLA campus was that he wasn't that good. of course that turned out to be wrong, but just wondering what kind of noise Holiday's been making in the Wooden Center of Men's Gym

At Oct 1, 2008, 5:56:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Hey BBR- Any thoughts about Snaer and Stover? Where you think they're going, etc?
For me, if we can't get both of them, I think I'd rather have Snaer than Stover.
Not because we don't need a center, but because of Snaer's potential right off the bat. He might not need as much development as Stover. And the fact that the guards will have to carry the scoring load next year.
Any thoughts from the readers?

At Oct 1, 2008, 3:45:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

delete room for this nonsense

At Oct 1, 2008, 3:49:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

BBR, How is Gordon's foot?
How did Morgan look this summer in pick-up?
Is our 2009 class missing a big time 5 star recruit?
Why doesn't UCLA basketball hold a season ticket party? Want to throw one with me?
It is early I know with regards to recruiting for 2009, but nobody can compete with UCLA basketball in the Pac-10 THIS year.....
Oh, I received my season tix in the mail today Bruin Fans....awwww yeah.....

At Oct 1, 2008, 4:10:00 PM, Anonymous bruin66 said...

I don't need this Lute Olsen stuff on BBR - as Bill Walton said to Tom Tolbert...
Go Bruins. And Coach Howland.

At Oct 1, 2008, 5:22:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Gordon is ready to go, and while Morgan looks solid - he still has much to learn. Aboya will be the starter in the middle.
Honeycutt is a 5-star. It would be icing on the cake to get another wing and big man in 2009. Both Snaer and Stover are still up in the air but it sounds like Stover will decide in the coming week.

At Oct 2, 2008, 6:13:00 AM, Anonymous David G. said...

While Jrue Holiday dominated the ball in high school, I'd have to attribute that to him never having a top-notch PG like Collison. Holiday will blend right in at the 2, and I don't anticipate any kind of controversy whatsoever. What I do expect is a fast-paced offense with all the athletes we have on the team now. I'm giddy with anticipation of this coming year.

At Oct 2, 2008, 6:14:00 AM, Anonymous bruin66 said...

Gordon is a hell of an all-around athlete.
Think he'll start, BBR?
Hard to imagine him leaping over Shipp and Keefe.
Any news on Roll or Dragovic?
We spend so much time worrying about 2009 - let's not overlook 2008.

At Oct 2, 2008, 6:22:00 AM, Anonymous David G. said...

I can see this upcoming Bruins team being similar to last year's Lakers team where you have a disciplined, methodical first team, followed by a frenetic, fast-paced second team to keep the opponent on their heels for 40 minutes.

At Oct 2, 2008, 8:02:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

niiice comments David G.
Drag learned defense yet?
How is Rolls foot/ankle? is he 100%?
So Aboya enrolled and is our center???
Tell him its not tackle football....
thanks, BruinFan

At Oct 2, 2008, 11:04:00 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

I'm really glad Aboya is back. Learning Howland's defensive scheme and half-court offense is a lot easier when you practice with guys who already know it. I'm suprised Holiday's name was mentioned as getting playing time as a PG. Collison and Anderson should have the 1 locked up, even when playing a lot of 3-guard offense. This team is incredibly balanced,which aside from the talent level,makes it a force to be reckoned with. This team should be able to play any type of game the other side wants.

At Oct 3, 2008, 5:15:00 AM, Anonymous jojoenglish said...

Great News! Anthony Stover just committed to UCLA over Arizona. Go Bruins. Thank you for Ben Howland and his staff for their great work and visit preparation to get Anthony Stover changed his mind because he was in favor to commit to the Wildcats before the visit to UCLA last weekend.
I have been waiting on this great news since Monday. Let's make a strong push on Michael Snaer.

At Oct 3, 2008, 6:52:00 AM, Anonymous Torp said...

Bruins land Anthony Stover 6-9 Center for the class of 2k9. Huge get over Arizona

At Oct 3, 2008, 5:55:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Aboya and Keefe will be the starters up front to begin the season while Gordon and Morgan will come off the bench.
It could change as the season progresses. One possible scenario, if Aboya still proves to be foul-prone, Howland may be forced to use Aboya in spurts and in spots thereby pushing either Gordon or Morgan into the starting line-up
Roll has looked good in pick-up games and Dragovic seems to be playing with a little more attitude but we'll see what happens once practices and games begin. At UCLA under Howland, its still all about the D.


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