Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (10/13)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Jrue Holiday (UCLA) – Another one of the top freshman in the country, Holiday joins a loaded UCLA backcourt in the hopes of leading them to a fourth consecutive Final Four. Where Derozan’s heart has come into question, Holiday’s is one of his greatest strengths. He’s got a great work ethic and attitude to go along with his talent and versatility. He’s athletic (though not on Derozan’s level) and exhibits good fundamentals on the court. His jump shot is solid out to the college line, he’s got a mid-range game, and he can get to the basket and finish well. A combo guard, Holiday can also run a team and make the players around him better. The combo guard label had been a negative thing in the past, but with the success of players like Dwyane Wade, Monta Ellis, Louis Williams, and Rodney Stuckey, guys who can play at both backcourt positions have become valuable commodities. While Holiday needs to continue to hone his point guard skills, he’s the best combo the college ranks has to offer. A one-and-done possibility if he has a great year at UCLA, Holiday is more likely a top five pick in 2010. NBA 10/11

"I'd say we got off to a late start, based on how recruiting's going now. Everybody's talking to sophomores," Montgomery said. "We were maybe in a lot of people's minds, but they were (asking) 'Where have you guys been?' "
Certainly that was a factor with Brendan Lane, a 6-foot-9 forward from Rocklin High, who is considered to have skills similar to former Cal star Ryan Anderson. "Cal was definitely in the picture, and so was Stanford," Rocklin coach Steve Taylor said. "When both of those coaching positions changed, it created some uncertainty." Taylor said there was about a month when Lane did not hear from either Cal or Stanford. In the meantime, UCLA coach Ben Howland called. Montgomery visited Lane in Rocklin, but Taylor said Howland, whose Bruins have been to three straight Final Fours, was able to make a more tangible case. "There wasn't anything for Brendan to base it on," Taylor said of Cal's pitch. "What kind of program was it going to be? What kind of players were they going to recruit? Coach Montgomery did a nice job, but the timing was not good. You know what you're getting if you go to UCLA." Inside Bay Area 10/12


Five-star shooting guard Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn, N.Y., will be in Lawrence for “Late Night in the Phog” on Oct. 17, according to Stephenson, considered a can’t-miss NBA prospect by many, will officially visit KU along with fellow five-star shooting guards Xavier Henry (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Michael Snaer (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Dominic Cheek (Jersey City, N.J.) and four-star point guard Elijah Johnson (Las Vegas). Kansas City Star 10/6

Lance Stephenson, a 6-5 guard from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., who will wait until the spring to sign, will visit KU for the Oct. 17 Late Night in the Phog. reports that Stephenson also hopes to visit Memphis, Southern California and UCLA. He already has visited St. John’s. Lawrence Journal World 10/6

When Matt Vogrich narrowed his list of schools at which to play college basketball, he had three criteria: a coach who knows guards, a strong business school and proximity to his Lake Forest, Ill., home. That led the 6-foot-4 senior guard to verbally commit to Michigan during the weekend. Detroit Free Press 10/6

As focus on the Class of 2010 heats up, there’s been plenty of attention being paid recently toward shooting guard Harrison Barnes, a long-range bomber from Ames High School in Iowa. Barnes, ranked No. 4 nationally in his class according to, has seen his stock skyrocket since the spring. He has dazzled big-time college coaches and recruiting experts alike with his shooting stroke and overall athleticism. And with his junior season soon to begin, the regular status checks on his whereabouts promise to intensify. With a list of pursuers too long to list in its entirety — Duke, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA and USC are among the headliners — Barnes has plenty of options. Fayetteville Observer 10/7

Deniz Kilicli, who recently came to the U.S from Turkey to further his basketball prospects, is playing this year alongside Cottrill at Mountain State Academy. He is more physical than the average European big man, and plays with strength in the lane and around the rim. He also has a solid midrange game, and will quickly rise up the 2009 rankings once talent evaluators get a look at him in action. Blue Gold News 10/9

Elijah Johnson, 6-2 senior from Cheyenne High in Las Vegas, has narrowed his list to KU, Texas and Oklahoma, according to Johnson will visit KU for Late Night. Lawrence Journal World 10/9

Jordan Hamilton has been courted by seemingly every powerhouse college basketball program in the nation for quite sometime now, and it appears as if Texas might have ended up as the winner in the sweepstakes for the talented 6-foot-7 senior from Compton Dominguez. On Thursday evening, Hamilton announced on ESPNU that he orally committed to the Longhorns despite having scholarship offers from numerous other schools, including Connecticut, Kansas and USC. LA Times 10/10

San Diego High's 6-foot-11 basketball standout Jeremy Tyler has given the University of Louisville an oral commitment. Tyler, a junior, averaged 18 points, 14 rebounds and 9 blocked shots a game for the Cavers, who captured the section Division I title while compiling a 23-5 record. San Diego High coach Kenny Roy said the mobile post player decided on Louisville after narrowing his choices to the Cardinals, Texas, USC, UCLA and San Diego State. Union Tribune 10/12

Daniel Orton will be calling Lexington home next Fall. The nation's third rated center for the Class of 2009 decided not to go back to Oklahoma City until letting the Solid Blue faithful know he'll be wearing blue and white. The media got about an hour's notice Orton would hold a news conference to announce his decision and within that hour a crowd of more than 100 Solid Blue fans filled the Hyatt Regency lobby in Downtown Lexington to hear what they wanted to hear. Orton says it came down to two schools, Kansas and Kentucky. Kansas told him it no longer had a scholarship available. Orton says that made his decision easier but he never considered Kentucky a back-up plan. Orton says the fact he was greeted at Big Blue Madness with chants of his name friday night helped too. WTVQ 10/12

(photo credit: SacBee)



At Oct 13, 2008, 1:56:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

What's the big draw on Kansas? Corn fields? BruinFan is scratching his head. When I think of college basketball tradtion/history - U.C.L.A. is the place to be. I'm not biased....

At Oct 13, 2008, 1:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did we lose Tyler to Lousville?? He was in our own backyard too.
Oh well. Can't land them all.

At Oct 13, 2008, 4:49:00 AM, Anonymous DW said...

I think there is more focus state-wide in Kansas for college hoops. I hear about recruiting trips out there and the fans go all out. You become Kobe, Barron, Manny or even Beckham when you play hoops for the Jayhawks. They don't have pro teams in that state (remember Kansas City is in MO). So that alone is a huge draw for these guys. UCLA sells it's self, but LA has other attractions other than Bruin B-ball. We can't promise that they'll own the state, like they would in Kansas.

At Oct 13, 2008, 5:24:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Excellent points DW. There is a lot to do in L.A. whereas going to UCLA or SC you can be big man on campus. In Kansas, you're big man all the way to the state line.
I'm not too surprised about Tyler. I keep close watch on if the Bruins have an offer into a player or not. We originally did, but pulled back the offer (maybe in favor of Josh Smith) a while back. That always tells me Howland and staff have put their intentions elsewhere.
BruinFan, I'm with you about why wouldn't anyone come to Westwood! I guess some guys may be afraid of the BIG BIG city!

At Oct 13, 2008, 6:13:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Don't forget that we already got a verbal from Stover at the C spot. No need to get another for 2009 with Josh Smith (hopefully) coming in 2010.
On another subject, what's the deal with Lance Stephenson? It says that he wants to trip to UCLA. Does that mean we're still interested in him? I thought we already dropped him from consideration since we got Honeycutt.
Maybe he just wants to ride an airplane.

At Oct 13, 2008, 10:02:00 AM, Anonymous David G. said...

Tyler -- like Renardo Sidney -- has a tendency to disappear in games even though he is heads and shoulders more talented that his competition. I wouldn't be surprised if this caused Coach Howland to waver in his pursuit. Also, didn't Tyler star in his own reality -TV series about his recruitment? That doesn't sound like a BenBall Warrior to me.
RE: Jrue Holiday and Demar Derozan... I expect Holiday to take the USC games more personally than usual, and make a point in shutting him down similar to the job Westbrook did to OJ Mayo last year. I found it comical that thought it was complimentary to compare Derozan to Vince Carter, a reputed dog who mails it in. I'll take Holiday and his Kobe-esque heart and desire to be the best on both ends of the floor.

At Oct 13, 2008, 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous DB said...

Well you have to remember that while UCLA has done a great job last few years thanks to Ben Howland, the last 20 years schools like NC, Kansas, and Duke are more successful.
I love the Bruins but it is just not possible to get all the so called great players to come here. Especially when most high profile scoring ball players lack or dont like to put much effort in defense. Many of these kids prefer to go to a more offensive minded first schools.
It is very difficult and rare to get extremely high calibur players who do it well at both ends of the court or even want to put the effort in doing so.
Players like Jrue Holiday are just very rare. Such as so that everytime in college or pros probably had and will have interest in him.
Ucla will get some of their shares of great players but for what coach Ben wants to do, we will find more Russel Westbrook guys where they have the talent, but not enough star time in highschool to get to their heads. Those who got great potential and willing to learn the so called "less glamorous" side of the game.
As long as we got talented players that are willing to learn and work hard, we will be fine.

At Oct 13, 2008, 7:27:00 PM, Anonymous Hank said...

Hey, no comments from Sidney's dad this week? Bummer. I was looking forward to more comic relief.

At Oct 14, 2008, 5:52:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Good point DB! I always like to think that the other 10 players on the Bulls roster were the perfect compliment to Jordan and Pippen and the roster as a whole is what made their team great! Remember how many times Jordan would dish out to a Paxson or Kerr to put a nail in the opposing team's coffin by burying a deep three?
Those lucky men got to chug a lot of cham-pag-ne !
I see a lot of hardworking depth on the Bruins for the next couple of years! Can never under appreciate our grunts and the contribution they make!!!

At Oct 14, 2008, 6:31:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

BBR- What's this I hear that UCLA is still in talks with Abdul Gaddy? Any truth to this rumor?
Inquiring minds want to know!

At Oct 23, 2008, 2:42:00 AM, Anonymous davidlee34 said...

espn reports lute olson is out. like kdl asked, is gaddy an even stronger possibility now? thanks as always BBR.


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