Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chace Stanback Set To Transfer

By Bruin Basketball Report

Freshman forward Chace Stanback plans to transfer to another school at the end of the spring quarter, UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland announced today.

"Chace is an outstanding young man and we appreciate what he did for this program this past year," Howland said. "He helped us win a Pac-10 championship and get to the Final Four and we will always be appreciative of his efforts. We are supportive of him and his future in whatever direction he decides to go."

Stanback played sparingly in his first and only year at Westwood, appearing in 25 games and averaging 1.0 points and 0.7 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game

The 6' 8-wing was the 2007 California Division I Player of the Year and a two-time state champion at Fairfax HS.

He has not made a decision as to where he will transfer.

"After speaking with my family and thinking about it for a long time, I feel that it is in my best interest to explore other opportunities," Stanback said. "I want to thank my coaches and teammates because they have helped me improve as a player and grow as a man and I am thankful to them for that. I have a lot of great memories and really enjoyed my time here at UCLA."

With incoming McDonalds All-American freshmen, Malcolm Lee and Jrue Holiday arriving, its uncertain how much playing time Stanback would have received next season on the wing. The Bruins also have Michael Roll and Josh Shipp, if he returns, at the position.

Stanback's departure opens up a scholarship next season and creates a scenario where the Bruin would have scholarships for all returning lettermen and incoming freshmen.

At present, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Josh Shipp have declared for the NBA without hiring an agent. With Stanback's upcoming transfer, if all four lettermen decide to return next season, the Bruins will have 13 scholarship players - including the four players from its stellar incoming freshmen class (Lee, Holiday, Drew Gordon, and Jerime Anderson).

A NCAA Division I school is allowed 13 basketball scholarships per season.

(photo by Bruin Basketball Report)


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (4/28)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Malcolm Lee (Blue) -- The UCLA commit made a new fan this weekend. After being arguably the best player on the court (other than Brandon Jennings) in the scrimmage, Lee made the most of his time on the court. He only played 18 minutes, though he showed his coach's son approach by shooting accurately and in appropriate situations, and by taking care of the ball. He had seven points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and no turnovers. Lee has all of the tools to become a bigtime NCAA player and NBA prospect. 4/22

Jrue Holiday (Blue) -- The highly regarded West Coast guard had a disappointing weekend. After a fairly quiet scrimmage, he shot one-of-nine from the field and have more turnovers than points (six and five, respectively). Holiday's game may not be best-suited for the all-star game setting due to his team-first attitude. Regardless, he's one of the most polished and skilled players heading into college next season. 4/22

Mullens now on top of the 2008 Rivals150: Mullens bumped Georgetown-bound Greg Monroe from the No. 1 spot. Monroe slipped a bit in the rankings, but remains in the top 10. The latest ranking is very guard-heavy at the top. After Mullens, Jrue Holiday, Demar Derozan, Brandon Jennings (all Pac-10 bound prospects), Scotty Hopson and Tyreke Evans were close behind. GatorBait 4/22

Howland, when reached by phone, was pleased to hear of Jrue Holiday and Malcolm Lee's willingness to play D. It was, he said, as if they were getting a head-start on Bruin-ball. "If they're able to come in and play good defense," Howland said, "it increases their possibility of being significant players right away -- which they're probably going to have to be." The best-case scenario for UCLA would be that one of its two current backcourt stars, Westbrook or Collison, returns to mentor the rookies, and Mbah a Moute comes back to anchor the frontcourt. A starting lineup of Westbrook and Holiday at guard, Josh Shipp and Mbah a Moute at forward, and either James Keefe or Drew Gordon in the low-post might be good enough to get the Bruins to their fourth straight Final Four. Sports Illustrated 4/24

Campbell Hall’s Jrue Holiday played his final high school basketball game in New York City on April 19, when he participated in the seventh annual Nike Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game. It was his third major prep showcase game since completing his storied basketball career as a Viking. He also played in the McDonald’s All-American game and the Nike Hoop Summit in the past month. Holiday was selected to play on the Blue Team. Holiday, who played for the victorious Blue Team, only played 19 minutes and was a non-factor on offense. He had five points, three assists, six turnovers and was 1-for-9 from the field. Sun Community 4/25

Bay Area Meet of Champions - Shot put - Colin Quirke (Los Gatos) 59-4 1/2, David Spates (Monte Vista-Danville) 58-7, Drew Gordon (Mitty) 56-10. State: Quirke (Los Gatos) 59-4 1/2. SF Chronicle

If Kyle Caldwell decided to exercise the option he’s been given to walk on to the UCLA basketball team, he’d be relieved to be playing with Jerime Anderson, not against him. The Newport Harbor High senior, who already has a volleyball scholarship from the Bruins, was facing the Canyon standout Saturday night at Ocean View High, where they were playing on opposite teams in the 43rd annual Kiwanis/PlyoCity Orange County All-Star game. Caldwell had 11 points and eight rebounds for the South, which lost to Anderson’s North squad, 124-105. Even though the All-Star game was tantamount to an exhibition, Caldwell said Anderson — who finished with 35 points — brought the same skills that led to Canyon’s 72-48 victory over Newport Harbor in the December Irvine World News tournament. “He’s full-bore all the time,” Caldwell said. “He’s a good player. He gives it all he can.” But seeing Caldwell in Bruins basketball shorts is a long shot at best. The men’s volleyball and basketball seasons overlap, and Caldwell is one of the hottest volleyball players in the nation. Either way, Caldwell and Anderson will be sharing a school, if not a team. Daily Pilot 4/27


The big man who replaces Kevin Love at UCLA apparently will not be LSU signee J'Mison Morgan. The 6-foot-11center from Dallas South Oak Cliff High met with LSU coach Trent Johnson on Tuesday and has decided to honor his letter of intent, according to his high school coach James Mays. Johnson's keeping former LSU interim coach Butch Pierre as an assistant was a big factor in Morgan's decision because Pierre recruited the senior to Baton Rouge. The former Stanford coach also emphasized his track record developing big men, assuring Morgan that he will be a focal point of the Tigers offense next season.Press Enterprise 4/22

There’s a lot of work to do on the recruiting trail in the next few weeks for new LSU men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson. But Johnson made a huge statement this week by apparently closing the book for good on the 2008 class. J’Mison Morgan, the centerpiece of the Tigers’ 2008 recruiting haul, will honor his commitment to LSU. Johnson and James Mays, Morgan’s coach at South Oak Cliff in Dallas, confirmed Thursday that the 6-foot-10, 275-pound Morgan plans on enrolling at LSU and playing for the Tigers. Morgan met with Johnson and Tigers associate head coach Butch Pierre in person in Dallas on Tuesday. That meeting convinced the big Texan that LSU is still the right place for him. “He’s a very, very good basketball player who fits well in the system we’re going to implement,” Johnson said2theadvocate 4/23

Oodles of schools have offers to Jordan Hamiliton. Here's the updated short list: Connecticut, Kansas, Syracuse, Texas and USC. Man, I hope this kid stays local and ends up with the Trojans. I'd love to watch him for another few years. By the way, ranks Hamilton as the No. 2 small forward and No. 8 player overall in the nation. In my opinion, Hamilton is a little underrated. I saw him play three times this past season, and I believe he's snipped from the same fabric as Compton's DeMar DeRozan and Campbell Hall's Jrue Holiday. LA Times 4/24

KU apparently is out of the running for Ater Majok, a 6-10 forward (in the Class of 2008) from Sudan, who is on UConn’s campus for an unofficial visit. Majok told he is considering UConn, UCLA, Baylor and Kentucky. Lawrence Journal World 4/25

Stephan Van Treese, a 6-9, 225-pound junior from Indianapolis, tells Rivals he has a final six of KU, Indiana, Louisville, UCLA, Ohio State and Florida. Van Treese, the No. 52-rated player in the Class of ’09, will compete at the ninth-annual Jayhawk Invitational, which starts May 2 at Allen Fieldhouse and Horejsi Center. Lawrence Journal World 4/25

But in a brief conversation with the Citizen-Times, the father did confirm that Christ School senior Miles Plumlee, a 6-foot-10 forward from Indiana, has asked for a release from the national letter-of-intent he signed with Stanford in November. Miles Plumlee was unavailable for comment. “I don’t want to get into the particulars of the situation, but it has changed dramatically,” Perky Plumlee said. “Now we’re just waiting on Stanford to do the honorable thing. And I know Miles just wants some closure to this situation. He’s not the type of kid who likes a lot of attention.” Greenies coach David Gaines said the Plumlee family became increasingly disenchanted with the lack of communication from Stanford since former coach Trent Johnson left for LSU earlier this month. Citizen-Times 4/27

(photo credit: Chris Williams/Icon SMI)


Shipp Declares For NBA Draft

By Bruin Basketball Report

Red-shirt junior Josh Shipp announced he has declared for the NBA draft but will not hire an agent immediately in order to maintain his NCAA eligibility.

"After speaking with my family and with Coach Howland, I think I should test the NBA waters to get some feedback," Shipp said. "I feel like it really can’t hurt me at this time. I want to go through the process this year, which will serve as a positive experience for me in my future development."

Shipp was part of Coach Ben Howland's first recruiting class which also included Jordan Farmar, Arron Afflalo, and Lorenzo Mata. Farmar and Afflalo are in the NBA while Mata just completed his senior campaign. Shipp red-shirted two seasons ago due to a hip injury and subsequent surgery.

He will likely go through the NBA draft workouts later this summer to gain a gauge on himself against the competition, in addition, he hopes to gain feedback from NBA scouts on his game.

"My experience at UCLA has been amazing," Shipp said. "It has been great being a part of so many winning teams. But at the same time, I’m at the later stages of my college career and I think it would be an advantage for me to test this year."

Shipp averaged 12.2 points and 3.2 rebounds a game last season and was named as an honorable mention All-Pac-10 Conference selection. Although he led the team in three-point field goals made with 70, he went through a prolonged shooting slump towards the end of the year. He shot only 20% from beyond the arc in the NCAA tournament.

He becomes the fourth Bruin to declare for the draft this year. Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Luc Richard Mbah a Mouted all opted for the draft earlier. Point-guard Darren Collison announced yesterday he was staying for his senior season at UCLA.

(photo by Bruin Basketball Report)


Door Open For Caldwell

By David Carrillo Peñaloza
Daily Pilot

[reprinted with permission]

Sailors senior says there’s a lot riding on all-star game because it might lead to a shot to play for UCLA.

Kyle Caldwell hasn’t played much basketball lately. Just twice since Newport Harbor High’s season ended in February.

Caldwell’s been busy with volleyball, the sport in which many consider the versatile player to be the top high school senior in the country.

But right now basketball occupies his mind. Four days after being named MVP of the Santa Barbara/Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions, all he cares about is another basketball game.

There is one today. This isn’t just another game to the 6-foot-9, 225-pounder. Sure it’s an all-star event, but in all levels, from high school to the pros, all-star games aren’t always taken as seriously. They’re mostly fun, not much defense is played, just a lot of scoring.

Caldwell is hoping to score more than points today at the 43rd annual Kiwanis/PlyoCity Orange County All-Star festivities featuring his South team against the North in the boys’ big schools game at Ocean View High at 8:15 p.m.

“I’m approaching this like a real game because of the possibility of being able to play basketball at UCLA next year,” Caldwell said. “There’s a lot riding in this game.”

Caldwell’s future hangs in the balance.

A volleyball scholarship already awaits the setter at UCLA. The idea of a basketball one has him intrigued.

Caldwell’s late grandfather George Yardley played college basketball at Stanford, where he was an All-American, and later a prolific scorer in the NBA, becoming the first player to score 2,000 points in a season in 1957-58.

“That has a little to do with it,” Caldwell said of being influenced by his grandfather, a six-time All-Star and Hall of Famer. “I’ll walk on if I have to because it doesn’t get any better than UCLA when it comes to athletics.”

Especially in basketball and volleyball, two storied programs. Both with the most NCAA titles won in their respective sports, 11 for basketball and 19 for volleyball.

Caldwell wants to play for each next season.

The basketball and volleyball seasons overlap, making it tough to juggle both sports. But Caldwell said legendary volleyball coach Al Scates is fine with him playing basketball and volleyball if the Bruins court him for basketball.

The coach in charge of Caldwell’s South All-Stars is Ryan Schachter of Corona del Mar. Schachter said UCLA assistant coach Scott Garson is interested in Caldwell, a co-player of the year in the Sunset League and Newport-Mesa Dream Team.

“Scott definitely wants to look at a copy of the [game’s] video and see what he’s all about,” said Schachter, referring to Caldwell, who averaged 21.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game this past season. “I’ve known Scott since my [assistant coaching] days at Santa Barbara High, and with UCLA losing [6-10 freshman center] Kevin Love, a possible top-10 pick [in the NBA Draft], [6-9 senior backup Lorenzo] Mata-Real to graduation, and now [6-8 junior forward] Luc Richard [Mbah a Moute] declaring for the draft, the Bruins are in need of big men.

“UCLA always goes after high-character guys and guys who work hard. They’re not always the most talented, but they’re really good. I wouldn’t be surprised if Caldwell’s playing basketball at UCLA.”

Like many of the players in the showcase game, which will include two CdM seniors, 6-9 center Stefan Kaluz, bound for Brown University, and 6-6 forward Joe Eberhard, Caldwell has missed his share of practice time due to other commitments.

Schachter has seen Caldwell enough the past two years, coaching against him in the Battle of the Bay, to understand what he brings to the court. The ability to shoot from the outside and also pass well for a big guy stand out obviously, garnering the attention from some solid basketball programs like Washington State, UC Santa Barbara, Princeton and Southern Methodist University.

But it’s his persona that has Schachter raving about Caldwell. It’s another reason why Schachter can see Caldwell playing for Coach Ben Howland, who recently guided the Bruins to their third straight Final Four appearance.

“The guy just gets after it,” Schachter said of Caldwell, a second-team Division I-A selection by the Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Assn.

Schachter coached a UCLA-bound two-sport athlete in Matt McKinney on an AAU basketball program in the Santa Barbara area before moving here.

“Their games differed,” said Schachter, comparing McKinney to Caldwell. “Matt was like the No. 2-rated high school volleyball player when he was at Santa Ynez in 2002. He was about 6-8, stronger, thicker, more of a post player than Caldwell. He got a shot to be on both the volleyball and basketball teams at UCLA before injuries caught up to him. I think Kyle has a good shot to do the same.

“He’s been to one practice so far and he was a little rusty at first. Still, he showed a lot of skill and trust me we have a lot of talent on our team like [Santa Margarita’s] Klay Thompson, who’s going to Washington State and was the [CIF State Division III] Player of the Year. But for a guy to pick up the basketball after not doing so for a couple of months and to keep up with the rest of the guys who have been playing basketball since the season ended says a lot about Caldwell’s abilities.”

(photo credit: Daily Pilot)