Monday, May 05, 2008

J'mison Morgan Considering UCLA Again

By Bruin Basketball Report

Five star basketball recruit J'mison Morgan has submitted a request for a release from his commitment to LSU, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Morgan, a South Oak Cliff HS senior, had signed a national letter of intent with LSU last November; however, after John Brady was fired as head coach at LSU, Morgan began to reconsider his commitment to the university.

After meeting with new LSU head coach Trent Johnson two weeks ago, Morgan remained undecided on his basketball future, even though reports from the LSU athletic department indicated Morgan had reaffirmed his commitment to the school.

The 6'10 265 lb center reportedly submitted his release papers to LSU over the weekend and is now awaiting to hear back from school administrators on his official release.

LSU is not obligated to release Morgan from his commitment. If LSU does not grant his release, Morgan would have to sit out a year before transferring to another school to play basketball.

Morgan is reportedly considering UCLA to attend next fall to play in the 2008-09 season.

UCLA had aggressively pursued the highly sought after Morgan last year in a tough recruiting battle with schools including LSU, Alabama, and Kansas.

With the early entrance into the NBA by UCLA center Kevin Love, an opportunity opened up for a big man, like Morgan, to play major minutes on an elite team. UCLA's third consecutive visit to the Final Four seemed to weigh heavily in Morgan's decision.

"It was a real hard decision for me," said Morgan to the Dallas Morning News. "My comfort level was at LSU, but I felt like UCLA was a better fit for me as far as exposure."

LSU assistant coach Butch Pierre's re-hire by Coach Trent Johnson seemed to be the key to keeping Morgan at LSU, but at the end, the prospects of playing in Westwood and gaining national exposure on a bigger stage was more important to Morgan.

Morgan averaged 13.5 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots as a senior last season.

If Morgan decides to attend UCLA, he will be joining a recruiting class already ranked No.1 by most experts. Already commited to UCLA are guards Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson, Malcolm Lee, and post player Drew Gordon. Morgan's commitment would put an exclamation point on an already stellar class.

(photo credit: Dallas Morning News)


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/5)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Pump N' Run Elite featured a balanced attack led by 6-foot-8 Tyler Honeycutt who finished with 18 points, while Tarpley added 16 points, and Tyler Lamb 11 points. They also got solid support from Elijah Johnson and 6-foot-2 Kendall Williams who rounded out their double digit scoring with 10 points each. Utah Pump N' Run's top gun was Tapasoa who finished with a game high 20 points, while Davies added 15 points and Skler Halford added 11 points in the loss. CSTV 4/28

There isn't a program in the country that wouldn't love to add Jrue Holiday, a 6-3 guard headed to UCLA. For Holiday to develop his package of athleticism, selflessness and burgeoning skill into an NBA-ready package will require a minimum of two years, possibly three if he is to grow into what should be his best pro position: point guard. "These are multiyear people," Telep says. "You pick up your media guide and see, 'This school signed the No. 4 player in America.' Automatically, you're expecting what you've seen the past two years. You have to take off your school-colored glasses and look at the big picture." Sporting News 4/30

Drew Gordon, Archbishop Mitty track and field: Saturday at the Avis Kelley Invitational in Gilroy, Gordon won the discus with the longest throw in the Central Coast Section this year (179 feet, 6 inches). He also won the shot put (55-9). Mercury News 4/30


Jordan Hamilton- Thompson's teammate slowly worked his way into this same game, passing up shots early in the game. It didn't take Hamilton long, however, to pick up a few baskets with zigzagging muscle drives to the rim and stamp his presence on the game. Then in the second half he nailed a couple threes with his vintage stroke to break the game open. Matching Hollis' efficiency, Hamilton went 9-12 from the field (2-3 from behind the arc) for a total of 23 points 2/3rds through the game. Rivals 4/28

A day after Hasheem Thabeet announced he would return for his junior season instead of making himself eligible for the NBA Draft, UConn received more good news today. Ater Majok, a 6-foot-10 forward who was the center of their recruiting efforts, made an oral commitment to attend UConn. Majok, who visited campus last week, is expected to sign a national letter of intent in the next few days. Courant 4/29

According to Rivals, KU is "very much in the mix" for forward Renardo Sidney (Los Angeles), the No. 1 player in the class of 2009. I couldn't tell you what "very much in the mix" means. But Sidney's favorites are UCLA and USC. Topeka Capital Journal 4/29

As part of UCLA's last-ditch search to find a center for next year's recruiting class, assistant coach Donny Daniels recently flew to Spain to see 7-footer Philip Wait, a native of Manchester England now playing at the Gran Canaria Basketball Academy. Daniels had been tracking Wait through director Rob Orellana, an assistant under Daniels at Cal State Fullerton. While I've been unable to track down Orellana thus far, I did reach Wait's former high school coach at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. Gregor Makechnie said Wait has received interest from UCLA, Arizona State, Kentucky and Nebraska among others, but he also might opt to play professionally in Europe instead. Wait needs to work on his strength, footwork and toughness, according to Makechnie, but his upside is high. The 21-year-old wants to go to a school where he would be challenged academically and feel comfortable. "The thing UCLA has to determine is if he's a guy who comes in and makes an immediate impact," Makechnie said. "Two years ago he was a work in progress. I haven't seen him this year, but now he might have developed further." Press Enterprise 4/29

Over 50 teams from Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma will compete in the tournament, which is separated into 15-under, 16-under and 17-under divisions. Each division is split into three pools, with the top team from each pool advancing. Oklahoma’s own Athletes First will be competing in the 17-under bracket. The team features several of the state’s best players like Bishop McGuinness’ Daniel Orton and Putnam City’s Xavier Henry. Norman High’s Kyle Hardrick and Terrance Boyd are also on the team. Norman Transcript 5/2

Davidson has signed one of the top remaining recruits in the 2008 national class, the Observer has learned. Sources familiar with the process confirmed that Frank Ben-Eze, who plays at Bishop O'Connell High in Arlington, Va., signed with Davidson on Wednesday. Joe Wootten, Ben-Eze's coach, said they faxed his letter of intent to Davidson on Wednesday morning. According to, Ben-Eze is the 12th-best prospect overall who had yet to commit to a school. But Ben-Eze, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center, decided on Davidson after an official visit over the weekend. Charlotte Observer 5/2

Hours after being granted a release from Stanford on Thursday, Miles Plumlee committed to Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils, choosing them over competing offers from Georgia Tech, Indiana, Notre Dame, Purdue, Southern Cal and UCLA. In doing so, the 6-foot-10 forward from Warsaw, Ind., will join younger brother, Mason, a 6-foot-11 junior, who gave an oral commitment to Duke in February. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and great that things played out the way they did,” Plumlee said. “We can be together in college and that’s an exciting thing. I’m really excited about Duke.” Ashville Citizen Times 5/2

Michael Snaer, a 6-4 junior from Rancho Verde, led the Inland Empire team to an impressive victory over Renardo Sidney and the L.A. Dream team Saturday at the GBOA Hoops tournament at USC. Snaer, who is being recruited by most of the Pac-10, had 29 points. LA Times 5/2

Out West, it could be argued that Tacoma shooting guard Avery Bradley was equally as impressive and dominant with his play. The 6-foot-3 guard was the talk of Vegas with his stellar play. He also shined in Colorado the week before. Avery Bradley scored 33 points on 14 of 17 shooting from the floor against EBO. He also shined on the defensive end of the floor. Ever intent on suiting up in the Pac-10, it will be interesting to see how his recruitment shakes out and who becomes a serious contender for his commitment. Rivals 5/2

Watch out world. When Xavier Henry gets back to full strength, it could get ugly. The five-star guard was great at the Boo Williams Invitational, even working on a grotesquely swollen ankle. He sprained his ankle on the first night of action but continue to light up defenses with his advanced offensive game. His recruitment continues to sing the same song: Memphis, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Texas and Ohio State. Rivals 5/2

(photo credit: Mercury News and Press Enterprise)