Monday, May 26, 2008

Bruin Basketball Recruiting: Greg Smith

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Greg Smith
C | 6'8 | 235

Status: Prospect
Class: 2009
Hometown: Vallejo, CA
School: Jesse M. Bethel HS
Position Rank (aggregate): C #6
Schools of Interest: UCLA, USC, California, Washington, Fresno St., Arizona





Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/26)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Jrue Holiday, combo guard, UCLA: Holiday simply does anything and everything his team needs for victory. Rarely does a glue-guy rank as an elite prospect, but Holiday fits the bill here. He plays great pressure defense and rebounds the ball very well for a guard, all traits that will make him a great fit with UCLA coach Ben Howland's tough brand of basketball. ESPN 5/19

Jrue Holiday is No. 4 and probably the most difficult kid to draw a correlation with from the ’05 group. We shoehorned him into a Martell Webster comparison because of his size and offensive game but we think Holiday should be at least a Webster clone in terms of his long-term success. WeAreDePaul 5/19

UCLA's bear of a class best of recruiting bunch: The Bruins have signed papers from four Top 50 prospects, including future pro Jrue Holiday. That alone was probably good enough to secure the top spot. But UCLA clinched the honor when J'Mison Morgan got his release from LSU and committed to UCLA last week to give Ben Howland a five-player class that when grouped with Darren Collison (and perhaps Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) seems good enough to lead the Bruins to their fourth straight Final Four. Sportsline 5/19

J'Mison Morgan, a 6-foot-11 center rated the fourth-best at his position in high school this season, announced at a news conference Friday that he will attend UCLA next season. Morgan had signed a letter of intent with Louisiana State in November but asked to be released from the letter after LSU fired Coach John Brady and hired former Stanford coach Trent Johnson. UCLA had originally been Morgan's second choice, and his mother, Bianca, said her son wanted to reconsider UCLA after Brady was fired. "We signed to play with Coach Brady," she said. "Then he wasn't there. What UCLA has to offer with academics and basketball seemed like the best fit for J'Mison." LA Times 5/24

The UCLA coaching staff pursued J'mison Morgan aggressively through back channels once it became clear that he might be available because the Bruins needed a big man to help offset the near-certain loss of freshman Kevin Love to the NBA. The coaching staff also got a big assist from incoming recruit Malcolm Lee, of Riverside North, who developed a rapport with Morgan during AAU camps and repeatedly called the big man the past few months in hopes of persuading him to come to UCLA. "Malcolm kept saying, 'You've got to come down here with me. I need a big man,' " Morgan said. "I was really comfortable with Malcolm, so that made a big difference." Press Enterprise 5/24

Hours before Kevin Love said for the first time he was signing with an agent and withdrawing from classes at UCLA, J'mison Morgan, the nation's top unsigned prep senior center, pledged his commitment to the Bruins. Both occurrences were expected, but Morgan publicly acknowledging he will attend UCLA softens the blow of losing Love after one season, and vaults the Bruins' 2008 recruiting class to the undisputed best in the nation. After a workout at the Home Depot Center in preparation for the June 26 NBA draft, Love said he would sign with Los Angeles-based agent Jeff Schwartz as early as Tuesday, thus ending any chance of returning for a second season. Love, an all-American and the Pacific-10 Conference player of the year in his only season, added he is no longer attending classes. "I have to actually sign the papers to get out of school because I have a few (endorsements) on the table where I can actually start making money," Love said. "When am I signing with an agent? As early as Tuesday. It's just getting all the paperwork together. I'm going with Jeff Schwartz. He has Jerryd Bayless already, and Paul Pierce." LA Daily News 5/24


F Renardo Sidney (Los Angeles; LA Dream Team; Rivals #4): Standing at 6-10 and 230 pounds, the rising senior from Fairfax HS can dominate a game due to his size alone. But don’t let that fool you; the young man is skilled, with the ability to make his way to the basket when guarded by one defender or find the open man when doubled. On the other end of the floor, it’s extremely tough to score on him straight up and he does a good job of helping weak side. The issue with Sidney: sometimes the game can become so easy that he loses focus. As long as he focuses solely on dominating the game from start to finish, he’ll remain atop the ranking for his class. He’s got a broad list of schools to choose from right now, dominated by Pac-10 schools. 5/19

G Avery Bradley (Tacoma, WA; Northwest Panthers; Rivals # 17)
Along with Abdul Gaddy, Bradley (6-3, 175) helped form one of the tougher backcourt tandems in the event. Of the seven games he played, the combo guard went for at least twenty in six of those contests and scored thirty or more in consecutive games. Suffice it to say, when Bradley decides that he’s going to score then you may as well mark the points down in the scorebook. Three of the four Pac-10 Northwest schools have offered Bradley (not Washington), with conference foes Arizona, Cal and USC following suit. The list right now is a long one, so it’s anyone’s guess where he could end up. 5/19

G Nolan Dennis (North Richland Hills, TX; Dallas Mustangs; Rivals # 36)
Yet another spectacular guard who was on display this past weekend, Dennis (6-5, 185) would best be described as a combo guard at this point in time. He can fill it up from just about anywhere on the floor, although he did struggle from behind the arc in the Mustangs’ four games. Also good at finding the open man, Dennis displayed himself as a player equally comfortable on or off of the ball on offense. And when the ball’s in his possession, you may as well forget about taking it from Nolan; his handle is that good. He’s already received offers from a number of schools, most notably Memphis, North Carolina and UCLA. 5/19

Greg Smith, The Bee's Player of the Year and a national recruit as a junior, has transferred from Edison High to Bethel-Vallejo. Tigers coach Arturo Ormond said the 6-foot-9, 240-pounder left two weeks ago. "It wasn't an academic issue, it wasn't a basketball issue, it's a family issue," Ormond said. "And when it involves family, you really don't have any options. I don't think it was anything he had any control over." But Ormond said he isn't convinced the move will be permanent at a northeast Bay Area school and Sac-Joaquin Section affiliate that went 1-26 last year, according to Fresno Bee 5/19's top 100 prospects from Class of 2009: Renardo Sidney and Lance Stephenson both have the ability to sprint pass everyone and take the No. 1 slot. If Sidney's desire for greatness can rival his considerable talent, this race would be on. Fox Sports 5/20

The University of Arizona has granted men's basketball signee Emmanuel Negedu a release from his letter of intent. UA issued a statement of the release Tuesday morning. On Sunday, Negedu said he wanted out of it, after visiting with UA head coach Lute Olson in the Boston area. He had been thinking about the decision for some time, perhaps the last three months after visiting UA during the latter part of the regular season. Negedu, who signed in November and was recruited by former UA assistant Josh Pastner and Lute Olson, said the number of coaching changes and Olson's unexplained absence gave him doubts about the program. Olson has a completely new assistant coaching staff. Tucson Citizen 5/20

Avery Bradley: A great scorer, Bradley strictly is a shooting guard. He has long arms and is a strong and quick leaper. Not only is Bradley an excellent mid-range shooter, he has an uncanny ability of making that difficult 5- to 12-foot shot. Like Boynton, his strength is his pull-up jumper off nifty ballhandling, but Bradley also can attack the rim. Bradley is a good 3-point shooter, but he doesn't have the same range as Boynton. Defensively, Bradley is a special player. He can dominate ballhandlers and is a multi-positional defender with superb lateral quickness and a long wing span. Rivals 5/23

Xavier Henry - The No. 2 ranked prospect in the Rivals150 impressed Saturday morning with his relentless attacking of the basket off the dribble. His handle was tight and his impressive physique is tough to deal with when barreling to the basket. Rivals 5/25

Nolan Dennis, a 6-5 point guard from North Richland Hills, Texas, said North Carolina coach Roy Williams and assistant coach Steve Robinson have recruited him hard. "That's been on of my favorite colleges," Dennis said of North Carolina after playing at the Smith Center. It was his first visit to Chapel Hill. Times News 5/24

(photo credit: Press Enterprise)