Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shipp Officially Withdraws from Draft, Returns To Westwood

By Bruin Basketball Report

(UCLA press release)

UCLA forward Josh Shipp has signed paperwork to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and will play his senior season for the Bruins, UCLA head basketball coach Ben Howland announced today.

"Josh has been an integral part of our three Final Four runs and I am really excited that he is coming back for his senior year," said Howland. "I expect him to have his best year as a Bruin, and not just because of his talent, but because this is the first summer in the last three that he can focus on his game as opposed to having to rehab from hip surgery.

"I think that with Josh, Darren (Collison) and Alfred (Aboya) we have a great core group of seniors. This will be the first time in the last three seasons that we have had more than one senior and I think that senior leadership is very important."

As a junior, Shipp held the Bruins compile a record of 35-4 en route to their third straight Pac-10 title and third consecutive trip to the Final Four. He was the only player to start all 39 games - a school record - and averaged 12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He also ranked second on the squad with his .770 free throw percentage.

"I am glad I went through this process. It gave me the opportunity to get input and prepare my body and my game for the next level," said Shipp.

"But at the end of the day, I wanted to come back and make another run for the championship. We've been close three times and a goal of mine is to win the NCAA championship. I think with our core of seniors, we have the leadership necessary to make another run for the title and I'm looking forward to next season."

(photo credit: J Rosenfeld)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (6/9)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


The Huskies could have four scholarships available for the Class of 2009, and Romar has noted he would like to sign a big player or two, as well. Indications are, however, that the Huskies are continuing to recruit the Bellarmine Prep guard duo of Abdul Gaddy and Avery Bradley — Gaddy announced last week he is no longer committed to Arizona, and the two said they would like to play together in college. Seattle Times 6/3

But neither would confirm, exactly, that they are a package deal. Both players said Monday they would be open to the idea, but would make their decision largely independent of the other. "What was said before got mixed up," Abdul Gaddy said. "They asked if I would like to play with (Avery Bradley) in college, and I said that would be cool. But he's going to sit down and do what's best for him, and I'll do the same. If it ends up we're on the same page, that would be great." Gaddy said he has scholarship offers from Texas, Memphis, Kansas, Oregon, Washington and Gonzaga. He said he is wide open about his choice, and would still consider Arizona. He said a decision may take awhile. Seattle PI 6/3

Derrick Jasper, a 2006 Paso Robles High graduate generally regarded as the best basketball prospect to ever come out of San Luis Obispo County, is transferring to a college closer to home. Wide speculation has been that he’ll land at UNLV, but in an interview with The Tribune that was first reported Tuesday on SanLuis Obispo.com, Jasper said he’s far from cementing any decision. “I don’t know where I’m headed yet,” Jasper said. “I’m just really trying to take my time and be patient, really find out what’s the best for me.” He did give a top five list of schools he’s had contact with: UCLA, San Diego State, Long Beach State, USC and, as speculated, the Runnin’ Rebels. San Luis Obispo 6/4

Avery Bradley, the No. 17 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, is a great scorer off the dribble. He has the athleticism to attack the rim, and he is also terrific in the midrange. Not only is Bradley an impressive scorer, he is also a tenacious defender. Extremely quick laterally, Bradley can use his rangy build to lock down opposing guards. Rivals 6/5

Bill Self will hold a two-day Elite Camp for top high school prospects today and Saturday. It will be closed to the public and media. Xavier Henry, the No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2009, is expected to attend, as well as No. 29 Elijah Johnson and No. 121 Stephan Van Treese plus unrated Jeff Reid of Topeka Hayden and Dorian Green of Lawrence High. KU Sports 6/6

Johnnies coach Norm Roberts and his staff are continuing to take an aggressive approach in recruiting, getting a commitment from 7-1 Phil Wait, who is originally from Manchester, England, and spent this past year at a sports academy in Spain. NY Daily News 6/6

(photo credit: Seattle Times)