Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (7/14)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Other players are watching Jennings. One of the top players in the class of 2009 is Lance Stephenson, who has led Brooklyn’s Lincoln High School to three consecutive New York City championships. Stephenson is considering a conventional list of colleges — Texas, U.C.L.A., Southern California, Memphis, Texas and St. John’s — but is expected to only spend one season in college before heading to the N.B.A. Stephenson’s father, Lance Sr., said Monday in a telephone interview that he and his son would be following Jennings’s decision closely. “For me and my wife, we just get the information and talk to Lance and let him make the decision on that,” he said. “We’re looking at it and we’re interested just like anyone else.” NY Times 7/8

According to, Xavier Henry had narrowed his finalists to Kansas University and Memphis and was to announce his decision at last weekend’s LeBron James Skills Academy. “I was going to make an announcement this week about where I’m going to college, but then I found out I’m still not sure,” Henry told CBSSportsline. “I talked it over with my mom and dad, and now I’m not really sure where I want to go.” Henry, a 6-foot-6 guard, now plans to visit Texas and UCLA, too, before deciding between his now-four finalists. KU Sports 7/8

*Xavier Henry, 6-6 senior G/F, Oklahoma City, OK: A kid you’ll be hearing much more about in our magazine very soon. Henry is still playing on a bum ankle, and you can tell the way he limps around pre and postgame. On the court, the injury’s not obvious, but you can tell he’s not quite himself. Still, his size and athleticism—he’s probably the only non-big man in the HS ranks who could physically fit right in with the college campers—makes him tough to match. Offensively, he does pretty much whatever he wants. Great kid, too. SLAM Magazine 7/9

it was the second half outburst of five-star perimeter player Jordan Hamilton that sealed the victory for his team. On 9-13 shooting Hamilton scored 21 points while also grabbing seven rebounds. It is difficult to come up with another player in this class who can impact a game in as many ways as Hamilton. Besides being able to score anywhere on the court, he defends, rebounds, handles and passes the basketball at a high level. Hamilton is making a strong argument to be included in the top ten of the Rivals150. CaliHiSports 7/9

*Daniel Orton, 6-9 senior PF/C, Oklahoma City, OK: A big, big dude with legit NBA size, but between that big knee brace and his body language, I’m guessing he’s got some college coaches feeling nervous. SLAM Magazine 7/9

In some ways, the decision by Bob McKillop and the USA Basketball selection committee to cut Lance Stephenson of Lincoln from the U.S. 18-and-under team for the FIBA Americas Tournament might seem like a shocker. Stephenson is one of the great young talents in the country and we absolutely love his individual talent and his winner’s mentality. But we kept hearing whispers all week Stephenson was struggling to blend in on the court with four other teammates and pick up the system and the coaching staff was unsure how he’d react if the team did not revolve around him. It’s a shame. Hopefully, it will be a good life lesson for the future NBA lottery pick. NY Daily News 7/9

Renardo Sidney, 6-9 combo forward, Fairfax (CA), 2009: The pros (unbelievable skills) and cons (questionable motivation) of Sidney’s game are obvious to anyone who’s ever seen him play, but yesterday the big fella played hard for the most part, scored on the inside and outside at will, rebounded well and showed off his guard-like ability–when conditioning wasn’t a factor. SLAM Magazine 7/9

While scoring is fine, Renardo Sidney prefers assists over baskets. "I think after Magic Johnson, I have the best no-look pass for a big man ever," he said. "I just do it for no reason. It will be a two-on-one [fastbreak], and I will just do a no-look." For much of his career, his no-look passes have come with numerous college recruiters watching from the stands. Sidney said he had narrowed his list of potential destinations to the University of Southern California, Texas, Arizona State, Memphis, and Texas A&M. His stay in college could be short, though. Sidney does not hide his desire to enter the NBA draft in 2010. "If I just go to college and do what I'm supposed to do, I'll be out of there in one year," he said. "That's my goal." 7/9

With the rumors swirling around star point guard Brandon Jennings and his decision whether to attend Arizona as a freshman next year or fly off to Europe to play professionally in preparation for the NBA, Renardo Sidney is drawing some unwanted attention. Many believe that if Jennings makes the move to Europe and bypasses college, Sidney - a naturally gifted 6-9, 250-pound power forward/center - will follow suit. When Sidney was asked if he would indeed consider skipping college to play overseas, Chris Rivers, Reebok's Director of Basketball Sports Marketing, immediately interjected. "It would be too early for him to answer that with the high school year coming forth," Rivers said. "Until he gets with his family, we shouldn't have that discussion right now. Him going to college, then hopefully a career after that, is probably the traditional path that they're looking at right now." Sidney, who has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the Class of 2009, lists Texas A&M, Texas, Arizona State, Memphis, Southern California and UCLA among his possible destinations. "Right now, I'm just focusing on losing weight and conditioning," he said. "So, I'll make that decision after my senior year." The Bulletin 7/10

Michael Snaer, 6-5 wing, Rancho Verde (CA), 2009: Snaer’s usually reliable J was a bit inconsistent, but his relentless aggressiveness, playmaking ability, rebounding from the perimeter and intense D more than made up for it. SLAM Magazine 7/11

On the wing, the Huskies are also high on 6-foot-7 small forward Jordan Hamilton of Compton, Calif. There are a number of centers on the Huskies' radar, including 6-9 Daniel Orton of Oklahoma City, Okla.; 6-8 Dante Taylor of White Plains, N.Y.; 6-10 Anthony Stover of La Canada, Calif.; 6-10 Derrick Favors of Atlanta; and 6-10 Aaric Murray of Concordville, Pa. Conn Sports 7/11

It's interesting to see what facet of basketball draws the interest of players. Usually it's scoring or shooting or dunking. For big man prospect Daniel Orton, it's making the outlet pass. ”I like to outlet,“ he said. ”Get the ball out and push it. ... I'm good at making other guys look good. It's something I really pride myself on.“ To develop the skill, Orton said he'd pass a medicine ball with a coach standing about 15 feet away. Gradually, the coach moved farther away. Eventually, Orton and coach switched to a basketball and made full-court passes. Orton, who lists UK among his options, said he thinks of former UCLA one-and-done Kevin Love as a role model. By the way, Love's father played in the NBA with the master outlet passer, former U of L All-American Wes Unseld. Herald Leader 7/13

Simply put, there wasn't a better passer in the building during the first session of games than big man Daniel Orton. The five-star prospect shined like he always does in a high-low set but also found cutters with precision passing. Gator Bait 7/13

Senior point guard Avery Bradley had the best overall performance in a winning effort for Finish. With the senior's lanky 6-foot-3 body along with his pinpoint precision passing to teammates like Karron Johnson for alley-oop dunks contained the ability to play lockdown defense when prompted. Playing against fellow star point guard Brandon Knight, Bradley displayed a willingness to accept the tough challenge put in front of him. Though he lost the assist battle to Knight eight to six, he outscored him 14 to 12 and was more accurate from the field shooting a solid 5-for-11. NBA 7/13

(photo credit: NY Daily News)