Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (3/30)

By Bruin Basketball Report 

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday 


There is much debate about whether Rocklin's Brendan Lane can be an impact freshman next season at UCLA. Many scouting reports say the same thing: The 6-foot-10, 215-pound Lane is going to have to get stronger and tougher. But there are no arguments that Lane is a skilled player with enough all-around ability to play power forward, small forward or even center in a pinch. With the core of coach Ben Howland's team - seniors Darren Collison, Josh Shipp and Alfred Aboya - departing and freshman guard Jrue Holiday possibly headed for the NBA, next season could be a rare rebuilding year for UCLA. Sac Bee 3/26 

L.A. Times Boy All-Star Team: Tyler Lamb, Mater Dei, 6-5, G, Jr.: Top shooting guard averaged 14 points, 4.6 rebounds and a team-high 3.3 steals for Southern Section Division I-AA runner-up. Committed to UCLA. LA Times 3/29 

Reeves Nelson has played in his share of big games in his four years at Modesto Christian High School.
His teams won four Sac-Joaquin Section titles and advanced to the CIF NorCal Championship game three times. This year, the Crusaders lost to St. Mary's of Berkeley in a NorCal semifinal.
But ask the UCLA-bound forward what one game he'll remember the most, and he can't think of it. Instead, he'll remember the journey.
Nelson, who averaged 24.7 points and 14.0 rebounds a game for Modesto Christian, is The Bee's 2009 Boys Basketball Player of the Year. It's the second consecutive year Nelson has won this honor. Modesto Bee 3/29 


It doesn’t take any basketball fan long to notice that Trey Zeigler is a special player.
The junior guard for Mt. Pleasant has been turning heads since he first became a teenager, making a name for himself with his strong performances in basketball camps across the country.
In his first two seasons as an Oiler, Zeigler helped Mt. Pleasant get to two regional finals. But in each instance he was sidelined with injuries that forced him to miss a good portion of the season.
This season he took the next step, emerging as a dominant player while leading Mt. Pleasant to yet another regional final. Morning Sun 3/28 

The Parade All-America team has reaffirmed what became obvious this winter: Washington had some great boys basketball players this year.
Three players from the Seattle-Tacoma area, and another with local ties, made this year's team, which will be released in the April 5 issue. Bellarmine Prep senior guard Abdul Gaddy and Kentwood junior forward Josh Smith made the second team....So did Kentwood, even with Josh Smith in the middle. The 6-foot-10 center's No. 1 junior recruit in the country, led area big schools with 24.3 points per game, and he averaged more than 16 rebounds. He has yet to decide on a college, though UCLA and Washington are among the many schools on his list. Seattle Times 3/29



At Mar 30, 2009, 3:40:00 AM, Anonymous Bee said...

The longer time goes on, the less likely it seems that Josh Smith will come to Westwood. Hopefully, Coach can pull a rabbit out of his hat! Lorenzo Romar isn't going to give this one up without a fight...

At Mar 30, 2009, 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous Nick said...

As long as Holiday stays, we should be a pretty solid team next year.

At Mar 30, 2009, 12:47:00 PM, Anonymous Phe said...

Holiday would be a fool to stay. He was totally misused by Howland. His game suffered because he deferred too much to the Seniors.

At Mar 30, 2009, 1:48:00 PM, Anonymous KDL1984y said...

Personally, I think Holiday should stay at least another year. Next year, it's his team and he can play the position he was meant to play, the point guard. He didn't prove much this year playing in the position he played. At times, he would try to exert his presence, but fell way short of being a one and done. Next year, he can write his own ticket. He'll be the go-to guy and everybody will be looking to him to lead the team. I don't think he'll be drafted high if he leaves. One more year should do it.

At Mar 30, 2009, 3:28:00 PM, Anonymous Sean Wong said...

I disagree, Holiday would be a fool to leave. I doubt he would be a top 15 pick in this year's draft. He might be a late first rounder at best. But like Russell Westbrook, Holiday could be a top five pick in next year's draft with similar improvement. Holiday is definitely a better point guard than a two, but how can Howland not defer to a point guard that went to three straight final fours. Granted, I think Howland blew it against Memphis by not playing Westbrook more against Derrick Rose, but his loyalty to Collison is commendable. UCLA's 2009 class is less heralded but much better than last year's class. Brendan Lane and Anthony Stover have so much upside, Drew Gordon better watch out. Together, they have almost 15 feet in wingspans. Brendan Lane is the real deal and he compares very favorably to Sacramento's last great big man, Ryan Anderson.

At Mar 30, 2009, 11:58:00 PM, Anonymous Adman said...

Without dominant seniors to complicate things I look for the Bruins to be a pleasant surprise by the end of the season. The size and talent are there, the enthusiasm will be outstanding and the sophomores will have grown up. Coach BH will have a ball molding all this talent into a cohesive unit playing Ben Ball the way he designed it to be played.

At Mar 31, 2009, 9:51:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Let's see what Howland can do with Morgan too. He needs a summer of constant guidance and tutoring, maybe from Jabbar, Walton, Mark Eaton, David Greenwood... Heck even Ryan Hollins would help. I think Morgan can be "shaped" up to be a real threat.
The last thing I want is sophomore Morgan to be outplayed by freshman Sidney from over at that football school.
I, like Adman, expect the Bruins to come back soundly next season, but do you realize if all those whiners come back to play for Tim Floyd next year, they will be favored to finish higher than UCLA in the PAC-10 in 2009/2010! Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Has that EVER happened before?
Ben, please help us!

At Mar 31, 2009, 2:49:00 PM, Anonymous SFBruin said...

Though I wish it were otherwise, Holiday should leave. This year, he's likely a late first round pick. If he stays he risks sinking to the second round next year. Although he didn't have a breakout season this year, there's no reason to believe he will look much better next year. The team will be rebuilding and will likely absorb some tough losses. The team's failures or successes will be pegged directly on him. Westbrook never had to deal with that type of spotlight, and had more physical gifts than Holiday. If I were him, I'd test the NBA waters and hope that teams still have enough of his sparkling high school record in mind to take him in the first round. Besides, it may benefit the team in the long run to develop Anderson during next season.
Enough gloom though. Here's some optimism: Floyd goes to Memphis, Sidney flunks the SAT and plays in Europe and Derozen bolts for the NBA.

At Apr 1, 2009, 5:53:00 AM, Anonymous Alfa Romeo said...

can we get a real center please?

At Apr 1, 2009, 6:23:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Wow SFBruin! With those last comments, it put a smile on my face!
Here's my take...
Floyd goes on a rampage and gets tossed out of his first game. The new PAC-10 commissioner uses this as a means to exercise his new power and throws Floyd out of Pac-10 Bball. Sidney's dad calls the commisionner to complain about Floyd's dismissal and proceeds to get his son kicked out of school (after he gets accepted and convincingly passes the new SAT- Scholastic Attitude Test). Then, Derozan bolts for the NBA, ends up with their old roommates, the Clippers (who are now coached by Floyd) and leads them to the promised land. In That Order! Ha ha!
Aint' this fun?!!

At Apr 1, 2009, 7:05:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

SF Bruin and KDL1984,
Love both your thinking, but I'll just settle for at least 2 of the 4 bolting for the NBA (Derozan, Gibson, Hackett, Lewis). Anything more is baby blue icing on the cake.
Oh and Floyd going somewhere else would be great too. Maybe wherever he would go, they'll teach him how to treat "bedhead"!

At Apr 1, 2009, 7:54:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Bedhead, that's great Brew In. His clothes match the hair. Looks like he slept in them for three days straight.
Does anyone know our chances of landing Lance Stephenson? He is an actual 5 star player that is still uncommitted and has UCLA as one of his choices.
His look and play remind me so much of Aron Afflalo. Wonder if he is another academic issue for our high Westwood standards?!

At Apr 2, 2009, 6:18:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

I dont' think we have much of a chance at him, but that's just my opinion. I think he's going to stay back east and head to St. John's. Again, that's just my opinion. I think he's only going to stick around one year anyways. We need someone to lead this team if Holiday bolts for the NBA. And Stephenson's out for himself only. Personally, I would rather see Xavier Henry decommit to Memphis now that Calipari's gone and commit to us. I'd rather have him then Stephenson. He can't seem to make up his mind- first he's gonna commit, then he's not...too much drama in the guy!
Speaking of Bedhead- I hear he's going to Arizona! Poor Russ Pennell. He never had a chance! Maybe Sidney changes his mind and plays in Europe instead now that Pink Floyd is taking his act on the road!

At Apr 2, 2009, 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Just heard what I was hoping not to hear. Bedhead is staying at SUC and has been working overtime to bring all his players back next season!
I really think we might be in jeopardy next year against those whiners. Think Coach H can pull one from Bedhead's notebook and bring Holiday back?
"Come On Drago"!!! Who would have thunk he might be our go-to-guy next season?
I've gotten rather use to our Bruins finishing in the upper tier of the Pac 10 each year.

At Apr 2, 2009, 1:15:00 PM, Anonymous Robwash said...

Random thoughts:
1) Morgan is the X factor. If he loses 15 pounds of fat and gains 10 of muscle, he could dominate most college teams as almost no one has a real center. But does Morgan have the heart?
2) Dragovic is a huge liability on defense. If we are going to chew teams up with a meat-grinder man-to-man and depth, Dragovic would be more effective off the bench.
3) Holiday could be our Derrick Rose at the point....if he stays.
4) I love Collison, but Holiday at the 1 and Lee at the 2, allowed to develop and grow all season, would have been formidable. Howland needs to adopt a Bill Parcell's style of management. Put the best team out there that you can and "screw" loyalty. It's a team sport. Do what's best for the team...always.

At Apr 8, 2009, 1:56:00 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

Hey guys,
Here is some good news.
Derozean, Hacket and Gibson are declaring for the NBA.
here is the link:,0,5588022.story
Just want to see Bruins do well again. This season was hard to swallow. Seemed like all the guys were mismanaged.
Go Bruins.

At Apr 10, 2009, 2:08:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin88 said...

@ all who wish USC players to bolt
I'd stop worrying and fantasizing about them, and focus on US! Besides, I don't want to be seen as the best in a mediocre conference. We need to show year-in and year-out, like in 2007-08, that the Pac-10 is a dominant conference. I'm personally tired of hearing that the ACC is the best. We need Washington, Arizona, Stanford, Cal, ASU, Oregon AND USC, as well as OSU, WSU, to provide the type of competition that will make UCLA even better. Do I want us to lose against USC? Painful, no!
@Phe - Are you kidding me? "Holiday' suffered because [Howland] deferred too much to the Seniors." After 4 years, I would want no one else handling the ball than Collison, Shipp and Aboya. Seniors provide the stability and experience. It would be self-serving to have Holiday handle the ball (unless he played like he deserved it) so that he could pad his stats and look better to the NBA. Poor comment.

At Apr 11, 2009, 12:53:00 PM, Anonymous 79Bruin said...

Disagree with Bruin88, agree with Robwash. Being an experienced senior does not necessarily trump a freshman with superior talent. There have been plenty of talented underclassmen who make their teams better and outplay more senior opponents (e.g. Derrick Rose). Collison was outplayed by many quicker, tougher guards - and that's not due to lack of heart or effort on his part. Would love to have seen what Holliday could do with more opportunities at point - he showed flashes of brilliance.

At Apr 11, 2009, 1:11:00 PM, Anonymous 79Bruin said...

Disagree with Bruin88, agree with Robwash. Being an experienced senior does not necessarily trump a freshman with superior talent. There have been plenty of talented underclassmen who make their teams better and outplay more senior opponents (e.g. Derrick Rose). Collison was outplayed by many quicker, tougher guards - and that's not due to lack of heart or effort on his part. Would love to have seen what Holliday could do with more opportunities at point - he showed flashes of brilliance.

At Apr 15, 2009, 1:28:00 PM, Anonymous Parkman96 said...

I agree with 79Bruin. I love Darren Collison like a child. HE has more heart and guts than anyone, but on a purely raw athletism note think Holiday was better. Really don't know what you could have done because you can't give the reins over to a freshmen after the amazing career Collison had, but do think Holiday with the ball in his hands has to be one of the best talents in the country.

At Apr 16, 2009, 1:17:00 PM, Anonymous Robwash said...

Parkman96: I think college teams are a process. No one knows what you will have at the end of a season at the beginning of one. It seemed to me that Holliday would have been more effective at PG, and perhaps Collison could play both the 1 and the 2. I think going into the season saying Collison is definitely our starting PG for the entire season was a mistake. Why do this? Does Kevin Love have to play behind Lorenzo Mata for a season because Mata is "our center"? UCLA should be a highly competitive program that aims to put the best team on the floor. If a player doesn't want that type of competition, he could always go elsewhere.

At Apr 27, 2009, 7:11:00 AM, Anonymous Windycityds said...

I thought this is published every Monday? I can only read the March 30 report so many times.

At Apr 27, 2009, 5:09:00 PM, Anonymous Parkman96 said...

Totally agree. Mata is a little different than collison though because I felt that Collison was so dynamic with the ball and defense while Mata was incredible just on defense. Anyways totally agree it should be a competition, but Darren has done so much for the program it is just tough to move him over to a position he might not like as much. Regardless, if Jrue comes back it will all be water on the bridge. After that I check this all the time and really would love to get an update on the recruiting front. What happened??

At Apr 29, 2009, 12:56:00 PM, Anonymous Robwash said...

I feel what you are saying. I too have tremendous affection for these guys and want to see them "get their chance". But suppose we were lucky enough to pick up a Derrick Rose. Does he play behind Collison? My fear is that Jrue Holiday at the point was a wasted opportunity, and that this year might have turned out better with an open competition. Plenty of minutes for Collison and both the 1 and the 2. I would prefer to see Howland challenge recruits up front. Otherwise, we lose the advantage of being able to recruit elite players. Put another way, how would you feel if Jrue Holiday is NBA rookie of the year in 2010?

At May 1, 2009, 9:28:00 AM, Anonymous Parkman96 said...

Agreed. Just thought that there would be no way Holiday could be better than Collison considering he took us to back to back final fours. But totally agree the season might have been different if Collison was at the 2, Holiday at the 1 and Shipp at the 3. Just is tough because never felt Holiday totally showed what he could do and made it impossible for Howland not to play him at the point. Definitely was silky smooth at times, but was not very aggressive all season. Anyways that could be a product of him not playing his natural position, but still think Howland is such a business guy that if Holiday was truly more dynamic in practice at the point he would have no problem making the executive decision to move Collison over. Totally trust Howland to never play favorites and always look at the situation honestly without caring whether his decisions hurt the players. Always felt his focus was on what will give us the best chance to win and not how can I avoid hurting my players ego(LOVE that by the way because no player is bigger than the team). For that reason think he probably thought Darren might have been better. Regardless, looking forward to next year and REALLY wish this site would start posting again. What happened to all the quality info?? Don't live in Southern California so this is my spot for all the latest Bruin info. PLEASE START UP AGAIN!! Thanks!

At May 12, 2009, 8:08:00 AM, Anonymous Windycityds said...

"Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (3/30)
By Bruin Basketball Report
Prep News Roundup is published every Monday"
We anxiously await that next special Monday!


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