Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (11/1)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Norvel Pelle is an impact freshman because he is a phenomenal shot blocker and all-around athlete. Yes, he is limited offensively, but I don't know of a 2011 big man who can run the floor, rebound, block shots and play above the rim as a finisher like Pelle can. St. John's has been a prominent player in Pelle's recruitment if not the outright leader. The string of commitments by forwards and guards can only help Lavin's chances of landing this post player and what would be his first 2011 West Coast recruit. Gator Bait 10/22

The former DeMatha Catholic floor general is Oak Hill's safety net at the point but he's recovering from a knee injury suffered in late August at the Boost Mobile game. Quinn Cook indicated he was 80 percent healthy and didn't have his usual burst or swagger. "It's all mental for me," Cook said. "It's about confidence. My knee is physically fine it's just mental." The knee isn't the only thing on Cook's mind. His college decision weighs heavily on him. Duke and UCLA separated themselves from Villanova and Cook's timetable for a decision, combined with him taking the standardized test this weekend, are factors working against the Wildcats. Not to mention the competition they face to land him. "[UCLA] coach [Ben] Howland is a great coach," Cook said. "His past four point guards have been NBA players and he wins; he had three straight Final Fours." ESPN 10/22

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, SG, 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, Maybe the most accurate way to describe Muhammad is relentless. He can score in a variety of ways and his full arsenal was on display at this event. Whether it was posting up his defender and scoring over the top of him or slashing his way to the rim and finishing with an array of spectacular dunks, Muhammad was dominant. He plays with a warrior's mentality and he has a tremendous knack to score. He still needs to continue to improve his shot and handle, but he is definitely a menace to deal with each and every possession. ESPN 10/25

But that doesn't mean Cooper will be telling his son, 2013 target Eric Cooper Jr. and another of his players, Grant Jerrett, that they have to become Wildcats. "I try not to because I don't want this to be anything that has to do with me," the elder Cooper said. "I want this to be something they want because they're going to have to live there. I just want them to come see it, know it." Cooper, who transferred to Texas-San Antonio as a sophomore in 1986-87 but has since re-established a good relationship with Olson, said he spoke with Olson briefly at Sunday's games. The recruits also watched Saturday's UA-Washington football game.... They have seen UCLA, USC, UNLV, Cal, Stanford, Duke, North Carolina and others. Arizona Daily Star 10/25

Coach Josh Pastner and Memphis have done it again by keeping elite prospect Adonis Thomas (Memphis, Tenn./Melrose) at home to play his college ball. However, it took a little help from fellow local talent and Memphis alum Penny Hardaway, who put together a video directed at Thomas, during the Tigers' Midnight Madness. "It did impact my decision," said Thomas, who chose Memphis over Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas and UCLA. "It was a privilege to listen to Penny Hardaway talk about what the city of Memphis and the University of Memphis meant to him." Through sheer work ethic Thomas has taken his game from a well-regarded, undersized 4 man with an outstanding motor to the No. 9-ranked player in the country. He is one of the top students at his high school with a 4.0 GPA and embodies the attributes of a true student-athlete. ESPN 10/28

Shabazz Muhammad, SG- A top five prospect nationally in the class of 2012, there aren't many guys more explosive to the rim. He's a relentless competitor and has a polished mid-post game that compliments his transition finishing. There's not a better rebounding wing, he plays smart and the jumper continues to evolve. Muhammad is noticeably stronger and he's a violent slam dunker who attacks the rim whenever he can. Cardinal Sports 10/28

Duke still has a couple scholarships available for the class of 2011 and many believe there is a strong possibility they will try to get point guard Quinn Cook. Cook attended Duke's Countdown to Craziness, and by all accounts, came away impressed. Although there has been no official announcement, many believe he will decide during the early signing period and many believe he is a Duke lean. Of course nothing is set in stone and Duke could end the 2011 recruiting class with just three signees, which considering the talent level, isn't necessarily a bad thing. Bleacher Report 10/29

On Saturday, class of 2011 No. 2 point guard Myck Kabongo made it public that he is no longer committed to the Texas Longhorns. He is considering Texas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Syracuse....The Blue Devils have been recruiting 2011 point guard Quinn Cook pretty hard, and a lot of people expected Cook to commit to Duke two weeks ago. There has been talk, however, that Cook has been cooling on Duke lately. Could Kabongo's interest in Duke be part of the reason Cook has decided to wait on his decision? Bleacher Report 10/30


At Nov 1, 2010, 1:50:00 AM, Anonymous said...

At UCLA, Cook starts and will start until he feels he is ready for the NBA draft. At Duke he waits to see if and when Irving decides to move on to the NBA. The choice seems obvious

At Nov 1, 2010, 8:45:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Yeah but how come when I heard that Thomas and Cook were thinking of coming to UCLA as a package I knew it was the typical hype and they would not come. One down as Thomas signed with Memphis.
So who is recruiting for us these days????

At Nov 1, 2010, 10:30:00 AM, Anonymous said...


At Nov 2, 2010, 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Well I dont know all of the story but if I was a front court player, I wouldnt come to UCLA unless I was class 2012 and beyond because UCLA is stacked up front with young players. Back court is another story.
I can see the front 3 position players from 2011 are rethinking since we have tons in those positions. We need the PGs especially at the highschool and college levels, that the PG tend to be more polished players.
Bigs tend to take more time to learn their game since there arent as many big guys at the highschool level, that they tend to just use raw power and height instead of skill and technique. This is why at highschool and college levels, the top scorers will usually come from back court.

At Nov 3, 2010, 12:48:00 AM, Anonymous Swami Mikey said...

DB - Add to your story:
1. Tyler Honeycutt is a good although not 100% clear bet to leave for the NBA after this year. Read "one starting spot will open."
2. Josh Smith may be a "one and doner." Read "another stating spot will open."
3. There is always room for a superstar, even in a strong front court. For the Bruins, this will especially be the case if the recruit is a play maker, because we will be more loaded in the middle and power spots.
I am excited to see the Bruins tomorrow night in their exhibition opener. I'll share my take (including predictions), and hopefully other contributors to this site who go to the exhbition will give theirs as well.

At Nov 3, 2010, 5:26:00 AM, Anonymous BB fan said...

Heard Quinn Cook will announce his decision tomorrow. It's between Ucla and Duke. It's do or die time.

At Nov 3, 2010, 9:34:00 PM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Game On!
The Bruins play their first exibition game tonight against a team it should dominate from a sheer talent level.
Looks like JUCO transfer Jones has won the PG position. CBH stated that the kid is a tough defender and hasn't turned the ball over the last few weeks.
It will be interesting to see how their up-tempo game impacts the rotation. Would be nice to see coach use 9-10 players to give the bigs a breather and allow them to run for 40 minutes.
Lets see what heppens tonight.

At Nov 4, 2010, 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous BB fan said...

Another point guard bites the dust. Quinn Cook commits to Duke.
I hope Jerime Anderson and/or Lazeric Jones can carry the torch for the next two years.

At Nov 4, 2010, 12:15:00 PM, Anonymous Brew In said...

I hate to sound negative, but even though Cook had trimmed his choices down to two, I knew he would pick Duke over UCLA.
We certainly have been striking out with PGs recently...

At Nov 4, 2010, 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous DB said...

I am sure that once recruits see ucla go to the uptempo game instead of holding its skilled players back, they will once come to us again.

At Nov 4, 2010, 1:10:00 PM, Anonymous Jammer said...

Cook going to Duke was no surprise. He has a great friend in Nolan Smith who was like a brother to Cook.
Bruin nation should be disappointed but if Jones does well this year at PG (he seems to be the chosen starter), I would be happy to have a second year guard lead the team with a great front line coming back.
If Powell is a diamond in the rough; we will be okay.
Talk of Smith, Honeycutt and Nelsen leaving after this year should be sqashed. They are not NBA ready and whoever is filling these kids with ideas of stardom needs to stop.
Last time I looked, Duke did not win a championship with a bunch of Frosh. They won with experienced kids who knew what it meant to stay in school and learn the game from one of the best.
Our baby Bruins need to enjoy their time in Westwood and learn from a coach who has put a lot of kids into the NBA.
We need to give these kids a chance and see what happens.
Be happy with a 4th place finish and some competitive games against Kansas and Washington. Losses against Cal State teams will signal that nothing has changed and Howland should be on the hot seat at year's end.
I don't think it will come to that, but UCLA sports is in disarray. No longer the Volleyball powers, no longer soccer powers, no longer track powers; thank goodness for softball and a miracle baseball team that won and finished second.
Kids just have better choices and UCLA needs to do something to attract the best talent.
Give them time ...but not too much.

At Nov 4, 2010, 1:21:00 PM, Anonymous Jammer said...

BB Fan:
Jones will be fine if he is given simple tasks; don't turn the ball over, push the tempo (be quick, not fast) and feed bigs when they are in the right position. Ask him to play outside that role and we will have a PG and a SG who will have deer in the headlights look all season long.
Quinn Cook was never coming here. Let's work with the guys who are here.
Why the world thinks a Freshman will lead every team to the promised land, is crazy. It didn't happen with Kentucky and it won't happen with Memphis this year. Duke will be there because of the upper classmen not the heralded freshmen. Washington is favored because they have a great point guard in Thomas who has done this before.
Anderson needs to give Jones a break and hold it down for a few minutes. JA was never a Division I player last year and nothing has changed to alter that fact.
Again, it comes down to "an identity". What type of team is going to make it back to the NCAA tournament. It will have to be smart and tough and use every advantage it has on matchups whether it be Smith, Honeycutt or Nelsen. They have no outside shooters like Roll and they will have to play unselfish ball and hit the boards on both ends.
Ever wonder why Pitt always has better teams since Howland left? No superstars, just guys who knew their roles and bought into the team concept. CBH needs to give these guys a role. Not just a position on the court.
Time will tell!

At Nov 5, 2010, 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Swami Mikey said...

Meant to put the following in this week's blog, but accidentally put it in the October 18 blog. Sorry if some of you are seeing it twice.
Report and Swami's predictions based on the Westmont scrimmage:
1. Nelson - 20 points - leaner looking - quicker - a little hurried. Will likely lead the team in scoring. Improved shooter. A beast on the fast break.
2. Smith - a very large young man - quick on his feet though. Will be an offensive force inside. Good hands. And a good foul shooter, by the way. This is no Bobo.
3. Jones - will be solid - a definite improvement over Jerime. Nice outside shot if left alone. Good court sense. Will want to see him against a premier guard.
4. Lee - looked pretty good. No noticeable improvement over last year, except perhaps a little more confident and under control.
5. Honeycutt - his shot looked better - didn't see much from him at this game. If this is all he has this year, no way is he NBA bound after this season
6. Anderson - not bad (really) - his shot looked solid. He will spell Jones a fair amount, but this will be Jones' team.
7. Stover - the most pleasant surprise - much improved over the little we saw in last year's pre-season. The dude can run and loves to block shots. He'll be a decent backup to Smith, and he'll keep getting better and better as he grows into his body. Tremendous upside. This is the kind of kid who will be a testament to Ben Howland's ability to build a player.
8. Lamb - will be a major contributor - good size wing - his shot wasn't clicking tonight, but he'll hit some big ones for us.
9. Brendan Lane - kind of disappointing, as I have thought he has potential - still a bit weak in the upper body and hands, and yet to prove he can hit consistently from the outside.
10. Matt Carlino - I like this kid - showed some sneaky quickness tonight. Nose from the basket. Didn't hit anything outside, but I've seen him on tape and he has a nice left handed stroke. Can we fantasize that he is another Gail Goodrich, or even 75% of that?
Team as a whole: Ben has let the horses loose; these kids were running way more than in past years, and Ben seems to be willing to take some of the bad stuff (turnovers) that goes with that. Defensively, they pretty much sucked, letting inferior opponents run a Princeton offense against them with some success. Ben ought to bring that team to scrimmage with us at least once every week so our boys practice against some sneaky back-cutters and aggressive one on one drivers.
Swami's last prediction in this post? I will have pleasant dreams about the Bruins tonight. (And I did.)

At Oct 27, 2011, 11:05:00 AM, Anonymous chimbo77 said...

What happened to this website? It was so good and now nothing.

At Nov 7, 2011, 9:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men's and womens VB is back. Tennis never left, still elite mens' and womens' water polo and soccer. Westwood is a great place to be.


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