Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/17)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.  


The UCLA basketball program is down. There is no doubt about that. The program, however, isn't out. Present players like Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson need to step up and perform at the level that was expected of them coming out of high school. Frontcourt players like Reeves Nelson and Brandon Lane need to get healthy and stay healthy. I expect Tyler Lamb to come in as a freshman and be a valuable, versatile and reliable player. A big part of UCLA's success next year will hinge on center Josh Smith. The five-star prospect will need to come up big as a freshman for the Bruins. For starters, that means Smith needs to lose weight, get in better shape and play with a competitive edge. UCLA can't afford for their prize recruit to go the path of former highly touted center J'Mison Morgan. Jackets Online 5/14


The Wildcats are also pursuing Winchendon (Mass.) Prep wing Angel Nunez, Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep guard Nick Johnson, and Mesa High School guard Jahii Carson for that class as well. Book Richardson, key to the recruitment of Johnson and Nunez, reportedly will decide by tomorrow between staying at Arizona or becoming an assistant coach at Rutgers, according to Tucson Citizen 5/10

Caught up with Gary Wallace junior Branden Dawson for a bit this weekend. Don't expect a commitment from him soon as he said he's most likely going to wait until the spring of his senior season. The schools he's considering: Georgetown, Indiana, Marquette, Michigan State, Purdue and UCLA.  Indy Star 5/10

UCLA is expected to be on the short list of schools, as it was among the final schools the Wears considered before signing with North Carolina. Bruins Coach Ben Howland has two scholarships left to give. The Wears, 6-foot-10 forwards from Santa Ana Mater Dei, will have to sit out next season, but they have three years of eligibility remaining. Travis Wear averaged 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 32 games with North Carolina last season. David Wear averaged 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds, but missed the last five games with a hip injury. He has been undergoing rehab and should be at 100% in about a month, his father indicated. LA Times 5/11

But a deadline approaches, and it is May 19, the final day of the NCAA's regular signing period for basketball.  Terrence Jones' mother, Linda Mashia-Jones, said, "I'm pretty sure it's one or the other," meaning Washington or Kentucky.  Speaking late Monday night, Mashia-Jones said she was waiting for her son to come home. Efforts to reach Terrence Jones were unsuccessful.  "I need to remind him that May 19 is next week," she said.  Tick tock. Tick tock.  Except here's the thing: Jones doesn't have to sign by May 19 to play college basketball next season.  If you think Jones' recruiting story is bizarre now, there are a few possibilities on the horizon that could add stranger chapters to this tale.  Once May 19 passes, Jones can no longer sign a letter of intent. But he can sign a financial aid agreement with a school, which can include a basketball scholarship. A financial aid agreement binds the school to the player, but the player is not obligated to the school.  Oregon Live 5/11

"I want to address this with the Big Blue Nation one last time, I will be coaching at Kentucky next year," Calipari said on his Twitter feed. "Now let's finish what we started!" Now the speculation can shift from Calipari's future to that of Terrence Jones. A quick recap: Jones, a top-10 recruit from Portland's Jefferson High School, announced at an April 30 news conference that he would attend Washington. He made the announcement along with friend and teammate Terrence Ross, who signed a letter of intent to play for the Huskies. Jones, however, did not sign a letter of intent and since April 30 has said he is "committed to Washington" but not ready to sign anything. Enter Calipari. Jones said he called all the other coaches who recruited him after he made his announcement. But somehow the Calipari call stood out. While Jones denies that Calipari called him – he says it was the other way around – some suspect that Calipari continued to recruit Jones after he announced his decision to attend Washington. Calipari said, in so many words, that he would not recruit a player after he has announced a decision. Seattle PI 5/14

Where do you think the Wear brothers will land? Is UCLA the favorite? If so, what are your thoughts on the state of UCLA....The working assumption in the college basketball world is that David Wear and Travis Wear will end up at UCLA. The Wears chose North Carolina over UCLA coming out of high school. They are from the Los Angeles area, and most folks have them penciled in as future Bruins. Online 5/14