Lorenzo Mata, 6-8 SR PF, South Gate (Calif.) High, was one of those predictions, and he's proving us right.
Mata has gone from a fairly unknown prospect that had mid-majors and a few high majors sniffing around, to some elite high majors now interested.
At the Adidas ABCD Camp last week and at the Pump Camp #2 in Los Angeles over the weekend, Arizona coaches were spending some time watching Mata play.
UCLA got interested in Mata within the last couple of months. But Mata's academics could keep some schools – including UCLA – from recruiting him. It's safe to say that if there weren't academic issues the relentless baseline banger would be UCLA's top power forward priority. In fact, Mata's recruiting could be limited only because of those academic concerns.
When we spoke to Mata at ABCD, he listed a number of schools among his current favorites. "New Mexico, Providence, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, and Oregon, and now Arizona," Mata said. "Really the entire Pac-10 except Stanford."
When asked if he had noticed that Arizona coaches were paying attention to him, Mata said he did. "They've actually contacted my high school coach. In the last week, though, I don't even know who's been recruiting me. I was told there are a lot more schools, but I don't know which ones."
He said he didn't have a clear favorite, but grew up a UCLA fan. "Hey, I'm from L.A." was his explanation.
Mata said that New Mexico, Providence, Washington and Washington State had offered him before July. He said in August he'll get an idea of who's recruiting him seriously and then start planning official visits. "I really don't know what my list will be, because it probably will change with other schools recruiting me," he said. Mata did, say, that his plan is to take three official visits, which he thinks will be sufficient, and then decide "sometime before November."
He said he has no problem with leaving home. "I like L.A. but I'll go anywhere," he said.