Inside Word

Hassan Adams takes an unofficial trip, elite junior power forward Ekene Ibekwe has an early leader, Cal considers two big men and the Ducks plan some official visits. All that and more in our latest edition of the Inside Word...

Here are some rumors and/or pieces of news that we've heard lately.

Hassan Adams took an unofficial visit recently to UCLA, along with his mother. In addition to touring the campus, Adams played in the pickup games with UCLA and NBA players while his mother met with Steve Lavin. Sources close to Adams tell us that he has not yet cut his list, with Kansas, Cal, Arizona, UCLA, Tennesse, Oregon and Boston College all still in the hunt.

Speaking of UCLA and pickup games, Evan Burns was also seen playing in the games last week. Burns is thought to be a strong UCLA lean, with the main question being whether or not he'll qualify. However, don't be surprised if San Diego St., and possibly Arizona, make a run at Burns before it's all said and done. Arizona has wings Andre Igoudala and Hassan Adams at the top of their list, but we've heard they could become involved with Burns if they miss on their top two targets and Evan is qualified in the spring. San Diego St., meanwhile, has been on Burns for some time and they could be involved if he qualifies or, perhaps, even if he doesn't. The Aztecs are able to take Prop 48 players and if Burns doesn't qualify, and decides he isn't yet ready for the pros, the Aztecs might figure prominently.

Ekene Ibekwe, 6-9 JR PF Carson (Calif.) High, is one of the premier prospects nationally in next year's class and we learned recently that a local school has taken an early lead for his services. The school in question, though, isn't the traditional power in Westwood. Ekene has, in the past, mentioned UCLA and North Carolina as two schools he liked growing up, but the latest word now is that USC is his early leader. Apparently, the Trojans have been pulling out all the stops early (with lots of mail and calls to his coach) and it's made an impression on Ibekwe.

The Bruins may not have the early lead for Ebeke, but they appear to be looking good with #1 ranked junior point guard Ayinde Ubaka, 6-1 Oakland (Calif.) High. Ubaka has mentioned UCLA as a childhood favorite and we hear from sources close to him that he has a strong interest in the Bruins. One potential snag, though, is that we hear Ubaka has some work to do in the classroom if he's going to qualify.

As we approach September, players are starting to line up their visits to various schools. We hear Oregon has visits set with David Chiotti, Brandon Lincoln and Josh Davis, while Tennessee will be hosting outstanding Las Vegas point guard C.J. Watson this weekend. Speaking of Chiotti, we hear that Cal will probably choose between Chiotti and David Paris to fill one of their post slots in this class.

Finally, we've learned that Long Beach St. signee Anthony Davis, a 6-5 shooting guard, will not be joining the 49ers. The word is that Davis, who is qualified, will probably attend a prep school this year and re-open his recruitment.



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