Inside Word

Plenty of good rumors floating around, and actually some hard facts, about west coast recruits like the #1 junior point guard on the west coast, Ayinde Ubaka, Omar Wilkes, Thomas Gardner, and more...

We've heard like everyone else that Tron Smith, 6-0 JR PG, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs, has verbally committed to Arizona State, but we have yet to confirm it. Smith is one of the top five junior point guards in the west and has the chance to ultimately be among the couple best.

Arizona is making a great play for Ayinde Ubaka, 6-2 JR PG, Oakland (Calif.) High, the #1 junior point guard on the west coast. Cal has been in on Ubaka for quite a while, but Arizona has made up ground and possibly surpassed Cal. Florida is the other school left on Ubaka's list.

We're hearing that Ryan Rourke, 6-7 SR SF, Bothell (Wash.) High, has signed with Air Force. He officially visited Air Force a few weeks ago. That marks the second Washington player that Air Force has signed in the last week or so, along with Dan Nwaelele, 6-4 SG Kenmoor (Wash.) Inglemoor.

Patrick Haddan, 6-1 SR PG, Irvine (Calif.) Woodbridge, has committed to Penn.

We did a recruiting update on Bobby Jones, 6-6 SR SF, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, today, but the word from the other side of the recruiting story is that it looks to be a done deal for Jones going to Washington. The word is that Washington wants him, and we're pretty confident Jones will opt to go to Washington, the biggest-named school recruiting him. Probably expect it to get done this weekend when Jones trips to Seattle.

We're hearing that Jamal Sampson, the Cal freshman center who has left school to put his name into the NBA draft, is getting pretty strong feedback from NBA scouts – as in first-round feedback.

Speaking of Cal, Cal coaches were seen in Los Angeles to watch Omar Wilkes, 6-2 JR SG, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola, work out at his high school. Cal might be a school that you shouldn't count out in the Wilkes sweepstakes, even though they recently got a commitment from Wesley Walker, 6-2 JR SG, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Wilkes recently took his official visit to Kansas and was impressed, according to sources. Wilkes will hold off on his other four visits until the fall, and will pick among Cal, UCLA, Stanford, USC and Florida for those four other visits.

Errol Knight, the talented freshman wing, has left Washington, apparently not happy with the chemistry on the Washington squad and having to sit behind Doug Wrenn. The word is that he could end up a Gonzaga Bulldog. More Zags: Gonzaga coaches were in the Portland area recently, scouting Thomas Gardner, 6-2 JR SG, Portland (Ore.) Jefferson, who they have as a big priority.

Not only will Leon Powe, the #1 player on the west coast who tore his ACL recently, not be playing with Oakland Slam ‘N Jam Memorial Day Weekend, but we're hearing that all-universe Lebron James won't be either. The Soldiers #1 team will go to Bob Gibbons in North Carolina, while the #2 team will play in the Rumble in the Bay in San Jose.

USF might get E.J. Harris, the 6-2 point guard who is transferring from Washington State. San Diego and Loyola Marymount are also considerations for Harris.

Transfer Rumors: Gabe Pruitt, 6-2 SO PG/SG, might transfer from Compton Centennial to Los Angeles Westchester. And there is speculation that Trevor Ariza, 6-7 JR SF, could be transferring from Westchester to Mouth of Wilson (Virg.) Oak Hill Academy.


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