Inside Word

There is plenty of juicy stuff floating around out there, especially on Marcus Williams, Aaron Brooks, the Stewart Twins and sleepers to watch...

Marcus Williams, 6-2 PG, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw (soon to be Mouth of Wilson, Virg., Oak Hill Academy) was thought to be a heavy lean to UCLA. It looks like that might have changed recently. The word is that both sides – the Williamses and UCLA – have taken a step back. In fact, we're hearing that Williams has called a few other programs recently, inquiring about their interest in him, including Oregon.

Speaking of UCLA…

The Bruins, in fact, looks to have set its sights on Aaron Brooks, 5-11 JR PG, Seattle (Wash.) Franklin. A source indicates that Brooks could visit UCLA in early June. He's also seriously considering Oregon, Washington, Gonzaga and New Mexico. Apparently he scored in the high 900s on his SAT.

Speaking of Washington…

The word on Ryan Appleby, 6-2 JR PG, Stanwood (Wash.) High, is that it will be a battle between Washington and Oregon for his services.

The word, also, is that the Stewart twins, Rodrick and Lodrick, 6-2 JR SGs, Seattle (Calif.) Rainier Beach, are looking very favorably on USC. We know that USC has them as a top priority, and that the twins could be leaning toward the Trojans. It would be interesting if USC had two sets of twin guards on their squad in a year, with the Stewarts joining Errick and Derrick Craven. What's really similar about the two sets of twins is that they're both "mirror twins," that is, , one is left-handed (Errick and Lodrick), while the other is right-handed (Derrick and Rodrick). If USC did take both Stewarts it would leave them only one scholarship for the high schoool junior class.

Speaking of USC…

That is, USC would only have two scholarships if you already count Jeff McMillian, 6-7 PF, as taking a scholarship. McMillian is trying to transfer from Fordham. He has a bit of a checkered past that he's trying to live down and while reports are that USC is trying to decide whether to accept McMillian, the recent word is that USC is going to take him. McMillian was one of the best power forward prospects in the country during his senior year in high school.

Speaking of big men to watch…

A player to watch in the state of Washington is Josh Heytvelt, 6-9, Clarkston (Wash.) High. Heytvelt is only a sophomore, but has impressed many this spring, with his size and skills.

Kyle Jeffers, 6-9 JR C, Santa Rosa (Calif.) Montgomery, is also perhaps a player to keep an eye on.

Speaking of keeping an eye on…

A sleeper, Jermaine Johnson, 6-5 JR SF, Hacienda Heights (Calif.) Wilson, is going to play at Adidas's prestigious ABCD camp in the beginning of July. We don't know much about Johnson, but intend to find out.

Speaking of sleepers…

One of the biggest sleepers on the west coast this time last year was Ryan Hollins, the 6-10 SR C, Pasadena (Calif.) Muir. We talked with Hollins last night and will have an update on what he said later today. He wasn't too forthcoming since he hasn't been released from his National Letter of Intent to St. Louis just yet, but he did say some things about former St. Louis head coach and now Washington head coach, Lorenzo Romar. The good money was on Hollins following Romar to Washington, but recently, tt looks like the Hollins family has been showing some interest in UCLA. It might be, though, that the Hollinses' interest in UCLA are just exploring their options – and also trying to help facilitate Ryan's release from St. Louis.

Speaking of transfers (sort of)…

Jason McKinney, 5-10 SR PG, Inglewood (Calif.) High, is going prep. He'll take a fifth year of high school at Wolfeboro (New Hampshire) Brewster Academy.

Also, the word is that JC big man, Mike Travis, 6-9 C, San Francisco City College, will go to Texas Tech. Apparently there is a connection with San Francisco City and Bob Knight. Knight, reportedly, came to the school and visited Travis. Knight came up to the kid, said, "So, are you interested?" Travis said yes. And Knight then told him to talk to his assistant and left. It's great to recruit when you're Bobby Knight.

Speaking of JC players…

One of the best players on the west coast is probably JUCO combo forward Nick DeWitz, who completed his freshman year at Utah Valley. DeWitz is a high-major player, and naturally you would think that Utah would be all over him, which we heard is the case.

Speaking of improving stock…

John Winston, 6-2 CG, Richmond (Calif.) Salesian, has gotten some new-found attention this spring. He's always had that football-ready body, but he's improved his athleticism and outside shooting. He's getting interest from Pittsburg, Oregon State, UNLV and Washington, while we hear that Pitt and OSU could be his early favorites.

Speaking of Oakland Slam N Jam…

Ayinde Ubaka, 6-2 JR PG, Oakland (Calif.) High, still looks to be favoing Cal and Arizona, and it fluctuates every week or so on who is the leader. Many believe, though, that Cal will be there in the end. Florida and San Diego State are trying with Ubaka.

Speaking of Florida, the Gators have gotten deeply involved with Omar Wilkes, 6-2 JR SG, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. Wilkes' other schools are Kansas, Stanford, Arizona and UCLA at this point. Florida likes his leadership and advanced basketball IQ, as does everyone.


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