Marcus Williams, 6-2 SR PG Mouth of Wilson (Virg.) Oak Hill, has eliminated UCLA from his list, according to a source close to Williams. While UCLA has made it clear that Aaron Brooks is their #1 priority, the speculation had been that the Bruins would stay in the Williams race until the spring. But the Williams camp made it clear today that UCLA is no longer an option. You never want to say never in recruiting but, as of today, it doesn't look like Williams will be playing for his hometown school and childhood favorite.
Robert Swift, the 6-10 JR C who is considered one of the best in his class nationally, has decided not to play with his traditional AAU team, Rockfish, in the Big Time, or with anyone else for that matter. He'll play with California Team Select in the Pump Best of the Summer next week.
There are enough rumors going around that the commitment of Nick Stiggers to USC might not be definite.
While the Big Time has been underway in Las Vegas, the #1 recruiting target for Oregon, Washington and UCLA is thousands of miles away. Aaron Brooks, 5-11 SR PG, Seattle (Wash.) Franklin, is on Margarita, a Venezuelan island in the Caribbean, playing with the USA Basketball Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team.
Oregon is thought to have an advantage at this point with Brooks, since Ernie Kent, the Oregon Head Coach, conveniently is coaching the USA team, which allows him to spend some great quality recruiting time with Brooks. So, the other coaches recruiting Brooks have obediently been following them around. Steve Lavin and Lorenzo Romar were each in Miami for a couple of days last week when Brooks was trying out to make the final cut of the team (which he made, obviously). Lavin and Romar plan to spend a few days this week on Margarita, watching Brooks play.
The word around recruiting circles is it's Oregon, Washington and UCLA currently – in that order. Some close to the Brooks situation have said if he doesn't go to Oregon he'd more than likely opt to stay in comfortable surroundings and close to home at Washington. One rumor said that the other players on the USA Basketball team were calling Aaron "Ernie Junior" because he was Ernie's pet favorite. But don't count out Lavin; when he gets a recruit in his crosshairs he has a track record of finishing the deal.
Randy Adams, 6-7 SR PF, formerly from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs, is said to be transferring to a prep school back east. He plays for the AAU team, Inland, which is notorious for sending Inland Empire kids to east coast prep schools.
We're stockpiled with rumors and we'll keep them coming. Expect the second Big Time Inside Word tomorrow...