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One of the hottest West Coast senior basketball recruits this year is 6'5" wing Josh Shipp from Los Angeles, CA. Shipp was known as a scorer from his junior season at Fairfax HS, but his stock soared through the roof with his sharp-shooting performances at the Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis this July. His offer and school list has grown since, and he now has a firm list of six programs he is serious considering for his college future.
These are options most any recruit would kill for, and Shipp is appreciative of his current standing. "These are really good schools, and I think they are happy about what I showed this summer," he states. "I improved everything in my game, from shooting to ballhandling. I'm still disappointed I didn't get invited to some camps, like the NBPA and the USA Basketball events. I deserved to be there. But the proof is in my recruiting right now."
Shipp has already scheduled official visits to Oregon (Sept. 18) and UCLA (Sept. 26), with Stanford intended for sometime in October. But the most immediate event to watch will be his unofficial trip to Westwood today. He took another unofficial visit to UCLA just a few weeks ago, and he says he spent time walking around campus with new head coach Ben Howland.
"We talked about a lot of stuff," the recruit explains. "But we never talked about a scholarship. I think we got all the other stuff out of the way, so I imagine this visit will answer questions about what they really want to do with me. Coach Howland says that they are looking for another perimeter player and they really want me. But I know they already have Jordan Farmar, Arron Afflalo, Trevor Ariza and Dijon Thompson. So where do I fit in? I'm looking for hard answers and hopefully a scholarship."
UCLA will be a very tough option for him to turn down, but Stanford is also right at the front of his mind. The Cardinal have told him for the last few months now that they need to him apply for admission and to raise the verbal score of his SAT. He says that he is currently working on the admissions application right now. "I'm trying to do a really good job to get in there," he comments. "That's important to me."
Shipp was previously thought to take the first SAT test offered this fall (Oct. 11) toward that admissions goal. However, he says that he is eyeing the November test date instead, which does not appear to fit the timeframe for his admissions application and a college decision for the early signing period.
Will he simply attempt to apply with his current SAT score? Is he willing to wait until November for that retake? Will this all be rendered moot by big news from UCLA's campus today? There are more questions than answers surrounding Shipp today, but we'll work to sort them out for you, as we continue to piece together the complex picture of this Stanford 2004 recruiting class.
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