2012 Hoops Recruiting Update

UCLA is doing very well in recruiting the 2012 class, and you can see how the class might develop, and become one of the best in the country. But there are still some interesting aspects of it in terms of scholarships and timing that have to play out...

UCLA's recruitment of the 2012 class is getting more focused, even though there are a few recent new names added to the list.

UCLA is aiming for a five-man class. It already has a point guard and a shooting guard, and now it wants to finish it off with a small forward, and power forward and a post.

The point guard is Dominic Artis, the 5-11 prospect who will attend Las Vegas (Nev.) Findlay Prep.

The shooting guard is Jordan Adams, the 6-4 prospect from Mouth of Wilson (Virg.) Oak Hill.

Of course, UCLA's target at small forward is Shabazz Muhammad, the 6-5 prospect from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, and the nation's #1-ranked prospect. The latest on Muhammad is that he could very well wait until spring to sign an NLI, for various reasons. But UCLA is still doing very well with him and is the prohibitive favorite.

Kyle Anderson, the 6-7 point forward from Jersey CIty (New Jersey) St. Anthony, is the primary target that would essentially be the "power forward," even though Anderson would play small forward also, depending on the match-ups. Anderson was on UCLA's campus a number of times before the Boost Mobile event last week, and again yesterday playing in the pick-up games since his flight back east was postponed due to Hurricane Irene. We're hearing more and more that UCLA is now in the frontrunner position for Anderson, with the main competition being St. John's and Steve Lavin. St. John's has the hometown school advantage, but Anderson has become increasingly close with Muhammad, to the point that Muhammad recently called Anderson his "best friend." From what we're hearing, Muhammad's intention is to go to UCLA and he wants his "friends" and good players to go with him. Anderson has a few unofficial visits scheduled to Georgetown, Seton Hall, and St. John's, an official to Florida on the 17th/18th, and then has plans to announce his decision on September 20th. If you already have a date to announce, most of the time the prospect knows where he wants to go. It will be a huge indication of Muhammad's intentions if Anderson does indeed commit to UCLA on the 20th.

If UCLA had a class of these four, then they'd be looking to finish it off with a post player. The candidates are:

William Goodwin, 6-8, Decatur (Georgia) South Dekalb
Tony Parker, the 6-8, Lithonia (Georgia) Miller Grove
Joel James, 6-10, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer
Jarnell Stokes, 6-8, School TBD
Chris Obekpa, 6-8, Centereach (New York) Our Savior New American

UCLA would be ecstatic to get any one of the first four guys on the list, and they're seriously considering Obekpa. UCLA has probably the best shot with Goodwin and Parker, and is probably a longshot for Stokes.

There is one more significant addition to all of this. UCLA is doing very well with Arnaud Moto, the 6-5 wing from Alexandria (Virg.) Episcopal, who is a Cameroon native. In fact, we've heard that Moto will take an official visit to UCLA on the weekend of September 24th. Right now it's mostly between Vanderbilt and UCLA, and he has intentions to also visit Vanderbilt. Wake Forest could also get a visit. UCLA's connection to Cameroon are well known, and former UCLA player and Cameroonian, Alfred Aboya, has had some influence here; Aboya is currently playing on the Cameroon national team with Moto's older brother, who has been friends with Aboya for years.

If Moto wanted to commit to UCLA -- before Muhammad makes his decision in spring -- it could get very interesting. It could work out, if UCLA somehow doesn't get Anderson or one of the post players, it would have that fifth spot for Moto. It could also work if, perhaps, the post player that commits to UCLA is Goodwin, and he takes a football scholarship. There is also a chance UCLA could have six scholarships available for the 2012 season by next spring.

Also on UCLA's radar, as we've reported, are:

Amile Jefferson, 6-7, Wynnewood (Penn.) Friends' Central.
Savon Goodman, 6-5, Bryn Athyn (Penn.) Academy of the New Church
Tyrone Wallace, 6-4, Bakersfield (Calif.) High
Xavier Johnson, 6-6, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.

Both Jefferson and Goodman are elite prospects, and Goodwin unofficially visited UCLA. The Bruins are trying to get involved with both, even though UCLA would have to be considered a longshot. We've reported many times on Wallace, who has other BCS offers but could wait until spring to decide.

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