UCLA Hoops Recruiting Update

We're a week into the Contact Period, and do you know where your UCLA coaches have been? Check out the prospects they've dropped in on...

With the Contact Period beginning last Friday, September 9th, the UCLA coaches have literally been coast to coast visiting and watching prospects.

Of course, we first reported how UCLA's Ben Howland and assistant Phil Mathews went to Las Vegas to see Shabazz Muhammad and UCLA-committed point guard Dominic Artis.

UCLA was the first to have an in-home visit with Muhammad last Friday. He has since hosted coaches from UNLV, Duke, Kentucky and Kansas. He talked about his in-home visits in this story. Muhammad has plans to take an official visit to Kentucky for Midnight Madness the weekend of October 14th, and has said he intends to officially visit Duke but no date is scheduled. The word is that Muhammad still plans to wait until spring to decide.

From there, Howland headed to the east coast and had a visit with Kyle Anderson, the 6-8 point forward from Jersey City (New Jersey) St. Anthony's, the #4 prospect in the nation. As is well documented, Anderson is also considering St. John's, Seton Hall and Florida. Anderson had in-homes with St. John's and Seton Hall, and now will take an official visit to Florida this weekend. He will announce his choice Tuesday, September 20th.

We've heard that it's between UCLA and hometown Seton Hall, with St. John's running third. But recently, in the last couple of days, we've heard enough that leads us to believe that, at this time, Anderson is leaning to UCLA. Now, of course, things can change, especially after an official visit to Florida, but this is how it currently stands.

Muhammad and Anderson have developed a good friendship, have said they want to play together in college, and are talking every day, according to sources. When Dominic Artis' summer highlight reel went up on YouTube, Muhammad and Anderson quickly commented about it on Twitter.

Joel James, the center from Florida, eliminated UCLA this week, narrowing it down to Florida, Florida State and North Carolina. James is one of 11 kids and reportedly wants to stay close to his family. North Carolina hasn't been doing well recruiting bigs for 2012, so we've heard they could work hard and swoop in on James.

In a way, it was a good development for UCLA; since Howland wasn't able to visit James, he went back and visited Anderson again on Wednesday.

While on the east coast, UCLA also had an in-home visit with Arnaud Moto, the 6-5 wing from Cameroon playing his high school ball at Alexandria (Virg. ) Episcopal. UCLA assistant Scott Garson was also there, conducting the in-home on campus, since Garson is the assistant assigned to recruiting Moto, and UCLA is doing very well with him. Moto officially visited Wake Forest last weekend, will visit Vanderbilt this weekend and then UCLA next weekend, and the word is he could be ready to decide after that. We've heard that Florida is trying to get a visit out of him, and if Moto isn't sure after his three official visits he could still visit there. The word is that UCLA is doing very well, if not leading for him, and at this time it's between UCLA and Vanderbilt.

Howland and Garson also swung over to see one of their biggest targets in the class of 2013, Ishmail Wainright, the 6-5 propect now at Rockville (Maryland) Montrose Christian.

They also had an in-home visit with Chris Obekpa, the 6-8 post at Centereach (New York) Our Savior American. Obekpa intends to officially visit UCLA, but a date hasn't been set.

Yesterday, then, Howland took a little swing down south, met up with UCLA assistant Korey McCray and had in-home visits with William Goodwin, the 6-8 post from Decatur (Georgia) South Dekalb; Tony Parker, the 6-8 post from Lithonia (Georgia) Miller Grove; and the parents of UCLA-committed wing Jordan Adams, who live in the Atlanta area.

Sources are indicating that UCLA is doing very well with Parker, the #19 prospect in the nation. He recently took a visit to Ohio State, and the Buckeyes are definitely in it, as well as Memphis and the Bruins. He intends to visit Memphis and UCLA officially, and could visit Duke in late October, but his recruitment isn't expected to go that far.

UCLA is also doing well with Goodwin, and is competing with Memphis and Georgia mainly for him.

Howland and McCray also dropped in on Jarnell Stokes, the 6-8 post from Memphis.

UCLA coaches have also check in on various underclass recruits. It was known that Garson went to Bothell (Wash.) High to see Zach Lavine, the 6-1 combo guard. Since Lavine is an underclassmen coaches can't conduct in-home visits. The word is that Lavine was close to verbally committing to UCLA, but that he could be delaying it a bit.

There are always a good amount of college coaches showing up at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, and we've heard that UCLA's Mathews was among them. He was there to see Xavier Johnson, the 6-6 2012 prospect, as well as a trio of 2013 prospects primarily – Shaqquan Aaron, Stanley Johnson and Elijah Brown. UCLA has offered Stanley Johnson, and sources are indicating the Bruins are doing very well with him. UCLA is among the leaders for Aaron. Brown is the son of new Los Angeles Laker coach Mike Brown, who transferred to Mater Dei from Cleveland, Ohio. He was impressive at the recent Adidas Nations event, and the word is that UCLA is seriously recruiting him.

Other underclassmen we've heard UCLA coaches Mathews and Garson have gone to see:

Parker Jackson-Cartwright, 5-8 point guard, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola, 2014
Jabari Bird, 6-5 shooting guard, Richmond (Calif.) Salesian, 2013
Stephen Domingo, San Francisco (Calif.) St. Ignatius, 2013
Isaac Hamilton, 6-4 shooting guard, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, 2013
Jordan Bell, 6-6 power forward, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, 2013
Stephen Zimmerman, 6-9 center, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, 2015
Brodricks Jones, 6-7 forward, Playa Del Rey (Calif.) St. Bernard, 2015
Chance Comanche, 6-6 forward, Playa Del Rey (Calif.) St. Bernard, 2015

From what we've heard, UCLA had the only coach (Garson) at Loyola on the first day of the contact period to see Jackson-Cartwright.

UCLA is showing quite a bit of interest in Hamilton, and the Bruins are supposed to be in the thick of it, with Mathews heading up that recruitment.

We've also heard that UCLA should have a good group of recruits at the UCLA/Texas football game this weekend. When we get word on all the recruits who made the game, we'll pass it along, but we have heard that Jackson-Cartwright and Elijah Brown plan to attend.

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