Update on UCLA Prospects in July

UCLA coaches are spending time in Indianapolis, Philadelphia and other locations to watch prospect such as Devin Williams, Isaac Hamilton, and Rysheed Jordan...

Head Coach Ben Howland spent the better part of two days in Indianapolis at the Adidas Invitational before moving on Thursday night to Philadelphia for the Reebok Showdown Series, which followed the Reebok Breakout Camp. He'll then head off to the Washington D.C. area on Saturday to catch some of Nike World Global Challenge and the Nike Skills U.

Assistant Phil Mathews is still in Indianapolis. The NCAA rule dictates that only three coaches from one staff can be "out" at one time. But the fact that his son, Jordan Mathews, is playing in the event, enables Mathews to attend the event, albeit to just watch his son, when UCLA has three other coaches "out."

Assistant Scott Garson was in Philadelphia, and has now moved on to The George McClellan Invitational in Houston, Texas.

Assistant Kory McKray has been in Atlanta, scouting mostly younger Georgia-area prospects at the Atlanta Hardwood Jamfest.

So far this is roughly the players UCLA coaches have seen.

In Indianapolis:

Devin Williams, 6-8 Post, Montverde (Fla.) Montverde Academy. Williams played well at the event, and Howland attended at least a couple of his games. He showed that he's a dedicated rebounder and defender, and interest among college programs will probably increase for him, which isn't necessarily good since he, according to sources, is a UCLA lean.

Karviar Shepherd, 6-9 Post, Arlington (Tex.) Grace Prep. Howland attended a couple of Shepherd's games. Shepherd showed he's continued to improve physically, has a good body, plays hard and has a good motor. Nothing he did in Indianapolis would keep UCLA from continuing to watch and recruit him.

Joel Embid, 6-11 Post, Montverde (Fla.) Montverde Academy. Legit 6-11, maybe even 7-0, Embid is from Cameroon and was personally helped by former UCLA player Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to come to this country and play at his alma mater, Montverde. In fact, Mbah a Moute has made a connection with Embid and UCLA, too. In Indy, Embid displayed a nice body and good athleticism, and while his offensive game is in development the upside is tremendous because of his physical gifts, particularly showing good hands. Embid went up against Shepherd in one game and both fared well. Embid told us that UCLA and Florida were the two schools that had contacted his coach.

Tre'Shaun Lexing, 6-6 SF, Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln. Lexing was a prospect that wasn't well-known outside of the west, even after we wrote about him in April and declared him one of the best players in the west for 2013. In fact, up until July, Lexing told us that Colorado, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Santa Clara and Cal Poly were his offers. With his performance in Indy, that offer list will probably be changing. As we saw in April, Lexing has the body of a forward but has offensive guard skills, with a good handle, ability to take defenders off the dribble and shooting ability. He also showed in Indy a penchant for defending. You can probably expect more programs to get on him, and the Pac-12 to be all over him, and UCLA to start showing some interest.

Isaac Hamilton, 6-4 shooting guard, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. Howland attended a couple of Dream Vision's games to watch Hamilton, who is one of UCLA's top targets at the wing for 2013.

Noah Vonleh, 6-8 2014 Post, New Hampton (New Hampshire) New Hampton School. He's the #1 power forward in the nation for 2014 and he showed why in Indy. He's an excellent athlete with some exceptional physical tools, but still with some considerable upside in his skill development and motor. UCLA is trying, but we'll have to call it a longshot.

Isaiah Bailey, 6-5 2014 small forward, Compton (Calif.) High. One of the best athletes in the west, Bailey showed it off in Indy, especially showing great defensive potential with his length. He also displayed a good-looking stroke. UCLA has showed Bailey a little interest but could step it up after his July performance. Bailey noted UNLV, USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, Oregon State, and Arizona as schools showing him attention with the Trojans being his lone offer.

Jaron Hopkins, 6-3 shooting guard, Mesa (Ariz.) Dobson. Hopkins had a bit of an erratic game Thursday, but again showed the considerable athleticism that makes him an exceptional prospect.

In Philadelphia:

Zach LaVine, 6-3 combo guard, Bothell (Wash.). The UCLA-committed guard showed his talent -- a combo of skills and athleticism -- that makes him such a great prospect. He took it upon himself to defend one of the Harrison twins yesterday and did well.

Dakarai Allen, 6-5 small forward, Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon. Allen, again, showed very good athleticism, especially defensively, and a great feel for the game. The fact that his shot isn't going in -- even though his stroke isn't broken -- could keep certain coaching staffs cool on him.

Tony Trocha, 6-11 post, Houston (Tex. ) St. Thomas. There was a great deal of anticipation when the Colombian prospect stepped on the floor at this event. He passed the look test, looking long and athletic and running well. He showed skills but is still pretty thin, shied away from contact and lacked aggressiveness. Still, with the height, athletic upside and flash of skills it's easy to see high majors on him, including UCLA. Trocha, who had been considering trying to enroll in college this fall, told us that he'll finish his high school career in the United States as a member of the 2013 class. He mentioned Ohio State, Baylor, Kentucky, Florida, Texas A&M, Gonzaga and Providence.

Allerik Freeman, 6-4 shooting guard, Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep. The high-scoring wing put up points, hitting a good number of three-pointers in his first two days at Reebok. He also looked good creating mid-range shot opportunities. Assistant Garson was in attendance Thursday at one of his games.

Rysheed Jordan, 6-3 point guard, Philadelphia (Penn.) Vaux Roberts. The lead guard was in offensive attack mode to start the event. The long, physical talent showed he could get where he wanted to on the court and also finish. He looked good in front of Garson.

Roddy Peters, 6-4 point guard, Forestville (Maryland) Suitland. Peters is emerging as an elite point guard prospect, with good athleticism and ability to take defenders off the dribble, finish and distribute. The player contacted UCLA and the staff is starting to get on him.

Jermaine Lawrence, 6-9 post, Sparta (New Jersey) Pope John XXXIII. Lawrence is a nationally elite prospect that UCLA is trying to get involved with. He's athletic and has fairly advanced skills.

Ikenna Iroegbu, 6-0 point guard, Mouth of Wilson (Virg.) Oak Hill. The west coast prospect spent his junior season sitting on the bench at Oak Hill, and he says it improved his game. He didn't look much improved in April, but showed some maturity here so far. He's always been good physically and athletically, but very erratic, trying to play the point guard spot at one speed -- too fast. In Philly, so far, he's showed some restraint, and took what the defense gave him. He said he holds offers from USC, Washington State, Oklahoma State, Colorado and Virginia Tech, while also saying that Cal, UNLV, Stanford and UCLA are "recruiting him." UCLA, to our knowledge, has shown just mild interest to date.

Darin Johnson, 6-4 shooting guard, Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin. Plays with Dakarai Allen on Play Hard Play Smart, Johnson emerged in April and looks like he could be making a case as the best shooting guard in the west for 2013. He's skilled, has a good feel for the game, shoots it well, has good athleticism and a very good feel. Washington State, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara and others have offered, and UCLA isn't recruiting him at this point but he could be a guy UCLA looks toward if all the other national guys don't pan out.

In Houston:

Dominic Woodson, 6-9 post, Huntington (West Virginia) Huntington Prep. Big, physical post who is among nation's best. UCLA is trying but it's a longshot.

Justise Winslow, 6-6 2014 small forward, Houston (Tex.) St. John's. A truly elite wing for 2014 that will have his choice of college programs, and UCLA is trying.


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