UCLA Take on ABCD

UCLA commit <b>Arron Afflalo</b> has a big ABCD Camp, improving his stock. Here's a look at the rest of the possible UCLA targets at the camp, including the underclassmen...

UCLA's committed wing, Arron Afflalo, 6-5, Compton (Calif.) Centennial, had a very good Adidas ABCD Camp. After a couple of slow days to begin the camp, Afflalo then switched camp teams and caught on fire. In one game Thursday he had 26 points, which he followed up with efforts of 22 and 18. He ended his effort by leading the camp in scoring, even though it was slightly misleading since many of the players ahead of him on the list didn't play in their last competitive game, choosing to sit it out the last day. Afflalo would have at least been among the leading three scorers – or you can look at it that Afflalo stuck it out and played his last game, unlike the others who big-timed the game, so he deserves the recognition of the leading scorer at ABCD.

Either way, he looked very good over the course of Thursday and Friday. He was very effective taking the ball to the basket, and also hitting his outside jumper. Afflalo, though, played a complete game, passing the ball to teammates, and creating for others. He was one of the best five or six players in the tournament the last couple of days.

C.J. Giles, 6-10 JR C/PF, Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach, severely bruised his ankle and didn't play the last two days at the camp. I was told he looked good the previous days – long and athletic. A recruiting update is coming soon.

Cheyenne Moore, 6-5 SR SG/SF, South Kent (Conn.) South Kent Prep. A wing prospect to keep an eye on, Moore was very athletic here and had some nice skills. He has de-committed from Georgetown.

Randolph Morris, 6-10 SR C, Fairburn (Geor.) Landmark Christian School. Probably the best post player I saw this week that clearly has UCLA among his favorites. He's a big body, probably weighing 240+, and is athletic.

Marshall Brown, 6-6 SR PF, Austin (Tex.) Johnson. While you might think that a 6-6 power forward who also weighs probably 210 couldn't play at the high-major level generally, Brown probably can. He's a decathlete, and has such explosive hops that he probably plays like he's 6-8. Watch for UCLA to sniff around some.

Cornelio Guibunda, 6-9 SR C/PF, Stamford (Conn.) King & Low-Heywood Thomas School. Thanks to the new coaching staff, UCLA has this one lined up if they want him to take an official visit. Guibunda is long, moves well and has good athleticism. Right now he's very ran offensively, but rebounds and blocks shots. He looks to be an option possibly later down the road.

Hector Hernandez, 6-8 PF/SF, Denver (Col.) Lincoln. Hernandez generally was a bit at a loss to keep up with the athleticism at the camp. He showed good skills, but he's probably more a mid major to the lower end of the high majors.

Marcus Everett, 6-0 SR PG, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade. The point guard played well, showing good decision-making along with the ability to score. With good grades, Stanford is taking a long look at him. UCLA is recruiting him as a football player, so ifhe came to UCLA, he could be a bonus in the backcourt.

Walter Sharpe, 6-9 SR PF, Birmingham (Ala.) Parker. Good-looking prospect, with a good body and nice athleticism, who showed good activity on both ends around the basket. There could be a question of academics, though.

Underclassmen:

Mario Chalmers, 6-2 JR PG/SG, Anchorage (Alas.) Bartlett. While it was plain that the level of talent here affected him, Chalmers did prove, though, that he's one of the best junior guards on the west coast with his performance. His combination of scoring and passing ability all week was good enough to get him on the underclassmen all-star game, where he easily held his own. As he gets bigger and stronger, and more comfortable with this level of competion, Chalmers has some serious upside. UCLA will be looking for a combo guard in the 2005 class and Chalmers will be one of the prime targets.

Theo Davis, 6-9 JR PF, Etobicoke (Ont.) Marian Academy. Long and explosive, Davis made the underclass all-star game. He also looked good at the Pango Camp in May in Los Angeles. UCLA will definitely try with him.

Andre McGee, 5-10 JR PG, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs. ABCD was the perfect environment for him – with everyone shooting and going one-on-one. In this style, he was a standout at the camp. He's so talented, though, that you have to concede that he may be able to get it done on the high-major level, too. UCLA will definitely show interest.

Tyler Smith, 6-6 JR SF, Pulaski (Tenn.) Giles County. Probably a top ten player nationally in his class, Smith is big, athletic and skilled. UCLA, with its connections in Tennessee because of Kerry Keating, will take a shot with Smith.

Tasmin Mitchell, 6-6 JR PF, Denham Springs (Louis.) High. A top ten player in 2005, Mitchell is a bit undersized for a power forward, but very skilled. He was the MVP of the underclass all-star game.

Leo Criswell, 6-8 JR PF, Kansas City (Kans.) Free State. A good body, who's skilled around the basket, Criswell has shown interest in UCLA.

Brandon Rush, 6-6 JR SF, Kansas City (Missouri) Westport. Rush announced at ABCD that he was staying back a grade and be among the 2005 class. He would probably be a top 20 player in the 2004 class, so imagine where he'll be ranked among 2005. Rush could be the best among his brothers JaRon and Kareem. He has the same athleticism, but at this stage of his development, has better all-around skills, particularly ball-handling and his ability to take people off the dribble. He might have issues, but he's talented enough and there's a UCLA connection.

Taylor King, 6-6 FR SF/PF, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. He was the rave among the younger players in the camp, putting on a show with his ability to shoot and then score around the basket with his crafty moves. What's so impressive is that, as such a youngster, he's come here to compete with literally no fear. Maybe he's too young to be nervous. But King seems pretty clued in, so it's probably more a case that he's just one of those unusual kids that is fearless – and talented. He was only one of two freshmen to make the underclass all-star game, and despite having a disapointing game where he was pretty fatigued, he definitely used the camp to make a name for himself on a national scale. And again, he's only going to be a freshman at Mater Dei this year. He's a life-long UCLA fan, as is his dad. UCLA is already recruiting him as much as they can recruit a freshman-to-be.


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