Developments in Hoops Recruiting

Apr. 13 -- The first evaluation period was last weekend, so coaches were out focusing on the 2016 and 2016 classes, but there were some developments with 2015 spring recruiting...

The first evaluation basketball recruiting evaluation weekend is in the books and there were some developments with UCLA recruiting. This isn’t a comprehensive list of prospects, just a rundown of some of the developments over the weekend.

First there is some news about players who would come in this fall, with the 2015 class.

The biggest news is that UCLA is aggressively targeting Maverick Rowan, the 6-6 small forward from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons. Rowan is, as of now, a 2016 prospect but he’s attempting to get re-classified as a 2015 recruit and enter college this fall. UCLA has a connection, with UCLA assistant Ed Schilling having a relationship with Rowan’s father. The word is that Rowan is a good student and will get re-classified, but it’s a question of whether UCLA will be able to admit him. We heard that Louisville is probably leading for Rowan at this time, with Rick Pitino having already been pursuing Rowan hard. He now apparently also has offers fro North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Florida in addition to UCLA, and had said he’d like to visit a few schools before deciding. Rowan was in Hampton (Virg.) last weekend to play in the Nike EYBL league with Ohio Basketball Club.'s Evan Daniels wrote this about Rowan from this weekend: Rowan is known for his ability to shoot the ball from three. And at 6-foot-7, he has terrific size for a guy that shoots as pretty of a shot that Rowan does. He showed off his range and shot this weekend, but he also showed his game is much more than that. A tough, scrappy player, Rowan isn’t afraid to mix it up. He hunts mid-range jumpers, will grab boards and doesn’t shy away from physical play. There are questions regards what class he ends up and the truth is from an evaluation standpoint it doesn’t matter. He’s one of the better wings in the country regardless of class.

Here’s video of Rowan last summer.

UCLA had been pursuing the San Francisco State transfer Mark Tollefsen, the 6-8 combo forward, but we’ve now heard that he’s not seriously interested in UCLA.

Edwards is one of those players who didn’t sign in November and has seen his stock rise this spring as programs look to fill out their rosters. His offer list has gone from mid-majors to high-majors, including Nebraska, SMU, Pitt, and Georgia. UCLA and Notre Dame have now gotten involved.

UCLA is making a late strong push for Zimmerman, according to sources. The word is that he’s leaning to UNLV, as we’ve been reporting for a while, but UCLA’s Steve Alford is putting in some effort to try to turn him toward UCLA.

2016 and 2017 Recruiting

UCLA offered Anigbogu after watching him in one game in the Adidas Gauntlet in Dallas this weekend. Anigbogu is one of the best bigs in the west for 2016, with a good body and athleticism, and good defensive instincts. The Bruins should have a good shot here, while Arizona has been going hard after Anigbogu for some time. Stanford and USC, too, should be competition, and probably Cal. Anigbogu thought previously that he’d make a decision early, but now, with expanding recruiting attention, is going to wait indefinitely.

UCLA coaches watched the two 2016 prospects that are verbally committed to UCLA. Schilling watched Ball at an event in Anaheim, and Alford watched Paras in Dallas. Ball was his usual self, showing a huge amount of talent. Paras showed, again, some good skills and hops, but not much intensity or effort, which makes him questionable as a recruit at this level.

Daniels wrote: I had my first opportunity to watch Kobe Paras. He's certainly talented, as he has good size, athleticism and a pretty looking shooting stroke. He didn't shoot the ball great in front of me (2-for-6 from three), but I could certainly tell that shooting was one of his strengths. For the weekend he finished with 45 points in three games. I think there's quite a bit of talent here, but he didn't always play hard and sometimes you forgot he was on the court. Looking forward to seeing him more. I like him as a backend top 100 player right now. Honestly he has the natural ability to be better than that.

UCLA is clearly starting to show a great deal of attention toward Jackson, who is a five-star point guard prospect, ranked #23 overall in the class of 2016. He and Ball would make for a fantastic backcourt, it would just be a matter of who primarily had the ball in his hands.

Daniels wrote this about Jackson from the weekend: Already a five-star prospect, it's not like Jackson was under-appreciated heading into the weekend, but he certainly improved his stock at the same time. Jackson can legitimately play both the one and two at a high level, as he's a terrific athlete who can create for others, knock down jumpers or score. Jackson was consistent, scoring over 20 points in all four games. He finished 100 points for the weekend and shot 8-for-19 from three.

UCLA offered Brissett, who is emerging as one of the best wings in the west for 2017.

Hands continues to be one of UCLA's top priorities for 2017, and understandably. He's a very talented player. It was thought that, at one time, UCLA was the clear leader for Hands and could possibly get an early commitment, but since Arizona and other programs have really made it a competition.

Daniels on Hands: You want to see consistent progress in evaluating and that's never been a problem with Hands. He has good size, long arms and is an explosive athlete with elite body control. He can take his man off the dribble and create for himself with his jumper or find teammates. As good as Hands is now, he has nothing but upside as he fills into his frame.

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