Matt McKinney, 6-7 CF Santa Ynez (Calif.) High, told us yesterday that his list of schools now includes UCLA, Arizona St., UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, USC and Pepperdine. All of the schools on his list are recruiting him for basketball, except USC, which is recruiting him for volleyball only.
Matt has taken official visits so far to UC Santa Barbara, ASU and Pepperdine. He took an unofficial trip to Irvine this past weekend and he'll take a volleyball trip to USC in three weeks. He'll visit UCLA next weekend on an official trip for basketball.
Speaking of the Bruins, Matt received a surprise visitor during his in-home visit with UCLA volleyball coach Al Scates last Monday. Steve Lavin accompanied Scates on the in-home and expressed interest in offering Matt a basketball scholarship. According to Matt's father, who we also spoke with yesterday, Matt has long been a huge UCLA fan and the Bruins' interest in him as a basketball player was big news in the McKinney home.
When questioned about the factors he would be weighing in making his decision, Matt replied, "The feel I get from the school is going to be important. I want to have a good college experience and things like the social life and the campus will be important."
We asked about the different levels of basketball he might see at a Pac-10 school, as opposed to one of the others on his list, and Matt said, "That's something I have to decide about. Maybe being a role player at a big-time program, or possibly being the man at a smaller program."
We asked Matt if he has a leader at this point and he said, "No, they're all pretty even right now."
Matt told us that he'll definitely sign in November.
Added note: The inside word is, if the situation with Slovenian frontcourt player Erazem Lorbek doesn't look good in the next month, UCLA very well could offer McKinney a basketball ride, which very well could cement the deal for him. McKinney, if he put more time into basketball, would have a chance to be a very good basketball player on the Pac-10 level. He, at the very least, would be a good supporting player, with great size and athleticism.