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--12/11: David Koral, the JC quarterback from Santa Monica JC, was on UCLA's campus Wednesday. He did not verbally commit to UCLA. The word, in fact, is that he could hold off for a bit, and even take official visits. -- Tracy Pierson
b>-- 12/11:: There is a tentative plan for Michael Thompson, the 6-10 transfer from Duke, to officially visit UCLA Dec. 20th, the weekend of the Michigan State game.
He also is scheduled to visit Notre Dame on Dec. 23rd, and then Texas on the 29th.
It's not completely certain he'll visit UCLA but if he does, it will more than likely be on the 20th.
The issues around UCLA taking Thompson: If Thompson did transfer, he would be eligible, I believe a year from when he's enrolled. He'd enroll for the second quarter, but it's unsure whether he'd be eligible to play next season when the second quarter starts -- or as soon as the first quarter is over. It comes down to when it's determined he's considered enrolled.
My long-held theory is that UCLA -- or any high major program -- should always take anyone over 6-9 who has the athleticism to play at the high major level. In college basketball today, these kinds of guys are just too hard to find.
So, generally, I think UCLA should take Thompson.
If he were to count against the incoming class, I wouldn't take him, because you'd want to have a scholarship open for Malik Hairston.
But he would count against the Ariza class as to the school year he enrolled.
There is the problem with the fact that Thompson will more than likely be a junior next year -- and be in the same class as Fey and Hollins. I think, personally, if that is the case, and Thompson can't win any kind of appeal to the NCAA (which isn't likely), he himself probably wouldn't want to come to UCLA in the same class as Fey and Hollins.
But let's say he does. Does UCLA take him? I think, if they determine he's good enough to play and contribute next year, and potentially be better than either Fey or Hollins, I think they should take him. Again, I'm sticking with my theory on taking anyone who can play over 6-9, and letting the situation sort itself out in regards to three centers in the same class. Perhaps, then, Hollins could redshirt, as we've discussed here? Also, while he's thought to be a true five (no one really has seen much of him in a while), what if he, or Hollins, develops some face-the-basket offense and could play the four? It could happen.
The other issue is where does UCLA get the scholarship for him. Right now, as it stands, UCLA will be full for scholarships next year. Remember, if they were going to give a fifth ride to someone in the 2004 high school class they were going to have to find it somewhere. But if they still want to give out that fifth ride in that class, and take Thompson, they'll have to free up two scholarships. It's uncertain whether Howland can pull this off.
One big advantage is that it will utilize the scholarship that UCLA would have to leave on the table in the 2005/2006 season. Because of the 5/8 rule, UCLA could only take a total of 8 recruits in 2004 and 2005, which would dictate that they could only have 12 players on scholarship in the 2005/2006 year. However, if Thompson came in, they could still give a total of 8 in 2004 and 2005 and then utilize all 13 scholarships. -- Tracy Pierson
I think he's one of those second-tier guys. He has just okay size, he's a bit narrow. And okay arm strength. And he's pretty raw fundamentally.
I think he should be among the QB prospects on UCLA's secondary list, but I don't think he's good enough to have been offered by now.
But I think UCLA believes there are other guys they can get that are better off that second-tier list -- like Bush Hamdan. -- Tracy Pierson
-- 12/10: It's almost certain that running back Tyler Ebell will not play in the Silicon Valley Bowl Dec. 30th.
Ebell suffered an injury to his left shoulder and will require surgery. He's expected to be back in time for spring practice. -- Tracy Pierson
-- 12/10: The Recruiting Coordinator, by title, always has to be a coach. It's an NCAA rule.
But that doesn't mean programs can't give the responsibilities of RC to someone else, as they kind of fell to Randy, who was officially the director of Football Operations.
The New DFO is Bob Lopez, who is more administrative, which is how Dorrell conceived of the position.
Many programs across the country employ office staff to organize recruiting. You can't have a RC who is not a coach, but you can't have people, or one person, who is the central, organizational focal point of recruiting. I think UCLA, without Taylor, desperately needs someone in this capacity. -- Tracy Pierson
-- 12/8: : Bozeman will get 30-40 minutes, depending on the opponents and the situations of the games. In a typical game where UCLA is, say, up by 10 for most of the game, he'll probably play 35+ minutes, with Walcott getting the remaining minutes.
Morrison, from what I've heard and believe, has earned the starting SG position. I doubt that Thompson will move over to the starting position there. Howland is all about defense, and Morrison provides a great defensive option at the SG, alongside Ced. Morrison most of the time will guard the opposing point guard while Ced takes the SG. If Thompson played the two it's questionable whether he could stay with a smaller guard, or if you'd really want Ced guarding the smaller point guard. And he's shown that he's a very solid scoring threat, which the offense needs.
Thompson will remain mostly at the three.
I believe Ariza will start at the four. He earned the spot in practice and is the team's best rebounder, and second-best passer.
Cummings will come off the bench at the four I believe. But he could, then, enable Howland to use Ariza at the three to give Thompson a breather. Remember, Howland said he'd like to see how he could get Ariza on the floor as much as possible.
Fey and Hollins will man the five. Howland again could use Hollins at the four against bigger opponents or if he needs to because of foul trouble.
PG's 40 minutes: Bozeman 35+ on average, Walcott remainder.
SG's 40 minutes: Morrison 28 minutes, Thompson 7 minutes, Rubin 5 minutes
SF: Thompson 23 minutes, Ariza 17 minutes
PF: Ariza 15 minutes, Cummings 23 minutes, Johnson 2 minutes
C: Fey 22 minutes, Hollins 15 minutes, Cummings 3 minutes -- Tracy Pierson
-- 12/6: Tom Cable is indeed the leading candidate to be the new OL coach, and new OC.
However Cable wants to look into any possibility of getting a NFL job.
So, it's by no means a done deal.-- Tracy Pierson
-- 12/6: The football team conducted semi-secret seven-on-seven practices the week of Dec. 1st through the 5th. The media was not told of the practices. -- Tracy Pierson