This new feature -- the "Message Board News" -- will enable you to quickly get the lowdown on the latest news from the message boards!
UCLA coaches were in the home of offensive lineman Allen Smith last night.
Smith is the #17-ranked offensive line prospect in the country and a major target for the Bruins in this recruiting class.
He had said that UCLA was probably his leader before the firing of offensive line coach Mark Weber.
New offensive line coach Tom Cable and wide receiver coach Jon Embree were the coaches that visiting him and his family.
From a source in Arizona, UCLA still has a very good shot with Smith...-- Tracy Pierson
Currently UCLA has 24 scholarships available for the 2004/2005 school year.
That's not counting the scholarship that could open up when Sciarra tranfers, which is still likely.
As we've maintained, Michael Pitre will almost certainly be moved to a medical scholarship, so it's not counting that one either.
If those two leave, that gives them 26 scholarships open.
They have 21 players who have committed, so they have three open rides, as of right now. If Sciarra and Pitre leave the team, that would give them five open rides.
Dorrell has said he intends to bring in 29 new players. To do so, 3 more scholarships would have to open up. I've heard of some other players who might leave, but not concrete enough to report..-- Tracy Pierson
I went to watch Brett Hoerner, 6-10 JR C Fullerton (Calif.) High, last night.
I like his skills, his feel for the game, his hands and feet...but he's very skinny. He's added very little weight since summer and his frame doesn't look like it'll hold much weight as he gets older.
I think he'll end up at a high major, but I'm not sure he makes it to the elite level. A lot will depend on how he looks physically when we get to July. -- Greg Hicks
The rumors that sophomore fullback J.D. Groves is consider transferring have been confirmed.
Groves has been at issue with playing time and coaching since the new coaching staff took over.
Groves is a true sophomore, and has a redshirt year to burn if he decides to transfer.
It's believed by good sources that it's very likely Groves will transfer.
Also, sources indicate freshman fullback Michael Pitre will very likely leave the program for medical reasons. Pitre has an on-going neck injury. -- Tracy Pierson 1/15
As we reported previously, Ricky Miller, the linebacker from Fresno State and originally from Tustin High, wants to transfer to UCLA.
Miller has his release from FSU, and is in the process of sending in his transcripts to UCLA.
It's uncertain, though, whether UCLA will offer him a scholarship. If they don't, which could be likely, we'll see what Miller chooses to do, and if potentially walking on at UCLA would be an option...-- Tracy Pierson
Head Coach Ben Howland met the press Monday for his weekly conference.
Some of the highlights:
-- Howland said Brian Morrison returning to play this week is "doubtful." After talking to the trainers Sunday, Howland believes Morrison won't return until next week.
-- There won't be any change in the use of personnel in regard to the backup point guard minutes. Howland said he would stick with Ryan Walcott, and believed that Walcott didn't have a good game against Washington, but was still going to use him in the future.
-- Howland recognized that his centers, Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey, hadn't rebounded well as of late, getting only a total of 16 rebounds in the last four games. But he did note that they were doing a good job of blocking out, which has led to team rebounds.
-- He cited the good game that T.J. Cummings had against Washington, especially how Cummings rebounded.
-- They'll continue to emphasize free throw shooting in practice.
-- The team was given the last two days off. The trip to Washington, Howland said, was particularly tiring, and he was hoping to get a well-rested squad back at practice Monday. -- Tracy Pierson
There has been plenty of rumor and speculation about Ben Emanuel leaving the team, either transferring or putting his name into the NFL draft.
We've heard from good sources that Emanuel intends to return to UCLA next year. -- Tracy Pierson
Mario Chalmers, 6-2 JR CG, Anchorage (Alaska) Bartlett will be playing in SoCal this Saturday. He's one of the best combo guards in the country, and we have him ranked as the #1 PG in the west in the class of 2005. UCLA is very interested.
The event is the Freedom Classic Invitational, at Long Beach City College.
And if you're a UCLA fan, there's plenty to see.
9:00 a.m. -- Pacifica vs. St. Bernard
10:30 -- Pasadena vs. Perris
12:00 -- Etiwanda vs. Los Alamitos
1:30 -- Artesia vs. South Gate
4:00 -- Las Vegas Cheyenne vs. Bakersfield
6:00 -- Lynwood vs. Barlett
8:00 -- Mater Dei vs. Verbum Dei
Of course, also playing is UCLA senior commit, Lorenzo Mata, with South Gate.
Perris has Andre Borrows, the SO PG.
Las Vegas Cheyenne has 6-4 CG Harvey Perry. Perry is currently a senior but will probably go prep next year and could be a recruit UCLA would consider.
Bakersfield has USC commit Robert Swift, who will probably put his name in the NBA draft.
Mater Dei features 6-6 freshman Taylor King, who is verbally committed to UCLA.
Sophomore 6-7 PF Matt Shaw from Verbum Dei is someone to watch.
Of course, St. Bernard's also would normally feature UCLA football recruit, quarterback Rocky Hinds, but I'm pretty certain he's not playing because of his knee injury. -- Tracy Pierson
On the weekend of the 1/10, LB Lance Brandenburg from Kansas is visiting. He's committed to Nebraska, but is probably exploring other options.
The #1 TE in the country, Zach Miller from Arizona.
Nick Patterson, the DB from Missouri.
Running back Chris Markey from Louisiana.
Running back/athlete Jordan Munde.
Also, an unknown recruit named Michael Norris.
From what I know, the DE Matt Owens and RB Brandon Gunn, aren't visiting. -- Tracy Pierson
I do still think that Malik Hairston is a better prospect than Arron Afflalo or Josh Shipp, based on what I saw of him last summer.
He's quicker and more explosive than both of them.
I think Afflalo is best between him and Shipp. Their talent level isn't too different, but Afflalo is tougher and plays harder. He also has a better all-around game, being able to pass, play defense, etc.
I saw Shipp for the first time this season last night at the Reebok tourney. He didn't play really well. He lacked intensity, which is what we've said about him consistently, didn't shoot well, and went one-on-one too often (which I'm sure is what he's expected to do at Fairfax). He did look a little taller, a legit 6-5. and I know that was wasn one of his worst games of the season so far.
I don't see how Shipp would be voted on the McDonald's team. First, I don't think he's Mcdonald's calliber. From a voting standpoint it'd also be difficult. Shipp doesn't have the rep nationally to get the votes from voters outside of SoCal. Plus, it'd be very unlikely that there would be three from SoCal to make the game -- and that would have to happen for Shipp to make it. Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo would make the team before Shipp. -- Tracy Pierson