This new feature -- the "Message Board News" -- will enable you to quickly get the lowdown on the latest news from the message boards!
The UCLA men's hoops recruiting class of 2004 has put up the following statistics (provided by Max Preps):
Arron Afflalo - averaging 20.4 points per game; 6.0 rebounds per game; 4.1 assists per game; and 1.3 steals per game. He is shooting 53.5% from the field (46.7% on three-point field goals) and 73.6% from the free throw line. His Compton (CA) Centennial High School team is 21-2 and ranked #1 in the Southern California CIF Division III-A (other top teams in this division are Bishop Montgomery, Harvard-Westlake, and La Canada).
Jordan Farmar - averaging 27.6 points per game (ranking 10th in the state of California); 5.8 rebounds per game; 5.6 assists per game; and 4.3 steals per game. He is shooting 48.0% from the field (35.1% on three-point field goals) and 82.3% from the free throw line. His Taft High School team is 18-3 and will compete with Fairfax, Westchester, and league rival Cleveland, among others, for the L.A. City Section championship.
Lorenzo Mata - averaging 21.6 points per game; 15.3 rebounds per game (ranking 5th in the state of California); and 2.9 blocked shots per game. His shooting statistics are not available. His South Gate High School team is 11-7, but 6-0 in league play and 9-3 in games Mata has played (he was ineligible until second semester).
Josh Shipp - averaging 30.2 points per game (ranking 2nd in the state of California behind DeMarcus Nelson at 30.4 points per game); 5.8 rebounds per game; 5.2 assists per game; and 5.1 steals per game. He is shooting 60.5% from the field (43.0% on three-point field goals) and 71.3% from the free throw line. His Fairfax High School team is 17-3 and ranked #14 in the country by USA Today.
It should also be noted that potential UCLA recruit Robert Rothbart is averaging 20.9 points per game; 15.4 rebounds per game (ranking 3rd in the state of California); and 5.0 blocked shots per game. His shooting statistics are not available. His Natomas High School team is 16-4.
Finally, freshman wing commit Taylor King is averaging 14.4 points per game; 7.5 rebounds per game; 2.9 assists per game; 1.2 blocked shots per game; and 1.1 steals per game. His shooting statistics are not available. His Mater Dei High School team is 19-2 and ranked #12 in the country by USA Today. -- The BRO Staff
Good sources are indicating that it's very likely Steve Axman, the current offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, will be replaced.
Rumor and speculation has been that Axman could very well return as just the quarterbacks coach.
But reliable reports are that head coach Karl Dorrell has informed Axman he won't be returning to the staff.
Apparently, Axman has remained on the staff to make him look more attractive to prospective employers. Dorrell did this as a courtesy. So far, however, Axman has not received any serious interest from any other oganization.
Sources also indicate that Dorrell has already found the coach he wants as the next quarterbacks coach to replace Axman.
It's unknown, however, if this coach will be considered for the offensive coordinator position. The prevailing sentiment around the program remains that Dorrell could very well take over the offensive coordinator duties next season. -- Tracy Pierson
Alex Jacobson, the freshman post player at Bellflower St. John Bosco, is closer to 6-11. He has a chance to be very good, but obviously has a long way to go as a freshman in high school.
Tyrone Shelley, the 6-5 freshman at San Diego Christian, will likely be a small forward in college.
The top three power forward prospects in the west for 2006, as of today, are Alex Stepheson of Harvard-Westlake, Daniel Deane of Judge Memorial in Utah and James Keefe at Santa Margarita. Taylor Harrison of San Clemente will likely be a center. -- Greg Hicks
There are some recruiting failures that former coach Steve Lavin made that have begotten UCLA its current roster.
The most glaring that we can remember that are directly impacting this season:
-- He passed on various point guards. He could have snapped his fingers and had C.J. Watson of Tennessee, or Georgetown's Ashanti Cook, among others.
-- He could have had Hassan Adams, but he chose to prioritize Evan Burns over Adams. During that period there were plenty of people who told Lavin that Burns, because of his issues, would not pan out at UCLA and that Adams was the better prospect. This kind of advice wasn't based on flimsy evidence, but pretty strong evidence about Burns and his academics, which Lavin chose to disregard because he was enamored of Burns' hype and flashy talent. Greg and I are just about completely certain that, even given Adams' doubts about Lavin and the coaching staff, if Lavin had told Adams in the spring of his junior year that Adams was his #1 priority, above Burns, Adams would have been a Bruin.
-- He gave scholarships to players that aren't UCLA-level players.
-- In the last several years, Lavin's name was mud in recruiting circles. He couldn't recruit elite players. In his last two years, he brought in one project of a center (Hollins), a player that was questionable as a contributor at this level (Sean Phaler) and one top 25 national player type (Trevor Ariza).
Hindsight recruiting mis-steps you can't necessarily blame on Lavin:
-- Taking Cedric Bozeman. You can't really blame Lavin for possibly mis-evaluating him -- unless you'd also want to blame Lute Olson, Billy Donovan and a host of other elite coaches who also coveted Bozeman out of high school. It's the same with Dijon Thompson. There are always mis-projections in recruiting, or instances where the player doesn't develop or even regresses, and it defies just about every sensible projection you could make on a player. Now, also, though, while you can't blame Lavin for taking Bozeman, you might be able to place some blame on Lavin for Bozeman and Thompson's development -- in regard to their games and their mental toughness. -- Tracy Pierson
John Sciarra, the redshirt sophomore back-up quarterback, will transfer to 1-AA Wagner.
He'll finish the school year at UCLA and then transfer. He won't participate in football for the remainder of the school year. -- Tracy Pierson