News from Vegas Easter, Part 1

Here's the first wave of UCLA-related news from the Las Vegas Easter Classic, including updates on UCLA's upcoming spring official visits, who the elite high-major coaches were watching, and more...

In the next couple of weeks, we'll be able to see every significant player in the west (and many nationally) that UCLA is recruiting, except for Friends of Hoop, with 6-6 power forward Jon Brockman, 6-6 small forward Martell Webster (when he returns from his injury) and 6-7 forward Micah Downs. What Dave Telep reported is true -- that Brockman will visit UCLA officially in May. Even if UCLA gets Malik Hairston, they very well could continue to recruit Downs, in our opinion, since he's about 6-7ish, almost 6-8, might grown into a skilled four, and he's just so good that you want to recruit him.

Also, as we've reported, Artem Wallace, the 6-8 power forward from Toledo, Washington, will take an official visit this spring.

So, visiting for UCLA will be, to date, center Eric Boateng, Jon Brockman, forward Brandon Costner and Artem Wallace. A pretty nice front-court lineup.

Fendi Onobun committing to Arizona was a bit of a surprise. Our sources into Onobun indicated that he was very interested in UCLA and that he wanted to visit. And it was very consistent with the impression I got of Onobun when I spoke with him. Watching him here this weekend, he's about 6-6ish, maybe 6-7, muscular and athletic, but limited skills-wise. IMO, he projects as an undersized PF, who will rebound and block shots but by limited offensively. I think he would have been a good pick-up for UCLA, but there are players that UCLA is recruiting (including Brockman, Wallace, etc.) at the four position who have just as much, and possibly more upside, than Onobun.

One of the best prospects here in Las Vegas this weekend is 6-6 sophomore Chase Budinger. We'll have a full recruiting story on him coming soon, but he implied that UCLA and Arizona could be his early favorites.

Anthony Goods, the 6-3 combo guard from Compton (Calif.) Centennial, was waiting until Friday to get the scores of his most recent SAT posted on the Internet. So, yesterday he came and told us that his combined verbal and math are now an 1100. This will almost certanly get him qualified to be offered by Stanford, which could be the school to beat for him.

UCLA assistant coach Donny Daniels was in Las Vegas since Saturday, the first day college coaches could be out evaluating. He, and most of the coaches of the elite high-major programs there, were in attendance at both of the Salt Lake Metro games on Saturday to check out Brayden Bell.

Bell didn't disappoint. He showed his skills, which are probably the best for a big man in the west for 2005.

In attendance was not only Daniels, but coaches from North Carolina, Kansas, Utah, and Louisville's Rick Pitino.

Freshman, Taylor King, who is committed to UCLA, has gotten thicker physically. He looks more like his body is on its way to being a power forward. He's always had a great natural feel around the basket, and seemed to physically be more suited, from a quickness standpoint, of playing the four. Recently measured at 6-6 3/4, King has grown about 3/4s of an inch since last summer. If King continues to grow, possibly get to 6-8, and then gets more muscular, UCLA will have a highly skilled four man, and one of the best players in the 2007 class.

More news from the Easter Classic on the way...


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