Hoops Recruiting Update

The list of UCLA prospects is narrowing as we get closer to signing day in November. Things should continue to heat up by the beginning of next month, after <b>Jon Brockman</b> takes an official visit to Duke, and UCLA has a number of prospects visiting officially...

Sources close to Jon Brockman, the 6-7 senior post from Snohomish (Wash.) High, indicate that he will indeed go on his official visit to Duke Sept. 17th. The word is that he and is family have been pretty impressed with the attention that Duke and Mike Krzyzewski have been showing him. UCLA, apparently, is still hanging in there, and could still be the leader, as it was generally rumored within the last couple of weeks. But the word is that the door is open for Duke, while Washington is still there also. UCLA will have an in-home visit with the Brockmans Sept. 10th (this Friday), the day after Duke is in his home. You can probably expect Brockman, who has been tiring of the recruiting process, to get down to making a decision soon after his official visit to Duke.

The situation is interesting with Brandon Costner, 6-8 PF/SF, West Orange (NJ) Seton Hall Prep. Costner visited UCLA officially back in May. He has narrowed his choices down to UCLA, Kansas, Seton Hall and North Carolina State. He'll visit NC State on Sept. 17th and Kansas on Sept. 24th. He lives ten minutes away from Seton Hall so he might not officially visit. NC State recently got a commitment from Ben McCauley, and it will be interesting to see if it impacts their recruitment of Costner.

Ryan Wright, 6-8 PF/C, Mississauga (Ontario, Canada) Loyola Catholic, will visit UCLA officially October 1st, the same weekend as the UCLA/San Diego State football game. Wright, reportedly, will visit Michigan State Sept. 17th, but we haven't heard that he's arranged a date to visit Stanford. UCLA is supposed to be doing very well with him.

Also tentatively taking official visits to UCLA the weekend of October 1st is Luc Mbahamoute, 6-6 small forward, Montverde (Fla.) Montverde Academy, and his fellow Cameroonian, Alfred Aboya, 6-7 PF/C, Tilton (NH) Tilton School. Aboya is down to a final three; he'll also visit Virginia Sept. 17th and Georgetown (who he had previously verballed to) October 15th. UCLA has offered Mbahamoute and he's also getting interest from the likes of Georgia, Georgia Tech, De Paul, Virginia Tech and others. We haven't heard about Mbahamoute's plans for other official visits.

Adrian Thomas, a 6-7 forward from Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanagan, who UCLA is recruiting as more of a small forward (a 3-4 combo), was supposed to visit Georgia Tech this last weekend but had to cancel due to Hurricane Frances. We had heard that he had planned to visit UCLA October 8th, but the cancellation of his visit to Georgia Tech could leave his official visit schedule up in the air. Thomas also has interest in Pittsburgh, Miami and Cincinnati. The last report had Georgia Tech as his leader.

Among Other Bigs:

October 15th is the weekend scheduled for Sam Warren, the 6-8 center from Denver (Col.) Cherry Creek, to officially visit UCLA. Warren has yet to be offered a scholarship.

UCLA is also continuing to recruit Brayden Bell, 6-9 center, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton. We're hearing, though, that Utah is the clear leader at this point for Bell.

The Bruins are continuing to show interest in Jeff Pendergraph, 6-8 center, Etiwanda (Calif.) High. Pendergraph had a good summer and looked like he was continuing to develop. He does play on the same high school team as the point guard verbally committed to UCLA, Darren Collison.

Leo Criswell, 6-8 PF/C, Kansas City (Kans.) Piper, is a name that has sprung up in connection with UCLA at times during the last year, and his recruitment is still somewhat alive. Criswell said recently that UCLA is recruiting him, and from what we've heard from sources in the midwest, his academics could be good enough for UCLA to admit him. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and UNLV are showing him interest. He had a big performance at the ABCD camp in July.

It appears that UCLA and Chris Oakes, the 6-8 power forward from Oakland (Calif.) Castlemont, might have gone their separate ways.

UCLA will probably not be able to recruit Shawn Taggart, the 6-9 power forward from Durham (NC) Mt. Zion, due to academics.

Among Wings:

Besides Mbahamoute and Thomas, UCLA is, of course, still hotly pursuing Martell Webster, 6-6 wing from Seattle (Wash.) Prep. Webster has long said his leader was Arizona, and he'll visit Tucson Sept. 24th. While Webster is thought to be contemplating putting his name in the draft, it's also believed that the Wildcats will have a good chance of getting a verbal commitment out of him that weekend. UCLA and Washington are considered his other two main considerations.

UCLA has offered D'Andre Bell, the 6-4 wing from Pacific Palisades (Calif.) Palisades. Bell recently said his favorite was Michigan State, and he has a visit arranged for Sept. 16th. He also has a visit set up with Georgetown for Sept. 9th, and wants to visit Georgia Tech. He said he could visit UCLA officially in October. Arizona is also involved but they haven't offered.

Ian O'Leary, the 6-6 wing from Woodland (Calif.) Woodland Christian, could be another possibility. UCLA has been showing some interest in O'Leary, who has gotten offers from Utah, Boston College, Washington State and some Ivy schools.

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