This feature -- the "Message Board News" -- enables you to quickly get the lowdown on the latest news from the message boards!
I believe Kevin Brown was fine.
Dan Nelson, though, is out for a while, with a broken clavicle.
Hopefully Tim Warfield can return this week.
It's called linebacker musical chairs...
There is a situation in the family of Alfred Aboya, the 6-7 power forward from Cameroon, that has him very pre-occupied, and understandably.
It's delaying his decision.
Most close to the situation really don't have any idea when he could decide.
The signing period begins Wednesday, November 10th, and goes for a week. It's almost certain that Aboya will decide by then and not wait until spring.
In addition to Dijon Thompson's cut on his hand, I've heard that Cedric Bozeman, Brian Morrison and Josiah Johnson all have been a bit hindered in the last few days due to minor injuries.
But none of them are supposed to be anything serious.
Senior small forward Dijon Thompson cut his shooting hand in practice last Wednesday.
It required four stitches.
He will practice, but won't be able to shoot until the stitches are removed November 1st.
Gavin Ketchum, the 6-4, 200-pound athlete from Oak Park (Calif.) High, is close to committing to UCLA.
Ketchum's academic profile will be presented before UCLA's academic committee this Friday. If he is accepted, UCLA will offer him and Ketchum has indicated he'll more than likely commit.
A source close to the situation believes that Ketchum has already committed, but is just waiting on academic acceptance to formalize it.
The word on basketball practices so far is that they're high energy and highly competitive.
There is a new attitude and chemistry, far different than last year's team.
Arron Afflalo is doing exceptionally well.
Dijon Thompson, also, is standing out.
We'll give you more as we get the info...
From the weekend in hoops recruiting:
I spoke with Ryan Wright, the 6-8 post from Mississauga (Ontario, Canada) Loyola Catholic. He said he and his family weren't speaking with reporters any more in an effort to concentrate on making his decision. He said he'd have a decision by this week. He'll decide between UCLA, Michigan State and Stanford.
Luc Mbah a Moute, the 6-6 wing from Cameroon who plays at Montverde (Flor.) Montverde Academy, has taken all of his official visits. He'll decided between UCLA, South Carolina and West Virginia. His high school coach said this weekend that he's waiting to speak with his father, who is back in Cameroon. Mbah a Moute was unavailable this weekend this Montverde was not in school last week.
Alfred Aboya, the 6-7 post also from Cameroon who plays at Tilton (NH) Tilton School, took his final official visit to Georgetown this weekend. He reportedly is deciding between UCLA and Georgetown. According to his high school coach, Georgetown had been leading previously -- until the UCLA visit -- when he believed it was all even for Aboya. The visit to Georgetown could be significant, though. Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, a former Hoya playing in the NBA, is close to Aboya, and trying to get him to go to Georgetown.
We reported this weekend that UCLA will receive an official visit from Coby Leavitt, the 6-9 senior post from St. George (Utah) Snow Canyon.
Leavitt is a very nice prospect, and very under-rated, in our opinion. Schools could be scared away since he's still very thin, probably weighing 190 pounds or so. But Leavitt has a good frame, with broad shoulders, long arms, and good athleticism. He's one of the best shot blockers on the west coast, and gets off the floor well, which makes him a good rebounder. He's also skilled, with a nice shot out to 17 feet. One of the best things about him is how active he is.
He has already visited UC Santa Barbara. He visited San Luis Obispo this weekend. He wasn't getting recruited by schools in Utah since he expressed a desire to play on the California coast. UCLA had been showing him interest, but just picked up their recruitment of Leavitt when they offered him an official visit last week.
According to the father of Tommy McMahon, 6-7 forward, San Mateo (Calif.) Serra, UCLA did not offer him on his official visit.
It will be interesting to see how long McMahon holds out on committing elsewhere, waiting for UCLA.
I think the McMahons are pretty aware that UCLA is waiting on the decisions of other prospects.
McMahon's other choices are Penn, Princeton and UCSB.
Ben Howland did develop a group of second-tier prospects, but probably not enough and in a couple of cases, in our opinion, not the right ones.
It's really difficult for a school like UCLA to do a thorough enough scouting job on second-tier players. But even so, Greg and I both think there are wing prospects out there UCLA could have gotten that were better than Tommy McMahon.
I wouldn't call it Lavin-esque at all, though. Lavin had virtually no second-tier list that his staff was recruiting. So, it's not even close.
Also, it's not close to the Ryan Walcott situation. Walcott was, IOO, a D-2 player. McMahon is a low to mid-major player.
But I have a few issues with taking McMahon in fall. First, I would bet McMahon would wait until spring. Right now, it's Ivy League, UCSB or UCLA. I think UCLA could probably get him to wait until spring. The Ivies will take him whenever they can get him. So, if you're UCLA, you make him wait until spring, and look for others.
The way the scholarship numbers work out, giving McMahon a ride could very well preclude you from taking someone in the 2006 class like Derrick Jasper, Taylor Harrison, Blake Wallace, or even perhaps Alex Stepheson.
Here's the way the scholarship numbers go. In the 2006/2007 season, you'd have Matt McKinney as a senior and the four current freshmen as juniors. That's five rides.
Then Collison -- six.
If you get, say Wright and Mbah a Moute, that's eight. If you also get Aboya, that's nine. McMahon would be ten.
So UCLA then has 9 or 10 rides filled for 2006. They would then have 3 or 4 to give. James Keefe has one ear-marked. There's one for a center, such as Ray Hall. Then a wing, perhaps Chase Budinger. So, right there, if you get both Wright and Aboya and Mbah a Moute -- and McMahon -- you're done for 2006. There isn't a ride available for Stepheson, Taylor Harrison, Derrick Jasper, or Blake Wallace. And that's not even considering what elite out-of-state guys could be legitimately interested.
If you get just one of Wright and Aboya, and then Mbah a Moute -- and McMahon -- then you have four to give to 2006, which is better. But you still could be giving a ride to McMahon over Derrick Jasper or Taylor Harrison, which I don't think is close.
And this is not even considering what happens with the class of 2007. You wouldn't have any scholarships available, unless someone from the 2004 class left early. McKinney's ride is earmarked for Taylor King, and that's it.
Now, I understand the staff just wants to get some guys in quickly, and might be feeling some bit of pressure to do it, having lost out on some recruits recently. But I don't think you can succumb to the kind of panic that hits this board at times.
IMO, and in the opinion of Greg Hicks, it would probably be better to hold off on McMahon, at least until this spring.
But you know, at this point we don't even know if McMahon was offered. And we certainly don't know if they are, in fact, going to get two or three more among Wright, Aboya and Mbah a Moute. So much of this reasoning could be moot.
Junior center Ryan Hollins has been cleared to play an hour a day.
The doctors still want to be bring him back slowly from his knee injury.
He's playing a bit tentatively, still not completely confident about the knee, but the staff is hoping he'll get his complete confident back by the time the season starts.
Physically he looks a bit freakish. He hasn't been able to work too much on his lower body because of the knee injury, but has developed his upper body. So he's more built out in his upper body but still skinny in his lower body...
A few things I've picked up on James Keefe, the 6-9 junior power forward from Santa Margarita.
He's narrowed it down to five schools. He, his family and his high school coach have told a number of other schools that they shouldn't spend time recruiting him.
The schools he's narrowed it to are UCLA, Duke, Arizona, Stanford and Notre Dame.
UCLA's standing is pretty good among these five as of right now, for a number of reasons. The family highly values a school with a good academic reputation, which could hurt Arizona. Many close to the situation think he won't go far away from home, and is a warm weather kid, which might not bode well for Duke or Notre Dame. While he's a very good student, there is a question of whether he has Stanford-level academics.
Head Coach Ben Howland recently spent the day at the high school with Santa Margarita's coaches. Keefe has been to UCLA's campus a number of times and just attended the UCLA/San Diego State football game.
It's generally believed UCLA is currently leading for him.
Of course, all of this can change, but that's the lowdown right now.
Some close to the situation think Keefe will probably get his recruiting over with before next summer. So, you can probably expect him to take official visits this spring.
I saw a pickup game at Pauley over the weekend with Wright, Aboya and Mbah A Moute, along with the current Bruins, except for Shipp, Robinson and Hollins. Shipp had a minor quad problem, Robinson had a minor problem with his eye and Hollins is still coming back from his injury.
I've seen Wright before and he was pretty much as I remembered him. Somewhat raw, but moves very well, bouncy and long. He made a couple face-up shots, and also had a couple blocks.
I hadn't seen Aboya or Luc before and I was pleasantly surprised with both of them. Aboya has a very good body -- strong and very good feet. He's about 6-7, plays hard and shoots it a little bit to 15-17 feet. Good athlete, should be a good rebounder.
Luc is a great-looking kid, very long and rangy, moves really well. His shot has apparently improved since the summer -- it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. You wouldn't call him a shooter, but he's got a chance to develop into a serviceable threat from the perimeter. He also competes very well and might end up an excellent defender.
Jordan Farmar did a great job of getting the ball to the recruits -- he took fewer shots than I've ever seen him take in a game before. If I was a recruit, that's something I'd notice -- a point guard who will get you the ball.
Here is the latest on the injured:
I've heard that doctors are now estimating defensive end Kevin Harbour will be back by later in October. Maybe toward the last couple of weeks of the month.
I believe they're shooting for receiver Craig Bragg to return for the Cal game, but that's questionable.
I don't think they'll play Justin London much against Arizona, unless he's vitally needed, wanting him to get another week's recovery before Cal.
I would expect Aaron Whittington to be back this week.
Tim Warfield's recovery is still completely uncertain at this point.
Safety Dennis Keyes is probable for Arizona.
Tight end J.J. Hair is apparently questionable for Arizona with a should injury he suffered against San Diego State.
The word is that UCLA will not be able to recruit Dior Lowhorn, the 6-6 power forward from Berkeley (Calif.) St. Mary's due to academics.
Rumors were circulating during the weekend that safety prospect Will Harris from Chino (Calif.) High had verbally committed to UCLA.
Harris did not commit to UCLA and, in fact, did not attend the game.
More bad luck. Kenneth Lombard, the freshman defensive tackle, aggravated his shoulder injury, and it's unsure if he'll be able to play.
It happened not 20 minutes after the announcement about Niusulu.
Chris Johnson, the other freshman defensive tackle, was moved off the scout team and could be used in Saturday's game as a back-up.
Tab Perry tweaked a hamstring and sat out the second half of practice.