Update on 2005 Hoops Recruiting

It's now extreme crunch time, with some of UCLA's top remaining targets having completed their official visits and on the verge of a decision. Here's the latest on <b>Ryan Wright</b>, <b>Luc Mbah a Moute</b>, and <b>Alfred Aboya</b>, and some other new options...

Ryan Wright, the 6-8 post from Mississauga (Ontario, Canada) Loyola Catholic, is metaphorically more or less in a bunker now with his parents going through the process of making a decision. The three schools he's considering – UCLA, Stanford and Michigan State – have been recruiting the Wrights pretty aggressively in the last several days, anticipating he could be coming to a decision soon. As he said in his interview on Monday, Wright could announce by the end of this week.

Luc Mbah a Moute, the 6-6 wing from Cameroon who plays at Montverde (Flor.) Montverde Academy, is also now in decision-making mode. He has taken all of his visits – to Virginia Tech, UCLA and South Carolina (this previous weekend). He had a visit arranged to Georgia but sources indicate he won't take the visit and is going to decide between those three schools. With Mbah a Moute, his decision will be influenced by his parents, who are in Cameroon, and it's an issue of getting the time available to arrange a call. It's believe that UCLA looks good for Mbah a Moute, and that its main competition is South Carolina.

Alfred Aboya, the 6-8 post from Cameroon who plays at Tilton (NH) Tilton School, said recently he had narrowed his choices to UCLA and Georgetown. He'll take his official visit to Georgetown this weekend. Former Georgetown player, Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, who is also from Cameroon, is close to Aboya and has been an influence on him. Aboya committed to Georgetown when he first arrived in the States a year ago, but then later reneged and opened up his commitment. A source close to the situation thought that, because of Boumtje Boumtje, Georgetown had been Aboya's clear leader, but since the UCLA official visit, it was fairly even. It's believe that if Mbah a Moute, also from Cameroon, committed to UCLA soon, before Aboya's decision, it could possibly influence Aboya's opinion.

UCLA has also been scouting and recruiting other options. As we reported, Tommy McMahon, a 6-7 small forward from San Mateo (Calif.) Serra, took an official visit to UCLA last weekend, but the Bruin coaches did not offer him. McMahon will wait to see if UCLA will offer him, also having Princeton, Penn and UCSB wanting him. It will be a question of whether McMahon will hold out on a decision long enough to see what happens with UCLA's other recruits.

As we reported this morning, UCLA is also scouting/recruiting Nikola Stevanovic, a 6-6 small forward originally from Serbia-Montenegro who will play at Laurinberg (N.C.) Laurinberg Prep. Stevanovic is reportedly a very good shooter, with good all-around skills, and is physically tough, with average athleticism. Some who have seen him believe he's a mid-major level prospect. There is a tentative plan for him to visit UCLA October 22nd, but it could very well be dependent on what happens with UCLA's other recruits.

The Bruins are starting to look into the possibility of Cem Dinc, the 6-10 center from Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy. Originally from Turkey but having grown up in Germany, Dinc came to the U.S. and verballed to Buffalo, but has since opened up his recruitment. He's been hearing from UCLA, as well as Illinois, Villanova, Florida and others.

We've also heard from sources in the east that UCLA is trying to get involved with 6-4 wing, Martynas Pocius, from Plymouth (NH) Holderness School. "Marty" is from Lithuania, and is considered an elite high-major prospect, being very skilled and athletic. He has official visits already set to Kansas for this weekend, Duke (10-23) and Arizona (10-30). UCLA is trying to get one of the other two available official visits. Kansas is thought to be the team to beat at this point, having been on Pocius the longest.

It's believed, even if UCLA does get three recruits from this class in fall – committed point guard Darren Collison, wing Luc Mbah a Moute and one among Wright and Aboya – they could still very well want to bring in a fourth recruit for the class of 2005. Pocius, Stevanovic and McMahon would be possibilites, while UCLA could also keep the scholarship open until spring in hopes of another prospect emerging.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories