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If you didn't hear when we reported it previously, former UCLA head coach Jim Harrick will coach an AAU team this summer.
It's the Pump N Run #1 team, which will feature Alex Stepheson and Chace Stanback, and possibly Omonde Amoke, among others.
Working as assistants will be Ed O'Bannon and Adam Keefe.
Here's a story about it from the Daily News.
Taylor King, the 6-6 small sophomore from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, is still committed to UCLA.
There has been much made of whether King, despite being verbally committed, remains committed and/or actually ends up in Westwood. And it's probably a valid issue. When you commit to a college before your freshman year in high school that's a lot of time to get through before you actually sign the NLI. Things can change.
IMO, I still believe that King will go to UCLA. I think, though, that there is a chance he might not. If I'm setting odds, I'd make it about a 75% chance he goes to UCLA.
The 25% of doubt mostly comes from what I see as a result of the way things have developed in terms of recruiting and personnel. UCLA, as of right now, has a good amount of talent coming in, between the five incoming freshmen this fall and then the verbally committed junior James Keefe. Given some of the specific elements of each players' game, I think the Kings want to see how Taylor's talents will fit in.
IMO, I think he fits in fine. I personally think that, say, Keefe and King are very different players, who would probably defend different opposing players and have very different offensive games, games that complement each other well.
You can probably expect that the King family and the UCLA staff will have a sit-down sometime this spring to discuss exactly this -- how Taylor fits in to Howland's personnel plans. They probably haven't been able to do it since both the Kings and the staff have obviously been pretty busy in the last couple of months and haven't had a chance.
It's not like the Kings and the staff haven't been talking, though. I know that Taylor called and talked with the staff regularly during the season.
But most programs have sit-downs with verbally committed recruits often, just to get everything on the table.
So we'll see what happens. If King, for whatever reason, decides not to come to UCLA, or decides to now open up his recruitment (which again, I don't see as likely), it won't be a matter of either party being at fault.
But I'm overall optimistic that King will be a Bruin and remain verbally committed to UCLA.-- Tracy Pierson
When elite 6-11 junior center prospect Spencer Hawes from Seattle (Wash.) Prep narrows his list later this spring, good sources indicate that UCLA will be on it.
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland was in attendance at the Division CIF Southern Regional finals.
He saw Mater Dei play Dominguez, and Westchester play Fairfax.
He watched UCLA committed sophomore Taylor King, as well as the Mater Dei sophomores, 6-11 center Alex Jacobson, and 6-2 point guard Kamyron Brown.
For Dominguez, he watched 5-11 freshman point guard Brandon Jennings, as well as 6-4 sophomore wing Quinton Watkins.
He saw Chace Stanback, the 6-5 sophomore wing from Fairfax, as well as Westchester sophomore wings, 6-3 Dane Suttle and 6-3 Isaiah Jenkins.
UCLA assistant Ernie Zeigler was in attendance at the Harvard-Westlake/Crawford game last night, to watch 6-8 junior Alex Stepheson of HW and 6-5 sophomore Tyrone Shelley of Crawford.
Kerry Keating attended the Dominguez/Scripps Ranch game.
Dominguez has 6-0 freshman point guard Brandon Jennings, while Scripps Ranch has 6-7 sophomore post Kenton Walker.
I'm hearing that the five incoming freshmen are slated to play on the same Say No League with Jordan Farmar and Josh Shipp this summer in Los Angeles.
The rule at Say No is that incoming freshmen can only play with two current players from their team, and it just worked out that it'd be Farmar and Shipp.
So I bet we're going to have some pretty strong attendance from UCLA fans at the Say No, eh?-- Tracy Pierson
Janou Rubin made the decision himself not to be introduced at Senior Day.
Rubin does intend to come back for another year and walk on.
He'll apply for a sixth year of eligibility. When he did redshirt he was injured. So the NCAA granting that sixth year will depend on how well Rubin can document the injury that year and whether the NCAA approves it.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi probably does the best job of projecting the brackets for the NCAA tournament.
Here's his latest, including UCLA: Bracketology with Joe Lunardi
As we reported here, Brandon Bennett, the 6-6, 315-pound offensive line prospect from La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat, attended UCLA's Junior Day on Saturday.
After offering him last week, UCLA is trying hard to get an early commitment out of him.
Fey, Hollins, Mata and possibly Ryan Wright. I think one of the early goals of practice will be to see if Wright can play the five.
What will be really fun in the off-season is to see how much the returning players improve. You could easily see Fey improving, and Hollins since he won't be injured during the summer this year.
And how about Mata? He might have a chance to be the team's most improved. Hopefully he'll get in the weight room and get stronger and up to about 235 to 240.
Power Forward: Alfred Aboya probably emerges as the guy here. But don't count out possibly that even Wright plugs in here ahead of him.
I just received some tape of Aboya, and I think he's quick enough to guard a four.
Wright will probably be here also. I also received tape on him recently and I'm a little less certain he can actually guard a four, at least not as well as Aboya. He does look a bit taller on the tape, definitely 6-8 and probably approaching 6-9.
Also, there is a possibility that UCLA could stick with its small four-type and Luc Mbah a Moute gets a look at the four. He's bigger than Dijon right now -- about the same height but probably 15-20 pounds heavier.
I think McKinney will struggle to get minutes among these guys.
Afflalo has a fairly good hold on the two-guard spot I think.
But the other wing spot, the three, will be up for grabs. I know everyone is in love with Josh Shipp, especially after yesterday, but I think he could be the one to have his minutes reduced next year.
And it would be mostly because other personnel offer advantages. First, as we all know, you get on the floor with Howland if you can play defense.
Cedric Bozeman will be UCLA's best defender next season. He also has an advantage over Josh in every way but shooting -- defense, athleticism, ball-handling, passing, play-making, driving. I know many aren't confident in Ced, but he was very impressive before he was hurt. Now, of course, this is predicated on him returning to 100%.
Then you have Mbah A Moute, who is a better athlete and defender than Shipp.
IMO, Shipp is going to have to really put in a lot of time this summer -- mostly to get bigger and stronger, improve his body and hopefully his athleticism some. If he also became a much better shooter that could compel Howland to keep him on the court.
Then you have Mike Roll. Roll is the most skilled among all of these wings -- right now. He's the best shooter and passer, and quickest. And he's a very good defender. I think Roll really competes for playing time.
The battle between him and Arron will be glorious. They are two very tough kids and it's fun to imagine the war between the two.
So, I think Afflalo and Bozeman start, and the back-up minutes first go to Roll, and then Shipp and Mbah a Moute fight it out for the rest.
Again, I know this might make many of you react about Shipp. But I just plainly feel that at least Bozeman and Roll bring more to the table. Shipp had an opportunity this year to get many minutes and Shipp's a good player and he took advantage of it. But it will be different I think next year when there are some other talented players he's competing against.
I think Farmar still plays 30 minutes a game. He'll get more bench time to keep him fresher, but UCLA can't afford to keep him off the court.
I then think Bozeman will get the back-up point guard minutes. He'll just bring too much experience and senior leadership to the court. Between his minutes at the wing and at point guard he'll probably get 25 minutes per game.
Now, for the radical theory: I think Darren Collison might be a redshirt candidate.
I think he'll have to come in to practice and immediately show that he's far superior in providing back-up minutes than Bozeman at point guard, and I don't think it will be that clear-cut.
He could very much use a year to develop physically as a redshirt.
Plus, it would help UCLA from the standpoint that there isn't a good point guard in the 2006 class and not many in 2007. Ideally, that's when UCLA would want to bring in a point guard, He fills the slot in the roster better being a year later, and it gives UCLA a point guard on the squad for a longer time after Farmar leaves, whenever that is. Collison might also like it. He might not like not playing as a freshman but it will give him an additional year that he could start after Farmar leaves.
Plus if, right now, Collison was in the high school 2006 class he'd be the best in the west and a top 50 national player, easily.
Now, redshirting him is just a great deal of speculation on my part, as a result of Bozeman getting hurt and returning for a fifth season.
This is all really hard to project, and you really can't do it until you see them all on the floor together and having practiced for a while.
But given what I know, this is how I could see it evolving.-- Tracy Pierson
Plenty of readers disagreed with this analysis. Join the discussion on BRO's Premium Hoops Message Board
It looks very probable that UCLA will get Kelvin Kim, the 5-9 senior point guard from El Toro, to walk on. He's the main reason why El Toro is in the finals against Aliso Niguel for the 1-A Championship Saturday at 6:30.
Kim is, IMO, one of the best senior high school players I've seen this season, and easily one of the best point guards. He's very skilled, a great shooter and passer, and very tough.
He is height challenged. 5-9 could be stretching it a bit. Thus the reason why he's not getting recruited by too many D-1s. I think, though, he could play at the low major level and easily at D-2.
His brother, though, currently attends UCLA, and Kelvin wants to be a Bruin.
Remaining Practice Schedule
(3:45 p.m. unless noted): Mar. 7, Mar. 8, Mar.10, Mar. 12 (10:00 a.m.), Mar. 14, Mar. 15.
Practice dates and times are subject to change.