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I've been maintaining for a while that UCLA is probably a longshot with Spencer Hawes, the 6-11 center from Seattle Prep.

It's probably Washington, Duke and North Carolina as his top three.

But I've heard that UCLA will almost certainly get a spring official visit from him.

And Ben Howland was the only coach to have an in-school visit with him last week before Hawes left to play in the Boo Williams tournament back east.-- Tracy Pierson


UCLA gets two of its committed recruits named to the Parade All-American Teams.


The poster who said he saw Erik Lorig, the 6-4, 260-pound senior from Rolling Hills (Calif.) Palos Verdes Peninsula, on UCLA's campus earlier this week, wasn't seeing things.

Lorig was on campus.

He also visited USC's practice.

Lorig is, of course, the prospect who has yet to make up his mind about which school he'll attend, still deciding between UCLA, USC, Stanford and Cal.


UCLA senior Dijon Thompson, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection, was given the Coach John Wooden Award as UCLA's Most Valuable Player for the 2004-05 season on Thursday night at the Bruins' annual awards dinner banquet held on campus at Covel Commons.

Thompson was UCLA's leading scorer (18.4., No. 3 in the Pac-10) and rebounder (7.9, No. 3 in the Pac-10) and averaged 34.6 minutes, 2.25 assists and 1.5 steals and shot .474 (183-386) from the field, .374 (43-115) from three-point range and .787 (107-136) from the foul line. The No. 19 scorer (1,458) in UCLA history, Thompson led the Bruins in scoring on 14 occasions (including eight of the last 13 games) and in rebounding 20 times (including 10 of the last 14 games). His senior season/career highs included 39 points vs. Arizona State (2/10) and 16 rebounds twice (Washington State 1/6-Western Illinois 11/23). For the season, he had eight double-doubles and scored over 20 points on 11 occasions. At last year's banquet, Thompson shared the MVP honor with T. J. Cummings.

Freshman point guard Jordan Farmar, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, shared the Seymour Armond Memorial Award (Most Valuable Freshman) with his two freshman starting teammates – guard Arron Afflalo and forward Josh Shipp, and Farmar also earned the Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial Award (Free Throw Champion/.801, 109-136, No. 7 in the Pac-10) and the UCLA Alumni Association Award (Team Assist Leader/5.27, No. 2 in the Pac-10). There were two new awards given – Gerald A. Finerman Award (Team Rebounding Leader/Dijon Thompson, 7.9), Finerman is the Bruins' longtime team physician, and the UCLA Alumni Association Award (Team Assist Leader/Jordan Farmar, 5.27). The Academic Achievement and Team Contribution honor (senior Josiah Johnson), formerly the UCLA Alumni Association Award, has been renamed the UCLA Faculty Athletic Representative Award. Below is a complete list of the ten awards given out Thursday night-

-Coach John Wooden Award (Most Valuable Player) – senior Dijon Thompson
-Seymour Armond Memorial Award (Most Valuable Freshman) –Arron Afflalo/Jordan Farmar/Josh Shipp
-Gerald A. Finerman Award (Team Rebounding Leader) – senior Dijon Thompson (7.9)
-Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial Award (Free Throw Champion) – Jordan Farmar (.801, 109-136)
-UCLA Alumni Association Award (Team Assist Leader) – Jordan Farmar (5.27)
-Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake Memorial Award (for Competitive Spirit, Inspiration and Unselfish Contributions) – sophomore Matt McKinney

-Bruin Hoopsters J. D. Morgan Memorial Award (Outstanding Team Play) – freshman Josh Shipp
-UCLA Faculty Athletic Representative Award (Academic Achievement and Team Contribution) – senior Josiah Johnson
-Bruin Bench Basketball Award (Most Improvement in All-Around Play and Mental Attitude) – junior Michael Fey
-Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Award (Outstanding Defensive Player) – freshman Arron Afflalo

Wednesday, begins the spring evaluation period.

College coaches are allowed to be out to see and evaluate players.

I've heard that UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland and assistant Kerry Keating will be in Seattle tomorrow to see Spencer Hawes, the 6-11 center from Seattle Prep.

I've also heard from other sources that Howland has plans to see UCLA commit, James Keefe, from Santa Margarita, and will be out to Denver (Col.) Mullen to see Ray Hall. -- Tracy Pierson


The UCLA football staff will conduct a one-day camp for skill position and one-day camp for lineman this weekend, April 9th and 10th.

The skill position camp will be on Saturday, with the lineman camp on Sunday.

Expected to attend, among others, are quarterback Michael Herrick from Valencia; committed OL Jake Dean from Paraclete; quarterback Chandler Clemons from Oak Ridge High; and linebacker Josh Tatum from McClymonds.


The basketball AAU season is about to start. It's the time when college coaches get their first real look at recruits in this recruiting season.

We, of course, will be at the major events on the west coast.

Coming up April 15-17 is the Las Vegas Spring Showcase and the Pump Spring Tournament, also in Las Vegas.

Then April 22 -- 24, the Kingwood Classic in Houston takes place. It's evolved into the biggest tournament in the country in spring.

UCLA coaches will be at all three of these tournaments.


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.

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