Breaking News: Junior Taylor & More

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<9/18

The MRI on senior wide receiver Junior Taylor's knee revealed a torn ACL.

He is done for the 2005 season, but he will qualify for a medical redshirt and return in 2006, because the injury happened within the first three games.

9/17

Several basketball recruits will be at the Oklahoma game, including 2008 point guard Larry Drew and 2008 shooting guard Oscar Bellfield (teammates at Taft), juniot wing Justin and sophomore shooting guard Jrue Holiday from Campbell Hall, committed senior James Keefe and junior wing Chace Stanback.

9/16

Allen Bradford, the #1 linebacker in the country from Colton (Calif.) High, his teammate, elite athlete Shareece Wright, and Devin Ross, the elite cornerback prospect from Rancho Cucamonga, all plan to attend the UCLA/Oklahoma game this Saturday.

9/15

On the first day out, September 9th, Coach Ben Howland watched Kevin Love, the 6-9 elite junior from Lake Oswego (Calif.) High, work out.

He then had an in-home visit with James Keefe, the commmitted 6-8 senior power forward from Santa Margarita.

Monday, Howland had an in-home visit with top senior target, Deon Thompson, the 6-8 post from Torrance (Calif.) High, currently the #22 ranked player in the nation. Reportedly, the visit went well, and that Thompson feels comfortable with UCLA and the UCLA coaches.

Piecing together Howland's itinerary from various sources, I was told Howland next was in Detroit, to watch a workout for 6-4 junior shooting guard Alex Legion of Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day.

I know, then, that he's headed for an in-home visit with 6-9 senior center Matt Hill, of Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast. UCLA is trying to get Hill to visit officially.

9/13

We've heard from some local sources that Jeff Miller, the 6-5, 230-pound defensive end from Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake, is telling people he's going to UCLA.

Officially, it's been reported that UCLA and Oklahoma are his leaders, with Oregon having a chance.

Miller broke his ankle a couple of weeks ago and is out for probably the first 5 games of his senior season.

9/11

For a game where UCLA played a no-name, puff, non-conference opponent like Rice, it was a very good turnout for recruits.

In attendance:

Allen Bradford, #1 LB prospect in country, Colton
Terrence Austin, top WR target, LB Poly
Travon Patterson, top WR target, LB Poly
Chane Moline, elite FB/RB, Mission Viejo
C.J. Gable, elite RB, Sylmar
Jonathan Cornell, #20 LB in country, Bishop Amat
Ryan McFoy, elite safety prospect, Chino
R.J. Stanford, talented RB/DB, Chino
Garrett Green, QB/Safety, Notre Dame
Toby Turpin, DE, Los Alamitos
Al Verner, DB, Mayfair
Lonyae Miller, RB, Kaiser
Andre Crenshaw, RB/DB, Antelope Valley
Alex Gamez, LB, Warren
Jeff Jansen, QB, Diamond Bar
Spencer Paysinger, LB/DB, Beverly Hills

UCLA-Committed Recruits:

Jake Dean
Andy Keane
Sean Sheller
Christian Ramirez
Tobi Umodu
Dominique Johnson
Kai Forbath
Brandon Bennett
Sonny Tevaga
Christian Yount
9/8

I've been told how much some of the players weighed in recently.

Alfred Aboya, having lost a little weight recovering from his knee surgery, was 238.

Lorenzo Mata was 235.

Ryan Wright was 237.

Arron Afflalo and Josh Shipp were both in the 215-218 range.

Here's the most impressive one: Luc Mbah a Moute, weighed in at 227. That's a pretty good weight going into your freshman season, for a kid who isn't overly bulky.

At that weight, he looks to be a candidate to play the four in Howland's system. Last year Dijon Thompson did it and he weighed 209.

9/5

I'm hearing that UCLA has continued to recruit Matt Hill, the 6-10 senior center from Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast.

Hill is on an official visit to Utah this weekend, and will visit Texas the following weekend. I think he has another official visit arranged but I'm not sure with which school.

UCLA will have an in-home visit with Hill about mid-month, I believe.-- Tracy Pierson

8/29

Jeff Miller, the 6-5, 225-pound defensive end from Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake, broke his ankle and will be out up to 6 weeks.

Reportedly, Miller did have the meeting with his high school coaches and UCLA and Oklahoma are at the top of his list, with still the possibility of Oregon also getting him.

8/29

Deon Thompson, the 6-8 post from Torrance, was not at the pickup game Monday because he's in Kentucky on an unofficial visit. We'll try to get his thoughts on the visit when he returns.

Ced Bozeman was playing today, but he was wearing a knee brace and doesn't look close to where he was last November prior to getting hurt. He just started playing again, though, and it wouldn't be surprising if he's hesitant to go all out right now. He did shoot the ball fairly well, but showed none of the quickness/explosiveness he exhibited last November. Hopefully, he'll continue to progress and be closer to 100% by November.

It's very difficult to judge post players in these pickup games as they rarely get touches in the paint. But I thought Ryan Hollins showed some good aggressiveness at times and he made a real effort to rebound. He's never going to be a great scorer, but I think he has a chance to be the best low-post defender on the team. His quickness, length and leaping ability can cause problems for opposing big men.

Roll and Afflalo both shot the ball well today. Afflalo has made an effort to quicken his release and his range is a little deeper as well. Roll is the best decision-maker on the team and also has the quickest release.

Mbah A Moute is a consistent jump shot away from being a very exciting prospect. And his shot is starting to look better. You can see he's putting in a lot of work on his game.

Aboya played his first game since being hurt. He's not going to be a big offensive threat, but his body, aggressiveness and defensive ability should give him a chance to get minutes.

Alex Stepheson, the 6-9 post from Harvard-Westlake, was there and did participate.

I had to go fairly quickly, and didn't get a chance to watch him play much.

James Keefe, the 6-8 power forward from Santa Margarita, played on the same team as the UCLA players, and looked good, hitting a couple of outside shots and being active around the basket.

8/26

I'm hearing that Alfred Aboya, the 6-7 freshman post, will more than likely be cleared to play by next week.

Aboya had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in early July.-- Tracy Pierson

8/25

I've heard that Deon Thompson, the 6-8 center from Torrance (Calif.) High, was on campus Wednesday to play in the pick-up games with the current UCLA players and an assorted gathering of pros.

It's the second Wednesday in a row that Thompson was on campus and played in the pick-up games.

All of UCLA's players were there and played, including Cedric Bozeman.-- Tracy Pierson

8/23

As we've reported recently, UCLA has been going after Jeff Miller, the 6-5, 225-pound defensive end from Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake, very seriously.

Miller attended a practice last week. He then told us in an interview that he wanted to make a decision before his season started.

Now the word is that he'll meet with his coaches this Friday to discuss his recruiting, and whether it's just to narrow down his list or actually make a decision is uncertain.

UCLA is thought to be on his short list of favorites or his actual leader.

8/20

The recent Hot News on Allen Bradford, the 6-0, 225-pound elite linebacker from Colton (Calif.) High, characterized him as prety enamored of Washington when he took an unofficial visit there.

I also heard that Bradford really liked Cal when he visited there unofficially, too.

In fact, I heard that it could be a UCLA-Cal battle for Bradford, when it comes down to it.

It's generally good news, though. Bradford unofficially visited these other schools, and the word is that UCLA is still hanging tough and leading for him. It's by no means a cake walk, and he could very well wait until January or so to decide. But if UCLA has a successful season it's pretty safe to say that they're in the poll position for Bradford.-- Tracy Pierson

8/15

I'm hearing that UCLA is going very hard after Jeff Miller, the 6-5, 220-pound defensive end prospect from Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake.

And I've also heard that Miller is contemplating committing fairly soon.

Miller attended practice last week. -- Tracy Pierson

8/12

Cedric Bozeman, the 6-6 senior, has been cleared for full contact, according to reports.

Bozeman, who will be in his fifth year, had to sit out last season when he torn ligaments in his knee the first week of practice.

He has been rehabbing since his surgery in November, and cleared completely last week (early August).

8/10

I'm hearing from sources close to the situation that Jonathan Cornell, the linebacker from La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat, and currently the #20-ranked LB in the nation, has given UCLA strong indications that he's coming.

The word is that Cornell needs to improve his academics a bit and that is one of the primary reasons he has yet to officially commit verbally. I've also heard that his academics aren't horrible, and that he doesn't have that much work to do to get past UCLA admissions.

But the source is indicating that Cornell has told UCLA strongly of his intention to come to Westwood.

Cornell visited UCLA's practice Wednesday. -- Tracy Pierson

8/6

I wouldn't want to jinx this, but I'm hearing from a source close to the situation that UCLA has moved ahead for Kevin Love, the elite 6-9 junior from Lake Oswego (Calif.) High.

It's a combination of many things: the Loves having always liked UCLA, having many family and friends in SoCal, the program's tradition, the personnel currently in it, and the school's academics; the fact that it's far closer to their home in Oregon than Duke or North Carolina and the family in Oregon would be able to watch him play more often, and the Loves' admiration for Ben Howland.

In fact, what I've heard is that Ben Howland has been outworking everyone for Love, taking on Love's recruitment personally.

Of course, it's still early, since Love is going to be a junior, and so much can change. As of now, North Carolina hasn't offered Love, and if they did that move simply might change things.

But as of now, it's pretty certain that UCLA is doing very well with Love.-- Tracy Pierson

8/2

I just spoke with the high school coach of Deon Thompson, the 6-8 center from Torrance.

He now has offers from North Carolina and Wake Forest, along with the others previously mentioned.

The plan right now is for Deon to take official visits in September and October. They'll likely be spaced out a bit, since several of the schools are far away and there will be significant travel time.

Thompson will probably sit down with his mom and coaches this week and figure out where he wants to visit. -- Greg Hicks


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