Three Prospects to Visit Officially

Besides committed prospect James Keefe, it's more or less down to three prospects in the class of 2006 for UCLA, and each of the three will take an official visit in the month of September...

Alex Stepheson, the 6-9 post from Studio City (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake and a top 50 national prospect, visited UCLA unofficially last Monday.

Stepheson also will probably visit UCLA officially on the weekend of September 10th.

He's scheduled to visit North Carolina on September 17th, according to some sources. UCLA wouldn't mind having him visit on that weekend since the UCLA football team will be playing Oklahoma.

It's probably pretty certain Stepheson will visit Connecticut, with the visit possibly coming on one of the two following weekends. He's very interested in Arizona, and would like to visit there, but it's uncertain if Arizona will have him in on an official visit.

After visiting UCLA, North Carolina and Connecticut, and possibly Arizona, Stepheson could then also take a visit among a few other potential contenders: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest or Washington.

Deon Thompson, the 6-8 post from Torrance (Calif.) High, will probably visit UCLA on the weekend of September 24th.

Thompson has one visit set, with North Carolina on September 30th.

Like with Stepheson, UCLA wouldn't mind having Thompson visit on the 17th, for the Oklahoma game weekend, but it's uncertain if he'll visit then or on the 24th.

Besides UCLA and North Carolina, Thompson also wants to visit Connecticut, Gonzaga and Kentucky.

Thompson will more than likely visit UCLA unofficially next week. The Bruins would love to get him to commit before taking his official visits to other schools, but that is probably highly unlikely.

Spencer Hawes, the 6-11 center from Seattle (Wash.) Prep, will visit UCLA the weekend of September 30th.

The first visit Hawes has scheduled is for North Carolina on September 17th.

The other schools on Hawes' list are Connecticut, Stanford and Washington, and it's expected that he'll definitely visit Stanford and Washington, and more than likely Connecticut.

Besides those three prospects, there aren't any other prospects that UCLA has arranged to visit officially.

The foreign 6-8 post player is more than likely on the back burner for now, with UCLA probably waiting to see what will happen with Thompson, Stepheson and Hawes.

There is still a possibility that UCLA could give an official visit to Jamie Vanderbeken, the 6-10 post from Belleville (Ont., Can.) Quinte. If UCLA doesn't look like it's doing well with Hawes, Thompson and Stepheson, they could very well have Vanderbeken in on an official visit by mid-October.

Vanderbeken has already visited Oregon State. Cal, Michigan, Pepperdine and Minnesota were also showing interest in him.

UCLA, of course, already has a commitment from 6-8 power forward James Keefe, from Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita.

If UCLA didn't get any of the other players mentioned above, they very well could save the other two open scholarships for spring, also leaving open the possibility of transfers, or add them to the 2007 class. If UCLA filled all three scholarships it has available for the 2006 class, it would then only have one scholarship open for the class of 2007. If it then saved two from 2006, that would give them three for 2007, which could be a very good thing since the class of 2007 is shaping up to be a very talented one, at least in the west among potential UCLA prospects.

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