Thompson Visits UCLA Unofficially

One of UCLA's prime basketball recruiting targets -- 6-8 center Deon Thompson from Torrance -- spent most of the day on UCLA's campus Thursday, and played in a pick-up game with many of the current players...

Deon Thompson, the 6-8 center from Torrance (Calif.) High, took a day-long unofficial visit to UCLA on Thursday.

Thompson wais on campus with two coaches from his high school, along with his AAU coach.

He recently arranged for four official visits (Our Recent Story on Thompson), to Gonzaga, UConn, North Carolina and Kentucky. He has indicated that he'll take a few unofficial visits to UCLA, with the visit Thursday being one of them.

He does, however, have one official visit open, and could use it to visit UCLA officially, or opt to use it to visit Arizona State or Wake Forest.

According to sources, the unofficial visit Thursday went well, with Thompson giving the impression he was excited about being with the current players on the UCLA roster.

Thompson played with most of the current Bruins in several pick-up games at the Men's Gym Thursday afternoon. Ryan Hollins, Cedric Bozeman, Alfred Aboya and Lorenzo Mata weren't there, but the rest of the current roster played. Actually, Hollins showed up late, then disappeared for awhile, but didn't play by the time we left.

Thompson went against Mike Fey in the first couple games. He had trouble scoring over Fey, but did a good job defending at the other end. He had several steals in the games I saw.

Jordan Farmar, in particular, did a good job of getting the ball to Deon and encouraging him.

Talking with Bob Gottlieb, Deon's coach with Branch West Basketball Academy, you get the sense that Thompson is pretty open at this point. His recruitment moved very quickly for him in July, with a bunch of new (and big-time) programs getting involved, so he's got a lot to investigate. He wants to get to know the coaches at the various programs, the players on the team and see what the schools are like in person.

While anything can happen in recruiting, it'd be surprising if Thompson made a decision before he's had a chance to thoroughly look into each situation. Expect him to take most, if not all, of his visits before reaching a decision.

On a side note: Among the current players, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was impressive today. His shot is a work in progress, but he's got a good combination of size, length, quickness and strength. He might end up quick enough to defend a three, but with the size and strength to also guard a four.


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