More UCLA Insider News!

Plenty of news breaks on the BRO Message Boards! And we bring it to you here at a quick glance. The Latest On:...Derrick Rose...recruits at fall scrimmage...First look at Nikola Dragovic...Hopos recruiting developments...The first day of football practice...Dragovic in a pick-up game...UCLA's status with elite prospect...Hoops team in the off-season...And More!

The premium message boards of Bruin Report Online are where quite a bit of news breaks -- from not only writers on this site but from the site's subscribers.

This feature -- the "Message Board News" -- enables you to quickly get the lowdown on the latest news from the message boards!


Here's the lastest on the potential official visits of Kevin Love, Kyle Singler and Derrick Rose: Latest on Love, Singler & Rose


Greg Hicks: From what I've heard, the Bruin staff is looking into Rose and trying to determine his level of interest.

While it's obviously a good thing to be in his top five, I wouldn't make too much of it. It sounds to me like this reruitment is in the preliminary stages. If we get to the point where UCLA is one of his final two or three, or there is some other indication favoring the Bruins, then things will get a lot more interesting.

As one of five, it's obviously possible that Rose could end up in Westwood. But there's a long way to go from being one of five to getting the kid to sign with you in November.


Recruits at the fall scrimmage:

There weren't many seniors, but a few juniors, and many I don't know that much about, actually.

Committed seniors were DT Brian Price and TE Nate Chandler.

Santa Monica safety Cameron Collins was there.

Among the juniors was Crenshaw WR Kemonte Batemon (This was his third time out this fall so far), Van Nuys Birmingham running back Milton Knox, and I believe Santa Monica DL/OL Damon Middleton.


From Greg Hicks Nikola Dragovic:

I went to watch the pickup games today and got my first look at Dragovic. Keep in mind that these weren't real games and performance in these situations doesn't really mean much.

Dragovic is in the 6-7 to 6-8 range, with a fairly good body. He's got some length to him and he's not skinny. His level of athleticism was difficult to gauge, as he spent most of his time on the perimeter and didn't get many open-court opportunities. He seems to move pretty well, but I'm not sure about his ability to defend quick small forwards. At first glance, he looks to be in-between the three and four. He's certainly got the offensive skills to play the three, but defensively he might have a tough time with 6-5 to 6-6 guys with quickness.

In these games, he wasn't very active and he spent most of his time outside shooting jumpshots. And you can see why he likes to do that -- he's got a very good stroke. He will likely be one of the best shooters on the team. Deep range and he can get it off pretty quick. His overall ball skills appeared to be pretty good.

He wasn't very involved in the action, either in terms of rebounding or defense. He spent a lot of time on the perimeter looking for jumpshots. But, as I said, I don't want to take too much from this stuff -- he might have just wanted to get a run in and he'll be a completely different player in real games.

He's an intriguing player -- just on size and shot-making ability alone. I'm guessing that his playing time will depend on how well he can defend and rebound.


I've heard that UCLA is no longer involved with Clint Chapman, the 6-10 center from Canby (Ore.) High.

UCLA made a last-ditch effort for James Harden, the 6-4 shooting guard from Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia, before he committed to ASU Wednesday.


BRO message board poster pacificpal, provides us the rundown of the first day of fall practice: First Practice Notes


A BRO poster plays in a pick-up game on campus Monday with Nikola Dragovic. Go Here!


I'm hearing that Everson Griffen, the 6-4, 265-pound DE from Avondale (Ariz.) Agua Fria, will have some considerable academic challenges to qualify.

And it's probably a longshot that he qualifies for UCLA.


An early preview of the basketball team and the Pac-10


Report from UCLA's 7-on-7


UCLA's coaches get raises. Go Here.


I've learned that we could be hearing about the fate of the Serbian recruits this week.

To refresh your memory -- 6-9 post, Marko Spica, and 6-8 forward, Nikola Dragovic, recently both took the SAT and sent their academics to the NCAA Clearing House.

Spica signed a National Letter of Intent with UCLA in November.

Spica is considered a post player, while Dragovic is more of a 4-3, with very good perimeter skills. Dragovic is generally considered the better prospect, actually being projected as a potential first-round NBA pick.


The Pump N Run Elite team won the Three Stripes Tournament at Cal State Dominguez Hills Saturday, led by junior point guard Larry Drew.

Also on the team were James Harden, Omondi Amoke and Austin Daye.

They beat the Las Vegas Prospects and Luke Babbitt in the final. The Prospects went to Babbitt early, but then a few other players on the team got a bit selfish and Babbitt didn't touch the ball much, and Pump beat them.

The LV Prospects beat EBO, a team with Jamelle Horne, Jeffy Withey, and Matt Simpkins, in the semi-final. They did it by going through Babbitt down the stretch. Babbitt scored on three successive possessions within the last few minutes of the game, and on another passed out of a triple team to get a teammate a dunk and that sealed the game.

Pump N Run beat Double Pump Elite in the other semi-final pretty handily, by about 20. Double Pump is the team with Jerime Anderson and Jure Holiday.


The twins, 6-8 David and Travis Wear from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, were on UCLA's campus yesterday (Monday) on an unofficial visit.

They're two of the best prospects in the west coast class of 2009.


Renardo Sidney, the 6-9 freshman forward from Piney Woods (Miss.) High, is considered the #1 prospect in the 2009 class.

Sidney played for the So Cal All-Stars in the Rose City tournament in Portland this last weekend.

Reportedly, Sidney and his family also took an unofficial visit to UCLA in mid-June and stocked up on UCLA gear, which he was apparently wearing in Portland during the weekend.


Here's a look at some UCLA prospects that participated in the Rose City Showcase tournament in Portland over the weekend of June 17-18th, including Kevin Love, Brandon Jennings, and the #1 freshman in the country, Renardo Sidney.


I talked to the dad of Cedric Everson, the elite defensive back prospect from Michigan, briefly today, before his phone cut out.

He said they were coming out to Southern California next weekend and would give us a full report while here.

We had heard previously that the plan is for Everson to participate in UCLA's four-day camp the last week of June.


Incoming freshman receiver Dominique Johnson played in a local high school all-star game. To find out how he did, click here.


We spoke with Tony Perry, the DB coach at Edison this morning.

He gave me an update on Courtney Viney through the spring.

Courtney is up to 158, and measured 5-9 3/4 last week.

Also said that in the two passing league tournaments that Edison has been in, Courtney hasn't given up a reception yet. In fact, Edison has only given up two offensive touchdowns in 11 games. They won the Clovis West tournament last weekend, and this past weekend, finished second at the Stanford Passing Tournament, losing on the final play of the game.

Coach Perry also said that Courtney has been working with Ricky Manning, and that Ricky said Courtney is farther along then he was at that stage.

Edison will be in Southern California for a passing league tournament in the next couple of weeks.


The latest on Jordan Farmar's decision to enter the draft: The Latest


Check out picks of how the installation of new turf on Spaulding Field is developing:

Spaulding Dug Up


I'm hearing that UCLA is doing well with Jeff Withey, the 6-10 sophomore center from San Diego (Calif.) Horizon.

Withey was injured in April and May and hasn't play in any events this spring. He's scheduled to play in the Pangos Camp this weekend.

Hopefully at least one among Withey, Corbin Moore from Los Alamitos, and Andy Poling from Portland (Ore.) Westview end up an elite high-major - and likes UCLA.


According to NBA sources, Jordan Farmar's workout with the Sacramento Kings went well Wednesday. But Farmar worked out for the Kings with Illinois guard Dee Brown, and the word was that Brown might have looked a little better because of his quickness and defense.

The general feeling right now is that Farmar is probably very late first round or early second round.

That means it could be a very uncertain situation for Farmar, who has said that he'd return to UCLA if he didn't go in the first round.

Arron Afflalo worked out with the Chicago Bulls yesterday, but I haven't heard anything about the workout.


UCLA could have a first-round draft pick in next month's NBA draft.

But it might not be who you think it is.

I'm hearing from NBA sources, it looks more like that it could be Ryan Hollins, the senior center.

Reportedly, Hollins had a good showing at workouts in L.A. in front of NBA team representatives and could sneak his way into the end of the first round.


UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland spoke at a UCLA booster function in San Diego and was very candid on many subjects.

Go Here!


I'm hearing that UCLA is leading for Everson Griffen, the 6-4, 265-pound defensive end from Avondale (Ariz.) Agua Fria.

While things definitely could change, sources are saying Griffen favors UCLA over Arizona and USC.

Apparently Griffen feels very comfortable with the UCLA program and its coaches.

It will be interesting to see if UCLA can hold off always tough USC and hometown Arizona for Griffen, who could possibly be among the handful of best defensive end prospects in the nation.


How did UCLA's committed quarterback, Chris Forcier, deal with USC head coach Pete Carroll coming to his high school? Go here.


UCLA's Ben Howland and assistant Kerry Keating have been up in Oregon the last couple of days to see Kyle Singler and Kevin Love at their high schools.

Howland and Keating then went to Anaheim Canyon High Thursday to visit soph point guard Jerime Anderson.


Corperryale "Manny" Harris, the 6-4 combo guard from Detroit (Mich.) Redford, is hearing from UCLA, Michigan, Marquette, Illinois, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Dave Telep thinks the list will get longer before it gets shorter as Harris is discovered by more and more college coaches.

UCLA's Ernie Zeigler, who is from the Detroit area, is, of course, in charge of Harris' recruitment.

UCLA apparently will have a good chance at Harris if they offer him.


We're hearing from sources at Fairfax that there was a plan for Chace Stanback, the 6-7 junior wing, to visit UCLA's campus Wednesday. I don't know if he's been there yet or will be there later.

We'll try to find out if anything comes of this -- like potentially a commitment.


Sources are indicating that UCLA is doing very well with 6-2 sophomore point guard Jerime Anderson, from Anaheim Canyon.

In fact, it's believed that UCLA is the clear leader for the young prospect.

As of this spring,'s west coast recruiting analyst Greg Hicks believes that Anderson is the best point guard in a loaded 2008 west coast class.


An inside source provides us some insight into what Jordan Farmar thinks about the NBA draft. Go Here.


UCLA is doing very well with Chace Stanback, the 6-7 wing from Los Angeles Fairfax.

The father didn't say it in the interview we did recently on BRO, but I've heard from sources close to Fairfax that UCLA is the clear leader for Stanback and that, if UCLA decides to accept a commitment at this time, it could happen fairly soon.


Seeing so many big-named Bruins in the Indianapolis RCA Dome is really impressive, especially seeing how most of them are decked out in Bruin gear.

Basketball Bruins in the stands including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton (who had to leave early but is supposed to return), Reggie Miller, Mike Warren, Pete Trgovich, Ralph Jackson, Mike Warren and Ed O'Bannon (leading eight claps in the stands and in the locker room after the game).

Football Bruins there showing support included Ricky Manning, Robert Thomas, Troy Aikman and Karl Dorrell. Aikman sat with Dorrell, in fact.

Really, gives you goose bumps to see this many famous ex-Bruins in the stands wearing their UCLA gear like any fan. You can see that UCLA means a great deal to them.

Pics of Some Big Bruin Alums & Other Celebs


From B. Dohn's 3/31 article in the Daily News:

UCLA's unexpected run to the Final Four will impact the decision-making process of its top recruiting target, who is also one of the top juniors in the nation. Kevin Love, a power forward for Oregon state champion Lake Oswego High, added the decision by former UCLA star Walt Hazzard to allow him to wear Hazzard's retired No. 42 jersey "continues to illustrate the class of UCLA."

"Of course, UCLA getting to the Final Four impacts my decision," Love wrote in an e-mail to the Daily News. "How couldn't it? I've known for three years that UCLA was going to get there, and it was only a matter of time.

"You could always see the fire and sense of purpose in Coach (Ben) Howland and (assistant) Coach (Kerry) Keating. I had the opportunity to watch a UCLA practice in November, and they are fun to watch. The coaches are so hands on, and they really work hard with each player."

Love, a 6-foot-9, 250-pounder and the son of former Lakers forward Stan Love, watched each of UCLA's NCAA Tournament games on television, but with a caveat.

"I have to admit that when UCLA was down big to Gonzaga at the half, I stopped watching," he wrote. "After the game, my mom put on the tape, and we ate dinner while watching the second half. It was insane ... I can't wait until this weekend. Of course, I'm going to be rooting for the Bruins, even though Big Baby (LSU center Glen Davis) is a friend of mine."

As for Hazzard's gesture, Love showed his sense of humor by asking whether maybe other UCLA recruits wear No. 42. He then wrote: "it just continues to illustrate the class of UCLA. You can see it everywhere. They are UCLA. They don't need to impress me. I need to impress them."

Love is considering UCLA, North Carolina and Duke.


Ernie Zeigler, UCLA's assistant coach, is showing interest in the vacant head coaching job at Pepperdine.

Pepperdine athletic director John Watson will interview up to 20 candidates and then narrow a list to five.

Inside sources believe Zeigler, though, will probably not be among the very short list for the position. Gonzaga assistant Bill Grier, who has a connection with Watson, and USC assistant Gib Arnold, a former Pepperdine assistant, are considered the frontrunners.


I spoke with the father of Kyle Singler, the elite junior prospect from Medford South Medford, who UCLA is pursuing.

Kyle himself was not in.

When I asked Mr. Singler if Kyle was considering making a decision, he said, "Not anytime soon."

When asked if there was a time frame for a decision, he said, "He'll go through spring and summer, and probably take couple of official visits in fall."

When asked what schools Kyle would possibly visit officially, he said: " We don't know yet. He's been on some campuses already (UCLA and Duke), and I don't know whether he'd want to take an official visit back to those. He hasn't been to Kansas or Arizona, and those are two schools he's still interested in."

Kyle and his brother E.J. attended the two NCAA sessions in the Oakland Regional Thursday and Saturday, watching UCLA win the Regional and stage the dramatic comeback against Gonzaga.


Ben Howland said recently that former UCLA great Walt Hazard came to his office and gave him permission to use his jersey again for a certain recruit.

Of course, Howland couldn't comment on what recruit that is. But Hazard's retired number is 42, and Kevin Love, the 6-9 center from Lake Oswego, who is UCLA's top target, wears #42. 3/24

Kyle Singler attended the Sweet 16 between UCLA and Gonzaga Thursday night.

It was known that Kevin Love was trying to attend the UCLA/Memphis Elite Eight game Saturday.


Here's the latest on Kyle Singler and Kevin Love -- inside information from a BRO message board poster close to the situation: Latest on Love and Singler


The MRI on defensive end Bruce Davis' knee was negative and he is not on crutches.

He is repotedly feeling okay.


Kevin Love tallied 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots to lead Lake Oswego High School (26-3) to the Oregon Class 4A championship last night over South Medford High School (27-2) and Kyle Singler - who tallied 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 blocked shot, and one steal - 59-57.

Oregon Class 4A Championship Game Recap 3/9

At the last game of the season at Pauley, there was another foreign player in attendance.

He, like signed prospect Marko Spica, is also from Serbia Montenegro.

He is Nikola Dragovic, a 6-8 combo forward.

Dragovic was the primary Serbian prospect UCLA originally showed a great deal of interest in. He reportedly is very skilled, with a very good shooting ability.

Apparently Dragovic had indicated previously, when UCLA was recruiting him, that he intended to go the pro route in Serbia. But now Dragovic is re-thinking that plan, and could possibly attend college in the U.S. He was in the States checking out various potential schools.

It's completely unknown how UCLA would fit into Dragovic's U.S. college plans. He is considered part of the 2006 class. With Spica committed, and UCLA probably needing a guard more, it's uncertain how Dragovic would fit. Perhaps Dragovic is a consideration if Spica doesn't qualify (Spica needs to improve his SAT score for UCLA admissions, and he's re-taking it in April).

Now, you might have also noticed that the name "Nikola Dragovic" is the exact name of the defensive end currently on UCLA's football team.


Kyle Singler hasn't spoken to anyone, and it's remarkable how little info and rumors have leaked out.

I have heard that UCLA is pretty confident about their chances for Singler and especially for Kevin Love.

Curious, too -- most of the time when a recruit takes a trip to Duke there are plenty of rumors and information leaking out that he's leaning to Duke or about to commit to Duke.

We haven't heard that with Singler. I'm not saying that's an indication UCLA is leading for him, but it certainly is unique.

I've heard that Love is making Singler well aware of all of UCLA's advantages. It's pretty clear at this point that UCLA is leading for Love.

Singler has said he wanted to wait until either after his junior season or his junior school year before deciding. The fact that he's gone incommunicado after the Duke visit makes sense -- wanting to concentrate on high school playoffs.

His team, South Medford, is in the second round of the 4A playoffs tomorrow. If they continue to win, the quarterfinals, semis and finals are March 9-11.

But, of course, South Medford could lose, Singler's season could be over and he could possibly then want to talk -- or make his commitment.

Interestingly, South Medford and Love's Lake Oswego team are the two highest seeds and they're expected to play against each other in the 4A state finals.

I did hear one unsubstantiated rumor that Singler could be thinking of waiting until much later to make his decision, like after summer. But again, that's an unsubstantiated rumor.

3/1 We're hearing from sources that sophomore, 6-2 poin guard Jerime Anderson from Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon has UCLA as an early leader for him.


UCLA is looking good to getting a very solid, mid-major level guard walk on next year.

He is senior point guard from St. Louis (MO.) Country Day, 6-2 Mustafa Abdul-Hamid.

Abdul-Hamid attended UCLA's elite camp last June and impressed the coaches. At the camp, he looked fundamentally sound, and played hard, and has good size and decent skills.

We're hearing that Harvard is recruiting Abdul-Hamid and there is a chance he could still go there, or walk on at UCLA.


Jerime Anderson, the sophomore point guard from Canyon High in Anaheim, was at the game last night. He's potentially an elite prospect in the class of 2008.


A source at Santa Barbara High School told us that Ben Howland attended the Santa Barbara/Dominguez game.

Dominguez, of course, has 6-0 sophomore point guard Brandon Jennings.

Santa Barbara has a promising freshman, 6-2 SG Roberto Nelson. Nelson's father reportedly is a long-time friend of Howlands, the two having grown up together in Santa Barbara for a while.


We've heard from a couple different sources about what they were hearing on the recruitment of Kyle Singler, the 6-8 junior forward from Medford (Ore.) South Medford.

A source in Oregon, and another close to the Duke program, said they felt before his trip to Duke that UCLA was leading for him.

It will be interesting to see where it stands now, after his Duke visit.

We're trying to get ahold of him, but he's been unavailable since he returned from his Duke visit.


Here's an insider's opinion of the hiring of John Wristen as the new tight ends/special teams coach. View on Wristen Hiring


Ben Howland was in Medford MOnday to watch Kyle Singler practice, and assistant Kerry Keating is going to Oregon in the week to watch Singler, and attend Love's game on Friday.


UCLA football winter practice dates: Feb 23, 24, 25, 27, 28
March 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11 (scrimmage), 13, 14, 15

Most weekday practices are in the afternoon, around 4:00, unless changed.


Assistant coach Brian Schneider has left the UCLA football program.

Release on Schneider

2/10 As of right now, UCLA's Junior Day is scheduled for Saturday, March 4th, a day when the team will be practicing.

It could, though, be re-scheduled depending on whether the new staff is prepared for it or not.

UCLA has had about 50 kids indicate they were coming.


Kevin Love, the 6-9 junior post from Lake Oswego (Ore.) High, scored 46 points and had 15 rebounds in just 30 minutes Tuesday night in a 65-47 win over Clackamas.


We're hearing that Russell Westbrook, the 6-2 combo guard from Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger, has yet to achieved a qualifying SAT score that would admit him into UCLA.

UCLA is scouting Westbrook, and could possibly offer him but, obviously, needs the athletic player to achieve a high enough test score.

UCLA is also waiting on the results of an SAT taken by its signee, 6-9 Marko Spica from Serbia Montenegro.

Whether Spica qualifies could very well determine whether Westbrook gets a scholarship offer.


To see the UCLA student section at the UCLA/Arizona game do its chant for Kevin Love on video, go here.


James Harden, the 6-4 junior shooting guard from Lakewood Artesia, attended the Arizona game.

Malcolm Lee, the 6-3 sophomore point guard from Riverside North, was there.

And I heard that Russell Westbrook, the 6-2 seniior guard from Lanwdale Leuzinger, was supposed to be there.


x-rays of Jordan Farmar's injured ankle showed no abnormalities.

He has a mild ankle sprain.

And it's not the same ankle he sprained before -- which is actually a good thing.


One report indicated that Lorenzo Mata had a scan of his injured knee on Wednesday and the UCLA staff is now hopeful that he can be back in time for the Pac-10 Tournament.

There are other indications from inside the program that it would be unlikely that Mata return this season.


The Pac-10 released stats about injuries in the Pac-10, and it was very interesting.

It listed players by how many games theyv'e missed.

Total number of games missed by players on Pac-10 teams:

UCLA -- 59
Oregon State -- 53
Oregon -- 38
Cal -- 34
Washington State -- 32
Washington -- 29
Stanford -- 15
ASU -- 13
USC -- 10
Arizona -- 5

Then, total number of games missed by starters:

UCLA -- 26
Stanford (if you consider Washington a starter): 13
WSU -- 10
OSU -- 5
Cal -- 5
Arizona -- 5
Oregon -- 3
ASU -- 2
USC -- 0
Washington -- 0

Starters who missed games:

UCLA -- Farmar, Shipp, Mata
Stanford -- F. Washington
WSU -- Low, Cowgill
OSU -- Hurd, Jeffers
Cal -- Powe, Midgley
Arizona -- McClellan, Radenovic
Oregon -- Hairston, Leunen
ASU -- Angounou

Teams with starters out for likely the season:

UCLA -- Shipp, Mata
Arizona -- McClellan
Stanford -- Washington
USC -- Cromwell
WSU -- Low?

In this context, it is truly phenomenal what UCLA has done this season.


I've heard that Marko Spica, the 6-9 center from Serbia Montenegro that has signed a NLI with UCLA, is not too far away from achieving a qualifying test score.

Not just 10 points, but not 100 either.

More than likely he'll achieve it, but there is a decent chance he won't.


Head Coach Ben Howland and assistant Donnie Daniels attend the North Hollywood Campbell Hall game Tuesday night.

They watched elite sophomore guard, Jrue Holiday, score 35 points, with six three-pointers. Holiday is emerging as a truly elite prospect nationally.


From what I've heard, basketball assistant Kerry Keating is already in Oregon and plans on seeing each of Kevin Love and Kyle Singler as much as possible this week. Also, I've heard that Keating will see Andy Poling, the 6-10 soph center, also.


If, in fact, DeWayne Walker is hired, or anyone else from the NFL, they'd have to take the coaching certification test before they could contact any recruit.

That test would have to be proctored by UCLA, at UCLA. So whomever it is wouldn't have much of a chance to contact recruits before the dead period, which begins January 30th, and especially before Henderson, Hagan or Stevens decide.


John Fairbanks, the 6-3, 240 DT from Corona Del Mar, did, in fact, officially visit UCLA this weekend.

He will likely not be offered a scholarship, but will be given a chance to walk-on to the program.


Jrue Holiday, the elite sophomore guard from Campbell Hall, was in attendance at the West Virgina game, along with his brother, junior wing Justin.

Both are from North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall. Holiday is considered one of the best guard prospects in the west.


Many on the message boards have said that Karl Dorrell's comments from Friday didn't say much.

It's just a matter of being able to read between the lines.

I thought Dorrell said quite a bit in those short comments.

First, he said essentially that UCLA is kicking in money to help pay for assistants' salaries.

Also, he admitted that the new DC could very well want to bring in defensive position assistants with him.

I think both of those points are pretty significant.


The current coach who I've been referring to that has been getting NFL interest is tight ends and assistant head coach Jon Embree.

He interviewed with the Kansas City Chiefs this week.

It's uncertain whether he'll be offered a position.


Former UCLA All-American linebacker Robert Thomas was in attendance.

And safety Chris Horton has the cast for his wrist and hand removed.


We've heard that, while Alfred Aboya will be able to play, he could experience continuing issues with the knee.

Aboya has some conditions with the knee that, while the MRI showed no new damage, could cause him problems throughout his career at UCLA.


Kellen Killsgaard, a junior quarterback from Auburn (Wash.) High, was at the UCLA/Washington basketball game Saturday.

Killsgaard is considered the best QB in the 2007 class in Washington.


The rumor is that USC has offered Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame quarterback Garrett Green.

The Trojan offer could change his opinion considerably. It was thought that if UCLA offered the Bruins could very well get a commitment from him. UCLA offered last week.

But now with the USC there are some close to the situation that believe the Trojans could at least be even with UCLA, if not Green's leader.

We're trying to get ahold of him to confirm the USC offer.


From what I'm hearing, UCLA still has a good chance with Toby Gerhart, the 6-1, 225-pound running back from Norco (Calif.) High.

His family is a bit divided over UCLA and Stanford at this point.


UCLA-committed James Keefe went up against once-UCLA-committed Taylor King. Go Here! 1/15

The Football Banquet Award Winners


Coach Howland told a UCLA booster group this evening that he will start Arron Afflalo (who is fine, having had two good practices this week with no lingering effects of the tailbone spill late in the game against Arizona State), Jordan Farmar (who did not do contact in practice this week), Mike Roll, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Lorenzo Mata (who got hit on his broken nose again today in practice from underneath, even with a protective mask on) tomorrow night against Washington State. Darren Collison will be the first player in off the bench. Janou Rubin will play tomorrow night after being unavailable with the flu and a high temperature last week.

Some other quick highlights from the brief talk by Coach Howland (who was in a warm-up suit and apologized for his dress but said he just got out of practice and training table and needed to go back to the office to watch film). He says the team needs to and will find a way to win despite the injuries and that the answer to the crushing blow of losing Josh Shipp is for someone to step up; said Luc will play some three and four with Shipp unavailable; wants better rebounding out of Alfred Aboya and Ryan Wright; is very pleased with Afflalo, Farmar, Mbah a Moute, and Mata; he said playing Washington State is like root canal - and he reminded the team tonight at training table that the Cougars are most similar to Wagner and Cal - teams UCLA struggled against; and he reminded everyone that even though the injuries are maddening, the team is working hard, the team is getting better, and the future of the program is bright.

Other highlights from the event, which also featured Chris Roberts as the Master of Ceremonies, Don MacLean, and UCLA Director of Basketball Operations Chris Carlson.

Coach Carlson: Marko Spica was the result of contacts assistant Ernie Zeigler had; Spica plays like Radenovic and Cuic - can go inside or outside, and has skills and toughness; UCLA coaches work extremely hard at recruiting - Zeigler and Kerry Keating are out on the road scouting tonight; UCLA is already well into scouting for the recruiting classes of 2007, 2008, and 2009; coaches are very happy with Spica and James Keefe as the recruiting class of 2006 but won't entirely close the door on signing a third player in this class. Told yours truly in response to a private comment of mine that Bruin fans are thrilled to have Coach Howland running the program that his boss is deeply honored to be the head coach at UCLA.

Don MacLean: Coach Howland is the right guy for the program because he is injecting hard work, organization, and discipline into the program and prepares a team like no other coach he has seen (and he has seen a lot); program is only going to get better with time under this new coaching staff; and said the standard at UCLA is and should be Pac-10 championships, Final Fours, and national championships. --PHS1


Our sources are indicating that the Minnesota Vikings have been given permission to talk to Eric Bieniemy. 1/6

UCLA-committed Kai Forbath kicked a 60-yard field goal yesterday during practice. It had another good 7-10 yards on it.


We're hearing that Micah Kia, the OL recruit from Mililani (Haw.) High, might be deciding fairly soon.

UCLA is supposed to have an in-home visit with him this week.


There is an interesting discussion about UCLA's academic admitttance policy on the football message board: Academic Standards for Football


You'd think that generally the state of Oregon would embrace and enshrine one of the best high school players in the history of the state.

But Kevin Love, the 6-9 junior center from Lake Oswego, isn't as well "loved" as you might think.

There is actually quite a bit of anti-Kevin Love sentiment in Oregon.

It's come about for a couple of reasons. Being from Lake Oswego, he's had rivalries with some schools from Portland, schools that get a great deal of fan support. So, when this talented kid from outside of Portland beats you repeatedly, he receives some resentment at times.

Plus, I've been told there's some sentiment in Oregon against some kids who are so elitely talented. Some Oregonians told me that this type of talent gets resented because Oregonians sense that they're so good they'll go beyond Oregon and leave the state behind.

So, this all translates into not the loving, hometown kind of warmth and idolatry you'd expect in Oregon for Kevin Love. There is a surprising amount of negativity toward him.

Now, it might not be enough to be the deciding factor in Love going out of state to college, but it's real enough that it truly could be another factor for Love to want to get out of Oregon.


I've heard from a few good sources in the last week that UCLA is still doing extremely well with Kevin Love, the 6-10 center from Oregon who is the #3-ranked player in the class of 2007 nationally.

I wrote about a week ago that Washington could become a player for Love, and that still is true. And while North Carolina is in it, and Duke is trying to, I've heard some very strong indications that UCLA has established a very solid lead for Love.

The Bruins are doing so well that many close to the situation expect Love to possibly make a decision by spring.

Happy Holidays!


I've been told to possibly expect Washington to become a player in the sweepstakes for Kevin Love, the 6-10 elite junior center from Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar has been consistently trying with Love, and he's a very good recruiter.

Washington is also closer to home for the Loves.


I've reported how impressed the coaches have been with freshman linebacker Reggie Carter on the scout team.

But recently I've been hearing there is a feeling that Reggie Carter is the most talented linebacker on the team.

It was just unfortunate that it took him a while to pick up the defense, or he wouldn't have redshirted.


Ben Howland was seen recently at a game that involved San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty, featuring elite 6-8 sophomore Drew Gordon. Mitty played in SoCal Saturday night.

In fact, assistants Donny Daniels and Kerry Keating were there with Howland.

Keating also attended the Compton Dominguez/Westchester game, which featured elite Dominguez sophomore point guard, Brandon Jennings.

Assistant Ernie Zeigler was spotted by our east coast scouts attending the game of the #19-ranked junior in the country, 6-8 Julian Vaughn, from Reston (Virg.) South Lakes.


Since I last reported on the situation with defensive coordinator Larry Kerr, I've basically heard more of the same.

That he could be replaced.

Nothing will happen before the bowl game.

The word is that there was a very long coaches' meeting last week, for about four hours, and Head Coach Karl Dorrell was pretty tough on the staff.


I've heard that UCLA assistant coach, Jon Embree, is having his name tossed around as a potential head coaching candidate at Colorado.


Ben Howland and assistant Donnie Daniels were first at Crenshaw to watch Darnell Gant.

Then they went to Redondo Union, to watch Fairfax and Chace Stanback.

Gant had 22 points, 13 rebounds and 9 blocks. One block away from a triple double.


I'm hearing that UCLA could be getting a little cold on James Montgomery, the running back from Rancho Cordova.

Montgomery, as most of us know, verbally committed to Washington.

But over the last couple of months he has told various other programs that he decommitted. He's even told some people that he had dropped Washington altogether.

But then, on the other hand, he has also said that he's still committed and he's actually recruiting other players to Washington.

The two schools he has indicated he is seriously considering besides Washington are UCLA and Cal. But UCLA and Cal are beginning to get a little tired of him telling them that he's de-committed to Washington -- or even not considering them at all -- then behaving like he is indeed committed.

He is scheduled to visit UCLA on their big recruiting weekend, Dec. 17th, but we'll see if the visit actually happens.


I spoke with Aboya at the Madison Square Garden.

He said that he feels really good and isn't experiencing any setbacks of ill-effects of the knee surgery.

He's told me he's on a timetable to return to play in two weeks. He expects to start practicing this weekend, lightly, and will work his way back to be completely ready by the second week of December.


Brandon Jennings is the elite sophomore point guard from Compton Dominguez.

As we had speculated about, we're hearing that USC is making a big push for him.

If you remember, USC has taken commitments from three teammates on his AAU team, The SoCal All-Stars.

We said we heard that one of the big reasons was to make in-roads with Jennings and it is apparently so.

But Jennings is also influenced by his high school coach, Dominguez's Russell Otis, so the theory might not work for USC.


Just about the entire Compton Dominguez and L.A. Fairfax teams were in attendance at the Temple game.

For UCLA, that means Fairfax's junior wing Chace Stanback, who does look to be 6-7. Stanback also attended the Delaware State game.

And from Dominguez, elite sophomore point guard Brandon Jennings.

UCLA committed senior James Keefe was in attendacne against Delaware State.


We're hearing that the two huge recruiting weekends will be in December.

The first one will be December 9-11 and the second one will be December 16-18.

We're trying to track down all who will be visiting.

There will also be a major recruiting weekend in January, either the 13-15 or the 20-22.

These will be the critical weekends where the elite prospects still uncommitted will be visiting UCLA officially.


UCLA offered Darnell Gant, the 6-9 junior combo forward from Crenshaw, last week.

Gant attended the New Mexico State game at Pauley Pavilion Tuesday night.


Darnell Gant, the 6-9 junior combo forward from Crenshaw, attended the ASU football game.

From what I'm hearing he's leaning toward UCLA.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.

First, UCLA will have to scout him this winter and see how he's developed. If they offer him, I'm hearing he could be compelled to commit early.


There were many recruits at the UCLA/ASU game Saturday, including quite a few from the class of 2007, and a big contingent from Oaks Christian and Notre Dame.

Recruits in Attendance:

Terrance Austin, WR, Long Beach Poly
Marc Tyler, RB, Oaks Christian (2007)
Jonathan Cornell, LB, Bishop Amat
Sean Fitzgerald, WR, Mission Viejo
David Carter, DE, Kaiser
Chris Gallipo, LB, Servite (2007)
Chris Carter, LB, Kaiser (2007)
Bryan Price, OL, Crenshaw (2007)
Tyquan Knox, WR, Crenshaw/Narbonne
Andru Stewart, DB, Oaks Christian
Marcus Yarbrough, DB, Eastlake
Garrett Green, Ath, Notre Dame

Committed Players:

Jake Dean, OL, Paraclete
Altrerraun Verner, Ath, Mayfair
Christian Ramirez, Ath, Imperial
Chane Moline, RB, Mission Viejo
Kai Forbath, PK, Notre Dame
Christian Yount, LS, Tesoro
Brandon Bennett, OL, Bishop Amat
Jeff Miller, DE, Westlake
Sean Sheller, OL, Walnut
Sonny Tevaga, OL, Dominguez


As of now, to my knowledge, Allen Bradford, the elite linebacker prospect from Colton, California, is not taking his official visit this week.

It's been reported that he is visiting officially, and we've learned that Bradford does want to visit. But the visit hasn't been formalized and he could come in at a later date, on the weekend of UCLA's big recruiting weekend in December when they have many recruits visiting.


I'm hearing that there is some concern about the multiple knee injuries the sophomore offensive lineman, Chris Joseph, has suffered.

If you remember, he sat out most of last season after tearing a ligament in his left knee, then had surgery in November and sat out through spring practice.

He reinjured the knee a few weeks ago and it will require another surgery and the concern is about how much damage the knee has cumulatively suffered.


A source said that the wide receiver prospect Terrence Austin from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly had a good time on his official visit to Notre Dame.

But that Austin indicated ultimately he thought Notre Dame was too far away and too cold.

The source also said that UCLA is definitely in the driver's seat -- that he feels that Austin's official visits to other schools could be considered formalities.


We've heard that Chane Moline, the 6-2, 240-pound running back from Mission Viejo (Calif.) High, has now told the UCLA staff that he is definitely coming to UCLA.

Essentially, he no longer considers his verbal commitment a soft one.

We've been trying to get ahold of him all day today and get comments.


Darnell Gant, the junior combo forward from Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw went to the UCLA/OSU football Saturday.

Apparently he's now taller than James Keefe, who was also there.

So Gant is now 6-8+.

And he does like UCLA.

6-2 sophomore point guard Malcolm Lee from Riverside (Calif.) North was also at the game.


I've heard that Jordan Farmar has continued to look particularly good in practice, stronger and actually faster, and the coaches are very pleased with his work.

He's in incredible shape. He's first in the team's springs, even beating Darren Collison.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is expected to see the doctor today about his strained shoulder. The hope is that he'll begin practicing next week.

Center Mike Fey is a different story. He's out for at least another couple of weeks with his groin strain. He very well might not return and have practiced enough to play in the first exhibition game November 4th, but possibly by the second exhibition game November 10th.

Cedric Bozeman is gaining confidence every day in practice and is getting less tentative. At this point, it looks like he could be the starter at the three position. With the absense of Alfred Aboya, it's believed that Mbah a Moute will start at the four.



Walter Watts, on crutches
Sonny Tevaga
Brandon Bennett, who looked like he had trimmed down some
Tobi Umodu
Jake Dean
Andy Keane
Sean Sheller
Kai Forbath
Jeff Miller
Darius Savage
Jerzy Siewierski


Terrance Austin
Allen Bradford
Darian Hagan
Jonathan Cornell
Jeremy Maclin
Travon Patterson
Tyquan Knox
Sione Fua
John Reese
Toby Turpin
Al Verner
Marcus Yarbrough
J. J. Kulusich
Richard Sherman
Michael Clarke
Ryan Griffith
Andru Stewart (DB, Oaks Christian)
Elijah Wesson (RB, Dominguez)
Shane Vereen (JR RB, Valencia)
Chris Forcier (JR QB, St. Augstine)
Samson Szakscsy (JR QB, Camarillo)
Marvin Walker (JR DB, Chino)
Maxwell Lacy (JR WR, Cathedral)

There were probably about 20 more recruits there, both seniors and juniors, but the ones above were most of the big names.


Deon Thompson Recruitment Analysis:

Playing time was not the only reason Thompson picked UNC over UCLA, but it was a big determing factor.

Remember how I said the Thompson camp was naive. This is a perfect illustration.

They're naive enough to think that UCLA, with the post players it has, presents more competition for him than North Carolina. As PHS points out, Keefe and probably Aboya are fours, while Thompson is a five. And UNC is probably the one school you can guarantee that will recruit over him and easily presents the prospect of much greater competition for playing time over Thompson's four years.

It's a great illustration of how people who are contributing to the decisions of these kids are mislead, misguided, ill-informed and naive.

It's a good reminder for everyone who follows recruiting -- that most of the time the determining factor in a recruit's decision is not facts or logic, but naivete, misguided reasoning or just delusion.


The basketball team began individual workouts last week.

Early impressions are that all of the freshmen are going to play.

Perhaps the freshman doing the best so far has been Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, the 6-7 combo forward. At 228 pounds, he's capable of playing and being effective at both forward spots.

Alfred Aboya, the 6-7 post, has also looked aggressive on the block, particularly in rebounding.

Between the two senior centers, Ryan Hollins has been performing well, according to sources. In the off-season, he worked on his post-up game and is developing a hook shot. It's thought that Hollins could be edging ahead of Mike Fey at this point.

Cedric Bozeman started off the workouts a bit rusty and tentative, but reportedly has been more assertive and instinctual in the last couple of workouts.

Mike Roll, the freshman shooting guard, and Darren Collison, the freshman point guard, have also been impressive in their first work with the team.

It's difficult to make too many assesments since the workouts are limited.

Full practice starts October 15th.


There were a lot of no--show at the Washington game, by recruits who had planned to come but ended up not coming.

Committed guys attending:

Brandon Bennett
Dominique Johnson
Tobi Umodu
Sean Sheller
Sonny Tevaga
Chane Moline


Jonathan Cornell
Andre Crenshaw
Tyquan Knox
Leilyon Myers
Dwight Roberson
Toby Turpin
Al Verner

A few guys whose names you might not recognize:

Duarte WR/DB Corey Fluker (6-2, 185)
Duarte DB Le'one Fortunati (6-2, 175)
Corona Del Mar OL/DL John Fairbanks (6-5, 250)

Junior linebacker Chris Galippo (6-2, 230), considered one of the best in the country, and junior quarterback Dan Klein (6-3, 185) from Anaheim Servite.

Junior quarterback Aaron Corp (6-3, 185) from Orange Lutheran.


The UCLA football coaches used Friday as one of their six days they can be out evaluating during the current evaluation period.

A good portion of the staff was at the Crenshaw/Colton game Friday night, including Head Coach Karl Dorrell, Eric Bieniemy and Tom Cable.

Coaches were also all over the Southland during the day, going to various high schools.

I know that Gary DeLoach was in the state of Texas.

Thurmond Moore was in Alabama, at the game of UCLA-committed defensive end Reginald Stokes.


Deon Thompson, the 6-8 center from Torrance, will probably take that official visit to Kentucky on October 14th.

He could, though, visit UCLA October 21st. I've now learned that Thompson wanted to visit UCLA this weekend, but the coaches wanted him to come another weekend since school isn't in and there isn't a football game.

UCLA is one of the five finalists, so ignore any reports to the contrary you might hear about.

Howland visited Torrance's campus to watch Thompson earlier this week. Thompson is also contacting UCLA regularly.

Alex Stepheson, the 6-9 center from Harvard-Westlake, is looking like he could hold out on his decision until he takes all of his visits. He was very enamored of UNC on his official visit last weekend, but while some think he could commit soon, others believe he'll hold out.

He could visit UCLA officially in October, possibly the weekend of October 14th.

UCLA is still trying to get an official visit out of Matt Hill, the 6-9 center from Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast. They had an in-home visit with him on the 15th.

There is one foreign player that UCLA could be getting fairly serious about. But if we told you about him, we'd have to kill all of you.


James Montgomery, the 5-10, 195-pound running back from Rancho Cordova (Calif.) Cordova, who is verbally committed to Washington, is still a possibility for UCLA.

Montgomery was one of UCLA's top running back targets, but then verbally committed to Washington in July. The prior few weeks leading up to his verbal, it was thought UCLA was leading for Montgomery.


The buzz from sources tracking the festivities down at Chapel Hill is that the Tar Heels expect commitments from Spencer Hawes and Alex Stepheson very shortly. As the linked story below reminds us, North Carolina has elite seniors Hawes, Stepheson, and Thaddeus Young (who may have home town Memphis leading) visiting officially and elite junior Julian Vaughn visiting unofficially this weekend. Will the Tar Heels even have a ride available for Deon Thompson by the time he is scheduled to visit them officially on October 1?

In terms of Vaughn, the Reston (VA) South Lakes High School forward prospect, though multiple sources have reported a UCLA offer to him (and Vaughn may have more elite high major offers at this point than any prospect in the class of 2007), it appears that he will choose between North Carolina and Duke, the only two schools who have failed to offer him yet. In a perverse sort of way, it is now becoming an advantage for Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski to defy the conventional wisdom and be so selective as to wait to offer their targets well after the rest of the competition. This process seems to reinforce the exclusivity of landing a Carolina or Duke scholarship, which makes the two schools only more desirable to prospects. It must be nice.

Up at Connecticut, where Deon Thompson is visiting this weekend, if senior center prospect Jonathan Mandeldove commits soon, as multiple sources are predicting, then existing Husky commitments from Mandeldove and power forward Curtis Kelly may leave no room at the Storrs Inn for Thompson (and Stepheson, for that matter) by either exhausting available scholarships or curtailing interest of the prospects due to other committed players at the same position.

With UCLA looking to add a post player in the class of 2006 to the commitment of James Keefe, it appears to be coming down to the decisions of Stepheson and Thompson as to their Bruin scholarship offers plus the possibility of Howland obtaining the one remaining official visit of Lincoln (NE) Southeast High School senior center Matt Hill, whom he had an in-home visit with this past week.

As the November early signing period approaches and the recruiting dominoes begin to topple, options for many of these prospects will be reduced, as usual, by the commitments of their colleagues. Same thing goes for the schools.

Big Hoops Recruiting Weekend for the Tar Heels -- PHS1


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.


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.


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.


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.

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