Hoops: The Team and Recruiting

The team suffers a couple of injuries in its pre-season workouts, while a couple of freshmen compete for starting positions; In recruiting, UCLA is down to the wire for 6-9 post Alex Stepheson...

According to sources, 6-7 freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute suffered an injury to his shoulder during the pre-season workouts.

A preliminary diagnosis on Mbah a Moute indicated it was just a shoulder strain, but he underwent an MRI Wednesday night, which will get read today (Thursday).

Center Michael Fey strained a groin.

Fey hasn't participated in the workouts the last couple of days, and he will also will undergo an MRI.

Mbah a Moute, according to some sources, has been playing well enough to probably project as the starter at the small forward spot, before his injury.

Reports also indicate that Alfred Aboya, the 6-7 freshman, is doing well and could be the leading candidate to start at the open four spot.


The contact period, which allows college coaches to meet with players for in-home and in-campus visits, is now over.

Alex Stepheson, the 6-9 post from Studio City (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake, took an official visit on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Immediately following his official visit to Westwood, he had an in-home visit with North Carolina coach Roy Williams.

UCLA assistant Donny Daniels was on Harvard-Westake's campus Wednesday. Head Coach Ben Howland had used all of the personal visits allotted to him with Stepheson.

Stepheson is deciding between UCLA, UNC, Connecticut and Georgia Tech.

He has completed his official visits and the word is that he'll decide by Monday, and possibly sooner.

An interview with Stepheson's high school coach yesterday indicated he had narrowed his choices to North Carolina and Connecticut. But very good sources told us that wasn't the case. In fact, they indicated it could be between UCLA and North Carolina.

A source told us that Deon Thompson's commitment to North Carolina hasn't really affected Stepheson's opinion of the Tar Heels. Interestingly, though, North Carolina has a number of other prospects that are rated higher than Stepheson that they're still recruiting, and who also could commit to the Tar Heels.

It's believed Stepheson's family would want him to stay close to home and attend UCLA, but Stepheson himself is intrigued with going away to school at North Carolina.

As we've reported exclusively, UCLA is also interested in a foreign frontcourt player. If UCLA misses on Stepheson, they'll more than likely step up their recruitment of the player, who is reportedly a 6-9, 230-pound skilled post.

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