Kingwood: A Look at Sophomores

With UCLA's recruiting for the class of 2007, current juniors, looking like a pretty elite, limited group, we watched quite a few sophomores (2008 class) this weekend in Houston that UCLA has already shown interest in or could...

Elston Turner, Jr., 6-4 SO SG/SF Sacramento (Calif.) Roseville. Turner is a big, strong wing in the mold of an Arron Afflalo type. Like Afflalo, he's not an explosive athlete (although he's a better athlete than Afflalo at the same age), but he has a very high skill level for a young player. He can make plays off the dribble – nice handle – and he has a very good stroke to the stripe. He showed a nice feel for the game in the one viewing we had over the weekend. It's still early, but Turner is in the running to be among the elite wings in the West Coast class of 2008. With continued development, a potential elite, high major prospect. Turner is the son of a former NBA player and current Sacramento King assistant by the same name. UCLA head coach Ben Howland and assistant Kerry Keating attended one of Turner's games this weekend.

Andy Poling, 6-10 SO C Portland (Ore.) Westview. Poling looks about the same physically as he did when we last saw him in December. He struggled in the one game we saw on Saturday, as he didn't have the strength to hold his position inside against older players. We've seen Poling do some very impressive things in the past, so we're not going to place too much emphasis on one mediocre performance. However, he does need to add weight and strength if he's too reach the highest level. He's never going to be a spectacular athlete but, if he gets strong enough, he'll eventually be a good low-block scorer in college. His ultimate level is going to depend on how his body goes. Howland and Keating watched Poling at Kingwood.

Malcolm Lee, 6-3 SO PG Riverside (Calif.) North. Long and rangy, Lee has good size for a point guard and he might play some two as well. He's a good, not great, athlete and he could end up a very good defender if he puts his mind to it. He's got a solid shot to the stripe, with good quickness and the ability to make plays off the dribble. His handle is adequate at this time. He's got good vision and he can make plays for others, but there's a little too much flash to his game. He needs to tone it down and make the simple play, because there's a lot of wasted motion in his game right now. Lee has the physical attributes, and skill level, to develop into an outstanding player. Where he needs to improve is in his approach to the game. If he can become more of a true point, making good decisions and playing to win (rather than making highlight plays), he has a chance to be a big-time prospect. Howland watched Lee twice in Houston.

Patrick McCollum, 6-1 SO PG/SG Seattle (Wash.) Mt. Tahoma. McCollum has a good body, with solid shoulders and good length. He's got some quickness and he might end up able to defend either guard spot. But McCollum's real value at the next level is as a scorer. He's got an excellent stroke and the ability to shoot off the bounce from deep. He's more of a scoring lead guard than a true point. He's a sleeper who we think is going to blow up this summer. A high major prospect.

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