Aaron Brooks, 5-11 SR PG, Seattle (Wash.) Franklin, is at the ABCD in New Jersey. I'm not there yet; I'm still at the Nike Camp in Indianapolis. I've heard that he's playing well, not spectacularly, but solidly. When I get there (tomorrow), I'll definitely hunt him down and get an update from him.
Sean Phaler, 6-9 SR PF, Villa Park (Calif.) High, who UCLA is still recruiting to a degree, has missed the Nike Camp due to injury. I didn't get the details of the injury, but I had heard he was going to try to recover in time for the Big Time tourney in Vegas the last week of the month.
Yesterday was the first day that college coaches could be out, and Steve Lavin and Gerald Madkins are in Indianapolis at the Nike Camp (Jim Saia is in New Jersey at adidas's ABCD camp). Lavin and Madkins were scouting point guards, having watched the game of Ryan Appleby, 6-2 SR PG, Stanwood (Wash.) High. Appleby, though, played just okay, looking like he was a little out of his league. Florida had been recruiting him, but it will be interesting to see if they continue to do so. Washington and Stanford are also involved. However, he hasn't taken the SAT, which makes it hard for Stanford to recruit him seriously.
I've spoken with many prospects, and have talked with other national recruiting reporters who have spoken with national prospects. With only one scholarship to give, and with that targeted for Aaron Brooks, I haven't heard that UCLA is on the list of any other rising senior at the Nike Camp. I'll keep trying to run down other prospects that are interested in UCLA.
One rising sophomore, Zarron Cann, 6-4 SG/SF, from Seffner, Florida, mentioned UCLA yesterday on a very early list.
Sources indicate that Evan Burn, UCLA's prized recruit, isn't qualified just yet. He's currently taking a couple of summer school classes that he needs to qualify. The chances are that they'll be satisfactory in getting him qualified.
Other sources indicate that Andre Patterson is still very much a question for next season. His summer school classes at UCLA will determine whether he's eligible academically next fall.
Say No Update:
Now, again, take reports from Say No with a grain of salt. It's a wide-open, pick-up game type of environment and isn't necessarily a great indication of how a player will perform in a structured team environment.
Reliable sources at the Say No League report that Mike Fey, the long-awaited center prospect, has now finally shown up and played. He was sporting a new fro, and a biker-type beard, looking about 6-11 and in the 240 to 245 range. He, reportedly, is somewhat out of shape, though, running out of gas in the run-and-go Say No. He showed some encouraging flashes. He showed some good, developing skills, hitting a couple of nice 15-footers and a jump hook. He also showed springs with a couple of big jams off offensive rebounds. He looked good rebounding, not great, but good. As he got in the flow, his defense improved, and he showed good timing in his shot blocking attempts. He also showed good passing instincts. And probably the most encouraging was that he was physical, throwing some forearms around and being tough inside.
Overall, there were encouraging signs, but he still has a ways to go by next season if he's going to make a big impact on next year's team.
Other reports about Ryan Hollins are probably even more encouraging. Hollins has looked quick and agile, and with some ever-improving skills. UCLA very well could need Hollins not to redshirt next year and to secure his eligibility for the season to provide the team another option at center. There are some that have seen both Hollins and Fey at the Say No and believe that Hollins has just as good a chance – and possibly a better one – of seeing significant minutes than Fey.