Hoops Recruiting Update

UCLA's basketball recruiting plans are holding steady generally, with point guard Aaron Brooks as the one true target. The question of whether other prospects have been offered is answered...

Sources close to the program have indicated that Aaron Brooks, 5-11 SR PG, Seattle (Wash.) Franklin, is the only prospect UCLA has officially offered.

Despite what a few prospect have said, there have been no formal offers made to anyone other than Brooks.

UCLA does have only one scholarship available, and that scholarship has been earmarked for sometime for the point guard position, specifically for Brooks. UCLA has been scouting and recruiting wings as a backup plan if 1) they don't get Brooks and 2) if another scholarship opens up. If they don't get Brooks, a wing could possibly be more of a need than a point guard, if any scenario of various potential scenarios happens.

Brooks will visit Oregon sometime this month. Sources had indicated it would be the weekend of Sept. 21st, but Brooks recently said he wasn't sure what weekend he'd visit Eugene. He is planned to visit Oregon unofficially this upcoming weekend when the Ducks open their football season at home. Brooks also said that he plans to visit Washington, but a date also hasn't been set. It will be interesting to see if the recent news of potential recruiting violations against Washington will impact Brooks' view of the Huskies. Florida State and Minnesota are also in the picture for Brooks, but it's long been thought to be a UCLA/Oregon/Washington race. Brooks, of course, visited UCLA in June.

Speaking of official visits, the only other official visit UCLA has planned for fall is that of Omar Wilkes, 6-3 SR SG, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. Wilkes, the son of former UCLA star Jamal Wilkes, will visit UCLA officially September 21st, the same weekend as the Colorado football game. It will be one of three official visits Wilkes will have in September, also visiting Cal September 7th and Stanford September 28th. He visited Kansas in spring. UCLA has yet to offer Wilkes. It is thought that Kansas and Stanford were his leaders, but many recent rumors have Cal making a strong play for Wilkes. UCLA is the dark horse in the picture at this point, especially since they haven't offered to date.

UCLA is still recruiting Trevor Ariza, 6-7 SR SF, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester, but as stated above, sources indicate UCLA has yet to formally offer Ariza. Ariza has UCLA on his list, along with USC, Florida, UNLV, Oregon, and Indiana. Georgia and Louisville are also said to be involved. He has official visits in September arranged for UNLV and Oregon. Ariza might be questionable academically. He has stated he wants to commit by November.

This week we reported that Wendell White, 6-5 SR SG, Redondo Beach (Calif.) Redondo Union, said he had been offered by UCLA. Again, as stated above, sources tell us that White has not been offered a scholarship. UCLA has watched White, but his academics will more than likely preclude UCLA from recruiting him seriously.

Sean Marshall, 6-4 SR SG, Rialto (Calif.) Eisenhower, is still on UCLA's list, but is considered a backup option at this point. Marshall recently said he has three official visits planned in the next month or so, to Washington, Boston College and DePaul. Utah, Oregon State, Notre Dame and Virginia are other possibilities for him.

UCLA doesn't believe they have much of a chance with Charlie Villanueva, 6-9 SR SF, Blairstown (New Jersey) Blairstown Academy, and don't take the interest Villanueva has expressed in UCLA too seriously. There are still strong rumors that Villanueva will jump directly to the pros. If not, he's talking seriously about schools such as Seton Hall, Illinois and Villanova.

Sean Phaler, 6-9 SR PF, Villa Park (Calif.) High, is on the far back burner in UCLA's plans.


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