Latest On UCLA Hoops Recruiting

This is a big week for UCLA basketball recruiting, with some considerable news coming about 6-10 senior center J'mison Morgan, the #23-ranked player in the nation, some more developments with Alex Stepheson, the 6-9 transfer from North Carolina, and more...

J'mison Morgan will announce Thursday what college he'll be attending next fall, according to sources.

Morgan, the 6-10 center from Dallas (Tex.) South Oak Cliff, recently moved up to the #23-ranked player in the national class of 2008 by Scout.com.

Many sources are indicating that Morgan will announce his school of choice is UCLA.

The talented post will announce his decision at his high school at 10:00 a.m.. Note: As of Thursday morning, the press conference was postponed until Monday.

If Morgan does announce for UCLA, it would complete what is already widely considered the #1 recruiting class in the country. Scout.com just released its final rankings of the recruiting classestoday and had UCLA #1, without Morgan.

Morgan will join guard Jrue Holiday, #4; guard Jerime Anderson, #31; guard Malcolm Lee, 39; and post Drew Gordon, #42.

We've learned that Lee, in fact, was instrumental in getting Morgan to UCLA. Lee and Morgan had established a friendship by playing with each other in various events over the years, and Lee recruited Morgan to UCLA.

As of Tuesday, UCLA had not received Morgan's transfer paperwork, but it was expected to be at UCLA by today. UCLA can't contact Morgan or his family until they have a copy of the release from his NLI to LSU.

Morgan will not be able to sign a National Letter of Intent, since NCAA rules stipulate that once a recruit has signed one he can't sign another until the next school year. Morgan can sign a Grant in Aid, which binds the school to a scholarship, but does not bind the player. That means that, even though Morgan has signed the document, he'd still be able to go elsewhere until he's actually enrolled. Sources, however, feel that if Morgan does commit to UCLA it would be a very solid commitment.

Morgan could enroll as early as UCLA's July summer session.

Alex Stepheson, the 6-9 sophomore post that left North Carolina, was on UCLA's campus Tuesday night with his family meeting with the UCLA coaching staff.

Stepheson is thought to be favoing UCLA at this time, since it's close to home, having grown up in Los Angeles and attended Studio City (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake. One of the primary reasons Stepheson left North Carolina was because of the poor health of his father and his wish to be close to him.

We've heard that Stepheson will also visit USC sometime this week.

Stepheson would have to sit out a year wherever he transfers. It's been thought that he could have his sit-out year waived because of his father's illness, but sources are saying it's highly unlikely.

If he isn't granted the waiver, Stepheson would sit out and then be a redshirt junior for the 2009-2010 season.

If UCLA got both Morgan, it would be full-up on the allowed 13 scholarship players allowed for next season.

Visiting campus Monday was 6-10 freshman Kyle Caudill from Brea (Calif.) Brea-Olinda. On campus Tuesday was Tyler Lamb, the 6-4 sophomore guard from Ontario (Calif.) Colony. Another source has indicated that 6-9 junior center Anthony Stover from La Canada (Calif.) Renaissance is expected to be on campus later this week.


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