Wednesday at the Vegas Tournaments

We had a chance to see a number of younger prospects Wednesday, including junior shooting guard Daniel Bajarano and sophomore shooting guard Tony Wroten, and many more. UCLA coaches were out watching their 2009 targets, and looking for more...

Our first game on Wednesday was EBO's, featuring UCLA-committed Brendan Lane, the 6-8 forward from Rocklin (Calif.) High. Lane had a better game Wednesday morning than he did Tuesday, being more active around the basket getting rebounds, while he was going up against wide load Joe Burton from Hemet (Calif.) West Valley. He defended Burton well, having two inches on Burton and matching his quickness while being out-weighed by at least 50 pounds.

UCLA assistants Donnie Daniels and Scott Duncan were in attendance.

Seattle Rotary was next, with Josh Smith, the 6-9 junior center. UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland sat right under the basket where Smith did most of his damage, corralling rebounds and throwing down putbacks.

There were too many college coaches in the little auxiliary gym at Rancho high school to name them.

Also on Seattle Rotary is sophomore shooting guard, Tony Wroten from Seattle (Wash.) Garfield. Wroten is talented, with good athleticism to go along with some advanced skills for his age, even though he can be out of control at times. We've heard that UCLA has already shown interest in Wroten and you can expect UCLA to recruit him seriously.

Seattle Rotary blew out its opponent, Pat Barrett's once-great Southern California All-Stars, who are definitely in a down-year (slide?) talent-wise. The one elite prospect on the squad is 6-6 junior wing Anthony Brown from Huntington Beach (Calif.) Ocean View. Brown has some very nice perimeter skills, executing like a point guard at times while being able to hit feathery jumpers from beyond the arc and smoothly on the pull-up. He's still skinny and looking like he's growing into his body, which is exactly what you like to see from a youngster, but he continues to get more physical control every time we see him. We hear he comes from a great family, his parents both being educators, and gets good grades (as you'd imagine) – really a good "fit" for UCLA.

UCLA has been doing its early due diligence on Brown.

Demetrius Walker, the 6-4 shooting guard from San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) Serra, who plays for SCA, surely hasn't lived up to the massive hype he received as a freshman when he was called the "next LeBron James" and had his picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In our opinion, he's not an elite high major prospect, but we're hearing that he could be a done deal for USC.

Howland next watched Double Pump Elite and 6-9 center Anthony Stover from La Canada (Calif.) Renaissance. As we say repeatedly, Stover gets better with every outing, again Wednesday looking more forceful getting rebounds and scoring around the basket, to go along with his excellent shot-blocking ability. He had a couple of nice pivots along the baseline for lay-ins, and on one sequence caught the ball at the free-throw line, swept the ball, bounced it once, pulled-up and hit a 10-foot jumper.

We didn't see Pump N Run Elite today, but we were told by some in attendance that Howland, in fact, did. The Pumps actually beat the Atlanta Celtics, one of the traditionally premier AAU programs in the country. Tyler Honeycutt, the 6-7 small forward from Sylmar who is one of UCLA's big targets, reportedly hit some big shots. UCLA-committed Kendall Williams reportedly had 20 points.

Elijah Johnson, the 6-2 guard from Las Vegas Cheyenne, was expected to join the team, but he opted to play with his hometown crew, the Las Vegas Prospects.

UCLA's Scott Duncan was seen at the Prospects' game, probably watching Anthony Marshall, the 6-2 guard from Las Vegas Mojave, for a second day. Sources have indicated that Marshall would like UCLA to recruit him seriously. Currently he's hearing from some of the Pac-10, claiming offers from Washington and Washington State, as well as Gonzaga, Miami and Virginia. The issue with Marshall is, at 6-2 (possibly even 6-1), he's not really a true point and not really a true shooting guard. He is a guy, though, who can do many things for you, like give you time at the point guard spot and effectively guard ones and smaller two guards, while also being that "glue" type of guy on offense – the one who makes everyone better around him. It will be interesting to see if UCLA's interest in Marshall increases, and if, say, it doesn't work out for UCLA with Michael Snaer, the 6-4 shooting guard from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde or Avery Bradley, the 6-2 shooting guard from Tacoma (Wash.) Prep, whether they'd offer Marshall. And the other issue on the other side of the equation: Would Marshall want to just be a "glue" guy, or does he have grander ideas about his role at the elite high-major level?

Snaer, in fact, didn't have a great game Wednesday evening, playing in a mess of a game where many times he just came down, crossed half-court and shot the ball. There were many coaches in the gym, including UCLA's Duncan, as well as those from Michigan, Marquette, Cal, UNLV and Oklahoma. In a morning game which we didn't see, apparently Snaer made many of those 27-footers, scoring 33 points.

A day after we reported the inside skinny that Arizona is the clear leader for Abdul Gaddy, the elite 6-3 point guard from Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep, another source told us they thought UCLA was making some in-roads. We still tend to believe the source that told us Arizona is clearly the team to beat.

We didn't see it, but Avery Bradley was a scoring machine Wednesday, going off for 35 and 34 points in two different games.

UCLA is definitely focusing on the shooting guard position, and we heard that they've been gauging the interest of Dominic Cheeks, the 6-5 senior guard from Jersey City (New Jersey) St. Anthony's, the #3-ranked shooting guard in the country and the #11 player overall. Cheeks was on the USA Under-18 squad, the same team that had UCLA incoming freshman Malcolm Lee. Cheeks was expected to play in the Adidas Super 64 here in Vegas this week with his team, The Playaz, but apparently he was still too tired from playing with the USA Team in Argentina.

Wednesday we did get a chance to see Mike Moser, the 6-6 senior small forward from Portland (Ore.) Grant who is verbally committed to Arizona. Moser is easily one of our favorites in the 2009 class, with a great body and length, and a remarkable quickness for his size. He literally could guard anyone from the 1 to the 4, and did so Wednesday, guarding a 5-7 point guard. He is very active on the offensive end, is an excellent passer and handles the ball very well, despite not having a very dependable jump shot at this point. The stroke looks fairly good but it just doesn't go down. Overall, he's very reminiscent of UCLA's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. It's funny, too, and ironic, that Arizona has a commitment from the UCLA-type recruit in Moser, a guy you could see Howland loving, and UCLA is pursing the more traditional type of Arizona guy, Tyler Honeycutt. It'd be difficult, at this point, to pick which ones is best. It would pretty much come down to, with Moser, you're getting a great athlete and defender, who has the chance to develop into a pro. With Honeycutt, you're getting offense, a guy who also has a chance to develop into a pro.

We got our first chance to see Daniel Bejarano, the 6-4 junior shooting guard from Phoenix (Ariz.) North. Bajarano played very well in a couple of spring events and is now being ranked among the best shooting guards in the nation for 2010. Bajarano's strength is certainly his ability to shoot, with a very nice stroke, burying 4 threes in the game we saw with ease. He has good hops and used them effectively around the basket for rebounds, being a very effective rebounder for a two guard. He also has a good feel to the game, with some nice looks to his teammates, even though he's a bit enamored of jumping to pass. We need to see him a few more times to come up with a more thorough assessment, but it appeared he had just decent lateral quickness, which kept him from putting the ball on the floor, being far more comfortable just catching and shooting from the outside. His handle was, also, just okay at this point. His body is already fairly built-out, which doesn't give him much upside physically. He's probably certainly a high major because of that shooting ability and feel, but it will be interesting to see how much room he has to develop.

Bajarano has said that he has interest in UCLA, and Bruin assistant Scott Duncan was at his afternoon game.

We didn't, however, get to see Terrance Ross, the 6-5 junior wing from Portland (Ore.) Jefferson, Wednesday. He's not playing with his AAU squad, Team Jones, due to summer school, reportedly. We had heard he might have also had some kind of physical condition that kept him from playing, but we'll check into it further.

On the same team is 6-6 junior Terrance Jones, another 2010 prospect getting strong recruiting attention. Jones, a left, broke a finger on his right hand and had it heavily taped Wednesday, so he was playing basically one-handed Wednesday. Jones is an effective all-around player, but he's been called a small forward, and it's a question of whether he's that or really an undersized four. He doesn't appear to have the quickness to be a three, or guard threes, and he's quite a bit more comfortable scoring around the basket than he is facing it.

We didn't see it, but we hear that 6-1 junior point guard Jordin Mayes from Los Angeles Westchester played very well Wednesday. Not only did he show his great feel as a point guard, but was more aggressive getting into the lane and creating from there.

So far, we have video of the following prospects:

Abdul Gaddy
Avery Bradley
Brendan Lane
Anthony Marshall
Michael Snaer
Josh Smith
Tony Wroten

We'll, of course, collect more video highlights the rest of the week and have them for you on the site next week.


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