Update on 2009 Hoops Recruiting

The Contact Period will start early in September, and UCLA basketball coaches will have a busy agenda of watching high school practices and conducting in-home visits, while having a pretty stocked slate of official visits. Things will get pretty interesting with the likes of Abdul Gaddy and Michael Snaer very soon...

On September 9th, a contact period begins, which allows college coaches to go out to high schools to watch practices, and to also have in-home visits with recruits.

Once a recruit is enrolled in his senior year in high school, which happens in September generally throughout the country, it's then permissable for him to take official visits.

So, it's a busy time for recruiting in college basketball, and UCLA, with three more spots to fill in the 2009 recruiting class, will have a busy agenda.

We're hearing that Abdul Gaddy, the 6-3 point guard from Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep, the #2-ranked point guard in the country, will more than likely visit UCLA officially on September 5th and 6th (a recruit's official visit generally starts sometime on a Friday and ends 48 hours later). We've also heard that he will visit Arizona sometime in September, also.

If you remember, Gaddy verbally committed to Arizona early, with the Wildcats being his childhood favorite. He then, in spring, recanted his verbal commitment and opened up his recruitment. UCLA got involved at that point, and the word is that they steadily have been improving their stock with Gaddy. The new coaching staff at Arizona under Lute Olson has done a good job of re-recruiting Gaddy, and the feeling in recruiting circles is that he's still leaning toward Arizona. But recently there has been some buzz that UCLA is starting to make up some ground with Gaddy, and that it's a two-horse race between Arizona and UCLA.

UCLA coaches are scheduled to have an in-home visit with Gaddy on the first day it's possible – September 9th, a few days after Gaddy's official visit. It's thought that with such exposure, if UCLA is going to overtake Arizona, those few days at the beginning of September are going to be key. The theory is that it's UCLA or Arizona, and this is UCLA's chance.

There has been some speculation about whether Gaddy would want to come to UCLA right after the Bruins loaded up on guards in the 2008 recruiting class. But it's been learned that Gaddy is comfortable with it. The thought is that Jrue Holiday is more than likely a one-and-done player, and that Gaddy would step in to play alongside Jerime Anderson in the 2009-2010 season, with Malcolm Lee sliding to the small forward spot.

The other big target for UCLA at guard is Michael Snaer, the 6-4 prospect from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, who is ranked the #22 player in the nation. Snaer has been rumored to be leaning toward Missouri, and that very well might be the case. Snaer, though, had previously said he would announce his decision by the end of August, but recently postponed that announcement. UCLA, from what we've learned, has been doing increasingly well with Snaer in recent weeks. In fact, it's believed now that it's between Missouri and UCLA for Snaer.

It's planned that he'll attend the UCLA-Tennessee game this weekend. It's believed he'll officially visit Missouri in either of the first two weekends of September, and then take his official visit to UCLA September 19th. UCLA will also be in Snaer's house in the week preceding his UCLA official visit.

Snaer, sources say, will then decide between UCLA and Missouri shortly after that.

Rounding out the Big Three in terms of UCLA's targets for the 2009 class is Tyler Honeycutt, the wing from Sylmar (Calif.) High, the #21-ranked player in the national class. UCLA is thought be doing very well with Honeycutt, competing with USC, Memphis and Texas for him. Honeycutt will have in-home visits with those four schools in September, with UCLA going into his home the second week of September. Honeycutt will take an official visit to USC a few days later, on September 12th, and is trying to arrange a visit to Memphis on either the first weekend or third weekend in September. It's believed he'll visit UCLA on September 26th, and it's thought that could be his last official visit and he could be ready to make a decision at that time (despite the fact that he told us recently that he could wait into the basketball season).

UCLA has had some hang-ups in recruiting Avery Bradley, the 6-2 guard from Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep, and the #10-ranked player in the nation. Bradley will struggle to qualify academically, and it will more than likely preclude UCLA from recruiting him seriously. For UCLA to be able to offer Bradley, he'd have to make some giant leaps academically in his first semester as a senior, and it could be too late by that time, since the early signing period is in November. Bradley has continued to maintain that his two favorite schools are UCLA and Texas. The Bruin coaches will conduct an in-home visit with Bradley the second week in September, while on the same trip to visit Gaddy.

Durand Scott, the 6-5 shooting guard from New York (New York) Rice, who is the #27-ranked player for 2009, will officially visit UCLA on September 19th, while the UCLA coaches will conduct an in-home visit with him the week before the visit, according to sources close to Scott. It's thought that Scott will be narrowing his list soon, and the schools that are pretty well accepted to be on the list are UCLA, Louisville and Miami, with the Hurricanes having been on Scott for a long time. It's believed UCLA will offer Scott a scholarship on his official visit.

Noel Johnson, the 6-5 wing from Fayetteville (Georgia) Fayette County, the #58-ranked player in the nation, recently said he intends to visit UCLA officially on September 19th, a week after he visits USC. It's unsure if that UCLA visit is definite.

Matt Vogrich, the 6-3 shooting guard prospect from Lake Forest (Ill.) High, will visit UCLA September 26th. UCLA coaches should be in for an in-home visit earlier in the month. Vogrich is currently on an official visit to Stanford, and he'll also visit Notre Dame (9/12) and Wake Forest (9/19) before he makes his UCLA visit.

Roger Franklin, the 6-5 wing from Duncanville (Tex.) High, the #43-ranked player for 2009 nationally, has yet to arrange an official visit with UCLA, though there definitely could be one in the works.

Anthony Stover, the 6-9 center from La Canada (Calif.) Renaissance, recently said he's down to four schools – UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and Washington. He's set up an official visit to Arizona State on September 6th. UCLA should be in his home the next week of September. He has yet to arrange an official visit to UCLA, but it's believed it could also be one of either the 19th or the 26th.

UCLA is still looking into the other, foreign post prospects: 6-11 Bawa Manuri, Goldsboro (North Carolina) Charis Prep, originally from Guinea; Kyryl Natyazhko, the 6-10 Ukranian prospect who plays at Brandenton (Fla.) IMG Academy; and the 6-10 Australian, Angus Brandt, from Lake Forest (Ill.) Lake Forest Academy.

A source close to Brandt indicated that UCLA will be at his high school the first week of the Contact Period to watch him play and could conduct an in-home visit with him at the time, which will probably be on the same swing when they have their in-home with Vogrich.

Natyazhko has been in his native Ukraine for a few weeks, and is due to return soon. Most programs recruiting him are waiting to see if there is documentation regarding whether he ever played for a professional club in his homeland.

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