Prospects at UCLA Camp: Part 1

The UCLA Advanced Skills Camp had a very good collection of talented players, led by UCLA's incoming freshman Mike Moser and committed 2010 prospect Tyler Lamb. Here's a rundown on next year's freshmen and the standout 2010 campers...

The UCLA Advanced Skills Camp, which took place on Sunday and Monday, was a great opportunity to see a number of potential UCLA prospects in a structured setting. All of the players went through a number of skill development stations, as well as three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five games. As an aside, it was also a personal thrill to watch Jerry West address the campers Monday afternoon. There's a reason he's the logo, kids.

Here are my thoughts on the guys, grouped by class, that I believe have a chance to play at UCLA's level.

INCOMING FRESHMEN

Mike Moser, 6-7 FR SF, UCLA. A multi-dimensional forward with the length, strength and quickness to possibly defend two through four, Moser has a ton of potential. His outside shot is just fair at this time, but it's not broken and should get better with reps. As a comparison, he has a better stroke than Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at the same stage. Moser is a very good rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. His ball skills are also very good for his size – good vision and a terrific passer. He plays with great energy and makes plays all over the court. But it's as a defender where Moser has a chance to be a difference-maker. He's not quite as strong as Luc was as a frosh, but he's every bit as quick and long. I will be very surprised if Moser isn't playing significant minutes this season.

Brendan Lane, 6-9 FR PF, UCLA. The Bruins were fortunate when they missed on David and Travis Wear because Lane and Anthony Stover are going to be significantly better players than the Wear twins. Lane has a very good basketball body, with a great frame, long arms and the ability to play inside and on the perimeter. He's got a very nice stroke to the stripe, but he can also post you up in the paint. He still needs to get stronger, but that shouldn't be an issue with his frame (and he's already filled out quite a bit in the last year). He's got the ball skills and feel for the game that Coach Howland looks for in a power forward. As he matures physically, it's possible he'll be able to defend the four and five. The Bruins have a crowded frontcourt this year, with two seniors returning at power forward, so there's a question as to how much time Lane will get as a frosh. But there's no question that Lane will be a key component for UCLA going forward and it's possible he'll force himself into a significant role this year.

Anthony Stover, 6-9 FR C, UCLA. There was a reason that I wrote the following sentence sixteen months ago: "I will go to the Morgan Center and light myself on fire if the Bruins don't offer Anthony Stover." Stover's upside was, and continues to be, glaring. And in this camp he started to show some signs of the player that he could become down the road. He's nowhere close to polished offensively, but he had several nice plays in the post where he scored with either hand over size. While he's only about 6-8 to 6-9, he has ridiculously long arms (one of the reasons he's an excellent shot-blocker). He has excellent feet for a young post who is still growing into his body. He still has a ton to learn about the game, and he needs to gain weight/strength, but those things will come. The exciting thing about Stover is when you realize just how much he's improved in the last couple years – and that was done without the level of coaching, weight training, etc. he's going to receive at UCLA. Due to the crowded frontcourt, and a body that still needs weight/strength, I believe Stover is a good redshirt candidate. But if he keeps coming at the rate he's shown lately, he could be in the mix at the center spot for UCLA this season.

2010

Tyler Lamb, 6-4 SR SG/PG, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Lamb has summer school obligations on Monday, so he only played on Sunday. One day was enough, though, for him to show that he was clearly the best player in camp (other than Mike Moser). Lamb will enter UCLA as one of the more well-rounded guards that Coach Howland has recruited. He has the ability to make any play on the court to beat you. He can knock down threes, get to the rim, create for others, get a steal, block or rebound. He has excellent body control and balance, as well as the strength to convert inside as size. He will enter UCLA primarily as a shooting guard, but he has the ball skills and feel to possibly play some point guard down the road.

Kendall Williams, 6-2 SR SG, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos. While Lamb is above average in a lot of areas, Williams is a notch below in those departments. He's fairly athletic, with an average body and decent ball skills overall. He lacks the body control and balance of Lamb, though, and frequently gets into trouble with out of control forays into the lane (leaves his feet way too often). He can sometimes get away with over-powering younger opponents to get to the rim, but against comparable size and quickness that won't play at the next level. At UCLA's level, Williams doesn't have a position. His feel for the game, decision-making, body control and ball skills are not good enough for him to play the one. And at the two, he's not quite where he needs to be in terms of size, athleticism and scoring ability. With any prospect, you have to ask yourself, "What plus tool does he possess that will allow him to succeed at the next level?" And Williams doesn't have a plus tool that allows you to project him as a UCLA-level player.

Yannick Attanga, 6-6 SR PF, Ojai (Calif.) Beasant Hill. Attanga was outstanding on the first day when he grabbed seemingly every rebound and blocked dunk attempts by a couple high-level players. He is a bit undersized at the four, but he plays much bigger than his size because of his very long arms and explosive leaping ability. He gets up extremely quickly and he's relentless. His offensive skills are still very raw, though, and his ability to play the four (away from the basket) could be an issue at UCLA's level. However, he has a terrific motor and he's a great competitor – similar in those qualities to fellow Cameroonians Alfred Aboya and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. UCLA will definitely be watching him in July.

Ben Vozzola, 6-4 SR SG/PG, Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial. Vozzola had a good showing at this camp, playing with more assertiveness and physicality than I had seen from him in the past. He is still very slender and you wouldn't be shocked if someone told you he was a junior. So physical strength can be an issue for him at times, but he should be fine once he fills out. He's a good, not great, shooter (shot selection can be shaky at times). But he has plus tools in terms of his feel for the game, vision and passing ability. He might have some issues defending point guards at a high level, but might be able to give you some minutes at that spot because of his offensive skills. He's a high major prospect and I would expect UCLA to monitor him in July.

James Walker, 6-1 SR SG/PG, Los Alamitos (Calif.) High. Walker is a kid that is just starting to figure out how good he can be. He's very fast and quick, with a solid body, and a good stroke. He's not a PG yet, but he projects as a guy who can defend the one at UCLA's level. And his ball skills, feel and vision are good enough that he's intriguing to think about as a one. He has a ways to go before you would say "UCLA-level," but he's an interesting prospect with considerable potential.

I will offer my thoughts on the 2011, 2012 and 2013 kids in part two of my report on the camp.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories