It All Begins In Vegas Today

The second session of the July evaluation period begins Wednesday, and most of the best recruits in the nation are in Las Vegas to participate in five different events. Here are some of the tidbits we've heard recently on some of the guys UCLA will undoubtedly be watching this week...

It's the first day of the second session of the July evaluation period, and a great majority of the country's best prospects are in Las Vegas. They'll be participating in five different events this week, which will have college coaches putting in a great many miles and burning out their GPSes.

At the end of the first July session we provided you a pretty good idea of the new names UCLA was recruiting. They're still scout/recruiting all of those guys, and undoubtedly will make an effort to spend a great deal of time watching and "babysitting" all of those prospects.

There are, actually, a few UCLA prospects that aren't in Las Vegas. We've heard that Phil Pressey, the 5-9 point guard from Dallas (Tex.) Episcopal School, is not in Vegas.

UCLA has also started to look at Tobias Harris, the 6-7 senior post from Dix Hills (New York) Half Hollow Hills West, the #6-ranked power forward in the country, who also is reportedly not in Vegas this week.

UCLA-committed Tyler Lamb, the 6-4 junior from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, as we reported, will not be here because of summer school. We had heard he might play this weekend, but we've recently learned he very well might skip all of Vegas.

Over the course of the week here, UCLA, as stated above, will see just every player we mentioned in the last update and quite a few more.

A few more names we've heard UCLA is trying to get involved with are:

Jelan Kendrick, the 6-6 senior small forward from Atlanta (Georgia) Westlake, the #3-ranked small forward in the nation.

Dwight Powell, a 6-9 post from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, who originally is from Canada.

Mike Shaw, the 6-8 junior post from Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle, the #4-ranked power forward in the national class of 2011.

UCLA's primary effort in Vegas will be to attend every game of Josh Smith, the 6-9 center from Kent (Wash.) Kentwood, and 6-0 point guard Ray McCallum from Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day. These are the two un-committed prospects that UCLA has offered in the 2009 class.

Probably the best event of the week is a one-day event Tuesday called the GBOA Challenge of Champions. In one day, on one court, UCLA coaches will be able to see many of their top prospects in the 2010, 2011, 2012 and even the 2013 classes.

While we've reported on who UCLA is recruiting, we've learned that among the younger guys UCLA is showing serious interest in is Norvel Pelle, the 6-8 junior post from Compton (Calif.) Dominguez; Branden Dawson, the 6-5 junior small forward from Gary (Ind.) Wallace; Josiah Turner, the 6-1 junior point guard from Sacramento (Calif.) High, Shabazz Muhammad, the 6-4 sophomore wing from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, and Eric Cooper, Jr., the 6-0 freshman point guard from La Verne (Calif.) La Verne Lutheran.

This is not to say that UCLA isn't showing serious interest in many other prospects, but these are definitely some of the names they'll undoubtedly makea priority to see this week in Vegas.


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