This is an amalgam from reports by Scout.com's Greg Hicks, Dave Telep, Eric Bossi and Evan Daniels on Thursday's development and action concerning UCLA prospects.
Some of Bossi's comments came from the Hoop City Classic in Kansas City. UCLA assistant coach Donnie Daniels has been in Kansas City this week.
Trevor Releford, PG, KC Pump ‘n Run: We love guys who keep improving and Releford's star has been on the rise since late in the spring. He's got elite speed and we haven't seen anyone keep him or Joe Jackson out of the paint. Unfortunately, an injury to Ricky Kreklow means he's got a lot on his plate. Pump ‘n Run lost both games on the opening day.
Anthony Brown, SF, So Cal AS: His first half in Vegas was laced with turnovers as his club trailed at the break to PAL of DE. The second half resembled more of the prospect we know him to be as Brown stroked a few 3s and got on the glass. His rebounding sets him apart from others at his position and makes him a valuable long term prospect at the highest level.
Trey Zeigler, SG, Team Detroit: The New York Panthers won't want to see him again, that's for sure. The strong bodied wing player gave them buckets; 25 points to be specific. Love his mid-range, like how he finishes with strength and doesn't shy from contact. You wouldn't know at first glance, but Zeigler has sneaky bounce. He's the kind of guy you win a lot of games with in college and should be an all-league caliber player over his career.
Jelan Kendrick, PG, Memphis Magic: Without getting carried away and saddling expectations on a guy, I'll say this: Kendrick is the closest thing we've seen to Shaun Livingston since 2004. The bodies and games are similar. Livingston was a superior passer at the same age (one of the best this decade) while Kendrick has more scoring tools. Livingston delivered the goods each time out, Kendrick's game is maturing and he's made great strides since last summer. Tossing him onto the Magic's roster is like dropping Albert Pujols in the Dodgers lineup and asking him to hit behind Manny.
Josh Smith, 6-9 C Kent (Wash.) Kentwood. Smith sat out much of the first half with foul trouble, but he was dominating in the second half. He looks better than he did in the spring when he was somewhat sluggish. Very light on his feet for a big kid and he has terrific hands. When he gets close to the rim, he's very difficult to stop.
Cameron Wright, SG, King James- Noticeably bulked up, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard was really looking to attack off the dribble. He's added some burst and really improved his ball handling and play making for others. Would have liked for him to finish better around the bucket, but he was balling.
Phil Pressey, PG, Team Texas- After struggling to find his groove during the spring, the springy Texan has found it during July. Didn't shoot the ball quite as well as he did at time during the Peach Jam, but was effective. When he plays with energy, he gets a lot done.
Angelo Chol, PF/C, So Cal AS: Drew a big opening game crowd as far as head coaches are concerned. Excellent finisher, gets his hands on a lot of balls and keeps involved in a ton of plays. He's a workingman's big man.
Josiah Turner, PG, Double Pump 2011 – We've harped on his motor at times, but during today's mid day peformance there's not a ton we can gripe about other than a few turnovers here and there. Turner was more aggressive than we've seen recently, as he attacked the rim, showed a mid-range game and knocked down a deep jumper when Double Pump was crawling back into the game.
Kyle Caudill, C, Double Pump 2011 – With his future coaches from ASU looking on, Caudill played fairly well against the Celtics. Because of his size, he's able to clear space inside and scored a number of buckets off put backs or low post catches that were so deep it was nearly impossible to block. Caudill, who is limited athletically, has a great set of mitts, nice touch around the basket and is capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers.
Gary Bell, 6-1 PG/SG Kent (Wash.) Kentridge. Bell has been somewhat overshadowed by his more highly hyped Seattle Rotary teammate Tony Wroten, but Bell is the better prospect. He's got a terrific body, with a very good feel for the game and a good stroke to the stripe. He's not a true point guard, but he can certainly defend a one and he has the right approach to play point guard.
Norvel Pelle, 6-8 PF Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. Coaches from some of the top programs in the country came to watch Terrence Jones, but it was Pelle who put on the show and made it obvious to everyone in attendance that he's one of the elite power forwards in the country for 2011. From the opening play of the game when he blocked a dunk attempt by I-5's Jordan Railey, Pelle set the tone for the game. And he really got everyone's attention with consecutive tip dunks (in traffic) on two straight plays in the second half. His recruitment has been limited pretty much to West Coast programs so far, but that's about to change after this performance.
Tony Wroten, 6-4 PG Seattle (Wash.) Garfield. Wroten has definitely lost some explosiveness/quickness from where he was last summer. He has difficulty going by guys now and instead tries to use power. His shot has become much flatter and he's struggled shooting from the perimeter. He does have exceptional passing ability, but needs to learn to make the simple play rather than always trying for the crowd-pleasing no-look pass.
Amir Williams, PF/C, The Family 16's- It was a productive outing for Williams as he blocked shots and scored at the rim. The lean big man really runs the floor and looks the part of a high level guy. Even better, are days like Wednesday when he plays the part on both ends of the floor.
Ray McCallum, aside being a very good player, he's got big time character. "We're recruiting him because my program needs more character," a college coach said. Get in line...
Phil Pressey snuck in a visit to Missouri during late June and the Tigers have been making it clear to him that he's their guy. UCLA and Baylor both had assistants on hand as well...
Dwight Powell had a number of new schools try and get in the mix after his strong showing at the King City Classic (among them UCLA). But he said for the most part he's shutting his deal down. He listed Stanford, Harvard, California, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech...
Trey Zeigler said he will definitely visit Arizona State and UCLA. His father, the head coach at Central Michigan, has been putting a bug in his ear about playing for dad. LSU, Arizona, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Syracuse and Oklahoma are involved...
Junior Amir Williams mentioned Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Providence, Purdue, UCLA, Ohio State, Tennessee and DePaul...
Ben Vozzola had a crowd of coaches from Arizona State, Gonzaga, UCLA, UNLV, Washington State, Oregon State and San Diego at his game.
Coaches from Washington, UCLA, Texas and Kansas were monitoring Josh Smith.
Norvel Pelle had coaches from Kansas, Washington and North Carolina in attendance at his game.