Hoops Recruiting for 2011

UCLA is spending a great deal of time trying to finish off its 2010 recruiting class. While we've covered that for you, here's also a look at UCLA's prospects in the 2011 class, and the unique situation with UCLA and that class...

We've done a number of stories on UCLA continuing to recruit the class of 2010. This spring, the UCLA coaches have been all over the country scouting and recruiting, trying to fill two more available scholarships for the 2010-2011 season.

It's uncertain if they'll fill those rides. More than likely, you can at least expect one to be given out and UCLA has every intention of giving out both of them.

Then, if that were the case, and no one left the program or transferred by the end of 2010-2011 season, UCLA would have no scholarships to give to the 2011 class.

However, between possibly not being able to fill both available rides for 2010, and the possibility of someone currently on the roster leaving the program between now and next spring, it's probably safe to say that UCLA will have one and possibly two scholarships to give to the 2011 class.

But with such uncertainty, and such limited scholarships available, UCLA is being particularly selective in offering 2011 recruits.

It's good timing, then, that the class of 2011 in the west is particularly thin in terms of talent. Not only is there little talent, many of the elite-level prospects have academic issues that could preclude UCLA from recruiting them. In fact, many might struggle to qualify by NCAA standards.

Here are the prospects UCLA is currently recruiting and scouting in the 2011 class:

Angelo Chol, 6-7 PF/C San Diego (Calif.) Hoover. Very athletic lefty with good low-post game and shot-blocking ability. UCLA has offered Chol, and has been on him for some time. He attended the UCLA Advanced Skills Camp last July. He's the #1 player in SoCal for 2011 that has at least decent academics, which makes him a high priority. He has said Washington is his favorite in the past, but things might have changed recently, from what we're hearing. Regardless of who leads right now, it's going to be a battle for him.

Gary Bell, 6-0 PG/SG Kent (Wash.) Kentridge. A teammate of UCLA-committed Josh Smith on the Seattle Rotary club team, Bell is a very good shooter with a solid feel for the game. He's played off the ball in the summer, but we think he might play the one at the next level. UCLA has offered and has been going after him hard since the fall. We're hearing that Gonzaga and California are the current leaders, and you'd have to think that Washington will be in it, but it could be that Bell thinks Washington is loaded with guards, and will probably also get Wroten (see below).

Josiah Turner, 6-2 PG Sacramento (Calif.) High. A true point with outstanding vision and passing ability, Turner has been on UCLA's radar for some time. Originally committed to ASU, but has opened up his recruitment. UCLA has offered him conditionally on his academics improving. Kansas could be the #1 competitor here, and they're difficult to beat, currently being the #1 team in the country and having lower academic standards for admittance.

Branden Dawson. 6-5 SF, Gary (Ind.) Lew Wallace. He attended UCLA's camp, and then went out last summer and was impressive. He's been called the best rebounder – regardless of size – in the country for 2011. He's a physical and athletic force, with developing skills. UCLA has offered him, and is recruiting him hard, but it's going to be difficult to get him away from hometown Purdue, while Kentucky, Georgetown, Michigan State and others are pursuing him aggressively, too.

Norvel Pelle, 6-8 PF Los Angeles (Calif.) Price. Pelle sat out this season after transferring from Dominguez. He's a terrific prospect, but academics may make him a question mark for UCLA.

Spencer Dinwiddie, 6-3 PG Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. A slender young point, Dinwiddie is still growing and is nowhere close to physically mature. He's got an exceptional feel for the game and a very good approach. His best days are ahead of him, once he gains weight and strength. He might not quite be a UCLA-level prospect yet, but he'll be someone to watch this spring and summer. He likes UCLA, and it would be just about the best thing that could happen for the Bruins if Dinwiddie blew up.

Tony Wroten, 6-4 PG Seattle (Wash.) Garfield. A terrific passer, Wroten has received a lot of hype early in his career. He missed this past season after suffering an ACL injury while playing football. UCLA is involved, but it would be surprising if Wroten ends up in Westwood. Washington is thought to be the clear leader, and Wroten is a perfect fit for that system.

Jabari Brown, 6-3 SG Oakland (Calif.) High. UCLA hasn't shown much interest, but Brown is one of the better guard prospects in a West Coast class that isn't very deep. The Bruins very well could come around to recruiting Brown.

Kevin Bailey, 6-5 SF Clovis (Calif.) High. An explosive athlete, Bailey has had a very good junior season. Attended the UCLA Advanced Skills Camp.

Kyle Wiltjer, 6-8 PF Portland (Ore.) Jesuit. A skilled face-up four man with a very nice stroke to the stripe. Hearing from a number of high major programs, but did attend the Advanced Skills Camp.

Kyle Caudill, 6-10 C Brea (Calif.) High. Previously committed to Arizona State, but has since opened up his recruitment. He's a space-eater with a nice low-post game and developing ability to face up on the perimeter. UCLA has shown some interest, but not much since Caudill de-committed from ASU. It could be UCLA, as a reaction to its current season, is emphasizing athleticism, and might look past Caudill.

Kevin Johnson, 6-8 C Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. Johnson sat out this season after transferring from Serra. Big body and has some ability, but probably a longshot for the Bruins.

Amir Williams, 6-9 C, Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day. Williams is the #36-ranked player in the nation for 2011, and goes to the same high school as Ray McCallum (UCLA's target in the 2010 class), and he's expressed a considerable amount of interest in UCLA in the past. But it's thought that he'll probably stay in the Midwest.


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