UCLA Basketball Recruiting Roundup

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

With the late signing period just around the corner, I came across ESPN's Recruiting Class Rankings for 2009. They have UCLA at 10 which is probably about right.

CBH said after JH declared for the draft that TH and MM might be playing some shooting guard this season in addition to small forward. I have to tell you that I am more excited to see TH and MM in a Bruin uniform than any of our recruits during CBH's tenure (save KL). They are the perfect players for CBH's defense in that they are long, quick and athletic. The thought of having 6'8" and 6'7" small forwards is dangerous enough (think Corey Brewer), but moving them to shooting guard when lots of teams are going to having small backcourts--watchout. In fact, watching MM during the Nike Hoop Summit, it is pretty clear that his game and body are more suited for shooting guard (especially when--not if--he makes it to the NBA). Here is what ESPN had to say about these two:

Tyler Honeycutt (Sylmar, Calif./Sylmar) gives UCLA coach Ben Howland a perimeter scoring threat with a diversified game. As he continues to develop his body and add strength, Honeycutt could become a big-time scorer from the small forward slot.

Mike Moser (Portland, Ore./Grant) provides the Bruins with another player who can do many things on the court, including handle the ball and involve teammates. Moser needs to continue to add strength to his frame as well as work on his perimeter shooting. UCLA also will have three inside guys to complement the wing players coming to Pauley next season. also is impressed by TH labeling him the 4th best outside shooting foward saying that TH is:

He is a lethal shooter, and he also has a tremendous feel for moving without the basketball. .

I disagree with ESPN on MM's shooting. In fact, according to who attended the Nike Hoop Summit practice where the American players scheduled an impromptu 3 point contest, MM more than held his own.

The final put Mike Moser against Wall to decide the top shooter of the contest. Moser knocked down his first 11 finishing 14-of-15 easily beating Wall who got up to 4 before missing 2 in a row ending the competition.

However, MM didn't get much playing time during the actual game (which USA lost due to pathetic rebounding inside from Renardo Sidney). MM's 3s had good form and he also nearly had a putback dunk, so although his stats aren't that impressive, I came away impressed by him. Here are some more observations from about MM

Mike Moser -- 0 pts, 0-3 fg, 0-2 3p, 4 reb, 2 ast, 1 blk 9 min -- Moser got the biggest ovation from the crowd as the local kid. He was a little out of place with the rest of the talent in the game, but fit in for the most part. Although he struggled to contribute much in the game.

USA Team Head Coach John Olive gave his assessment of Moser's game saying that he's a very hard working kid with nice potential but he's a cut below the rest of the kids in terms of speed and athleticism.

I watched him knock down 14-of-15 3 pointers (11 in a row) winning the informal shooting contest besting the other USA team members, so obviously the kid has shooting ability. He's got the length and potential to make it to the NBA someday, however he lacks elite foot speed and explosiveness which means he will need to develop his body and skill set at UCLA over the next 3-4 years to get there.

In addition to complimenting TH's shooting, also named RN the third best rebounding forward saying:

Nelson can outmuscle most opponents for the ball. He also is a strong leaper and has vise-grips for hands.

ESPN adds this about RN

Reeves Nelson (Modesto, Calif./Modesto Christian) gives the Bruins toughness and effort, which have become staples of Howland's teams in recent years.

Sounds like a perfect replacement for PAA.

We have all heard of BL's great CIF game and I am very excited to see the different dimension this Keith Van Horn clone will bring to UCLA. Here is a tidbit from ESPN about BL

Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin) gives the Bruins an inside player with shooting ability that allows him to stretch defenses and play some faceup 4.

I have heard people say that AS might reshirt next year, I have never seen him play, but from youutube clips I have seen, it appears that he has excellent timing on his shotblocking. However, I don't know if he is really the 6'10" he is listed at, but who knows. Here is what ESPN thinks of AS

Anthony Stover (Los Angeles/Windward School) has the length to anchor Howland's intense pressure defense with his shot-blocking ability. As he gets stronger, Stover will become a dominant defensive force in the Pac-10. He also has surprising court awareness and passing skills for a big man.

In non-UCLA recruiting news,

  • USC lost star small forward Solomon Hill to Arizona this week. Arizona also added Kyryl Natyazhko who Rivals lists as the 9th best center (AS is 19th). So don't look now, but Sean Miller is rebuilding Arizona very quickly which as a fan of good basketball and the Pac 10, I am glad to see.
  • Besides losing Hill, USC has had Gibson, Hackett, and DeRozan all delcare for the NBA draft. Also backups Donte Smith and Mamadou Diarra are not returning next year. However, USC does appear the frontrunner for Oak Hill Academy point guard Lamont Jones. Needless to say, the USC team of present is nothing like the USC team that could have been 2 weeks ago before Timmeh flirted with Arizona.
  • Some of the top recruits still remain unsigned and could greatly affect recruitng rankings and the landscape of college baskeball next season (especially since there really is no clear cut top team or teams at this point). John Wall was amazing in the Nike Hoop Summit and looked like a more charismatic version of Derrick Rose. Xavier Henry is an amazing scorer and if he ends up at Kansas, they would be the team to beat. However, Kansas may also land one of the other top unsigned players: Lance Stephenson. I which we knew for sure if JH was coming back or not so that CBH could make a run at one of these players, but I don't think anyo of them really fit his system anyway. Also, if JH does come back, I would rather have him than any of these kids.

So now you are up to date on the state of college basketball recruiting right now. I for one can't wait for next season as CBH will have a team unlike any he has before with its dominating size and length. Exit question: since college football gets to have spring football, how come college basketball doesn't have summer basketball? I know I would watch.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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