Wearing a different shade of blue? Photo Credit: brianmka (flickr)
So Terrence Jones not too surprisingly "committed" to Washington yesterday. I had to LOL at the reports in the traditional media about UCLA somehow "losing out" on this power forward from Northwest. Only the delusional and ignorant thought there was some kind of realistic shot of Jones ending up at UCLA.
UCLA was never a factor in his recruiting. He was never a fit academically (something well plugged in Washington fans also alluded to wrt to UCLA on Bruin message boards). I wish the UCLA coaches had stopped chasing him this spring and didn't allow the name of the program associated with his recruiting. They showed the same display of tone-deafness in this situation like they did with the recruiting of Ray McCallum and Jrue Holiday's one year "stay" in Westwood.
Anyway, the bizarre recruiting saga of Jones is not over yet per Percy Allen from the Seattle Times. Jones hasn't signed his LOI yet and John Calipari is putting on a last minute full-court guilt-trip press to get Jones to Lexington:
Kentucky coach John Calipari called Jones after his announcement and Jones was on the phone for a very long time. About 15 minutes. Reading body language, Jones seemed pained.
He told me, "You hurt thousands of people just as much as you make people happy."
Jones' mother said if he hadn't chosen Washington, he was going to pick Kentucky.
LOL. Okay then. Whatever. Not our headache and he never was at least on BN.
Now going back to our roster wanted to share some info about transfer(s) into our program. More after the jump.
There is no reason not to talk about this anymore. We heard about this possibility early in the week through some friends and now the message board for UCLA is lit up with the discussion of the Wear twins transferring to UCLA. If you are a follower of Southern California/college hoops recruiting scene you should know about them. If not here is a little intro before they went on to commit to Carolina:
You can also check out more high school highlights here. Luke Wynn from SI.com also had a pretty good write up on them. I know. I am sure all of you here are going to get instantly excited about two more McDonald All Americans from the OC in the mold of James Keefe transferring into our program.
We are trying to make sense of exactly what Ben Howland might be thinking but still are unsure. I guess here are some of the positives I can think of from the Wear twins:
- They are both high character and coachable kids. They have always been grounded in fundamentals (sons of a coach) through their days at Mater Dei (if they come in we will have 3 kids of Mater Dei on scholarship next season). I think given how burnt Howland felt with the class of 2008, I can see him putting a premium on high character kids and Wear twins fit that mold.
- Both of them had injury plagued freshman season. When they played though the Tar Heels fans were generally impressed with the effort they gave on the court. If they come in and red-shirt for a season in Howland's program, they could be in decent position to contribute for couple of years in our programs.
Now here are the drawbacks:
- We need athletics guards and point-forwards in roster. The only two guys with potential NBA quality athleticism in our roster right now are Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt. That is it. Perhaps Josh Smith could be one of those guys but he has to get in shape. May be Tyler Lamb can fit that role but we certainly shouldn't be counting so much on a freshman.
- If we take the Wear Twins we will just have one more scholarship available this season which could be potentially spent on Remi Barry. Next season then at best we will have to make three scholarships available for the talent coming in for the class of 2011. That means we basically have to expect that either Lee or Honeycutt or both of them will be going on to the NBA or look at more transfers out of the program to make room for a class of 4 or 5 talented kids into the program.
- The track record of elite basketball "talent" from the OC area has not been very good in Westwood. James Keefe gave it his all but he was just undercut by injuries and bad management decisions. Michael Roll was great but was never meant to be a program defining player. Cedric Bozeman salvaged his legacy in Westwood with a great senior season but in a supporting role. I am not giving up on Jerime Anderson but so far well he has been a disaster.
So honestly I am not sure what to think about this development. Part of me sees what Howland might be thinking in terms of rebuilding this program with good kids. I like that part a lot. However, the other part of me is wondering how they will actually make us competitive and get us back to where we were just two years ago: perennial top 5/10 program year and year out.
If they do come in, I will get behind them and be supportive of them. Yet as we have said all along the pressure will be on Howland to get the program back on track within next two seasons. Sure hope these kids will be able to step up in a meaningful way when they are eligible to contribute in Westwood.