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Gaddy (Recruiting) Thoughts

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Let’s follow up on the recruiting fall out from Lute Olson’s tragic retirement from Arizona. We all wish Lute well. It didn’t take that long though for three Arizona high profile recruits – Abdul Gaddy Jr, Mike Moser, and Solomon Hill – to decommit from next year’s class. Right now UCLA is going to get involved with two of these kids: Gaddy and Moser. For Gaddy, per Dohn’s report today it might come down between Washington and UCLA:

The father of highly regarded high school point guard Abdul Gaddy Jr. said his son could decide between UCLA and Washington within a week, and added the family learned Arizona coach Lute Olson was retiring from a UCLA assistant the night before the story broke.

Gaddy, a 6-foot-3 senior at Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma (Wash.), twice committed to Arizona, and de-committed for a second time when Olson announced his retirement last week. A few weeks ago Gaddy pared his college choices to UCLA and Arizona, but Abdul Sr. said what transpired with Olson made the family re-evaluate Washington.

"How (Washington) got back involved was after the Arizona situation, I think (Abdul Jr.) thought, 'You know what, maybe this is a sign to stay close to home?' " Abdul Sr. said. "He works out with some of the players at Washington, including Isaiah Thomas, one of the freshman that came in this year. And the location being 40 minutes from our home plays into it."

Abdul Sr. said he believes his son wants to sign with a school during the early period, which begins Nov. 12. He added the decision to de-commit stems from the uncertainty enveloping Arizona's program.

Reading the tea leaves it seems like right now Washington is probably the favorite to get a commitment from Gaddy. On paper arguments for Ben Howland and UCLA basketball program are overwhelming.

We don’t need to lay out the specific stats. concerning our national championships, our appearances in the Final-4, and the recent amazing run under Ben Howland (dominating the conference for last three seasons). Those numbers speak of themselves.

Also, the evidence can’t get any clearer in terms of CBH’s ability to develop elite point guards at UCLA. I don’t see any need to rehash what Howland has done with JF, AA, RW and DC last few years in Westwood.

A Gaddy commitment to UCLA also makes sense in terms of UCLA’s current roster. Even though getting Gaddy will be icing on the cake for the great recruiting class Howland has put together this year (following last year’s number 1 recruiting class), he still would fit in well in terms of roster needs. If JH and ML have great seasons in next two years, one of them could explore the option of leaving early. Having Gaddy in the fold would enable Howland and his coaching staff to have a seamless transition in terms of roster movement.

So with that and the fact that UCLA just barely missed out with Gaddy last time around, it seems like a no brainer argument for Bruins. However, as we all know recruiting can be an interesting world. The allure of staying close to home can be very strong for recruits and their parents. In addition given the fact that they have now gotten jolted twice by a major program in this process, I can see how the Gaddies would want to think about staying close to home. That is why I think right now it will not be a surprise (to me at least) if Gaddy decides to stay close to home. Then again, we know how tenacious Howland and his staff can be (Howland is already up in Tacoma, WA to recruit Gaddy), so we are not going to count them out.

Meanwhile, as mentioned above there is another elite Arizona recruit who has opened up his recruiting process. 6-7 wing Mike Moser from Portland (Ore) is looking at other options, which might include UCLA. From what I hear Moser could wait till Spring to make his final decision. A key data point, I am sure Howland and his staff will point out in their pursuit of Moser will be the following news coming out of Milwaukee this week. LRMAM is in serious consideration for breaking into the starting line up for Milwaukee Bucks:

The Bucks open their home season on Saturday night against Toronto.

Skiles said he had made a decision on whether to start rookie Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in the opener, but he declined to reveal it. On Friday after the Bucks lost in overtime to the Bulls, Skiles said he was considering putting the second-round pick in the starting lineup.

If Mbah a Moute starts, it would likely be at the power forward spot, with Charlie Villanueva coming off the bench. But the 22-year-old from Cameroon also has played at small forward and shooting guard and displayed a remarkable versatility.

"In the exhibition season, he has shown he can defend at a very high level in the NBA, at multiple positions," Skiles said of the 6-foot-8 forward from UCLA. "He also rebounds it; he also takes good care of the ball. And he's a very smart player.

"He's going to be a guy that's going to help us. Now, the problem is, you can base decisions on exhibition season and sometimes be wrong, because it's not the regular season. That would surprise me if that's the case with Luc, because he has such a level head, and because he can defend.

"Defending doesn't change. I played him at the 2 in the game when Michael (Redd) was out, and he acquitted himself very well. So we'll see."

None of that should be a surprise to any here on BN.

I don’t know whether or now Howland and his staff will be successful in getting either Gaddy or Moser or both of them. What I do know is that whether or not if those kids come in, UCLA is already sitting pretty with this year’s class, and getting those kids will be gravy at this point. As for those kids, if they come in, they are guaranteed to get coaching from one of the best if not the best in America, giving them a serious shot in shining at the next level.

The evidence at this point is overwhelming … in favor of Ben Ball warriors.

Trust in Howland.


UPDATE (N): Gaddy decides to commit to Washington. Not a surprise at this point. Good luck to Gaddy. We wish him well. GO BRUINS.