I can't help myself with the MSM-style puns for diary titles. I can see how copy editors at the Times could get caught up with them. Heh.
Anyway, I'm surprised this hasn't yet been noted, but I figured BN might be interested. While some moan and groan about the 'doom' of the basketball program, Ben Howland simply gets back to work.
Since it's premium content, I can't post anything beyond what's listed in the free preview, but frontpaged on BRO is: "There are some big basketball recruiting developments involving the #2-ranked player in the class of 2009, post player Renardo Sidney, and the #3-ranked player in the nation, 6-5 small forward Lance Stephenson..."
From what I've been able to gather, Lance (who visited UCLA over the weekend) would like to go to college with his friend Renardo. Think not unlike high school/AAU teammates Gred Oden and Mike Conley. Sidney and Stephenson are currently on the same AAU team themselves, the L.A. Dream Team (I'm not one to believe in superstition, but that has the potential to be awfully prophetic).
Sidney, as has been suggested in the past, would probably like to stay in Los Angeles. Rumors have him very interested in coming to UCLA, with the big hurdle being his grades. Questions of character have arisen as well, which I have to imagine figure in to any scholarship offers. Either way, now some are suggesting that if Stephenson goes with Sidney, he seems to prefer UCLA over other west coast options. This provides the Bruins with the tantalizing prospect of being able to bring in two top-5 players together.
Sidney, I think, has been covered already as a targeted player. Stephenson is extraordinarily talented - there is a documentary of his quest for basketball success currently in the works (or done? not sure...) called "Born Ready." He's 6'5, out of NYC, EA Sports' National Player of the Year in the junior class. Can play the 2 or the 3, I believe. Actually played with Jrue Holiday at the Elite 24 Hoops Classic last summer, with the two being named Co-MVPs of their team.
I've heard things both good and bad regarding both players, but I believe that if they can both get themselves eligible for admission, the team would take them (something that I seem to recall being suggested by multiple sources, at least in Sidney's case). Both players very well might be in the 'one-and-done' mold, but offer immense talent for their short time available. Given the good we've seen Kevin Love do, it would be hard to pass up not one, but two players who hold similar game-changing potential, at the least. Pairing them with Reeves Nelson would give the team another fantastic group of signees to follow this upcoming one, a likely top-10 class.
To paraphrase a well-known sports cliche, "it's not rebuilding, it's reloading."