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Mr. Smith Goes To _____ ?

In yesterday's comment section bruinbornandraised  was wondering what recruits Coach Howland is after for 2010. If my quick morning calculation is accurate (please correct me if I am wrong in the comment threads) at this snap shot of time (assuming everyone will be coming back for 2011-12 season) Coach Howland has 3 scholies to offer this upcoming season. Two of the spots have already been snatched up by the following recruits:

  • Tyler Lamb, a four star 6-4/190 SG from Santa Ana's Mater Dei High School
  • Kendall Williams, a three star 6-2/160 SG from Rancho Cucomanga's Los Olsos High School

Although Coach Howland might have only 1 more scholarship to give out that number could change if someone blows up this coming season and decide to head for the NBA (wouldn't be a shocker). Howland and his staff I am sure have number of prospects on their radar for this coming season including 6-5 pg  Ben Vozzola (Las Vegas Centennial) who attended the Ben Ball camp in Howlandwood this past week. However, the biggest catch is a kid named Josh Smith, another great center from the Pacific Northwest. Here is a little into to Seattle's (Kenwood High School) Mr. Smith:

Josh Smith Highlights - - From "Sports Stars of Tomorrow with Pat Summerall" (via PrepTicket)

Weird to hear Pat Summerall doing these videos (I kept waiting for Madden to weigh in with his telestrator). Anyway, it looks like the UCLA/Smith chatter is really heating up per the Washington Seattle Times:

[L]ots of rumors out there that Kentwood's Josh Smith is getting close to making an announcement and that when he does, he's likely to be UCLA-bound. I've heard the same, though I'm usually hesitant to pass along off-the-record recruiting rumors, doing so here because so many of you seem to already be discussing it I thought I'd acknowledge it. But one person told me UCLA is simply where Smith has always wanted to go, something that can be hard to counter. So don't be surprised if an announcement of that sort comes soon.

The hysterical reactions to that blurb in the Washington Times blog post are pretty amusing (and kind of embarrasing for the well informed fans from Wahsington Huskies fan base. They look pathetically ignorant and ill informed in their unhinged rants against Howland. Anyway, who cares. Those comments are typical of idiotic rants and flamefests we usually see on "blog" hosted on traditional newspaper sites. So, I wont consider those folks as real representatives of Huskies fanbase. Getting back to Mr. Smith, he recently gave an interview to which had some interesting nuggests. Here was Smith's response when he asked about what he was "looking for in a school" (emphasis added throughout):

JS: At the end of the day style of play will be a factor. I don’t want to go to a school where it’s just run-and-gun. I have no problem doing that, but I want to go to a school that has a balance of that and a halfcourt set.

It gets better. He also had to say the following when asked his thoughts on a college coach's ability to get kids ready for the NBA:

JS: It will weigh a lot on that. When people ask me about UCLA it’s because they’re famous for putting big men in the league. So people say that if I go there for one or two years I could be the next No. 1 or lottery pick. Wherever I go I just want to work hard and get better. If the NBA opportunity comes, I’ll take it. My ultimate goal is to be successful at whatever I do. But that’s why I like UCLA a lot. Ben Howland knows what he’s doing. They’re always at the top of the Pac-10, always in the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 and the big guys that he produces are usually lottery picks.

I am not going to get my hopes up (and I will certainly not invest emotionally in a player until I see a total commitment from him in being Bruin even if he is just here for a year or two). However, the comments above are pretty good signs. Don't you think?