Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Recruiting 2016: T.J. Leaf visits UCLA this Friday Oct 23.


Oregon Basketball Recruiting RUMORS: T.J. Leaf Cuts List To 3, Oregon Closing Gap On UCLA?

T.J. Leaf has narrowed his list of schools down to three and it appears Oregon is closing the gap on favorite UCLA.
By Mike Woolfson m.woolfson@hngn.com | Oct 13, 2015 02:53 PM EDT
Five-star forward T.J. Leaf
UCLA seemed like a lock to land T.J. Leaf but after visiting Oregon it seems like they might have closed the gap. (Photo : Twitter Photo Section)
The recruitment of T.J. Leaf has been very interesting to follow since he de-committed from Arizona back in August. After Leaf announced he had de-committed most people assumed he would be headed to UCLA to play his college basketball and while that is still likely Oregon seems to be closing the gap a little bit. Leaf took his official visit to Oregon this past weekend and after it he cut his list of schools to three with Oregon and UCLA being among the finalists, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv
The other school that remains an option for Leaf is San Diego State but he has only visited them unofficially and doesn't have an official scheduled. Leaf recently said that North Carolina and Louisville were taken out of consideration and that his visit to Oregon "couldn't have gone better for me." Leaf is still set to visit UCLA starting October 30th but now it seems like they might have their work cut out for them after Oregon made quite an impression.
UCLA has been the assumed favorite all along but Oregon has a lot to offer the five-star power forward. Head coach Dana Altman has done a tremendous job of building up the Ducks basketball program and he likes to play a fast style of basketball that gives his players freedom, something Leaf has said he prefers.
Another thing Altman and the Ducks have going for them is the fact that they already have a top ten recruiting class with three four-stars already committed so Leaf knows he will be joining a talented team. Getting a commitment from Leaf would likely push them up into the top five 2016 recruiting classes and would give Oregon their best recruiting class ever.
Leaf is ranked as the 13th best overall prospect and the third best power forward in the 2016 class, according to ESPN, and is viewed as a future NBA prospect. The El Cajon, California native can shoot the ball and finish above the rim and he is the type of recruit that can change a class.
Both schools Leaf is considering already have top ten classes but his choice will make one of them an option for best class in the nation unless he shocks everyone and chooses San Diego State. UCLA may still be the favorite but Leaf loved his visit to Oregon and has put pressure on the Bruins to at least match that when he visits them in a couple of weeks. It is unknown when Leaf will make his decision but the decision just got a whole lot more interesting.

Scout's #22 2016 prospect T.J. Leaf down to three

Scout's 22nd ranked 2016 prospect, power forward T.J. Leaf, has narrowed his school list to three. Where does the five-star go from here?
T.J. Leaf, a 6-foot-10, 205-pound 2016 power forward from El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian, is close to a decision after a couple official visits.
Leaf has narrowed his school list to UCLAOregon and San Diego State, his Compton Magic AAU coach Etop Udo-Ema said.
After his first official visit to Louisville on Oct. 2, Leaf visited Oregon this past weekend, which was a successful trip.

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Leaf is a highly skilled and coordinated big man who scores inside brilliantly with hooks yet also can step away and knock down a facing jump shot. He has good mobility as well, even if he isn't an explosive athlete. He'll need to get stronger but possesses outstanding touch and footwork and projects as an excellent college player.

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"T.J. had a great visit to Oregon," Udo-Ema said. "He loved everything about it from the facilities, coaches and players."
The five-star prospect's third and final official visit will be to UCLA on Oct. 23 and he'll make a decision soon after.
“He’s been through the recruiting process enough now,” Udo-Ema recently told Scout. “He’ll commit soon after for sure. He’s not holding out. I would assume it will happen pretty fast after the last visit.”

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

UCLA Hoops Begins Preseason Practice

Freshman guard Aaron Holiday at Friday's practice (photo by Katie Meyers)
UCLA Athletics

By: UCLA Athletics
Article Link


LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men’s basketball team officially opened its fall practice schedule Friday afternoon in Pauley Pavilion, completing a nearly two-hour long practice with the entire squad.
Nearly all of UCLA’s returning players spent the majority of the summer attending classes in Westwood and taking part in summer workouts. Now, with the season just 42 days from tipping off Friday, Nov. 13, and fall quarter classes back in session, team practices are in full swing.
“Our guys did a really good job this summer, and I’m not just talking about the freshmen,” said Steve Alford, who enters his third season as the Bruins’ head coach. “Our returning players really took advantage of this time to get bigger, to get stronger. It’s a natural progression, where the freshmen will look a little bit different once their sophomores and then sophomores like Isaac and Bryce get even stronger going into their junior seasons.”
UCLA returns six of its primary eight contributors from last season’s team, a group that compiled a 22-14 record and earned its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. The Bruins bring back four of their top six scorers from 2014-15 – junior Bryce Alford (15.4 ppg), senior Tony Parker (11.5 ppg), junior Isaac Hamilton (10.6 ppg) and sophomore Thomas Welsh (3.8 ppg).
The most notable departures from last year’s squad include Norman Powell and Kevon Looney. Powell led UCLA with 16.4 points per game. He graduated last June, two weeks prior to being selected in the NBA Draft and later acquired by the Toronto Raptors. Looney was a first-round NBA Draft pick by the Golden State Warriors, averaging 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game as a freshman.
With the draft departures and an influx of five newcomers, the Bruins look to have increased depth this season both in the backcourt and frontcourt.
“We know that we’ll have to play a little bit different with our lineups,” said Alford, who enters his 25th season as a college head coach. “We’re going to have some versatility this season that we haven’t had yet. Norman was your prototype 6-foot-4 guard, and now we bring in a guy like Jonah Bolden, who’s over 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. We can play big-big with Thomas and Tony. I like what I’ve seen out of our bigs, and we certainly have a little more flexibility there.”
Over the past two seasons, Alford has guided the Bruins to a 50-23 record and seen five of his players selected in the NBA Draft – Zach LaVine, Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Kevon Looney and Norman Powell. In addition, Travis Wear and David Wear both played in the NBA last season after having graduated from UCLA.
The Bruins will host an exhibition game against Cal State Los Angeles in Pauley Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 30. Game time is 7:30 p.m. UCLA will get its regular season underway against Monmouth in Pauley Pavilion on Friday, Nov. 13. Game time of the season opener is 8 p.m.
Season tickets, 10-game ticket packages and single-game tickets are currently on sale. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting www.uclabruins.com/tickets or by calling the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN.

Men's Basketball Schedule Finalized

Isaac Hamilton started in all 36 games in 2014-15
UCLA Athletics
By: UCLA Athletics
Article Link

LOS ANGELES – UCLA will have all 31 regular-season men's basketball games televised live this season, the Pac-12 Conference announced on Thursday.
The Bruins will have at least 13 games broadcast by the ESPN family of networks, including non-conference meetings against Kentucky (Dec. 3) and Gonzaga (Dec. 12) and all three games at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational (Nov. 23-25).
Both conference matchups against Arizona will be nationally televised by the ESPN family of networks, as well as home games against USC (Jan. 13), Utah (Feb. 18) and Oregon (March 2) and road contests against Oregon State (Jan. 20), Arizona State (Feb. 14) and California (Feb. 25).
UCLA's netural site game against North Carolina in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 19 and Pac-12 road game at Oregon on Jan. 23 will be televised by CBS.
Fox Sports will broadcast at least four UCLA games, including both meetings against Washington – on the road on Jan. 1, and at home on Jan. 28 – and games versus Colorado (Feb. 20) and Stanford (Feb. 27).
Pac-12 Networks is scheduled to carry 12 contests, including each of UCLA’s first three regular-season games – Monmouth (Nov. 13), Cal Poly (Nov. 15) and Pepperdine (Nov. 19). The Bruins’ games against CSUN (Nov. 29), Long Beach State (Dec. 6), Louisiana-Lafayette (Dec. 15), McNeese State (Dec. 22), Washington State (Jan. 3), Arizona State (Jan. 9), Washington State (Jan. 30), USC (Feb. 4) and Oregon State (March 5) will also be aired by Pac-12 Networks.
UCLA will open its regular-season schedule against Monmouth on Friday, Nov. 13, in Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins return three starters from last season’s team – senior Tony Parker and juniors Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton. Other key contributors back from one year ago include junior Noah Allen and sophomores Thomas Welsh and G.G. Goloman.
In addition, UCLA has five players expected to make their collegiate debuts this November – sophomore Jonah Bolden and freshmen Prince AliAaron Holiday, and Ikenna Okwarabizie and Alex Olesinski.
Season tickets and non-conference single-game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.uclabruins.com/tickets. Pac-12 single-game tickets, excluding the game against Arizona, will go on sale to the public Oct. 1.
Fans can also purchase the "Kentucky + Pac-12" ticket plan, a package that offers tickets to 10 games and the only way to guarantee a seat at the Kentucky and Arizona games in Pauley Pavilion, all at a discounted rate of 15 percent off single-game prices.
Be sure to get access to UCLA's exclusive Pac-12 ticket presale by signing up for Bruin Ticket Advantage emails at www.uclabruins.com/email.