Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Coach Alford hoping to spot the next Westy

Good luck, Coach!!! 

To see Coach's Twit link

For some vintage Nasty Westy link

(Never gets old)

2014 PG Ja'Quan Newton Cuts List to 6


Newton Cuts List to 6

Ja’Quan Newton has cut his list to six.

The 2014 Neumann-Goretti point guard is down to UCLA, Oregon, Minnesota, Syracuse, Miami and Texas A&M. All six have offered.

No Philadelphia-area schools made the cut, and Syracuse is the closest to home.

The 6-foot-3 Newton will hold in-home visits with the schools before scheduling official visits, Neumann-Goretti assistant John Mosco told

Newton and Brooklyn Lincoln guard Isaiah Whitehead have talked about packaging, possibly at UCLA, Syracuse, Miami or Minnesota. Whitehead has said he wants to visit UCLA, Arizona and Syracuse.

Isaiah Whitehead #15MeetMeAtTheRim/YouTube

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Arizona basketball: San Diego guard grabs Cats' interest

Arizona basketball: San Diego guard grabs Cats' interest

Recently discovered, 'workhorse' Kell gets late scholarship offer

Four years with the Arizona Wildcats have given coach Sean Miller time to develop relationships with today's key recruiting targets since eighth or ninth grade.

But every now and then, a short-term relationship looks pretty good, too.

Miller offered a late scholarship to 2014 San Diego guard Trey Kell last week, just before UCLA and new coach Steve Alford decided to do the same.

"I'd never heard anything from them," Kell said of Arizona.

Neither had his travel-ball coach, Marshawn Cherry, until recently. Cherry said both UCLA and Arizona began watching Kell closely this month and both offered him scholarships last week, joining schools such as Gonzaga, Oregon and San Diego State.

"Arizona was a surprise," said Cherry, head of the San Diego Allstars travel team, "because they came in, they were here, and I guess they liked what they saw."

What they saw was a 6-foot-4-inch, 200-pound shooting guard with a well-rounded skill set that includes ballhandling, passing and shooting. He's also a proven clutch performer, having led St. Augustine High School to an overtime win in the California Division III title game with 30 points and 10 rebounds, hitting three free throws in the final seconds of regulation and adding six more points in overtime.

"If you watch him play, he's pretty much a do-everything guy," Cherry said. "He can handle, shoot, rebound, post up. He's just a workhorse and he loves to be in the gym. If he's not at home sleeping, he's in the gym."

Cherry said Kell started playing with his Allstars club as a high school freshman, starting on the "B" team and working his way up every year, to the point now where he's a high-major college prospect.

It got to the point this month that Kell not only had to lead the team but also wade through heavy recruiting attention as he tried to focus on his final travel-ball event, the Fab 48.

"It's getting bigger and bigger," he said. "Of course, all the media talk about (the offers) and you see it on Twitter or Facebook or whatever. But I feel I've done a good job of staying humble and just playing basketball."

The Allstars ended their Fab 48 appearance with a loss in their first championship bracket game Saturday, and Kell said he would take some time to sit down with his family and figure out a next step. He said he was unsure which schools he might visit, though he said Arizona deserved consideration.

"Arizona's a school that any basketball player would consider," Kell said. "Coach Miller is a great coach. He has a players' system where they have that freedom that every player wants - so it's hard to look past that, especially with what they've accomplished."

Kell said UCLA is also of interest because of the school and the fact that his parents could easily get to all the home games. But he said distance won't necessarily matter.

Staying home "is something I'd prefer, but the main thing for me is just the right fit," Kell said. "If it's on the East Coast then I will go to the East Coast."

The Wildcats currently have as much depth at shooting guard as any other position, but transfers and early professional departures could change that at any moment. UA also has only one point guard, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, in its 2014 class and has been seeking players at all positions.

Wherever he lands, Kell also has the potential to play point guard or small forward, if needed. He played a combo role for the Allstars, showing comfort in bringing the ball downcourt when needed.

"Some schools are recruiting me as a point guard, some as a combo and some strictly as a shooter," Kell said. "So it doesn't really matter to me. Whatever a school needs from me I'm going to do it."

First, though, he has to figure out what he needs from a school.

There's a chance Arizona has that.

"He's going to look at the best fit for him, the best opportunity to develop," Cherry said. "He has some pretty good options. But these two (Arizona and UCLA) are very big, so you have to consider them."

Link to AZ Daily Star article (link)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wanaah Bail has surgery on left knee


Video Mar 23, 2012 byHomeTeamHoops on You Tube
6'8 Wanaah Bail gets WAY up on a windmill dunk in the Senior
Showcase Dunk Contest at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.

UCLA basketball: Wanaah Bail has surgery on left knee

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Wanaah Bail, who transferred from Texas Tech to UCLA, had surgery June 28 to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.
Bail, a 6-foot-9 forward, is expected to miss four months, but it's still unknown whether he will be able to play for the Bruins this season.
Bail’s eligibility status for the 2013-14 season is “undetermined,” UCLA officials said after his transfer.
Bail left Texas Tech within weeks of arriving on campus. There were reports of academic issues, but the NCAA cleared him to transfer.

Former UCLA Basketball Players Moving Around NBA

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Wednesday 07/17/2013
July 17, 2013
Several former UCLA basketball players will be playing for different teams in 2013-14, as multiple former Bruin standouts have changed NBA teams during the offseason.
Most notably, the Los Angeles Clippers recently re-signed Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins in addition to acquiring Darren Collison. The team’s introductory press conference on July 10 featured six Clippers, three of which competed for UCLA during the 2000s.
The Clippers signed Barnes to a three-year deal and Hollins to a one-year contract. Collison inked a two-year deal after having played for the Dallas Mavericks in 2012-13.
The 2013-14 season will mark Barnes’ fourth consecutive year playing in Los Angeles. The former four-year UCLA product competed for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010-11 and 2011-12 before playing for the Clippers in 2012-13.
The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to terms with free agent guard Jordan Farmar on July 17. Farmar, a two-year standout for UCLA in 2004-05 and 2005-06, was the 26th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He spent four years competing for the Lakers, one season with the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn) before playing in Israel (2011-12) and Turkey (2012-13).
Other former UCLA players to have changed teams include Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans), Malcolm Lee (Phoenix Suns), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Shabazz Muhammad (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Earl Watson (Portland Trail Blazers).
Holiday was acquired by the New Orleans Pelicans in a draft-day trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. The former UCLA guard was introduced on July 12 at a New Orleans press conference. Holiday and rookie guard Pierre Jackson were acquired by New Orleans in exchange for Nerlens Noel, the Pelicans’ first-round draft selection, and the Pelicans’ 2014 first-round draft pick.
Malcolm Lee was sent from Minnesota to the Golden State Warriors on a draft-day trade before being shipped to the Phoenix Suns later that evening. Lee starred at UCLA for three seasons (2009-11) and has played in 35 games the last two seasons for Minnesota.
Mbah a Moute, a three-year standout for UCLA (2006-08), was acquired by Sacramento in a trade announced by the organization July 12. After having played his first five NBA seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, Mbah a Moute was traded to Sacramento for two second-round draft picks. He has two years remaining on a four-year deal that he signed as a restricted free agent before the 2011-12 season.
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA’s leading scorer in 2012-13, agreed to terms over the weekend with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Muhammad was selected No. 14 overall in the NBA Draft on June 27 by the Utah Jazz. His rights were rights were acquired by Minnesota in a draft-day trade with the Utah Jazz in exchange for the draft rights to Trey Burke, taken by Minnesota with the ninth overall pick.
Muhammad, who averaged a team-best 17.9 points per game for UCLA as a freshman last season, signed his first professional contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves last weekend.
Watson, a 12-year NBA veteran, signed as a free agent with the Portland Trail Blazers on July 10. Watson was a four-year standout for the Bruins (1998-2001) and has spent his career playing for Seattle, Memphis, Denver, Oklahoma City, Indiana and Utah.
UCLA currently has 13 former basketball players listed on NBA rosters. In addition to Barnes, Collison, Farmar, Holiday, Hollins, Lee, Mbah a Moute, Muhammad and Watson, that list features Arron Afflalo (Orlando Magic), Trevor Ariza (Washington Wizards), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

UCLA's Steve Alford, USC's Andy Enfield face off in hunt for recruits

UCLA's Steve Alford, USC's Andy Enfield face off in hunt for recruits

Both coaches are pursuing Etiwanda High's Jordan McLaughlin and Santa Ana Mater Dei forward Stanley Johnson. But otherwise their approaches appear to differ.

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Steve Alford, Andy Enfield
UCLA basketball Coach Steve Alford, left, and USC basketball Coach Andy Enfield have already begun recruiting for their respective universities, searching for that elusive missing piece each school needs to make a run at a national championship. (Gina Ferazzi / Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / July 20, 2013)

New UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford calls recruiting, "A puzzle to put together. And that puzzle changes every year."
New USC basketball coach Andy Enfield calls recruiting, "A test. And every year there's different right answers."
Alford and Enfield have different puzzle pieces they need and different right answers but at least one thing in common: A point guard is the missing puzzle piece and Etiwanda High's Jordan McLaughlin could be the right answer.
The new coaches have been here, there and everywhere this month looking to sign signature recruiting classes in their first year at a new school.
Alford and Enfield are both in hot pursuit of McLaughlin and Santa Ana Mater Dei forward Stanley Johnson, two of the top-rated recruits in the country.
McLaughlin is from the same high school that produced Darren Collison. Johnson is also being courted by schools such as Kentucky and Indiana. Either player would be a recruiting coup for Alford or Enfield.
Enfield has already rankled a peer, and it just so happens to be a former USC coach.
Texas El Paso Coach Tim Floyd confirmed that Isaac Hamilton, a highly regarded shooting guard from Bellflower St. John Bosco High, had asked out of the letter of intent he signed with UTEP last fall and wants to enroll at USC.
Floyd said UTEP denied the request and Hamilton has appealed to the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee. According to Floyd, Hamilton told him he wanted to stay closer to home because of an ill grandmother. Hamilton could not be reached for comment.
"Isaac made his decision for all the right reasons," Floyd said of the player's decision to attend UTEP. "If this appeal is allowed, we might as well not have letters of intent." Enfield declined to comment.
That's recruiting — a cutthroat business.
Before Ben Howland was dismissed as UCLA's coach, he had signed forward Noah Allen and shooting guard Zach LaVine, who will be freshmen next season. Alford's son, Bryce, a guard who had signed with New Mexico but was released from his letter of intent, will join his father at UCLA. A fourth Bruins signee, Wannah Bail, a transfer from Texas Tech, recently had knee surgery and probably will not be eligible until the 2014-15 season anyway.
Before Kevin O'Neill was fired in the middle of USC's season last January, he had signed forward Roschon Prince, guards Kendal Harris, Kahlil Dukes and Julian Jacobs and forward Nikola Jovanovic. Harris, from Texas, was released from his letter of intent by Enfield and won't be at USC next season.
Maybe Hamilton will be.
Enfield said recruiting well in California is crucial. "You can win a national championship with only the best California players," Enfield said.
When he was head coach at New Mexico, Alford had success getting players from the Los Angeles area. Tony Snell, from Riverside King High, and Drew Gordon, who transferred from UCLA, helped Alford's Lobos to back-to-back NCAA appearances.
"First and foremost, I want to be able to recruit the best players locally," Alford said. "We've had a lot of success with players from the Los Angeles area, and I've been able to build relationships with local coaches."
Dave Benezra is the coach of a local AAU team that includes well-regarded prospect Thomas Welsh, a 7-footer from Los Angeles Loyola High who is being pursued by both UCLA and USC. Benezra described the recruiting styles of Enfield and Alford this way: "USC is new media. UCLA is old media. USC is pop. UCLA is rock 'n' roll."
Josh Gershon, a West Coast basketball scout for the basketball site, said it's obvious what USC's sales pitch is. "Up-tempo," Gershon said.
He also said that the new USC staff, which includes assistants Tony Bland, previously at San Diego State, and Jason Hart, formerly of Pepperdine, is focusing on Southern California prospects. Alford and his staff of Duane Broussard, who came with Alford from New Mexico, and David Grace, who had been an assistant at Oregon State, are said to be looking nationally for players.
"In some ways it's not much different, Alford and Howland," Gershon said. "The UCLA staff is thinking nationally. This USC staff is different. The previous regime didn't seem to recruit SoCal very much. It seemed like it had more commitments from Serbia than Los Angeles."
Dave Telep, another recruiting expert, predicted that Enfield would focus locally first but "his eyes will be wide open to the entire country." Telep said that when Enfield was a Florida State assistant, he was instrumental in recruiting Michael Snaer from Moreno Valley out of the clutches of UCLA and over to the Seminoles.
Alford, an Indiana native, likes to burrow into specific areas of the country, Telep said.
"He's used his Midwest roots to his advantage at every place he's been," Telep said, "and I bet he's got an eye on Indiana and surrounding areas again. I'd be willing to bet he uses California and the Midwest primarily. He'll be very personal in his relationship approach to recruiting."
The next NCAA signing period will be in November. Wherever McLaughlin and Johnson decide to play will at least partially determine what UCLA and USC fans think about their new coaches.
Twitter: @mepucin

Video: Steve Alford talks to Andy Katz

Video: Steve Alford talks to Andy Katz

July, 25, 2013
JUL 25
Steve Alford talks about his move from New Mexico to UCLA and the legacy of John Wooden.