The last time UCLA secured a highly touted recruit who wasn’t from the West Coast was 2008 when Dallas center J’mison Morgan was part of a class that included Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson and Drew Gordon.Before that, it was pretty much only Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in 2005.
But hey, it’s UCLA. The Bruins should – and usually do – have their pick of the best in California and most of the West Coast.
But the last few years haven’t been quite as fruitful. They missed out on Derrick Williams, Michael Snaer, Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner, among others. (An odd dip in the California talent base also hasn’t helped.)
So Ben Howland did what any smart coach would do. He snagged an assistant with ties to a strong AAU program by announcing the addition of Korey McCray to the staff.
Even smarter? McCray’s ties are to Atlanta, giving the Bruins a direct line to East Coast talent.
“There’s no guarantee he’s going to be able to recruit the players. But he knows the family and will have, from a familiarity standpoint and personal-contact standpoint, [a relationship] that should be very advantageous for him and for UCLA,” North Carolina-based recruiting expert Bob Gibbons told the L.A. Times.
McCray’s worked closely with the likes of Dwight Howard, John Wall, Javaris Crittenton, Anthony Morrow, Jarrett Jack and Von Wafer. That’s an excellent way to impress potential recruits.
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.