Just got a text from UCLA center signee Josh Smith that guard Ray McCallum is close to committing to the Bruins, though nothing is certain.
Smith told me he was working on McCallum at the McDonald’s All-American Game.
There seems to be a buzz of excitement around the recruits of the program…
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel: “I recruit these kids like they’re already in my locker room. I talk to them like, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do guys.’ I don’t just talk about what it’s like to walk Bruin Walk. I want them to know what the plan is, what the vision is. ‘Here’s where you fit into that vision. Here’s why it’s so important that you come. You’d be missing out if you didn’t.’ Then the connection they get with one another because of all these outlets like all-star games and trips – it becomes a huge selling point. ”
On the dismissal of J’mison Morgan:
“It had been I decided it was in the best interset of both our program and for him that he transfer. He’s in good academic standing, he’ll have two years of eligibility left. He’ll probably transfer back somewhere closer to home.”
On Donny Daniels leaving for Gonzaga as the Zags’ top assistant coach:
“Donny Daniels is going to be leaving effective immediately to go to Gonzaga as an assistant for Mark Few. He’ll be in tomorrow – he had three wisdom teeth pulled – and he did a terrific job for me and this program for seven years. He was really a key impetus for all the success we’ve enjoyed. He’ll be going to another outstanding program with a very good tradition and history. It’s where I started my coaching career 29 years ago.”
Are you looking to get a veteran staff guy?
“I’m not even worrying about that until our recruiting is done this year. There won’t be a look at staff until late in the month.”
With Bobo leaving, opens up another scholarship. How many do you want to use?
“I’d like to use all our scholarships up. That gives us three at least.”
I’m here out at Pro Day, and there have been some solid performances. Nick Ekbatani put up 42 reps on the bench press, fullback Trevor Theriot put up 34 and Reggie Carter followed with 31.
Here are some unofficial 40 times (the better of two attempts):
Terrence Austin: 4.48
Korey Bosworth: 4.65
Kyle Bosworth: 4.58
Reggie Carter: 4.78
Kevin Craft: 4.76 (only saw one attempt)
Nick Ekbatani: 5.34 (only saw one attempt)
Chane Moline: 4.68
Ryan Moya: 4.65
Logan Paulsen: 4.91
Jerzy Siewierski: 5.16 (only saw one)
Trevor Theriot: 4.81
Also, my Inside UCLA podcast cohost Ben Olson is out throwing today, and was at UNLV’s pro day last weekend throwing. He’s generating some buzz among scouts in attendance.
UCLA sophomore forward J’mison Bobo Morgan will not be returning to UCLA next season, head coach Ben Howland announced today.
Morgan will leave UCLA immediately and has not made a decision where he’ll transfer, though Baylor could be in the mix.
Morgan averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 40 career games while shooting 46 percent from the field.
“I feel that is is in the best interest of this program and for J’mison Morgan that he no longer be a part of this team,” Howland said in a release. “We are suppotive of him and his future in whatever direction he decides to go.
Howland will hold a teleconference at 2:30.