Boys BB: Memorable Recruiting Week

After highly-touted sophomore point guard Lonzo Ball from Chino Hills commits to UCLA is a somewhat surprising move because of its timing, the dominoes fell with regards to another highly-regarded guard prospect committing to a Pac-12 school.

Last Wednesday, UCLA’s coaching staff got a somewhat surprising call from Lonzo Ball, the No. 1 ranked 2016 prospect in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. The 6-foot-4 point guard from Chino Hills was ready to commit to the Bruins. UCLA was happy with the commit, but it set off a chain reaction of recruiting buzz throughout the weekend.

“I decided to go with UCLA because it’s my hometown, I’m cool with the coaching staff, and I like their style of play,” Ball said of coach Steve Alford’s up-tempo attack. “As for my mom and dad, they love it (the fact I committed).”

Lavar Ball, Lonzo’s father and a former Canoga Park High School standout, played both football and basketball in college. He first went to Washington State and then played at Cal-St. Los Angeles. Lonzo’s mother, Tina Ball, also played basketball at Cal-St. L.A. His rather large, doting family is always a presence at his Chino Hills and grassroots games and they have to be ecstatic they’ll get to watch him in Westwood…beginning in the fall of 2016.

A lot can happen between now and then and it already has. Coming off his program’s big win over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night, head coach Sean Miller and assistant coach Joe Pasternack of No. 1-ranked Arizona attended the Friday Trinity League affair between JSerra and St. John Bosco in Bellflower that Cal-Hi Sports also attended.

Arizona was actively recruiting Bosco’s Tyler Dorsey, the No. 2 ranked 2015 prospect in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. An hour or so after helping the Braves pull out a 76-73 victory by scoring 11 fourth-quarter points, Dorsey went to Twitter to announce his commitment to Miller’s program.

Dorsey’s announcement was unexpected and quickly sent the California basketball community into a Twitter inferno with questions and speculation. Would Dorsey have announced if Ball never did? What about the SoCal point guard Miller is bringing in this fall — Parker Jackson-Cartwright from state No. 2 Loyola of Los Angeles? How would Dorsey’s commitment affect PJC’s future in Tucson?

The questions quickly diverted to speculation of which 2015 guard the Bruins’ coaching staff would set its sights on with Dorey off the board. There is Aaron Holiday from Campbell Hall of North Hollywood, ranked No. 13 in the class by Cal-Hi Sports, and Justin Simon from Temecula Valley of Temecula, ranked No. 1o.

On Saturday night after the Cavalier Classic at Cerritos College, the speculation was lessened when UCLA offered Simon, according to Neal Nieves of 247Sports.com.

So now the next set of questions are: Will Holiday ever play at UCLA like his older brother did? What about the recruitment of 2015 point guards Jeremy Hemsley from Damien of La Verne (whose recruitment is wide open based on the latest conversation we had with his father Jason) and Marcus Lovett Jr. from San Gabriel Academy of San Gabriel (who reportedly has UNLV near the top of his list)?

There are a bunch of recruiting questions that need answering. Luckily for college coaches there is an abundance of guard talent in California’s 2015 and 2016 classes.

As it that wasn’t enough, late Monday night Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported forward Marquese Chriss from Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove committed to Washington.

To see where Chriss is ranked in the latest Cal-Hi Sports 2015 Hot 100, please consider a Gold Club membership today.


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