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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

We're Baaaack. . . With A Ton Of News
To Catch Up On--(Oct. 25, 2000)

Yes, we haven't written anything in 4 days (only 3 if you don't count today). . . but there's a lot to report on.  First a word about why we haven't written anything since Saturday: 

Here it is. Plain and simple.  No punches pulled: We've been busy. Incredibly busy.  So busy we haven't had time to come up for air.   Working from 6:00 a.m. until well after midnight every day and night.    Sound like fun?  Maybe for some people, but exhausting nevertheless, and it doesn't leave much time for much of anything else.  And as many who read our stuff regularly know, in order to make things run around here, TPTB ("The Powers That Be") require regular infusions of capital (i.e., money) in order to pay the bills.   Which means that more often than perhaps we'd like, we have to do our own thing in the  "real" world (as opposed to the "virtual"),  which for us means practicing law, specifically complex business litigation matters.    This has been one of those periods where things have been pretty hectic (some day I may write a book about this latest screwy case and the people in it. . . but that's another story).   But we've managed to take a break of sorts, and while this (writing about high school basketball) is not what many would consider a break, it's sorta, kinda like one for us. . . And a lot has happened in three short days.   Here's what we know:

childress.jpg (6387 bytes)As we close in on the first day of the Fall Early Signing Period, which is November 8, the verbals are starting to come fast and furious. . . First, Monday's News:   Josh Childress (6'-6" Sr. SG) from Mayfair, committed to Stanford, selecting the Cardinal over Arizona and Kansas.   Now this was a move that didn't surprise us,  and we always sort of figured, given some of the subtleties of conversation that occurr when you speak with kids, that Josh would opt for the excellent academics and the chance to play somewhat more locally (at least it's on the west coast, at a Pac-10 school which plays at least two games each year in LA) than in the midwest.  Fox had a great article about it by our old friend Louis Johnson, who was at the Long Beach Press Telegram last year, then left for the OC Register (ostensibly we thought to take Frank Burlison's job when he left for Fox, but now Louis has seen the "virtual" light, so to speak).   In any event, you'll want to check out Louis' story on Josh's commitment.

Josh is a great pickup for the Cardinal, and along with Chris Hernandez at the one, and Robert Little at the 4, along with returning players like Casey Jacobsen, Curtis Borchart, Julius Barnes, and others, Stanford isn't dropping off at all from the high level they've been at since Mike Montgomery and his staff stepped things up several years ago.

More Monday Morsels:  Frank Burlison at Fox reported, and Coach Jeff Klein of Upland let us know that Kirk Snyder (6'-6" Sr. SG/SF), who played this summer with Dinos Trigonis' Belmont Shore East team (and occasionally with the "main" Belmont Shore team) has committed to play for the University of Nevada, Reno.  Snyder, an athletic slasher, selected the Wolfpack over St. Louis (wow, everyone is turning down Lorenzo Romar these days. . . we haven't checked, but have they even gotten a commit yet?), and Boise State.

Tuesday Treats:   Speculation was building yesterday concerning the commitments of a number of players, and there were some other major commitments, not all of them strictly from SoCal, but many who played during the summer and on the travel circuit with SoCal based teams, chiefly the Pump N Run and Double Pump teams.  In fact some big news there: As of yesterday, just about every Pump N Run senior has committed to a high-major program, and with the commitment last night of big Chris Jackson (6'-11" Sr. C) from Los Alamos, New Mexico to Utah, the list is just about complete.  Just for fun, we put together a list of the other Pump N Run commits this season, and it's pretty impressive.

There was also speculation about Isaiah Fox (6'-9" Sr. PF) from Santa Monica Crossroads, who is rumored to be on the verge of making a commitment as well.  Fox is reportedly down to a couple of schools, including Cal (which everyone believes is the favorite), UConn (who no one believes to be the favorite), and if Rick Rickert ultimately hadn't committed to Arizona (oops, we let that one out ahead of where we intended to), then he might have really wanted to go to Arizona.  Oh, and Recruiting USA was also reporting yesterday that we should all remember that Georgia and Jimmy Harrick are also in the hunt for Isaiah.    While he still hasn't committed yet (at least as far as we know), we're betting on Cal.  Geez, if they get Jamal Sampson (see below), how many rides do they still have?

And speaking of Jamal Sampson, it looks like those (and that includes us) who thought Josh Childress' commitment to Stanford might not have that much of an impact on his buddy Jamal Sampson's choice of schools might have underestimated Jamal's feelings on that subject, and it looks now like from everything we read and hear (and that includes Tracy Pierson's and Greg Hick's latest blurb on PacWestHoops) that Jamal Sampson (6'-11" Sr. C) from Mater Dei is going to commit to Cal sometime later tonight (he may already have done so by the time you read this). . . .or he won't have, which again won't surprise anyone who has tried to follow what this young man is thinking. . . As everyone knows, he canceled his trip last weekend to UCLA, and told everyone, including Billy Witz of the Daily News on Monday, that he was down to two schools, and that list did not include UCLA.   Guess we'll find out later today.

Wednesday Commits:  Another good friend of SoCalHoops is Jacey Zembal of Fox, who writes today that this should be called "Commitment Wednesday" because so many high-profile guys either have or are expected to make commitments. As he notes, they include some who actually committed last night, like Chris Jackson.  Others, including Rick Rickert (6'-11" Sr. F/C) who played for Pump N Run this past spring and summer, did what we thought he would do, and joined his friend and club teammate Dennis Lattimore by committing to Arizona this afternoon.   Rick's parents had been reportedly putting some pressure on him to stay home and attend the University of Minnesota, but Rick reportedly wanted to go to Arizona instead, and his parents complied.   Of course, the news from the NCAA probably didn't hurt in that regard, since Minnesota was placed on four years of probation given the academic cheating scandal that has continued to plague the school stemming from the Clem Haskins era. . . admittedly, the probation penalties weren't as bad as everyone expected, and the Golden Gophers can still participate in the tournament, but they've been limited to one less scholarship, and there are other sanctions as well. . . and when you've got that kind of pallor hanging over a program, well, who needs it.  So Arizona it is. 

More shortly. . .

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