November 12, 2008
SI's 2008 Top 20 Scouting Reports
3. UCLA Bruins
The ambidextrous Holiday leaves defenders wondering which way to turn.
John W. McDonough/SI
2008 Schedule
Key Game**
Fast Facts
Starting Lineup
PG Darren Collison* 6' 0" Sr. 14.5 ppg 3.8 apg
SG Jrue Holiday 6' 4" Fr. 25.9 ppg 11.2 rpg**
SF Josh Shipp * 6' 5" Sr. 12.2 ppg 3.2 rpg
PF James Keefe 6' 8" J r. 2.8 ppg 2.7 rpg
C J'Mison Morgan 6' 10" Fr . 13.5 ppg 11.0 rpg**
Key reserve
G Malcolm Lee 6' 9" Fr. 23.6 ppg 7.5 rpg**
*Returning starter   **High school stats  

The Bruins' chances for another final four are fab, thanks to five top recruits

When a school has a five-star, five-player recruiting class, thoughtsinevitably turn to the storied quintet led by Chris Webber and Jalen Rose. "TheFab Five really is the perfect nickname," says UCLA freshman Jrue Holiday. "Butit's already been taken -- by Michigan, right?"

Forgive Holiday, who was born in 1990 and was not even two years old when theWolverines made it to the national championship game in the Fab Five's debutseason. Holiday now headlines another vaunted first-year fivesome, whichincludes guards Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson, as well as frontliners DrewGordon and J'Mison (Bobo) Morgan.

UCLA needed this talent infusion after losing three underclassmen to the NBAdraft -- center Kevin Love, guard Russell Westbrook and forward Luc Richard Mbah aMoute. The Bruins don't have a ready replacement at center for Love, but Holidayshould do just fine filling in at shooting guard for Westbrook. Holiday, the2008 Gatorade Player of the Year (the same honor bestowed upon Love in 2007),may not be as explosive as Westbrook, but he is a better shooter and ballhandler. "He does a little bit of everything well," says UCLA coach Ben Howland.And he can do it with either hand: The ambidextrous Holiday shoots with hisright but feels more comfortable dribbling and dunking with his left. "It makeshim very tough to defend," Lee says. "You can't force him any one way."

Lee has been trying to guard Holiday since the fifth grade, when Lee wasplaying AAU basketball for the Riverside Tar Heels and Holiday was with theRancho Cucamonga Bulls. Holiday's point guard at the time was Anderson, who willback up Darren Collison this season while Lee backs up Josh Shipp. WithAnderson's court vision and Lee's three-point-shooting prowess, the Bruins areas loaded on the perimeter as any team in the country.

The UCLA recruiting class was already ranked No. 1 when Morgan committedon May 23, the same day that Love announced he was hiring an agent for hismove to the NBA. The 6' 10" Morgan, who originally signed with LSU and wasreleased from his scholarship after coach John Brady was fired in February,picked the Bruins in part because he saw that they needed him. "They weremissing an enforcer," he says.

Morgan's mother, Bianca, called him Bozo when he was a baby, thinking theshock of hair atop his head made him look like a clown. His older brother, whocould not pronounce Bozo, went with Bobo instead. For one member of thisfreshman class, at least, a nickname is firmly in place. -- Lee Jenkins


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