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RECRUITING : Another Hot Prospect Picks UCLA

August 29, 1993|JEFF FELLENZER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

UCLA's basketball recruiting class received another major boost last week when 6-9 forward J.R. Henderson, one of the top frontcourt prospects in the country, gave the Bruins an unwritten commitment. Henderson had recently narrowed his choices to UCLA and Cal.

Henderson joins 6-6 Toby Bailey of Loyola High as the second prominent high school player in the gifted California class of '94 to commit early to UCLA.

Henderson's work habits and lack of toughness this summer in tournaments and camps disappointed some coaches and scouts, but his offensive skills are terrific; he can score from inside or outside.

"I think UCLA is a good school," Henderson said. "It came down to UCLA and Cal and I didn't like Cal. I like the Cal coaches, but not the school."

Next to announce for UCLA could be 6-8 Mark Madsen of Danville, Calif. Madsen, a hard-nosed, relentless low-post player, would give the Bruins a dimension they have lacked in recent seasons, and make a perfect complement to Henderson at forward.

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Coach George Raveling confirmed that the only non-guard USC is recruiting is 6-6 forward Tremaine Fowlkes of Crenshaw High. Raveling tried to get a visit from 6-10 center-forward Raef LaFrentz of Monona, Iowa, who is considered by most coaches and scouts to be the top overall prospect in the high school class of '94. LaFrentz was once considered certain to sign with Iowa, but Kansas and Missouri are making inroads.

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The finalists for 5-8 point guard Tommie Davis of Fremont High: USC, Arizona, Providence, Boston College and Houston. Arizona State has stopped recruiting Davis, although his mother reportedly plans to move to Phoenix. Sun Devil Coach Bill Frieder prefers 5-10 Prince Fowler of Las Vegas Western, who is planning trips to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona State, Miami and UNLV.

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Football news: Former Pasadena High linebacker Treyvonne Towns, who signed a letter of intent with USC last spring, did not qualify academically and has enrolled at San Diego State, where he will sit out the season under terms of Prop. 48. Two other San Diego State signees who will lose their freshman year of eligibility are wide receiver Antonio Carrion of Dorsey High and former Pasadena Muir linebacker Derek Norman. The Aztecs also lost highly regarded freshman running back/defensive back Z-Ukoni Hodges, from Pasadena Blair, who left the team for "personal reasons," according to an Aztecs spokesman.

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