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North Carolina brings in another big haul

Tar Heels sign five players, including Wear twins from Mater Dei. UCLA also has strong class.

November 13, 2008|Eric Sondheimer | Sondheimer is a Times staff writer.

North Carolina, Florida and Texas have brought in the top high school recruiting classes for men's basketball based on their haul Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA's early signing period.

The Tar Heels signed five players, led by 6-foot-10 John Henson of Tampa, Fla., who is known for his shot-blocking skills and athleticism. They also picked up the Wear twins from Santa Ana Mater Dei, 6-10 David and 6-10 Travis.

"I think they're going to be real good college players," recruiting expert Bob Gibbons of AllStar Sports Report said of the Wears.

North Carolina Coach Roy Williams said in a statement: "David and Travis Wear are both extremely sound fundamentally. They play for a great high school coach, and their father being on Mater Dei's coaching staff has helped them individually. Both David and Travis can score inside and outside and handle the ball very well. They are used to winning."

Florida, which won NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007, could return to elite status after landing All-American guard Kenny Boynton of Plantation, Fla.

Villanova and UCLA round out Gibbons' early top-five list, but his rankings could change because several top prospects could be signing in April. His Nos. 1 and 2 prospects -- Xavier Henry, a 6-6 forward from Oklahoma City, and Derrick Favors, a 6-9 center from Atlanta -- have yet to make final decisions. Kansas and Memphis are battling for Henry, with Georgia and Georgia Tech going after Favors.

Renardo Sidney, a 6-10 post player from Los Angeles Fairfax, also is uncommitted.

"There's not a Brandon Jennings in this class," Gibbons said, referring to the former Compton Dominguez and Oak Hill (Va.) Academy guard who chose to play professionally in Europe instead of going to college.

UCLA's recruiting class could move up in the rankings depending on the decision of 6-8 Mike Moser from Portland, Ore. He's a former Arizona commit deciding among the Bruins, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State.

As for UCLA's four signees -- Tyler Honeycutt of Sylmar, Anthony Stover of Los Angeles Windward, Reeves Nelson of Modesto Christian and Brendan Lane from Rocklin, Calif. -- Gibbons said, "I think all those kids are four-year players. They're solid. There's not a superstar in the bunch."

USC did not announce signings Wednesday. Derrick Williams, a power forward from La Mirada High, is among the players who have committed to the Trojans.


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