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UCLA gets commitment from top prospect Jordan Adams

The highly touted 6-foot-5 small forward cites Korey McCray's hiring as an assistant for the Bruins as a factor in his decision to attend UCLA.

June 20, 2011|By Ben Bolch

Korey McCray is paying quick dividends for UCLA. Two weeks after hiring the former club team basketball coach as an assistant, the Bruins on Monday received a commitment from Jordan Adams, a highly touted small forward who starred on McCray's Atlanta Celtics.

And Adams may not be the last Celtic headed to Westwood.

"I want 'Shaq' Goodwin to come with me," the 6-foot-5 Adams said during his announcement, referring to William Goodwin, a Celtics teammate who is among the top power forward prospects in the nation.

Goodwin's college decision doesn't appear to be imminent. Persephone Goodwin, William's mother, said in a telephone interview that her son would not make his commitment until after the summer. Might the presence of McCray be a selling point for UCLA?

"It's not a selling point," Persephone Goodwin said, "but it doesn't hurt."

Adams, a Georgia native who will be a senior next season at Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, cited McCray's hiring as a factor in his decision to attend UCLA. Before McCray moved to Los Angeles earlier this month, the pair worked out together during training sessions in which Adams would hoist 700 shots.

"He helped me get to where I am now," said Adams, who picked UCLA over Memphis, Miami and Georgia. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be getting recruited by all these schools."

The commitment of Adams could signal a breakthrough for UCLA in its national recruiting efforts, particularly with McCray's ties to the South.

"Obviously, it gives them a huge in with a part of the country that UCLA has never recruited hardly at all," said Greg Hicks, a West Coast recruiting analyst for Scout.com.

Adams said he would try to bolster his recruiting class. When he announced his decision live on the Internet, Adams slipped on a UCLA hat and said he wanted top prospects Shabazz Muhammad and L.J. Rose to accompany him to college as well as Goodwin.

Ultimately, Hicks said, McCray will play a bigger role than Adams in influencing other players to become Bruins.

"I think it's a mistaken impression that some people have that by getting Jordan Adams they have a better chance of getting the next guy," Hicks said. "In my experience, it has more to do with the relationship of the coach recruiting the kid than other kids going to the school. Most kids don't follow a player because he went to a school."

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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