Nov. 15, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball program has signed three high school standouts and one prep school star to National Letters of Intent, head coach Bob Williams announced Monday.
The Gauchos' 2011 recruiting class includes: John Green, a 6-foot-5 wing from Westwind Prep in Phoenix who graduated from Oakland's Castlemont High School in 2010; Alan Williams a 6-foot-7 senior post player from Phoenix's North High School; T.J. Taylor a 5-foot-9 point guard from Oakland High School; and Taran Brown, a 6-foot-8 wing from Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyo.
"On paper this is as good a class as I can remember us recruiting," Williams said. "All four are really good players and every one of them has tremendous upside. They are also great kids, and that's very important."
John Green - G, 6-5, 180, Oakland, Calif. (Castlemont HS), Westwind Prep (Phoenix)
The 6-foot-5 Green averaged 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot per game as a senior at Castlemont High School. As a senior in 2010, he led Castlemont to the Oakland Athletic League Tournament championship and then into the second round of the Northern California playoffs. He was an All-Oakland Athletic League, All-Bay Area and All-Alameda County selection. Green is long and athletic and has range that extends out to the three-point line. He currently leads his Westwind Prep squad in scoring. In his AAU experience, Green played Team 94 and Bay Area Hoosiers.
"John is a powerful and athletic player with a tremendous work ethic," Williams said. "He is a natural scorer more than a shooter. He played the five (post) in high school and the three-four for his AAU teams. John will fit into the mold of our scoring wings like (Branduinn) Fullove, (Alex) Harris, (James) Nunnally and O.J. (Orlando Johnson."
T.J. Taylor - G, 5-9, 160, Oakland, Calif. (Oakland HS)
Taylor is a point guard who also has outstanding shooting range and the ability to score. As a junior at Oakland High School, Taylor averaged 18.6 points and 3.2 assists per game while leading his team to the Oakland Athletic League regular season title and to the second round of the Northern California championships. He made 59 three-point baskets and scored a high of 32 points against Miramonte High School. Taylor was named Oakland Athletic League Most Valuable Player, All-Oakland Athletic League and All-Alameda County. He was ranked 22nd on Cali High Sports' list of the top-25 high school seniors in California and Scouthoops.com ranks him seventh among point guards on the West Coast. Taylor played summer circuit with Oakland Rebels AAU.
"T.J. is very quick and very strong," Williams said. "He can get anywhere he wants to get on the floor and that ability will be very valuable to us. He shoots the ball with range and is very dynamic and quick."
Alan Williams - F, 6-7, 240, Phoenix, Ariz. (North HS)
Williams was a First Team 5A All-State player and led North High School to its second straight Arizona State championship in 2010. Williams averaged a double-double at 12.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He also averaged 3.3 blocked shots per game and made 58% of his field goal attempts. He had a season-best 26 points against Mesa High School and 17 rebounds against Browne High School of Phoenix. Williams, who has a nearly 7-foot wingspan, blocked six or more shots eight times, including a career-best nine in the Arizona State championship game against Chavez High School of Laveen, Ariz. Entering his senior season, he is a preseason All-Metro and All-State selection.
"Alan is a big, strong 6-7 post player," Williams said. "He has great, great hands and when a game is on-the-line he finds ways to help his team win. When games get close he makes free throws, put-backs, blocks shots and gets big rebounds. Alan has a phenomenal upside and has the chance to be a special player."
Taran Brown - F, 6-8, 190, Gillette, Wyo. (Campbell County HS)
As a junior, Brown helped his Campbell County High School team to the Wyoming state championship game and a 27-1 record. He averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocked shots, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He also blocked 44 shots and he was the fourth player in school history to grab 200 or more rebounds in a season. Brown scored in double-figures in 23 of 28 games. A former high jumper, he has a 6-11 wingspan.
"Taran is long, athletic and he can really run," Williams said. "He is a good shooter and plays above the rim. He can defend the two and he will ultimately be strong enough to play the four. As a player, he is a lot like (former Gaucho) Mark Hull. He also has a great family and is very coachable."
The 2010-11 Gauchos, which are 1-2 and lost a last-second heartbreaker at Oregon on Sunday night, will open their regular season home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 20 when they play Fresno State at the Thunderdome. The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m.
Season tickets remain on sale for the 2010-11 UCSB basketball season. There are numerous packages and affordable plans. For more information, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.
A donation to the Gaucho Fund - regardless of the sport it supports - will be part of the One Donation is Gold system. This allows donors to purchase priority/premium seating and parking at UCSB games across several sports in addition to other benefits.
Tune in to UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show Talk'n Gauchos, which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from the Beachside Bar & Café on Goleta Beach. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways and can even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.