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New UCLA assistant gives Bruins added recruiting edge

Jun 9, 2011, 10:43 PM EDT

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The last time UCLA secured a highly touted recruit who wasn’t from the West Coast was 2008 when Dallas center J’mison Morgan was part of a class that included Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson and Drew Gordon.Before that, it was pretty much only Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in 2005.

But hey, it’s UCLA. The Bruins should – and usually do – have their pick of the best in California and most of the West Coast.

But the last few years haven’t been quite as fruitful. They missed out on Derrick Williams, Michael Snaer, Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner, among others. (An odd dip in the California talent base also hasn’t helped.)

So Ben Howland did what any smart coach would do. He snagged an assistant with ties to a strong AAU program by announcing the addition of Korey McCray to the staff.

Even smarter? McCray’s ties are to Atlanta, giving the Bruins a direct line to East Coast talent.

“There’s no guarantee he’s going to be able to recruit the players. But he knows the family and will have, from a familiarity standpoint and personal-contact standpoint, [a relationship] that should be very advantageous for him and for UCLA,” North Carolina-based recruiting expert Bob Gibbons told the L.A. Times.

McCray’s worked closely with the likes of Dwight Howard, John Wall, Javaris Crittenton, Anthony Morrow, Jarrett Jack and Von Wafer. That’s an excellent way to impress potential recruits.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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