Pepperdine Loses Recruit Too : College basketball: One day after resignation of Asbury, Ramirez changes mind about commitment.

TIMES PREP SPORTS EDITOR

A day after Tom Asbury resigned as the men's basketball coach at Pepperdine, one of the Waves' top recruits reneged on a commitment.

Joey Ramirez, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Ventura College, recently visited the Malibu campus and told Asbury last week he would play for the Waves next season. But when Asbury announced Tuesday he was leaving for Kansas State, Ramirez decided not to sign a letter of intent.

"That was the only visit I took, and I was very excited about playing at Pepperdine," said Ramirez, who averaged 15 points and six assists last season. "Now I think I'll wait it out and see what happens. I may want to take some other visits."

The spring signing period for prospective college athletes began Wednesday and continues through May 15.

Pepperdine signed three players during the early signing period in November and has two scholarships remaining. But with no coach, it might have trouble filling them.

USC Coach George Raveling is also having trouble awarding his final two scholarships. He was hoping to sign 6-4 guard Jeron Roberts of Covina Charter Oak High and 6-6 forward Joe Zaletel of El Camino College near Torrance.

Although Roberts, who averaged 33 points last season, received a letter of intent in the mail from USC, he signed with Wyoming. Zaletel, who averaged 28 points, signed with Arizona State.

Cameron Murray, a 6-0 guard from Glendora High and the brother of Tracy Murray of the Portland Trail Blazers, is the Trojans' lone recruit. He signed in November.

UCLA has one scholarship remaining. The Bruins hope to give it to Jelani Gardner of Bellflower St. John Bosco High. Gardner, a 6-6 guard, said he will announce his decision Friday. He is also considering Cal and Arkansas.

If Gardner does not choose UCLA, the Bruins are in the running for 6-5 forward Brandon Jessie of Ventura College. Jessie has several recruiting trips planned.

Several of the area's top players announced their choices Wednesday.

Jamie Gillin, a 6-4 guard from Compton Dominguez, will attend Tulsa, and 6-1 guard Sam Turks of Inglewood signed with Utah State.

Mimi McKinney, a 5-9 guard from Palos Verdes Peninsula and one of the area's top girls' players, signed with Virginia. She also considered Auburn and Washington.

"It's a long way from home, but I'm thrilled to be going there," said McKinney, a four-year starter and three-time All-American.

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