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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/9/2012): ORANGE CONTINUE TO SIZZLE ON RECRUITING TRAIL AHEAD OF ACC MOVE

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

The two biggest high school hoops stories to come since our last Recruiting Notebook are both out of the class of 2014.

First off, Chris McCullough became just the second player in the top 25 of the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75 to make a college decision. The 6-foot-9 power forward from Brewster Academy (NH) pledged to Syracuse, in news that looks to have been first reported by CuseNation.com.

McCullough is a native New Yorker and a high school teammate of recent 2013 Syracuse pledge Ron Patterson. McCullough is ranked No. 22 in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75.

The Orange may not be done in 2014 as NBE’s 19th best player in the class, Isaiah Whitehead, has narrowed his list to 10, per ESPN, and the Orange remain one of the leaders.  The final 10 for the NYC guard are:  Syracuse, St. John’s, Rutgers, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Maryland, Florida, Kansas and UCLA.

Dakari Johnson was the other 2014 stud to make news this week, except, well, Johnson is no longer a member of that class. Johnson has made the decision to reclassify to 2013, per Garrett Tucker of Future150.com.

The 6-foot-10 center from Montverde Academy (FL) was ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75. He is the third top-20 player to reclassify from 2014 to 2013 in the past few months, following Andrew Wiggins, Noah Vonleh and Wayne Selden.

Now, onto the class of 2013 . . . UCLA landed 6-foot-6 small forward Noah Allen of Palma (CA). The news of Allen’s decision was broken by Scout.com’s Josh Gershon. Allen is a former Harvard commitment.

Jamaree Strickland, a 6-foot-9 center, committed to the Cincinnati Bearcats, per a tweet from his AAU coach with the Hunting Park Warriors, Richard Guillen. An under the radar player, Strickland is a California native who is in a post-graduate year at Queen City Prep (NC).

According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, Xavier picked up a commitment from Kamall Richards. A 6-foot-5 small forward, Richards is in a post-graduate year at South Kent (CT) and is coming off a very strong showing on the AAU circuit that really helped boost his stock.

Tuesday was a great day for the South Alabama basketball program. The Jaguars landed both Vieux Kande and Kenneth Williams. Kande, whose commitment was broken by Scott Golden of The Hoop Exchange, is a 6-foot-9 center out of the Sagemont School (FL) who could be a major impact player. Williams is a 6-foot point guard from Episcopal (TX) who is a solid player in his own right. Jim Hicks of RCS Sports had the news of Williams’ decision.

DJ Bowles of Oldsmar Christian (FL) popped to Wichita State, according to a tweet from his high school coach, Jordan Fair. Bowles is a 6-foot-1 point guard from Tennessee and had been committed to UCF earlier in his high school career.

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels had the news that Denzel Taylor of St. Benedict’s (NJ) committed to Old Dominion. The 6-foot-7 power forward is a native of Canada who runs with the high-powered CIA Bounce AAU program.

Western Carolina landed a player with some distinct upside, in the form of 6-foot-9 center Charlendez Brooks of Byrnes (SC). Justin Byerly broke the news of the big man’s selection.

Corbyn Jackson, a 6-foot-6 power forward from Goochland (VA), tweeted his commitment to Radford. The rugged low post presence should be a nice player for the Highlanders. He had been previously listed as a 2013 prospect, but some reports have him in the 2014 class now.

Joel Embiid of The Rock School (FL) is going to announce his college choice next week, per Evan Daniels. The 6-foot-10 center also tweeted that he is down to a final three of Florida, Kansas and Texas. Embiid is ranked No. 73 in the NBE Sports 2013 Top 125.

Justin Byerly reported that Seton Hall-commit Aquille Carr will be transferring to Princeton Day Academy (MD) instead of Arlington Country Day (FL), as was expected. Carr is a 5-foot-6 point guard who is ranked No. 51 in the NBE Sports 2013 Top 125.

Matt Welch of the Plano Star Courier reported that class of 2015 superstar Mickey Mitchell did indeed tear his ACL. The 6-foot-6 small forward from Prestonwood Christian (TX) is the top-ranked player in the NBE Sports Class of 2015 Post-July Top 25.

Finally, to close with some good news, Austin Hatch has been cleared by his doctor to return to the court for practice drills, per ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein. Hatch, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Canterbury (IN), suffered serious injuries in a plane crash last June that also killed his father and stepmother (read more Here, from Eamonn Brennan). Hatch, who is committed to Michigan, has reportedly been granted an extra year of eligibility and is now in the 2014 class. Regardless of classification though, the important news is that Hatch is back on the court!

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