by Alex Schwartz
Two of the top uncommitted players in the nation made their commitments while in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American Game and numerous other 2013 prospects also pledged in the past several days.
Elite frontcourt prospect Aaron Gordon of Archbishop Mitty (CA) announced his intentions to attend Arizona for his college ball, per multiple reports. A 6-foot-8 power forward, Gordon is one of the top ranked players in America in the class of 2013. He selected the Wildcats over Kentucky, Oregon and Washington. Gordon is the second McDonald’s All-American in Arizona’s recruiting class, joining 6-foot-7 small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of Chester (PA).
Keith Frazier of Kimball (TX), the best available shooting guard in the nation, committed to SMU, per his Twitter account. The 6-foot-5 class of 2013 prospect is the first ever McDonald’s All-American for the Mustangs, according the game broadcast. Frazier was also considering Texas A&M and Texas Tech, according to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels.
The top available class of 2013 guard in the nation, Rysheed Jordan of Vaux (PA), took his name off the board and pledged to St. John’s, per multiple reports. Jordan is a 6-foot-3 point guard who selected the Red Storm over Temple and UCLA.
Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com had the news that Jamel Artis of Notre Dame Prep (MA) committed to Pittsburgh. Artis is a 6-foot-7 combo forward and a fifth-year class of 2013 recruit.
Dominique Hawkins announced his commitment to Kentucky at a press conference at his school, per multiple reports. The 6-foot point guard from Madison Central (KY) is the eighth member of UK’s 2013 recruiting class, the second of whom is an in-state prospect.
by Alex Schwartz
Before getting into the recruiting news, we want to send our condolences to the family and friends of Josh Level. A standout basketball player from North Carolina in the junior class, Level sadly passed away last week, far too young. The guys over at Ball is Life put together a nice “Josh Level Tribute Mix,” which can be found Here.
On the trail, one of the biggest pieces of news involved a star dual-sport athlete. Derrick Griffin of Terry (TX) committed to Miami for football, in news that looks to have been broken by Peter Ariz of Canesooks to have been broken by Peter Ariz of CanesInSight.com. The class of 2013 prospect, who has signed a Letter of Intent, is expected to play basketball at Miami as well.
Griffin, who checks in at 6-foot-6, is a wide receiver/tight end on the gridiron and a power forward on the hardwood. He had been committed to Texas A&M for a long time, but did not sign with the Aggies due to reported academic issues.
Tyrek Coger of Word of God Christian Academy (NC) tweeted that he pledged to Middle Tennessee State. Coger is a 6-foot-8 center in the class of 2013 and he is a former Missouri commit.
Quadri Moore is a prime recruiting target for many current BIG EAST programs and his recruitment is expanding, much like his game. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward out of Linden (NJ) High School is learning this season that simple is sometimes better as he faces more and more attention from the opponents who try to slow him down.
“I am starting to now improve on beating double teams and learning to make the easier plays and passes rather than flashy things,” Moore told NBE earlier today on what he is working on the most to improve this season.
When the spring and summer evaluation period rolls around again, you can expect many college coaches to come check out Moore and his talented Sports U teammates on the AAU trail. Moore is a veteran of the sights and sounds of the AAU circuit, so this year he is hoping to make his final season on the circuit counts in the wins and losses column.
by Alex Schwartz
Several high-major programs landed commitments in the past week, including a couple from the Big East. That includes a program from the Midwest coming into the New York metro area to land a top 25 recruit.
Jermaine Lawrence, a New York native who attends Pope John XXIII (NJ), popped to Cincinnati, per his Tumblr account. Lawrence, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is ranked No. 24 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.
Lawrence selected the Bearcats over St. John’s and UNLV. He is the fifth member of Cincinnati’s 2013 recruiting class and is a significant addition.
RJ Curington of Oak Hill Academy (VA) pledged to DePaul, according to Brian Snow of Scout.com. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Curington was among the better available players in the nation in the class of 2013 and is a nice late pickup for the Blue Demons.
Scout.com’s Josh Gershon had the news that Dion Wade of Findlay Prep (NV) came off the board to Auburn. A 6-foot-7 small forward, Wade is the second player from Findlay Prep in the class of 2013 to pick the Tigers. The other is Benas Griciunas, a 6-foot-10 power forward.
by Alex Schwartz
While the last week or so has not been crazy on the recruiting trail, it has certainly not been as slow as the holiday season. The rundown includes a few high-major programs adding 2013 commitments, a powerhouse getting a 2014 pledge, USA Basketball releasing some big news and more.
We begin with the 2014 pledge, which came from Joel Berry, the No. 20 prospect in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75. Berry, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Lake Highland Prep (FL), has popped for North Carolina, per Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com. He is a major pickup for the Tar Heels and is the highest ranked committed player in the NBE Sports 2014 rankings.
Amida Brimah, a 6-foot-11 class of 2013 center committed to UConn, per Coast 2 Coast Hoops. Brimah attends Archbishop Carroll (FL), after transferring over from Monsignor Pace (FL). He is a bit under the radar and fairly raw, but has some definite upside and can really impact the game when he is in the groove.
Jerron Wilbut of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (WI) is off the board to Seton Hall, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Wilbut is a 6-foot-3 class of 2013 shooting guard who is in a post-graduate year after attending Downers Grove South (IL).
Sticking with the news on ZagsBlog.com and the current BIG EAST, Rutgers picked up a commitment from South Kent (Conn.) point guard Shane Rector. The 6-foot-1 Rector is the first commit in the 2013 class for Mike Rice and the Scarlet Knights.
by Alex Schwartz
HACKENSACK, N.J. – Eight teams made their way to Hackensack (NJ) High School on Sunday for the New Year’s Jump-Off. The quartet of games featured only teams from the Garden State, but there was a great deal of talent on display, including a few players headed to high-major programs.
Reggie Cameron of Hudson Catholic is the easy choice of who turned in the day’s best performance. The 6-foot-8 small forward dropped 30 points and may well have had more if he shot more the fourth quarter had the game been close. Cameron, ranked No. 62 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, also grabbed 12 rebounds, distributed the ball well and made his presence felt on defense. A big-time shooter from long range, the future Georgetown Hoya really had his shot going in this game. He has such a smooth stroke and possesses the size to get it off over most defenders. Cameron also scored from midrange and at the rim. The senior even displayed the ability to play the point, which is something he has not really done before. He blocked shots, found open teammates for buckets and was the best low post player in the game, despite being a three man. Cameron led his team to a 70-53 victory over Pope John XXIII and put on in absolute show in his home city of Hackensack.
by Alex Schwartz
ROSELLE, N.J. – D’Angelo Russell stole the show at the Roselle Catholic (NJ) Hoops for Troops Basketball Classic last night.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooting finished with 21 points, including 17 in the second quarter. It was during that period that he connected on five 3-pointers during about a five minute span.
The No. 12 ranked player in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75 helped lead Montverde Academy (FL) to a 77-51 victory over the host, Roselle Catholic.
“I feel like I try to step up and make big-time plays for my teammates and for myself and I just felt like it was the opportunity to go,” Russell said of his second quarter outburst.
Asked how often he gets in a zone like that, Russell replied, “I try to as quick as I can. The atmosphere was great, so adapting to the atmosphere was just what I try to do, and that’s what happened.”
The elite Class of 2014 guard talked in a bit more detail about what playing in front of a big-time crowd means.
by Alex Schwartz
Things continue to be slow on the recruiting trail, but there is still a bit of high school hoops news from the past week or so to go over.
First off, Leron Black of White Station (TN) has decommitted from Baylor, per John Martin of the The Commercial Appeal. Black is a 6-foot-7 power forward who ranks No. 13 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75. He was amongst the top non-senior players in American who had made a decision, but he is now back on the board.
Kameron Rooks of Mission Hills (CA) tweeted his intentions to attend Cal. Rooks is a 7-foot class of 2013 center who picked the Bears over a few other programs in the Pac-12. His father is former Arizona standout Sean Rooks.
Hofstra picked up a pledge from 6-foot-1 guard Iverson Fleming, per Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Fleming is a class of 2013 prospect from New Brunswick (NJ).
by Alex Schwartz
GLENSIDE, Pa. – Five teams from New York City, four from Philadelphia and one from New Jersey made their way to Arcadia University yesterday for the sixth annual VILLA Classic. Although most of the games ended with lopsided scores, there was still some nice talent on display.
There are several players who could stake claim to this honor, but we are going to go with Brandon Austin. The future Providence Friar was not amongst the players who dropped 20+ points, but he turned in the best all-around performance. The versatile senior from Imhotep Charter (PA) is capable of playing multiple positions, but, as he showed on Saturday, he is best suited at the point guard spot. Austin is capable of both scoring the ball himself—he finished with 18 points against Lincoln (NY)—and facilitating things for others. He runs the offense quite adeptly and is a superb defender. The 6-foot-6 Austin locked up and forced steals, but he was also able to block shots around the rim. His combination of size, skill and length allows him to impact the game in multiple ways. Additionally, the No. 47 ranked player in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Top 125 has a nice feel for the game.
by Alex Schwartz
Things have been very quiet on the trail over the past week, with few major commitments. However, there were a few newsworthy items from the high school hoops world lately and they are detailed below.
First off, the Oklahoma High School Sports Express reported that Stevie Clark of Douglass (OK) had signed his Letter of Intent to attend Oklahoma State. Clark is a 5-foot-10 point guard and he is ranked as the No. 101 player in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. He is the second talented guard to pledge to the Cowboys recently, joining 6-foot-2 shooting guard Detrick Mostella of La Lumiere (IN).
Jeff Tarpley of AggieYell.com had the news that Tony Trocha inked with Texas A&M. Trocha is a 6-foot-10 center from Colombia who attends Saint Thomas (TX). The long post player has some definite upside and Scout.com’s Evan Daniels reported that he may enroll in College Station this season.
Class of 2013 stud Julius Randle will be out for three months with a fractured right foot, per Jason Jordan of USA Today. Randle, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (TX), is ranked No. 5 in the NBE Sports 2013 Top 125.
by Alex Schwartz
Signing week is now in the books, but a number of other 2013 players made their college commitments since our last Recruiting Notebook on Monday. Some popped before the signing period ended and some after it.
The best senior to come off the board in the past few days is Brandon Austin of Imhotep Charter (PA). Austin is a 6-foot-6 point guard/small forward and he is now a future Providence Friar, per his Twitter account.
A long, versatile player with an impressive skill set, Austin was at one point committed to Penn State. Ranked No. 47 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, Austin picked the Friars over Texas and UConn.
Manhattan got an incredibly huge coup in landing JUCO stud Chris Thomas of Chipola College (FL). The news was broken by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Thomas is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who was at one point ranked amongst the top 10 players in high school in the class of 2012 before opting to take a unique route and enrolling at a junior college.
By Sherwyn Cooper
Rashad Richardson led his Kiski Cougars to a huge upset win over one of the nations premier basketball prep programs, Brewster Academy (Game High 29 points) on Saturday night. It was evident in the 6’5 swingman’s demeanor there was something he was out to prove. According to his coaches, Richardson informed them that a local recruiting report in Indiana had him as there #1 prospect until former Indiana signee Ron Patterson (Syracuse-Commit ) decided to take a prep year at Brewster Academy, pushing him to the #2 spot. While they insist there is no personal hard feelings between Patterson and Richardson, Rashad took the match up as chance to prove his worth.
After the biggest surprise performance at the National Prep Showcase, Richardson called his high school coaches Tuesday night and informed them both he and his father would like to reopen his recruitment. Richardson, a virtual unknown outside the state of Indiana, had verbally committed to IUPUI and had plan to sign his Letter of Intent on Monday after the prep showcase. Since decommitting Duquesne, Pittsburgh, Utah, Manhattan and Rutgers have expressed interest in Richardson with IUPUI still in the mix.
Now that the Class of 2013 is able to sign their Letters of Intents to officialy close their recruitment, the Class of 2014 will move more toward the focus of coaches, fans and scouts. The recruitment of the big men in any class is usually the slowest to come into focus, however one talented big man in the Class of 2014 has already gathered a strong following of interested college programs.
6-foot-10, 210-pound Andre Walker caught the eye of NBE reporters a few times last summer on the AAU trail as the Bullis School (MD) prospect was on the circuit with the always talented DC Assault program. Now back in the home environment of his high school, plenty of schools have made contact to let him know they will be following his development.
D’Angelo Russell has solidified his position as one of the lite prospects in the Class of 2014 at every stop on the summer and spring AAU trail and throughout a decorated high school and prep career. The current Montverde (FL) Academy standout completed the summer ranked #12 by NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth in the NBE Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75.
Russell has the complete skill package as a 6-foot-4+, 180-pound shooting guard. He can create off the bounce for himself and others. He is strong enough to get to the rim and finish through contact and he can hit the perimeter shot consistently out past the three-point arc. Russell is also not afraid to defend and will do so with effort consistently. While his goal is to win a national title with Montverde this season, he can’t help but look forward to his final year on the AAU circuit ahead where he will plans to either play with E1T1 out of Florida or All-Ohio Red closer to his home in Kentucky.
by Alex Schwartz
It is rare that the biggest news to come out of signing week involves a player who cannot sign a Letter of Intent for another two years, but one could argue that is the case thus far. That is partially due to the lack of major commitments and partially due to the fact that the news from the sophomore class is pretty big.
Here is a look at some of the bigger stories of the week, some from yesterday, the first day of the early signing period, and some from the days leading up to it.
We start it with the aforementioned sophomore who has grabbed the headlines. In news that looks to have been first reported by Joseph Thompson of SEC Basketball Recruiting, Karl Towns, Jr. has decided to announce his college decision on December 4th. A 6-foot-10 power forward/center out of St. Joseph’s Metuchen (NJ), Towns is one of the best prospects in the nation regardless of class. He is ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2015 Post-July Top 25.
Towns has most of the nation’s elite programs coming after him and basically has his selection of schools. There has long been some chatter about Kentucky when it comes to Towns and the Wildcats could be the favorite here.
by Alex Schwartz
The early signing period is set to begin on Wednesday and that means class of 2013 recruits will finally be able to make their verbal commitments official.
Despite the approach of the signing period, the past few days have been fairly quiet on the recruiting front. However, there was one major commitment from an elite prospect.
Noah Vonleh of New Hampton (NH) committed to the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday night, in news first reported by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Vonleh had been ranked No. 6 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-Summer Top 75 before reclassifying back to the 2013 class.
Now that he is in the senior class, Vonleh may well be amongst the top-10 players in the 2013 class and he is a huge addition for Tom Crean’s program. The 6-foot-8 power forward’s pledge to IU comes only a few weeks after he trimmed his list to six schools. The other finalists were Georgetown, Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and UConn.
Another player in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75 also made his commitment recently. Scout.com’s Brian Snow broke the news that Melvin Swift, Jr. of Yates (TX) had popped to Xavier. The 6-foot-7 junior power forward checks in at No. 59 in the rankings and is a big pickup for the Musketeers.
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.
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.
By Ron Bailey
Dion Wiley has established himself as a hot commodity on the national recruiting scene. This was basically done during the summer past, as previously only schools in the District-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area, or coaches with very strong connections there, like DePaul and then UMass, really knew he existed.
A summer with Team Takeover’s top 16u squad has changed things for the now 6-foot-4, 210-pound, Class of 2014 swingman.
“You want offers?” asked Wiley, after classes one day at his school, Potomac HS (MD), when asked to supply a college list.
By Ron Bailey
October 15, 2012 – Fresh off a Friday visit to University of Maryland, where he took in the Terp’s Midnight Madness celebration, on Sunday Roddy Peters shined some light on his recruitment status. His suitors need to take note, as then he noted a decision would likely be reached, “Probably in another two weeks”. A web rumor today, suggests Peters is planning on announcing his future college choice tonight. Anyway you cut it; things are coming to an end.
What about his visit to College Park for Midnight Madness, a celebration of everything Terp Hoops, one that is replicated all over the country by schools? (That day is the first a team can actually come together in a coaches supervised fashion).
“It went real good. The players were nice. The celebration was nice. The coaches were nice,” replied Peters, a Class of 2013 guard, one that attends Suitland HS (MD) and hit the circuit with DC Assault this year.
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by Alex Schwartz
Major commitments have continued to roll in over the past few days and there does not appear to be an end coming in the near future.
The biggest commitment to come down since Monday’s Recruiting Notebook was that of Karviar Shepherd. Not only is Shepherd a high-level prospect, but he has a chance to be somewhat a program changer at his future institution.
Shepherd, a 6-foot-9 center out of Prime Prep (TX), ended his recruitment by pledging to in-state TCU, according to ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin. The Horned Frogs are entering their first year in a BCS conference and are also under a first year head coach. However, Trent Johnson now has himself a player to build around in the Big 12, as Shepherd is ranked No. 14 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.
Shepherd showed at that 2012 Adidas Invitational last July his ability to score with both hands, make great passes from the post and refined footwork that most college big men would be jealous of. Shepherd also protects the rim and rebounds both ends of the floor at an elite level. NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst also wrote that Shepherd has the potential to be a dominant low post scorer at the college level after watching him perform in Indianapolis to kick off the July evaluation periods.