Indiana State Recruiting
by Alex Schwartz
After a long swoon during the holiday season, things have picked back up in a hurry on the recruiting trail. One of the nation’s best big men made his pledge and several, as did a top-notch junior guard and several other players.
Dakari Johnson of Montverde Academy (FL) became yet another part of the star-studded Kentucky recruiting class. The 6-foot-10 class of 2013 center picked the Wildcats over Georgetown and Syracuse.
Johnson had been ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75, but he has since reclassified up to 2013. UK already has four additional top-15 commits in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, as John Calipari is putting together his, if not the best class yet.
Those that have watched Mark Williams of Cleveland (OH)’s Benedictine High School and the TNBA East AAU program over the last year have described him as an ‘old-school’ big man. The 6-foot-8, 245-lb big man prospect in the Class of 2013 is not looking to play on the wing, face-up and shoot three-pointers. Instead he plans to go on the low block, fight for position and finish in the paint. He uses his strength and size to carve out space on the boards and to defend in the paint.
Williams drew a lot of interest from college coaches in the summer because of those traits. The willingness to play inside and bring that toughness attracted many programs to take an interest in him. His recruiting has slowed a bit this fall because of injuries, but expect many schools to be checking him ou this season.
“Many colleges didn’t come out this fall because I was injured,” Williamssaid when asked about visits from colleges this fall. “I had a slight fracture in my right shin.”
Still, the list of schools actively recruiting Williams that he is considering is an impressive list with Cincinnati, Indiana, Indiana State, Akron, Kent State, Robert Morris, George Mason, Xavier, West Virginia, Florida State, Central Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Northwestern and Northern Illinois all getting a mention from Williams. The list spans many conferences and levels of Division 1-A basketball, a point he noted when he talked about the possibility of playing outside what we currently know as the BCS conferences.
“Kent State by far…made me understand that you dont have to go to a big conference to play top notch basketball,” Williams said.
Williams, who hopes to work on his athleticism this season as he progresses as a player and has a goal of winning a state title at Benedictine, currently has no favorites, but has an impressive offer list to choose from.
“No favorites just yet,” said Williams, “but Indiana, Ohio, Kent State, Robert Morris, George Mason, Central Florida [and] Toledo [have offered].”
When it comes time for a decision, Williams will likely keep it simple, looking at “location and just a family atmosphere” as factors likely to play the biggest role in his decision.
NBE will certainly keep an eye on Mark Williams this season and the developments in his recruitment. The ‘old-school’ Class of 2013 big man will definitely be one to watch in the next year as he becomes more of a priority for college recruiters.
By Alex Schwartz
FLORIDA & ALABAMA LEAD FOR 2012 C HAUGHTON
Tyrone Haughton, a 6-foot-9 center out of Miami’s Dr. Krop High School, said he has offers from Western Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, West Virginia and Miami to go along with interest from Marshall.
As for his favorites, he said, “Florida or Alabama, either one.”
Haughton said Alabama, Florida and West Virginia are the three schools coming at him the hardest.
He has yet to take any visits, but plans to visit each of the schools on his list. Haughton plans to commit in the “fall this year” and will sign early.
Haughton would like to remain close to home for college.
By Alex Schwartz
The grind continues in Orlando as we move into the home stretch of the 2011 AAU National Championships. On Thursday NBE caught up with Malik Price-Martin, Kasey Hill, Duane Wilson Jr., Kobe Eubanks and Zacarry Douglas for the latest on their recruitment.
The action continues on Friday and through the weekend in Orlando and NBE will be on hand right through the conclusion. In the 16U level they have reached the FInal 8 of Pool Play. Match-ups late this morning include BABC/Garner Road, Ohio Varsity White/Rising Stars Gold, NY Gauchos/All-Ohio Red & Team Takeover/Ohio Hoopsters Cash. The semifinals will be played later this afternoon and the championship game is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.
17U action has moved into championship bracket play with 32 teams left after early morning play. The field will be narrowed to 16 later today and then tomorrow the Final 8 will square off. Some big names remain and Albany City Rocks and Texas PRO square off today for a spot in the final 16. The Arkansas Wings, Florida Rams, CP3, All-Iowa Attack, PA Playaz, Wisconsin Playground Elite and others highlight the remaining teams.
Below you will find our recruiting updates from yesterday….
By Raphielle Johnson
On paper Sunday’s slate of games in both the adidas Super 64 and Las Vegas Fab 48 looked to be locks for the top teams. But many learned (once again) first-hand that games are played on the floor and not on some poster-sized sheet of paper in a gym lobby. The list of victims included the Oakland Soldiers, who dropped their first round playoff game to a Branch West Elite team that looked highly impressive in the first half against Play Hard Play Smart in the nightcap.
Also bounced from the Fab 48 were TP Elite and Team Loaded, both of whom fell victim to the Wisconsin Swing. Zak Showalter (2012) out of Germantown (WI), who scored 29 points in their 90-75 win over Team Loaded, can do a number of things on the floor from his guard position. He caught fire from deep but didn’t simply settle for those shots, also driving to the basket and setting up teammates for good looks as well. Ironically Showalter stated after the game that he’s working on becoming a better perimeter shooter, although he was referring to consistency as opposed to simply making the shot.
That matchup also featured a pair of excellent prospects in NC State commit Tyler Lewis (2012) and Andrew White (2012), who has many top programs after his services. When the ball was in Lewis’s hands things seemed to run smoother for Team Loaded, although the way in which Wisconsin Swing executed offensively it may have taken 100 points for Team Loaded to win the game.
By Matt Whitfield
The return to the summer basketball camp scene by Reebok has been well received. The competition and talent level is certainly solid at the Gallagher Athletic Center on the campus of Philadelphia University. NBE took in the action for the most part of the day Thursday and was able to touch base with many of the players to learn the latest on their recruitments. While the camp had a strong group of Mid-Major+ prospects, there was more than a fair share of players who will land at higher levels in college. Below is a rundown of who we caught up with yesterday.
Rysheed Jordan (Robert Vaux HS/Players Teaching Players)
There was a lot of hype centering Jordan entering the camp and many scouts, reporters and college coaches were anxious to get a look at him. He did not disappoint as the 6-foot-3, Class of 2013 point guard has all the look of a sure fire high major recruit. He has definitely noticed the increased attention of late.
“I think I’m blowing up,” said Jordan of the recent influx of recruiting attention. “I’m easing my way up.”