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Ioannis Papapetrou to the Big 12; USA notes

10/19/2011

Shooting 3s ...

Papapetrou will play in the Big 12

On Saturday, Florida Air Academy will celebrate its 50th year as a school. During the celebration, senior forward Ioannis Papapetrou (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Air) will announce his college choice. After visiting Kansas and Texas, the native of Greece opted to shut down his recruitment.

This week, Papapetrou cancelled visits with Florida, George Mason and Alabama. His coach, Aubin Goporo, said Papapetrou has a tough decision and he hasn’t made it yet. In order to focus on the upcoming season, the senior set a date to decide and Saturday’s the day.

“He came back from Kansas singing ‘Rock Chalk, Jayhawk,'” Goporo said. “He came back from Texas with the Hook ‘em sign.” Translation: this guy’s torn. He’s going to play in the Big 12 but your guess is as good as mine as to where he lands. Kansas was the dream school but Texas made a big impression on him.

Florida Air Academy is a place where kids improve (see Will Yeguette). Papapetrou struggled with the pace and style of AAU ball in the spring, however, the track record of success of former Florida Air players -- Walter Hodge and Sasha Kaun to name a few -- is impressive.

Terps emerging for Graham

The Maryland Terrapins and Baylor Bears are players for Torian Graham (Durham, N.C./Arlington Country Day), a shooting guard who once committed to NC State. Terps coach Mark Turgeon has been down to ACD to express Maryland’s interest; Baylor coach Scott Drew hasn't ... yet.

ACD coach Rex Morgan, a former NBA player, was not sure if Graham would be deciding early or in the spring. Maryland’s strongly in the mix though no visit has been set up to date. Texas Tech has a hook with Graham and Kentucky may come and see him this fall.

Texas Tech is an interesting inclusion on Graham’s list. Pat Knight once signed Tyree Graham, Torian’s brother and had him at school before Graham mysteriously transferred out. However, there’s a new regime in Lubbock and the Red Raiders own a commitment from his teammate, Jordan Goodman. More importantly, Tech has a former ACD assistant on staff so there’s a connection to the program.

What we’re hearing is that Maryland is in the driver’s seat with no end to his recruitment in sight. The good news is, Graham’s healthy. “Some people were waiting to see about his knees,” Morgan said. Doctors in Florida diagnosed Graham as suffering from Patella Tendonitis and speculate that he’s not finished growing.

More intel from USA Basketball weekend

What’s going on in Colorado? It’s threatening to become a basketball state. Josh Scott (Monument, Colo./Palmer) is a Top 50 kid in 2012 and now Dominique Collier (Denver/East) is at least that in the 2014 class. Collier has great bloodlines as he’s related to former NBA standout Sidney Moncrief on his mom’s side. Colorado and Iowa have offered him. North Carolina, Arizona, Stanford and Oklahoma are schools he also likes.

Larry Austin (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier), a sophomore point guard, holds offers from Illinois and DePaul.

Kendrick Nunn (Chicago, Ill./Simeon) is no longer committed to Texas A&M. The new players for his services include Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida State, Memphis, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Illinois and DePaul in addition to the Aggies.

And One ...

One of the strangest situations in recent memory is regarding Jordan Hare (Saginaw, Mich./Arthur Hill). Widely regarded as one of the top prospects in the Class of 2012 early in his high school career, Hare went under the radar by choice the past few seasons. He played high school ball with Greg McMath, a veteran coach in Michigan, but then would often be M.I.A. at AAU events and camps. There were times when you’d be at one event and he’d be listed on different teams but never show up. He was difficult to find and more difficult to locate in person outside of the high school season.

On Wednesday, Hare made a college decision. Following a weekend visit to Rhode Island, according to McMath, he became a Ram.

“You watch him workout, you see him and he’s a Top 20 kid in the country,” McMath said. “For some reason, he didn’t want to play summer ball. He took himself out of the mix of offers by not playing. Anybody that comes in to see him would want him. He’s 6-10 [with a] 40-inch vert with skill. He’s a big-time high-major player. He took himself out of the mix by not playing basketball this summer.”

To Rhode Island’s credit, it never wavered in the pursuit of Hare and a big reason why is assistant coach Preston Murphy, a native of Saginaw. “He felt like it was the only school that was really on him (hard) and recruiting him,” McMath said. “With Preston Murphy being on staff from Saginaw, he feels comfortable with it.”