Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Telep's Top 10: Must-see 2014 recruits
By Dave Telep
The college basketball season may be over, but the spring travel team season for high school hoops recruiting hits its apex later this month.
And as the calendar turns to the spring signing period starting April 17, we can begin to put a bow on the Class of 2013 and turn our full attention toward the 2014 class just in time for the first of two April evaluation weekends starting on April 19. As we point toward May, we’ll be on the lookout for newbies in the 2014 class while we sharpen up old evaluations.
Personally, there are a few juniors I need to beef up my research on. Take ESPN 60 prospect Phil Cofer (Atlanta/Whitewater). The 6-foot-7 power forward is begging for an April evaluation. He’s a classic undersized (though maybe he’s bigger now) 4-man with a motor. But where is his game now? Is he ready to be a priority ACC or SEC recruit?
Questions like this will get answered -- or at least reviewed -- in the coming months. Going into the evaluation period, every good evaluator will tell you there’s a select group of players he’s most interested in eyeballing.
Here are the top 10 Class of 2014 recruits on my spring hit list.
Tyus Jones is the No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2014, but should continue to battle for the top spot.
1. Tyus Jones, PG
ESPN 60 Rank: No. 2
College: Undecided There are a lot of states that allow their high school teams to travel to national events. Minnesota, however, is pretty strict, so there wasn’t a chance to measure the No. 1 point guard from a national perspective this winter. Where is Jones’ game? It’ll be paramount to answer that question this spring. If past history holds true, Jones will be sharp. He has made big gains each spring.
2. Karl Towns Jr., C
ESPN 60 Rank: No. 5
College: Kentucky When Towns committed to Kentucky in the fall, he also jumped classes and went up a weight class, if you will, from the 2015 class into the 2014 group. We haven’t yet had a chance to measure him against his new peers on a travel team stage. We have that chance now.
3. Keita Bates-Diop, PF
ESPN 60 Rank: No. 18
College: Ohio State During the winter, having kept up regularly with him, you get the sense he’s not finished rising in the rankings. He plays AAU ball for one of the most organized, well-coached teams that routinely cranks out players. Can he cement himself into the elite of the elite? How big is he now? Is he a post or perimeter player or a balanced combination forward? I can’t wait to find out.
4. Dion Wiley, SG
ESPN 60 Rank: No. 22
College: Undecided During the high school season I saw him and loved where his game was. He’s in our top 25 right now. Can he stay? Can he move up? Wiley is one of the pure scorers in the junior class, and it looks like he’s going to be a kid whose second half of his high school career trumps his first two years, which is the blueprint you want to follow.
Ahmed Hill was excellent this high school season. Can he keep it up this spring in AAU play?
5. Ahmed Hill, SG
ESPN 60 Rank: No. 25
College: Undecided We all read the numbers and apparently so did the pundits. The sportswriters in Georgia selected him as the state’s player of the year. His recruitment is all over the map, but all it takes is one weekend in the spring to solidify him as an upper-tier, best-of-the-best shooting guard. Hill built a head of steam during the high school season. Now he’s begging to be judged against his peers nationally, and we need to find out exactly where he belongs.
6. Jordan McLaughlin, PG
ESPN 60 Rank: No. 23
College: Undecided The last great point guard at his school, Etiwanda (Calif.), was Darren Collison and that worked out pretty well. The top available 2014 point guard out West goes under the microscope this spring. By all accounts, McLaughlin is ready to continue his ascent.
7. Josh Perkins, PG
ESPN 60 Rank: No. 41
College: Undecided Every spring I make a list of guys who need to be seen and picked apart. This year, Perkins is a player I don’t have nearly enough chapters read on. He’s a must see early for me.
8. Sean O'Mara, C
ESPN 60 Rank: Not ranked
College: Undecided At 6-foot-9, 240 pounds, you can’t ignore him. The spring serves as a major separator for big men. During AAU weekends, these guys get to compete against other kids their size, and evaluating bigs for their motor, skill and ceiling is paramount. O’Mara is not a huge national name, but regionally he has plenty of supporters. We’ve seen regional guys blow up in the spring before (see Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker).
9. Sam Logwood, SF
ESPN 60 Rank: Not ranked
College: Undecided Last weekend at the National High School Invitational, it was clear Logwood is a Big Ten-type prospect. However, I’ve only seen him one time because his La Lumiere (Ind.) team was bounced early at the event. Logwood is strong and has the makings of a slashing type player. Right off the bat he looked like a candidate for our ESPN 100 when we expand the 2014 rankings. He’s a guy whose evaluation needs to be fleshed out in the coming months.
10. William Lee, PF
ESPN 60 Rank: Not ranked
College: Undecided Having seen him sporadically the past two seasons, you can tell he’s a talent. Now it’s time to gauge where he’s at on the production meter. Lee has high-major size, and with a good spring showing he could solidify his offers in the SEC. We judge players, especially bigs, on a continuum, and it’s time to find out if Lee has advanced his game or remained neutral.