NCB On The Trail: Basketball Recruiting

Five observations: Tarkanian Classic 

December, 22, 2014
Dec 22
9:00
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LAS VEGAS -- Here's what we saw over the weekend at the Tarkanian Classic.

1. Stephen Zimmerman (No. 10 in ESPN 100) has always been one of the most uniquely skilled bigs in the class. However, ever since the Nike Global Challenge, his assertiveness at both ends continues to evolve. He needs to get stronger while operating on the block, but his improvement in leadership and physicality must be noted. Sprinting in transition, eye-dropping finishes, pinpoint passing and taking ownership of his team were part of the package.

Weekly commitment update

December, 5, 2014
Dec 5
11:29
AM ET
The following is a list of commitments made to Division I schools from Nov. 28-Dec. 4:

Pac-12
Washington
JaQuori McLaughlin PG
HT: 6-3 WT: 160
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: 16
Stars: 4

Arizona State
Brendan Bailey SF
HT: 6-7 WT: 190
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: 23
Stars: 3

Big Ten
Ohio State
Dane Goodwin SG
HT: 6-3
Class of 2018
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Oklahoma
Kristian Doolittle SF
HT: 6-6 WT: 200
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ohio Valley Conference
SIU-Edwardsville
Anthony Virdure SG
HT: 6-2
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: Junior College
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- Here's what we saw at the 63rd annual Pac Shores tournament, featuring some of the top talent in Southern California.

1. ESPN 60 forward Vance Jackson is emerging as one of the elite players in the country. His frame is leaner, and as a result his ball skills and ability to attack off the dribble have improved. The rangy wing type has a feathery shooting touch and his triple-threat game is impressive.


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After California took down Syracuse in the 2K Classic semifinals, there wasn’t much time for the Golden Bears to celebrate. A showdown with at top-10 Texas team was on the docket.

And of course, there was recruiting to be done.

Within an hour or two, Cal’s staff was already reaching out to its primary 2015 targets to hype up the big win over the Orange. There was a sense of excitement around Cal basketball. Moreover, in the days that followed, the Golden Bears became involved with new prospects -- and the televised victory over a name-brand program certainly helped.

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Weekly commitment update 

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
11:37
AM ET
The following is a list of commitments made to Division I schools from Nov. 14-20:

Pac 12 Conference
Arizona
T.J. Leaf PF
HT: 6-9 WT: 205
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: 2
Stars: 5
ESPN 60: 15

Big 12 Conference
Oklahoma
Payton Pritchard PG
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 60: 46

SEC
Mississippi State
D'Marcus Simonds SG
HT: 6-4 WT: 175
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Georgia
Derek Ogbeide C
HT: 6-8 WT: 205
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East Conference
St. John's
Samir Doughty SG
HT: 6-3 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3


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Florida State announces top ten class

November, 19, 2014
Nov 19
8:45
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Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton announced the signing of four athletes Wednesday as the early signing period came to a close.

Hamilton has three ESPN 100 prospects headed to Tallahassee next season including shooting guard Malik Beasley (No. 31 overall), small forward Dwayne Bacon (No. 39) and shooting guard Terrance Mann (No. 82). Four-star center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje also signed with the Seminoles.

"I must give my staff tremendous credit for recognizing the needs of our program and working very hard to address all of those needs in outstanding fashion," Hamilton told the school's website. "I could not be happier with the group of players we have signed. Not only is this an extremely talented group but it is a group of young men all with tremendous character -- character that further allows us to continue to move our program forward."

Florida State's class currently ranks No. 6 on ESPN.com.
ESPN 60 junior T.J Leaf made his college decision today, announcing he will be an Arizona Wildcat. Leaf, ranked No. 15 overall in the 2016 class, made unofficial visits to Michigan, UCLA, Arizona, Florida and San Diego State. The other school on his list was Duke but he did not visit there.

Arizona has been the school of choice for the West Coast's elite prospects since Sean Miller's arrival and today Leaf gave the Wildcats a head start in the class of 2016. Here's what he will bring to Tucson:


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Louisville Cardinals sign top-10 class

November, 18, 2014
Nov 18
11:13
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Louisville head coach Rick Pitino announced the signing of three ESPN 100 prospects on Monday night.

Suiting up for the Cardinals next season will be ESPN 100 small forward Deng Adel (No. 30 overall), ESPN 100 shooting guard Donovan Mitchell (No. 38) and ESPN 100 power forward Raymond Spalding (No. 52).

"I think this will prove out to be one of the best recruiting classes we have had since I've been here," Pitino told the school's website, "and we will probably add one more."

Pitino's class is currently ranked No. 8 on ESPN.com.

Kentucky's No. 1 class officially signs

November, 14, 2014
Nov 14
7:54
PM ET
Kentucky head coach John Calipari announced the signing of three ESPN 100 recruits on Friday, giving the Wildcats coach the No. 1 class on ESPN.com.

Heading to Lexington next season will be the top-ranked point guard Isaiah Briscoe (No. 13 overall), the No. 5 center Skal Labissiere (No. 11) and the No. 12 shooting guard Charles Matthews (No. 44).

"All three of these players had dreams to play at Kentucky," Calipari said on the school's website. "Those dreams are now a reality. We didn't have to beg any of them. They wanted to be here. They are all different, yet collectively they will complement each other nicely. It's a great start to what could be a super class again."

Calipari's recruiting classes have finished No. 1 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013) or No. 2 (2012, 2014) every year since he took over in Lexington.

Weekly commitment update

November, 14, 2014
Nov 14
11:25
AM ET
The following is a list of commitments made to Division I schools from Nov. 7-13:

SEC
Kentucky
Skal Labissiere C
HT: 6-10 WT: 210
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 5
Stars: 5
ESPN 100: 11

Isaiah Briscoe PG
HT: 6-3 WT: 200
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 1
Stars: 5
ESPN 100: 13

South Carolina
P.J. Dozier PG
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 2
Stars: 4

ACC
North Carolina
Luke Maye PF
HT: 6-8 WT: 230
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 25
Stars: 4

Atlantic 10
Virginia Commonwealth
Tevin Mack SF
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 11
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 58

Jordan Murphy SF
HT: 6-7 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

St. Bonaventure
LaDarien Griffin PF
HT: 6-7
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Starts: Evaluation Pending

Conference USA
UNLV
Derrick Jones SF
HT: 6-6 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 4
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 22

Charlotte
Ebuka Izundu PF
HT: 6-10 WT: 210
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Mountain West Conference
Air Force
Sid Tomes SG
HT: 6-3 WT: 195
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ryan Swan SF
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Melvin Brooks PF
HT: 6-7
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

America East
Maine
Devine Eke SF
HT: 6-7 WT: 195
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: Post Grad

Big Sky Conference
Idaho State
Ali Faruqbey SG
HT: 6-2 WT: 175
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: Junior College

Horizon League
Cleveland State
Rob Edwards SG
HT: 6-2
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Southern Conference
UNC Greensboro
Jelani Mofford SF
HT: 6-5 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: Canada

Chattanooga
LaMarcus Lee SG
HT: 6-2 WT: 165
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SWAC
Grambling State
Javier Roper SF
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Prairie View A&M
Malik Amos PG
HT: 6-1 WT: 145
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ivy League
Harvard
Corey Johnson SG
HT: 6-5 WT: 185
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

 

South Carolina inks two ESPN 100's

November, 14, 2014
Nov 14
9:01
AM ET
Two ESPN 100 prospects have signed official letters of intent with South Carolina, head coach Frank Martin announced Thursday.

The class is headlined by the second-ranked point guard on ESPN.com, P.J. Dozier (No. 21 overall), who committed to USC on Wednesday.

"I couldn't be happier that P.J. Dozier has decided to stay home," Martin told the school's website. "A 6-7 guard, who is a point guard, who knows how to play off the ball."

He will be joined by ESPN 100 power forward Chris Silva (No. 96).

"Chris Silva is a 6-9 forward from New Jersey, who is an unbelievable athlete and fearless in how strong he plays," Martin added. "He can step out and shoot the basketball and block shots with the best of them.

"We are super excited for what those two guys will bring to the table. They complement our team in ways that we need and we are lucky to have both of them."

Dozier is the highest-rated recruit Martin has landed since taking over at USC in 2012.

Arizona's No. 2-ranked class officially signs

November, 13, 2014
Nov 13
8:20
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video
Arizona head coach Sean Miller announced the signing of his 2015 recruiting class on Thursday.

The Wildcats' class features four ESPN 100 prospects, including three top-30 players. Joining Miller in Tucson next season will be ESPN 100 shooting guard Allonzo Trier (No. 17 overall), ESPN 100 small forward Ray Smith (No. 24), ESPN 100 point guard Justin Simon (No. 27) and ESPN 100 center Chance Comanche (No. 97).

"This is an important class for us, as we're bracing for and expect a number of underclassmen on this year's team to pursue professional careers," Miller told the school's website. "With the combination of seniors and underclassmen we will lose after this season, this class is significant in many ways. Two qualities we love about this class are that each member is a high-character individual and the fact that their qualities on the court complement each other very well."

Miller's Wildcats held the top spot in ESPN.com's Class Rankings until being unseated by Kentucky on Thursday.
video
ESPN 100 small forward Derrick Jones (No. 22) committed to UNLV live on ESPNU RecruitingNation's Signing Day Special on Thursday night, choosing the Rebels over Connecticut and Auburn. The four-star prospect is coming off a big summer, leading his We-R1 squad to the championship of the Under Armour Association Finals in Atlanta.


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video
Isaiah Briscoe, the 13th ranked overall prospect and top rated point guard in the ESPN 100, committed to Kentucky live on ESPNU's Recruiting Nation signing day special on Thursday night. Briscoe, who stars at Roselle Catholic High School, is coming off a huge summer after leading the New Jersey Playaz to the EYBL championship at the Peach Jam.


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UCLA announces two ESPN 100 signings

November, 13, 2014
Nov 13
3:27
PM ET
Second-year UCLA head coach Steve Alford announced the signing of two ESPN 100 guards on Thursday.

Suiting up for the Bruins in 2015-16 will be ESPN 100 shooting guard Prince Ali (No. 46 overall) and ESPN 100 point guard Aaron Holiday (No. 85).

"Prince is an extremely talented player who has established himself as one of the premier backcourt players in the country," Alford told the school's website. "He's a big, athletic guard who has tremendous versatility and comes to our program with a strong understanding of a winning culture.

"Aaron is a very talented player who we know will really help our backcourt next season. He is a quick, tough guard who possesses the ability to be both an efficient scorer and a lockdown defender."

Holiday is the younger brother of former Bruin and current New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday.

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