NCB On The Trail: Utah Utes

Roundtable: Future Giant Killers 

March, 25, 2014
Mar 25
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It was a memorable first four days of the 2014 NCAA tournament, with a combination of dramatic finishes and Cinderella stories.

Archie Miller and Dayton knocked off perennial powerhouses Ohio State and Syracuse en route to a spot in the Sweet 16, while Harvard and North Dakota State scored similar upsets on the first day of the tournament.

Perhaps the most shocking result, though, came on Friday when Mercer coach Bob Hoffman led his No. 14-seeded Bears to a hard-fought win over Mike Krzyzewski and the No. 3-seeded Duke Blue Devils.

While these programs aren’t necessarily regulars on our national recruiting page, their postseason success can be attributed, at least in part, to successful recruiting. With that in mind, we once again turned to our team of experts at RecruitingNation to ask them which programs could emerge as potential “Giant Killers” in future years based on recent recruiting efforts:

Top five undervalued classes 

September, 19, 2013
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Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings landed a commitment from his second four-star prospect in as many weeks over the weekend when Matthew Fisher-Davis (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) joined Wade Baldwin (Hillsborough, N.J./St. Joseph).

With a pair of four-star prospects now on board in mid-September, Stallings’ class is considered good, but not great, by most national standards.

But the reality is that each school comes into the summer with different needs and priorities, and ultimately those objectives are tied to winning basketball games, not class rankings. Coaches consider fit, style, personnel, and a variety of other variables.

For Vanderbilt, that means looking for high-character guys who fit their system and culture. Given that approach, the Commodores are one of five schools off that couldn't hope to be off to a better start.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

September, 6, 2013
9/06/13
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American Athletic Conference
Louisville
Jaylen Johnson | PF | Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti
HT: 6-9 WT: 210
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 15
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 62

Big Ten Conference
Illinois
Leron Black | PF | Memphis, Tenn./White Station
HT: 6-7 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 6
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 36

Big 12
Baylor
Mark Vital | SF | Lake Charles, La./Washington-Marion
HT: 6-4 WT 215
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: NA

West Virginia
Jevon Carter | SG | Maywood, Ill./Proviso East
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Big East
Marquette
Phillip Flory | SG | Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Wisconsin Rapids
HT: 6-3
Class of 2017
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Conference USA
East Carolina
Lance Tejada | PG | Hollywood, Fla./Blanche Ely
HT: 6-1 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 22
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 96

Glenn Bryant | SF | Marietta, Ga./Kell
HT: 6-6 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Southern Miss
Willie Carmichael | PF | Apopka, Fla./Wekiva
HT: 6-7 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

ACC
Virginia
Isaiah Wilkins | SF | Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian
HT: 6-7 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Wake Forest
Isaac Haas | C | Piedmont, Ala./Hokes Bluff
HT: 7-1 WT: 275
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 18
Stars: 4

Pac-12
UCLA
Trevon Bluiett | SF | Indianapolis/Park Tudor
HT: 6-5 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 41

Utah
Kyle Kuzma | SF | Burton, Mich./Rise Academy
HT: 6-8 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 27
Stars: 4

Isaiah Wright | PG | Boise, Idaho/Borah
HT: 6-2 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Stanford
Robert Cartwright | PG | Pasadena, Calif./Flintridge Prep
HT: 6-2 WT: 165
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 34
Stars: 3

SEC
Auburn
Sam Logwood | SF | Indianapolis/La Lumiere
HT: 6-7 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 20
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 78

Jack Purchase | PF | Melbourne, Australia/Carey Baptist Grammar
HT: 6-10 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Wade Baldwin | PG | Hillsborough, N.J./St. Joseph
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 29
Stars: 4

South Carolina
TeMarcus Blanton | SG | Locust Grove, Ga./Luella
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 37
Stars: 3

Atlantic 10
Virginia Commonwealth
Justin Tillman | PF | Redford, Mich./Pershing
HT: 6-8 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 29
Stars: 4

George Washington
Paul Jorgensen | PG | Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco
HT: 6-3 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 45
Stars: 3

Horizon League
Illinois-Chicago
Tai Odiase | C | Chicago/Homewood-Flossmoor
HT: 6-9 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Ivy League
Pennsylvania
Mike Auger | PF | Hopkinton, Mass./New Hampton
HT: 6-6 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Cornell
Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof | SF | Rockville, Md./Gonzaga College
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Yale
Eric Anderson | PF | West Chester, Pa./The Haverford School
HT: 6-6 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Sun Belt
Georgia State
Jeff Thomas | SG | Norwalk, Ohio/Norwalk
HT: 6-5 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jordan Session | SF | McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing
HT: 6-9 WT: 190
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Colonial Athletic Association
College of Charleston
Evan Bailey | SG | Massillon, Ohio/Jackson
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Atlantic Sun
Mercer
Jestin Lewis | SG | Richmond, Va./Wallace State C.C.
HT: 6-2 WT: 170
Class of 2014
JUCO

Jacksonville
Tim Bond | SG | Baltimore/City College H.S.
HT: 6-4
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

MAC
Buffalo
Mory Diane | SG | Detroit/Country Day
HT: 6-3 WT: 170
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

WAC
Cal State Bakersfield
Sadiq Inuwa | PF | Houston/La Lumiere
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Starting 5: Kuzma grows on Utes 

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
1:51
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Each week, Starting 5 takes you on a tour of the recruiting landscape. It delves into topics, recruiting trends and stories. This edition focuses on the Utah Utes' recent run of commitments, emotional toughness in recruits and tells you what happened on last weekend's commitment spree.

Utah could have one in Kuzma

[+] EnlargeKyle Kuzma
Dave Telep/ESPN Kyle Kuzma grew six inches and became a bigger prospect. Utah noticed early.
The Utah Utes last weekend added a player that isn’t nationally known – yet – but is significant to the future of the program. Small forward Kyle Kuzma (Burton, Mich./Rise Academy) is one of those neat stories that manage to fly under the radar until that first breakout week on the scene in college. Consider yourself warned.

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BYU lands 2015 SF Zac Seljaas

August, 5, 2013
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Small forward Zac Seljaas (Bountiful, Utah/Bountiful) ended his recruitment on Monday with a verbal pledge to BYU's 2015 class, according to the Deseret News.

Seljaas chose the Cougars over Utah, Utah State and San Francisco.

"It was a tough decision and every school had a lot to offer, but BYU fit me best," he told the paper. "I live the style of play at BYU, the coaches are awesome and the school is a great place."

Seljaas averaged 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds as a sophomore last season. He is the first commitment for BYU in the 2015 class.

ESPN 100 forward will play for Utes

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
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Class of 2014 power forward Brekkott Chapman (Roy, Utah/Roy) will play his college basketball in his home state after committing to the University of Utah on Monday, ESPN.com has confirmed.

Chapman, who is currently ranked No. 49 in the ESPN 100, chose the Utes over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Colorado and Gonzaga, among others. He is the first recruit from the 2014 class for Utah.

Tulane adds SF Josh Hearlihy 

April, 19, 2013
4/19/13
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Post-grad forward Josh Hearlihy (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Northfield-Mt. Hermon) has committed to Tulane, ESPN.com has confirmed.

Hearlihy originally signed with Utah in 2012 before being released by the Utes and deciding to spend a post-graduate year in Massachusetts. He chose the Green Wave over Drake, George Washington, Santa Clara and Davidson.

"I didn't find anything I didn't like," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm excited to go there."

Hearlihy averaged 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds at Northfield-Mt. Hermon.

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St. Mary's landed a verbal commitment from perimeter player Calvin Hermanson (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lake Oswego) on Wednesday night, the Contra Costa Times reported.

The 6-foot-5 Hermanson chose the Gaels over Marquette, Oregon State, Utah, Drake and UC Santa Barbara.

"They've been recruiting me for about a year now," he told the paper. "I love the coaches. I have a great relationship with them."

Hermanson was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Oregon last season after averaging 23.0 points and 7.4 rebounds for Lake Oswego. He joins point guard Cullen Neal (Albuquerque, N.M./Eldorado) as 2013 recruits for St. Mary's.

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