Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Catching up on the latest commitments
By Adam Finkelstein
It was an incredibly busy weekend of action on the recruiting front, not just because of the series of high-major commitments, but also because of trimmed lists, scheduled visits, and scholarship offers, all of which have the potential to create multiple ripples on the pending domino effect.
What’s Next? Losing a local product like Victor was a big blow for LSU, which was hoping to ride the wave of momentum from last year’s top ten national recruiting class but has already come up short on Jalen Lindsey (Franklin, Tenn./Huntington Prep), Anton Beard (North Little Rock, Ark./Parkview Arts & Sciences), and Melvin Swift (Houston/Jack Yates). Look for them to make a big push at two other local talents, Magee and Thompson. White was scheduled to visit Arizona in early September, but given the similarities between he and Victor, it remains to be seen if that will stick take place. That could be good news for Minnesota and Georgetown among others.
• ESPN 100 PF Angel Delgado (Dominican Republic/Huntington Prep) commits to Seton Hall: Kevin Willard picked up arguably the most important commitment of his head coaching career as Delgado made the decision while home in the Dominican Republic.
Other Programs Impacted: Minimal
Other Prospects Impacted: Minimal
What’s Next? While Delgado’s pledge was potentially huge for Seton Hall, it isn’t going to have significant repercussions for many other schools or prospects. The reality is that had Kentucky wanted him, it would have gotten him, and the other schools allegedly in the mix -- Virginia, Florida State, Fordham, Miami -- were never in a position of strength in his recruitment.
What’s Next? Providence was swinging for the fences with a potential fab five of Joseph, Jalen Lindsey (Franklin, Tenn./Huntington Prep), Jared Terrell (Weymouth, Mass./Brewster Academy), Abdul-Malik Abu (Marblehead, Mass./Kimball Union), and Paschal Chukwu (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep). With Lindsey already on board, the Friars will keep working on the remaining three while expanding their guard list. West Virginia should be in a good position to move on with Carter, who is expected to visit in the near future. As for how Joseph’s commitment impacts Whitehead, opinions are mixed among our staff. My take is that he’s too talented for Syracuse to pass up on, especially since he’s capable of coming in and starting next to Tyler Ennis right away next year, regardless of who may be returning.
• ESPN 100 PF JaKeenan Gant (Springfield, Ga./Effingham County) commits to Missouri: Gant committed to Missouri on Sunday, while on their campus for an official visit. The 37th-best prospect and 7th best PF in the country gives Haith a cornerstone for the future.
Other Programs Impacted: Georgia, Miami, Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Florida State
What’s Next? All five of Gant’s bridesmaids are still looking for their first frontcourt score in 2014. Alabama and Georgia both have Lee atop their wish list, Georgia and Georgia Tech will both try to beat out Maryland for Reed, Miami is one of five left for Moore, Florida State one of six for Larrier and likely one of five for Johnson. Ultimately though, all five are getting near the end of their initial lists and will likely be forced to move on to the “B list” sooner rather than later. Craig is a prospect that could become a priority for virtually all of them while Florida State already has Colson and DeLaRosa in the pipeline and Miami extended Uhl an offer last week.
Center C.J. Turman will play for Cuonzo Martin and the Volunteers.
• C.J. Turman (Madison, Ga./Morgan County) commits to Tennessee: Tennessee all but completed its class over the weekend when Turman became the fourth 2014 product to commit to Cuonzo Martin, giving him a physical presence on the interior.
Other Programs Impacted: Alabama, Georgia, Houston, and Miami
Other Prospects Impacted: Uhl, Colson, Craig, DeLaRosa
What’s Next? While other schools prioritized big men with more upside, Tennessee played it safe and landed Turman. That isn’t to say that Alabama, Georgia, and Miami didn’t want him, only that they wanted others more, and now a guy who bound for the top of numerous “B Lists” is off the board before any other schools had a chance to make a push.
Other Recruiting News
• ESPN 100 SG Devin Booker (Moss Point, Miss./Moss Point) sets four official visits: Booker tweeted that he’ll visit Michigan State on September 6th, Kentucky on September 9, Michigan on October 5, Missouri on October 19 and Florida “pending.”
Other Programs Impacted: Louisville, Indiana, and numerous others
Other Prospects Impacted:Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay Prep ), James Blackmon Jr. (Marian, Ind./Marian), Trevon Bluiett (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor), Darrell Davis (Detroit/Douglass Academy)
What’s Next? His early visit to Kentucky could have implications on numerous other prospects, specifically two other ESPN 100 SGs in Vaughn and Blackmon, both of whom are considering the Wildcats. That would be welcome news for the 10 other schools who remain on Vaughn’s list as well as Louisville and Indiana, who are perceived as two other top options for Blackmon. Michigan and Indiana are also linked by the recruitment of Bluiett, while Davis is a guy that Michigan State could quickly move on to if they feel they’re losing ground on Booker.
• ESPN 100 PF Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti) sets three official visits: Johnson has scheduled official visits to Iowa State on September 13, Louisville on September 20, and Oregon on September 27. He’s also likely to visit Florida State, although dates have yet to finalized.
Other Programs Impacted: Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Connecticut, and numerous others.
Other Prospects Impacted:Trey Lyles (Indianapolis, Ind./Arsenal Tech), Devin Robinson (Chesterfield, Va./Christchurch), and Bonzie Colson Jr. (New Bedford, Mass./St. Andrew’s)
What’s Next? Louisville is the spot where the domino effect could be most dramatic. Lyles and Robinson are the Cardinals' forward targets and if Johnson were to commit, it would leave only Kentucky and Florida for Lyles, with Robinson still playing the open market. Iowa State has the first shot, and that visit will have huge implications on how they pursue Colson. Oregon is still pretty much wide open with no frontcourt commitments in the 2014 class as of yet.
• ESPN 100 PG Tyler Ulis (Matteson, Ill./Marian Catholic) is offered by Kentucky: Ulis picked up an offer from Kentucky while on his unofficial visit. Kentucky was one of four schools that made Ulis’ final list despite having not offered at the time of his announcement.
Other Programs Impacted: Michigan State, USC, Iowa
Other Prospects Impacted:Josh Perkins (Denver, Colo./Huntington Prep)
What’s Next? Kentucky made Ulis’ final four and Perkins’ final five, despite having not offered either. The fact that they’ve now offered Ulis would seem to indicate their preference. That’s welcome news to the four other schools on Perkins’ list -- UCLA, Gonzaga, Minnesota, and UConn (even though it is considered a long shot since it won’t get a visit before Perkins’ announcement) -- and bad news for the other three schools on Ulis’ list – Michigan State, USC, and Iowa. While Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley) and Emmanuel Mudiay are the top two point guards in the class, Ulis and Perkins are the ones that will start the domino effect and once they make their picks, we’ll be left with five high level schools looking for other options at the point.