Friday, October 25, 2013
Top names taking visits this weekend
By Reggie Rankin
Three of the top four players in the ESPN 100 are making official visits this weekend as the recruiting process hits the home stretch and the early signing period approaches.
Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) and Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley) are scheduled to be at Duke along with Justise Winslow (Houston/St. John’s). Okafor, the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN 100, and the best low-post scoring threat in high school basketball continues to evaluate programs along with Jones, the best point guard in the class. This dynamic duo wants to play together in college and they are continuing to figure out what program is best for them.
Winslow is a high-level glue guy and arguably the best perimeter defender in the class and will accompany them making this weekend in Durham the biggest recruiting weekend in the country thus far. Okafor and Jones have already officially visited Baylor and Kansas, so if the package deal holds, one of these three programs will sign the best point guard and low-post player in the country. Okafor and Jones could split and Okafor is considering Kentucky while Jones is not and and Jones is looking at hometown Minnesota while Okafor is not considering the Gophers. Winslow has officially been to Florida, UCLA and Arizona and, after the Duke trip, is headed to Standford on Nov 7. Winslow has already unofficially visited Texas A&M as well.
Power forward Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie) is scheduled to head down state to Champaign to visit John Groce and Illinois. Alexander is the Illini’s most important official visit to date. Alexander is the best at his position in the class with his ability to finish with power, rebound at rim level, block shots and defend the low post with toughness and physicality. Alexander is taking his last official visit this weekend to Illinois after already going to DePaul, Arizona, Kansas and Memphis. An unofficial to Michigan State is still a possibility.
Shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. (Marion, Ind./Marion) is scheduled to give the Indiana Hoosiers a another strong look after his decommitment according to his Twitter account. Blackmon is an excellent shooter, with the basketball IQ, feel and skill to flawlessly help at the point. Blackmon has officially been to Michigan and Kentucky and unofficially to Michigan State, Kansas and Indiana prior to this weekend’s visit to Bloomington.