NCB On The Trail: Jaylen Johnson

Recruit and return: Louisville 

March, 29, 2014
Mar 29
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In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at the Louisville Cardinals and their chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible 2014-15 starting five:

G: Chris Jones
G: Terry Rozier
F: Wayne Blackshear
F: Montrezl Harrell
C: Mangok Mathiang

Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.



Louisville has the nation's No. 4 recruiting class, and it is loaded with size. Power forward Jaylen Johnson has all the tools and an active body. He just needs to learn how to play with a high motor all the time. The Cardinals just landed 7-foot-1 Anas Mahmoud, who has plenty of skills and upside, but his body needs work. Not much is known about Norwegian 7-2, 230-pound center Matz Stockman. I believe the most ready to play prospect is ESPN 100 C Chinanu Onuaku. He is physical and strong enough to contribute in the paint and on the glass. He is also really good at setting screens -- whether it's a ball screen or away from the ball to free up a teammate. You can't put a value on that. There will always be playing time available for a guy who gets his teammates open.
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One of four remaining ESPN 100 players is now off the board as No. 69 Anas Osama Mahmoud, a 7-foot-1 center, has committed to Louisville. A native of Egypt, he came to the United States in September and it didn’t take long for college coaches to start inquiring.

He took official visits to Louisville, Georgia Tech and Minnesota.

“I was talking to Coach [Rick] Pitino today and I told him I wanted to go to Louisville,” Mahmoud said. He took official visits to Louisville, Georgia Tech and Minnesota as well as unofficial visits to Kentucky, Auburn, Cincinnati and USF. Florida and Kansas were starting to show interest..


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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.
The Louisville Cardinals have an outstanding class coming in next season -- the Cardinals are No. 5 in our class rankings.

Quentin Snider will be the point guard of the future. He combines quickness with good decision-making abilities, as he navigates well in ball-screen actions. Chinanu Onuaku is an inside physical presence who rebounds, alters shots and scores on put-backs. Jaylen Johnson brings athletic ability and versatility to the front court. Perhaps the most talented in terms of potential is Shaqquan Aaron. He is the Cardinals’ highest-rated prospect No. 33 and is extremely long with excellent ball skills. He desperately needs to get stronger, but can stroke it from deep and create his own shot inside the arc. There is also Norwegian center Matz Stockman.

I expect Aaron to have a strong influence on next year’s team. His ability to score, shoot, and finish with length will make him hard to guard.

Snider and Onuaku are ESPN 100 prospects who should contribute right away. Snider will back up and play alongside current point guard Chris Jones. The Cardinals will need size next year, so Onuaku will have a chance to play right away if he is ready. This group is talented and athletic, with plenty of room for growth.
Here are 12 players who our scouting staff discussed in great detail as we assembled our updated ESPN 100 rankings. These players have played well and have had some outstanding performances but just missed the cut.

Kobe Eubanks
SG, 6-foot-5, 185 pounds
Centereach, N.Y./Our Savior
Recruiting Interest:
George Mason, Missouri State, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Central Florida

Eubanks has very good size for a wing. He is a terrific athlete, an excellent all-around scorer that also makes his presence known as a perimeter rebounder. He has played well this fall and winter, which earned him Top 100 consideration.


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The early signing period will officially come to an end in a matter of hours. Before the clock strikes midnight, we look at some of the biggest winners and losers of the past eight days.

Winners

[+] EnlargeJahlil Okafor
Jeff Hinds/adidasDuke is a big winner with the addition of Jahlil Okafor, the nations top-ranked overall prospect,
Duke
When the nation’s top-ranked overall prospect and best point guard coordinate a dual announcement on national TV and flip over your hat, it’s a win. Duke might not officially have the top-ranked recruiting class in the country just yet, but there’s no denying it scored the biggest prize.


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Pitino signs four ESPN 100 prospects

November, 15, 2013
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Louisville coach Rick Pitino announced the signing of four ESPN 100 players on Friday.

Leading the way for the Cardinals is small forward Shaqquan Aaron (Seattle/Rainier Beach) along with point guard Quentin Snider (Louisville, Ky./Ballard), power forward Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti) and center Chinanu Onuaku (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist).

Snider became the fourth recruit on Friday after decommitting from Illinois. He had originally committed to Louisville as a junior.

"This is a tremendous class that is deep, talented and all have great potential to improve," Pitino. "Not only is it a well-balanced group with outstanding basketball players, but they really fit our system. We look for offensive players who can be a triple-threat -- shoot, pass and beat their man off the bounce -- and this group can certainly do that."
With seven ESPN 100 commitments in as many days, the last week has been incredibly busy on the recruiting wire, but the best could still be yet to come with Reid Travis, Cliff Alexander, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones all likely to make decisions in time to sign during the early signing period, which begins next week.

In case you missed any of last week’s headlines, here’s a rundown: Devin Robinson chose Florida over Indiana on Wednesday; later that night, big man Michael Humphrey picked Stanford over Arizona; Devin Booker started a busy Thursday by picking Kentucky over Missouri; James Blackmon Jr. pulled a surprise by spurning Kentucky to recommit to Indiana; Kevon Looney’s commitment to UCLA was equally surprising, with most predicting Duke, Florida or Tennessee; former UCLA pledge Trevon Bluiett picked Xavier over Butler and Michigan State on Friday; and Trey Lyles chose Kentucky over Louisville on Tuesday.

That flurry of activity, along with the upcoming announcements, has brought more clarity to a lot of top national programs. Here’s a look at some of the implications:


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Stock risers in the ESPN 100 

November, 1, 2013
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Yesterday, Jeff Goodman broke down a list of players poised for breakout seasons in college basketball. But those kinds of seasons don't just happen at the college level. They happen all the time in recruiting, too.

Just take a look back at last year’s ESPN 100. Joel Embiid, Aaron Gordon and Wayne Selden were all players who moved their way up the rankings by virtue of big performances in their senior seasons. Embiid was the classic late-bloomer whose emergence was consistent throughout the year, and Gordon and Selden used specific events, the Hoophall Classic and McDonald’s All-American Game, respectively, to make their statements.

This year, there’s bound to be more of the same. Here’s a look at a few guys in the current ESPN 100 who are definitely trending in the right direction.

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Center/power forward Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity), the No. 2 player in the ESPN 100, has returned home to Texas after spending the weekend at Ohio State, his first official visit.


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Class rankings analysis: Oct. 9 

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
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In the latest edition of the 2014 recruiting class rankings, UNLV moves in, while last year's title-game participants, Michigan and Louisville, move up. Here's a look at the latest moves and trends in the rankings:

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ESPN 100 big man Chinanu Onuaku (Upper Marlboro ,Md./Riverdale Baptist) kept everyone guessing until the end, but eventually he picked national champion Louisville over Georgetown, and Miami. Onuaku, younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans big man Arinze Onuaku, is a promising post player.

Why he committed: The chance to play right away and to play for hall of fame coach Rick Pitino. The development of former Cardinal Gorgui Dieng made a big impression on Onuaku as he was looking for a program and coach that could help him grow and reach his potential.

What he brings: A physically strong and long true center who understands his role. Quietly he improved this summer on the national circuit. His shot-blocking, rebounding and ability to screen and free up teammates are still the strength of his game. When he rebounds the ball it’s with two hands on the defensive glass, and he is well schooled in throwing the outlet pass to start the break. At this stage of his career his defense is ahead of his offense. His physical presence in the paint is impressive. The one aspect of his game that’s under the radar is that he is a good passing big man.

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5-star PG Lyle reopens recruitment

September, 14, 2013
9/14/13
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ESPN 100 point guard JaQuan Lyle (Evansville, Ind./Huntington Prep) decommitted from Louisville on Friday night, according to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Lyle originally chose the Cardinals in June over offers from Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio State, among others.

"I just felt like I needed to make sure I made the right decision for me," he told the paper. "I didn't really think Louisville was the best decision for me."

Lyle is the second point guard to renege on his commitment to the Cardinals in the last two months. ESPN 100 prospect and Louisville native Quentin Snider (Ballard High School) opened up his recruitment in July before committing to Illinois earlier this week.

Head coach Rick Pitino still holds verbal pledges from ESPN 100 forwards Shaqquan Aaron (Seattle/Rainier Beach) and Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti).

Starting 5: Official visit season 

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
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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 art of the official visit, new Louisville recruit Jaylen Johnson, an important recruit for NC State and more.

1. The art of the official visit

By now you might be aware that America's best recruits are making their rounds, hitting up campuses for their official visits. For months, staffs have been debating internally when to bring a player to campus. It's actually a pretty dicey dilemma.

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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

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