NCB On The Trail: Kyle Kuzma

Roundtable: Future Giant Killers 

March, 25, 2014
Mar 25
10:50
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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
9/19/13
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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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Notebook: Rising PG likes Cardinal 

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
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This week’s notebook is a sprint. We go coast to coast with the recruitment of Robert Cartwright and show you which prospect has a special affinity for Florida -- the state, not just the school.

Cartwright settles on favorite
If July was the month Robert Cartwright went from West Coast wonder to more of a national presence, then August wasn’t too bad either as he made good on a late invite to Chris Paul’s Point Guard Academy.

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This week wasn’t quite as busy as last week in the Northeast region, but there was still plenty of action. Here’s a look at a few commitments that have gone down in the last seven days:

• Robert Morris landed a commitment from Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) guard Jafar Kinsey, a quick, attacking style guard. A combo guard with a college ready driving game, Kinsey gets wherever he wants on the floor and also has the potential to become a very good defender at the next level.

• Albany added a commitment from Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.) big man Greg Stire. The local product is tough and rugged, defends the post and has a solid motor. He’ll be solid but unspectacular offensively and able to contribute some both around the rim and facing the basket.

• Fairleigh Dickinson landed a late commitment in the Class of 2013 from Canisius (N.Y.) guard/forward Matt MacDonald. The 6-foot-3 swingman is a master role player who will bring toughness and leadership to the FDU locker room. He’s also a gym rat who has worked his way into a consistent shooter over the years.

And here’s a look at some of the notable offers and visits to come across the wire this week:

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When the July evaluation period ended five days ago, the recruiting news was just getting started.

The biggest news of the week in the Northeast region centered around the commitment of Phil Booth to Villanova, planned visits for Isaiah Whitehead, and trimmed lists from both Kaleb Joseph and Ja'Quan Newton. But the news on those ESPN 100 guards was really just the tip of the iceberg because there have been plenty of other commitments, offers and scheduled visits coming across the wires.

Here’s a look at a plethora of basketball recruiting news and notes from the Northeast:

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Notebook: Recruiting notes from July 

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
11:27
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Thanks to a busy July and a run of news this week following the end of the July evaluation periods, the return of our weekly Friday recruiting notebook has no shortage of big-time recruiting info. From a big decommitment for Louisville to a host of trimmed up college lists to notes from a busy month on the road, we’ve got you covered.

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ESPN 100 guards cap strong July in Vegas 

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
12:57
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Editor's note: This is the final entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave checked in each day he was on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country, from Las Vegas to South Carolina to Indianapolis to Georgia to Orlando and back to Vegas to close things out.

LAS VEGAS -- That's it? It's over? When the July recruiting period ends, there's no parade and no season-ending party -- only a slew of dreary players, coaches and scouts who are all too happy to pack up and head home.

For me, the month started in Las Vegas at the LeBron James Skills Academy and ended here as well with a trio of elite Vegas AAU events over the weekend. For the last entry in my July road trip blog, here’s a look at the storylines that stood out on Sunday in Las Vegas, including items on ESPN 100 guards Romelo Trimble and Isaiah Whitehead, the search for big men and some recruiting news and notes.

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Scouting late bloomers in Las Vegas 

July, 28, 2013
7/28/13
11:40
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Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he is, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

LAS VEGAS -- There's no better way to spend a day (of basketball) in Las Vegas than checking out leads and evaluating late bloomers. For me, Saturday was one of the best days of the month. Spending time crossing guys off the hit list is a recruiting nerd’s nirvana.

Here are some nuggets from Saturday’s action at the elite AAU events in Las Vegas: the adidas Super 64, the Las Vegas Fab 48 and the Las Vegas Classic.

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