From a Twitter recruiting scandal to Class of 2013 power forward Julius Randle‘s diary entry to the Pangos All-American Camp preview, a lot of notable things have been happening in the world of recruiting recently that also includes our updated Class of 2011 Team Rankings. North Carolina is the featured team in the week’s “Team Spotlight” and DeAndre Daniels made headlines once again as rumors emerged regarding new teams coming on to him. You also have elite Class of 2012 stars discussing who’s on their list, when they will commit and their relationships with the coaches recruiting them so here’s another cant-miss edition of, Who’s Got Next?
What They’re Saying
- Junior Brandon Ashley (#4) on when he will make his decision: “I’m hoping to cut everything down in the next two or three weeks, maybe to a top ten, make my decision probably in the early signing period.”
- Junior Rodney Purvis (#7) on his list of schools: “Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina State and Memphis.” On what position he’ll play in college: “Most of the coaches I’ve talked to feel I’ll be most successful as a combo guard.”
- Junior L.J. Rose (#20) on why he took a visit to UCLA this past weekend: “I’ve built a great relationship with [UCLA] head coach Ben Howland.”
- Junior Elijah Macon on the schools recruiting him the hardest: “Miami, Maryland, West Virginia and South Florida are on me hard.”
- Sophomore standout Solomon Poole on what he’s looking for in a college: “First, academics. You can’t get anywhere without that. And a coach that makes you better. I want him to tell me what I’m doing wrong.”
- Fantastic Freshman Trey Gundy on his favorite school: “I’m a Kentucky fan, I want to go to UK for college. I am going to keep my options open and see what’s best for me, but I bleed blue.”
- IMG Academy head coach Andy Borman on when senior DeAndre Daniels will commit: “There is no timetable.”
What Julius Randle Is Saying
- On his list: “I’m wide open, but I’d definitely say that the schools I talk to the most are Duke, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina, Florida and Kentucky.”
- On Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski: “It’s just so surreal to talk to a guy like Coach K on the phone. It’s weird. He’s such an icon and here I am talking to him on the phone about some of everything. I am really attentive when I’m on the phone with him because I really want to know what he knows. I’d be crazy not to soak up everything I hear from a guy like him.”
- On former Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel joining the Blue Devils: “I was happy to see Coach Capel get on at Duke too. I was pretty close to him when he was recruiting me to come to Oklahoma. He’s like a big brother to me. I guess you could say that gives Duke a good chance with me. Blake Griffin is my favorite player and just to see how Coach Capel developed him was great. I have the utmost respect for him.”
- On a possible time-table for his decision and a potential leader: “I’m in no hurry to commit anywhere, and I have strong feelings about a lot of the schools and coaches that are recruiting me. I don’t have a leader or anything like that. I’m definitely taking my time with this process and my plan is to take official visits and hear everyone out because I’ll only go through this process one time.”
- On who he likes talking to: “I also really like talking to the Florida coaches and North Carolina coaches, Kentucky and all of them. I like all of them in different ways and some in the same ways too.”
- On potentially visiting Duke and North Carolina: “I’m going to the NBA Player’s Association Top 100 camp in mid June and I’m probably gonna visit Duke and North Carolina while I’m in that area. I’ve never been to Duke before so I’m really looking forward to getting over there and seeing everything. I’ve been to North Carolina before and getting back there will be a great time.”
What You Missed
Twitter Trouble. Memphis head coach Josh Pastner‘s sister, Courtney Pastner, may have committed a recruiting violation this week when she tweeted at Class of 2012 shooting guard Rodney Purvis (#7). She sent a 16-word message to the best guard in the junior class Sunday which simply consoled Purvis after he tweeted about losing a game. However, public and direct contact via social media is not allowed between someone affiliated with a university and a potential recruit, which is why the tweet may be impermissible. Basically, what will determine whether this is a recruiting violation or not is if Pastner is considered “someone affiliated with the institution.” Although she isn’t employed by Memphis or officially connected to them, I feel it’s reasonable to say that given her relationship with the head coach of the Tigers that she should be considered “affiliated with the institution.” The other thing that doesn’t help Pastner’s case is that she admitted in the same tweet that she attended Purvis’ EYBL game in Los Angeles, California, and that the timing of the tweet is just a day after Purvis added Memphis to the list. However, if you just step back and look at this from a common sense perspective you’ll likely conclude that this whole situation is pretty ridiculous. It is especially so since fans tell recruits all the time to go their favorite school but that’s illegal (bet you didn’t know that) and the NCAA does nothing about it (although, can they?) and all Pastner did was c0nsole a high school kid after he lost a game. This particular situation has no precedent in NCAA disciplinary history so hopefully the NCAA just gives the Tigers a warning and the incident blows over.
Most Hyped Recruits Ever. Rivals.com recently published a story ranking the 12 most-hyped basketball prep stars in the history of the game. As you probably guessed, LeBron James ranked as the most hyped basketball recruit ever but there are some names on the list that you probably have never heard of before. Guys like Rick Mount and Tamir Goodman (a.k.a. “The Jewish Jordan”) made the list along with current superstar Kobe Bryant and Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Remember, this list ranks the most hyped recruits, not the best. Phenom Candace Parker also appeared on the list in the top ten as the only female of the 12. The story delves into the background of each person’s situation, whether they panned out and has some side notes for each prospect. One of the more interesting tidbits was the part on Moses Malone, who was one of the first guys to jump from high school to the pros in the modern era. After considering schools from all over the country, Malone decided to attend the nearby University of Maryland but he lasted only a few days before jumping to the ABA and earning a five-year, $3 million contract (remember, this is 1974 we’re talking about). As for the rest of his career, you guys know the story. He went on to be one of the best players in professional basketball history and was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.
Updates Class of 2011 Team Rankings. In the latest update of our Class of 2011 team rankings, Kentucky, Duke and St. John’s are atop the rankings with 18 prospects between the three including 13 top-50 players. Kentucky has an astonishing four top-25 players including three of the top six players and the #1 prospect overall in power forward Anthony Davis. Duke has the most top-50 players as they have five recruits ranked in the top-41 highlighted by the #2 overall player in the Class of 2011, shooting guard Austin Rivers. In the number three spot, St. John’s clearly has the deepest class as they have nine commits including four top-50 prospects, three of whom are small forwards. However, the most unique team in the top-15 has to be Rutgers since the Scarlet Knights have zero top-50 prospects but have seven commits. Although, point guard Myles Mack was in the top-50 before small forward Alex Murphy (#34 — Duke) reclassified from the Class of 2012 to the Class of 2011. Some of the biggest movers included Texas jumping up to the number four spot with point guard Myck Kabongo (#9) anchoring their class and North Carolina rounding out the top-five as the Tar Heels recruiting class makes them the favorite to win the national championship (see why below in the “Team Spotlight” section). To view the whole top-15, click here.
Team Spotlight: North Carolina Tar Heels
Many people consider North Carolina to have an outstanding team and to be the favorites to win the 2011-2012 national championship. Well think about this, in addition to point guard Kendall Marshall, small forward Harrison Barnes, power forward John Henson and center Tyler Zeller, UNC is bringing in two more elite prospects as head coach Roy Williams reeled in a top-five 2011 recruiting class. Shooting guard P.J. Hairston (#12) and power forward James McAdoo will be joining the Tar Heels in their quest for Williams’ third national championship while at North Carolina and fill a couple of significant holes in the Tar Heel lineup.
|James McAdoo||#4||PF (#2)||McAdoo is the most fundamentally sound player in the class on both ends of the court. He has great technique and positions himself well on both offense and defense. His effort is never lagging and his rebounding and shot-blocking are outstanding. McAdoo has also developed a nice shot in both the mid-range game and from behind the arc.|
|P.J. Hairston||#12||SG (#3)||Hairston has an unbelievable combination of strength and shooting ability. His range and consistency is up there with Rivers’ and Beal’s and finishes like no other in the class. He is a big-time scorer who is helped out by his size which allows him to simply shoot over smaller defenders.|
|Desmond Hubert||NR||C (NR)||Hubert will be a defensive stopper for the Tar Heels and will provide a great shot-blocking and rebounding presence. He has good length and athleticism and runs the floor well. He is also versatile enough to step out and guard big men outside the paint.|
|Jackson Simmons||NR||PF (NR)||Simmons has a tremendous motor and will be able to scorer and rebound for North Carolina. He has an impressive hook shot and can step out to hit the mid-range jumper.|
|Stilman White||NR||PG (NR)||White will be a one-year player for the Tar Heels since he will be going on a two-year Mormon mission and will just give Roy Williams another body at point guard since North Carolina is thin there.|
Although Carolina doesn’t have depth in their class like the rest of the top five, they do have two elite recruits in power forward James McAdoo (#4) and shooting guard P.J. Hairston (#12). McAdoo is an old-school big man with the best fundamentals of any post-player in the class and has a good all-around game. Even though UNC already has a few big men that get a lot of playing time, they have little depth and no one as strong as McAdoo. Head coach Roy Williams did a good job of filling another need for the Tar Heels when he got Hairston to sign since one thing they are lacking is a great, consistent, outside shooter. Another recent addition in center Desmond Hubert gives North Carolina some more front-court depth as well as a good defensive big man.
Video of the Week
A Look Ahead
Pangos All-American Camp Features Top Talent. When the top four players in the Class of 2012 and four of the best prospects at their position show up to the same event on the same weekend, you know it’s something special. That’s exactly what will be happening this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp as centers Andre Drummond (#1) and Isaiah Austin (#2), small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#3), power forward Brandon Ashley (#4) and point guard Marcus Paige (#16) highlight a superstar-riddled field in the three-day event that begins today and lasts until Sunday. The elite players in the Class of 2013 will be showing up to this event as well between Class of 2013 Watch List members shooting guard Chris Thomas and power forwards Jabari Byrd, Aaron Gordon and Kuran Iverson, among others. Another rumor that has been spreading is that Class of 2011 small forward DeAndre Daniels (yes, him again) will be announcing his commitment at the camp. Connecticut has been in touch with Daniels recently among other schools and UConn makes sense because head coach Jim Calhoun is looking to fill their last available scholarship for the 2011-2012 season (which explains why he wants Class of 2012 star Mitch McGary to reclassify to 2011 as well). It’s also been reported that Oklahoma State has reached out to Daniels and that Texas is still in the mix whereas Kansas is in the back of the pack since they don’t feature their wings in their offense. However, like everything else in the DeAndre Daniels’ recruiting saga, nothing is certain, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t commit this weekend (see what Daniels’ head coach, Andy Borman, had to say about a possible timetable).