The top unsigned prospects committing and a new section unveiling is just a couple of the highlights on the first ever Friday edition of the Who’s Got Next? column. We take an inside look at why the guys committed and the impact on the class rankings as well as what it means for the Class of 2012 and how prospects are affected by the coaching carousel in college basketball. We also analyze a top ten 2011 recruiting class and take an in-depth look at how a school that made the Elite Eight last year will try to replace the potential number one draft pick.
What They’re Saying
- NCAA President Mark Emmert on one-and-dones: “I think it creates difficult problems inside universities when we’re trying to promote an emphasis on (players being) students as well as athletes.”
- Senior Trevor Lacey (#37) on committing to Alabama: “My relationship and trust with [Alabama coach Anthony Grant] set the Crimson Tide apart. I also feel the University of Alabama will provide the best opportunity for me when basketball is over. I love the people in Alabama.”
- Senior Nick Faust (#38) on why he stuck with Maryland: “Coach [Mark] Turgeon’s goal is to win a national championship and I would play a big part in that immediately.”
- Senior Jamari Traylor on committing to the Jayhawks: “It’s a good fit for me. I really like Coach [Bill] Self and coach [Kurtis] Townsend. I really like the players. On my visit I saw the campus and everything I knew it would be a good place for me.”
- Senior Sidiki Johnson on Arizona’s incoming recruiting class (which he is apart of): “We are a good class, every player brings something valuable to Arizona next year.”
- Senior P.J. Hairston (#12) on his reaction to Duke not spelling his name correctly: “I’m like, ‘OK. How can I go here? You can’t even spell my name right.’”
- Junior Devonta Pollard (#40) on climbing the rankings: “It makes me feel good. First of all it shows me that I’m not just working hard to be working hard. The work is paying off and I’m improving and I can see that.”
What You Missed
Lacey Stays In-State, Commits to Alabama. Class of 2011 shooting guard Trevor Lacey (#37) committed to the Crimson Tide Wednesday (to see why, check out the “What They’re Saying” section above) over Kansas and Kentucky which gives Alabama its second top 50 shooting guard along with Levi Randolph (#31). He has said all along that playing time and the school’s fan base would be two factors in his decision and it seemed like he really warmed up to the Crimson Tide crowd when they chanted his name at the Alabama vs. Miami (FL) NIT game, just one of multiple visits he made there. Lacey, who was the top unsigned prospect left on the board, will be joining small forward Rodney Cooper, power forward Nick Jacobs and center Moussa Gueye in addition to Randolph in Tuscaloosa. Alabama head coach Anthony Grant has done an excellent job reeling in top in-state talent as Lacey, Randolph and Cooper are all Alabama natives. The addition of Lacey also gives the Crimson Tide the #9 class in 2011 because of how well he will fit into their system. Lacey is a great shooter who has outstanding range and consistency and can both catch and shoot and shoot off the dribble at a high level. He can also shoot coming off a pick and with guys in his face. The bottom line about him is he won’t wow you with his athleticism but he does have good size and strength for the two-guard and he can put up big-time numbers.
Faust Re-joins Maryland, Recruiting Update. After de-committing from Maryland less than a week ago, shooting guard Nick Faust (#38) decided to re-commit to the Terps just a day after his friend and ex-Maryland signee Sterling Gibbs decided to become a Longhorn. Faust, the second highest rated prospect left unsigned in the class of 2011, gives new head coach Mark Turgeon his first 2011 commitment while at Maryland and is the only prospect the Terps have so far in the class after Gibbs left for Texas and power forward Martin Breunig de-committed. However, even after he asked for a release from his letter of intent it seemed likely that he would rejoin Maryland due to his developing relationship with new head coach Mark Turgeon. As for the third Terp who de-committed from Maryland about a week ago, Breunig has received interest from Cal, Florida, Saint Louis, Temple, Tennessee, Texas and USC, according to his high school coach and as first reported by HeardThisBlog.com. He also visited Washington a couple of nights ago which is reported to be his only planned visit before the dead period. And for the Class of 2012, Turgeon picked up his first commit at Maryland when he got shooting guard Seth Allen to do so Monday but a prized junior recruit, small forward Justin Anderson (#45) is still undecided on whether he will open his recruitment back up. Maryland has a couple more elite prospects considering them in the Class of 2012 including power forward Amile Jefferson (#11) and center Shaquille Cleare (#26) as well as lesser-known recruits small forward Shakir Brown and power forward Cinmeon Bowers.
Duke Can Spell Krzyzewski But Not Hairston. On the lighter side of things, Jeff Eisenberg wrote an article this week about how part of the reason Duke missed out on McDonald’s All-American shooting guard P.J. Hairston (#12) is because the Blue Devils mailed things to him with his named spelled incorrectly. Now you would think that the name ‘P.J. Hairston’ isn’t that hard to spell, especially considering Duke has a power forward whose last name is Hairston, but the school that has a great reputation academically apparently spelled his name T.J. Harrison and used other similar variations (to see Hairston’s reaction, check out the “What They’re Saying” section above). Now you may think it’s not a big deal that Duke missed out on him since they have shooting guard Austin Rivers (#2), but the Blue Devils would have certainly found a spot on the floor for him one way or another with his talent. It is also a double whammy for Duke since their rivals down the road at Chapel Hill ended up landing Hairston instead. As Eisenberg said in his article, you can guarantee that once Hairston starts filling up the stat sheet against the Blue Devils that Duke won’t be very happy with the staffer in charge of mailing letters out to recruits.
In this new segment, we will take a look at different school’s incoming recruiting classes.
In our first “Team Spotlight,” we will analyze the Arizona Wildcats’ recruiting class and take a look at who they have coming in as they try to replace Derrick Williams and hope to make another Elite Eight appearance. Take a look at our quick breakdown of the players individually and then the team as a whole further down. I have Arizona’s recruiting class ranked as the fifth best overall in the Class of 2011.
|Who They Have||Rank||Position (Rank)||Quick Analysis|
|Josiah Turner||#13||Point Guard (#3)||Turner is one of the most physically gifted point guards in the class and has a great combination of scoring ability and passing. He is a very exciting player who is quick, fast and strong and has the ability to get to the basket at will.|
|Nick Johnson||#28||Shooting Guard (#8)||Johnson is a surprisingly athletic guard who has a very good shot and finishes around the rim well. He is also a very good defender due to his toughness, athleticism and outstanding footwork which allows him to keep whoever he’s defending in front of him.|
|Angelo Chol||NR||Power Forward (NR)||Chol is an athletic and long big man who runs the floor extremely well. He is also a good shot-blocker who rebounds well. On the offensive end, he has an impressive jump hook and can make the mid-range jumper with needed time and space.|
|Sidiki Johnson||NR||Power Forward (NR)||Johnson is a long, athletic power forward whose physical gifts are ahead of his basketball skills. He finishes above the rim well and is a raw and undeveloped prospect who will take a few years to get the most out of him.|
The reason the Wildcats class is so high in my rankings is because of point guard Josiah Turner (#13), who will be nearly unstoppable in the Pac-12. He has excellent ball-handling skills and the speed and quick first step to get by any defender. He can not only make acrobatic finishes once he gets into the lane but can also deliver passes that even his teammates don’t see coming. However, Turner is not the only elite player coming in for Arizona. Shooting guard Nick Johnson (#28) will be a very good player for the Wildcats as well since he is a superb athlete and great slasher and finisher. Arizona also has big men Angelo Chol and Sidiki Johnson in their incoming class who will provide the Wildcats with an inside presence (to see what Johnson has to say about Arizona’s incoming recruiting class, check out the “What They’re Saying” section above).
Video of the Week
Tired of hearing about this Arizona recruiting class and want to actually see them play? Well here you go:
A Look Ahead
Will DeAndre Daniels ever commit? First, Class of 2011 forward DeAndre Daniels was supposed to commit Wednesday. Then, he was supposed to commit Thursday morning after he didn’t make an announcement the previous day. Now, no one knows when he will commit. Daniels previously committed to Texas in 2009 but he de-committed a year later and decided to take a post-graduate year at the IMG Academy in Florida instead of going straight into college. Daniels is now the best unsigned prospect left since both Lacey and Faust have made their choices and is reportedly considering Kansas, Oregon and Texas. However, taking Daniels’ obvious confusion into consideration, both Duke and Kentucky could very well be back in the hunt for him. You would assume that he will commit soon given his plans to make his decision the past two days, but given his indecisiveness nothing is certain now and the only person that really knows what’s going on his Daniels himself. However, the three schools that look to have the inside track now are Duke, because of its connection to IMG Director Andy Borman, Kansas, because two of Daniels’ teammates are going to be Jayhawks (Christian Garrett and Jamari Traylor), and Texas, because he had previously committed there.