The stars were out to shine last weekend as the iS8/Nike Spring Classic wrapped up with national champions and all-americans garnering first and second team honors. The closing of a notable New York school that produced an NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and a star junior naming his final four schools are among the other headlines dominating the world of college basketball recruiting that we will explore in this edition of Who’s Got Next? Oh yeah, there’s also the DeAndre Daniels saga which continues to drag on…
What They’re Saying
- Junior Ricardo Ledo (#9) on his list of schools: “I am looking at Kentucky, Providence, Syracuse and UConn.”
- Senior Josiah Turner (#13) on how good he thinks Arizona will be next year: “I think we’re going to be pretty good, Sidiki [Johnson]’s coming in. He’s a big man. He’s a beast, so I think we’ll still be pretty good.”
- Junior Archie Goodwin (#19) on his favorite basketball memory: “My greatest basketball moment would’ve been helping my team win an AAU national title last summer in Orlando. We had to go through a lot of hard times to get to that point. We had to win nine games in a row.”
- Senior D’Angelo Harrison (#47) on playing with his future teammates at St. John’s: “It was quite funny playing with them. We have a pretty good bond now and it makes it so much easier playing with them in the future.”
- Sophomore Isaiah Lewis on his favorite memory: “My most memorable basketball moment would’ve been making the all-tournament team at the City of Palms. As a sophomore that was a big accomplishment for me.”
- Senior Quincy Miller (#7) on his favorite basketball memory: “My greatest basketball moment would’ve been when I hit the game-winning three in the 18U championship game against Brazil last summer.”
- Junior Shabazz Muhammad (#3) on his favorite basketball memory: “My best basketball moment would’ve been winning back-to-back state titles my freshman and sophomore years. That was a great run we had.”
- Senior Nemanja Djurisic on his favorite part of the recruiting process: “Meeting people that have been in basketball for a long time and learning something new from interacting with them was great.”
What We Learned
The DeAndre Daniels Situation. Since last Wednesday, Duke, Kansas, Oregon and Texas fans have been in limbo wondering if Class of 2011 small forward DeAndre Daniels will choose their favorite school and what that means for the future of their team… but the catch is that he might not choose any of those options. The top unsigned prospect remaining has more choices than people think and can drag out this decision all summer or to when the NBA agrees upon a new Collective Bargaining Agreement if he wants to skip college and hope the one-and-done rule is eliminated. Since Daniels has remained undecided past the spring signing period, he can only sign a financial-aid agreement at this point, not a letter of intent. If a financial-aid agreement is signed, it only binds the school to the player but not the player to the school. Because of the flexibility in this type of arrangement, Daniels could stay unsigned until a few weeks into next school year. If he chooses to go this route (which many people believe he will), then the two main players in his decision will be Kansas and Texas, although he has also expressed interest in Duke and Oregon. It has been speculated that Daniels is a heavy lean to one of the Big 12 schools, but that his father, LaRon Daniels, wants him to go to another school. Daniels also has the options of going into the NBA D-League or playing overseas, but both of these options are highly unlikely. It’s also been rumored that he’s waiting to announce his decision at the Pangos All-American camp, which takes place from June 3-5. The bottom line in this whole situation is that Daniels has so many routes he can take and multiple months to decide which way he wants to go. Also, considering how reluctant Daniels and his father have been in talking to the media, the only thing that’s certain in the ongoing recruitment of DeAndre Daniels is that nothing is certain.
All-iS8 First-Team includes National Champions, Second-Team has McDonald’s All-American. Class of 2011 point guard Myles Mack (Rutgers) won the iS8/Nike Spring Classic Player of the Year award as he dominated the tournament and led his Playaz team to a semifinals appearance where they lost to Real Scout, 84-78. Despite the loss, Mack, the floor general for a St. Anthony’s team that finished the high school season undefeated and won the national championship, led all scorers with 28 points. Class of 2012 point guard Kyle Anderson (#22), a teammate of Mack’s, was superb throughout the event as well garnering All-iS8 first team honors and was the only junior to do so. A pair of future St. John’s small forwards made the team also in Sir’Dominic Pointer (#30) and Jakarr Sampson (#44) along with point guard Tevon Sledge (Iowa State) and power forward Sidiki Johnson (Arizona). Another future St. John’s player was honored as Class of 2012 point guard Jevon Thomas was named to the second team which also featured Class of 2011 small forwards Damion Lee (Drexel) and Jermaine Sanders (Cincinnati), Class of 2011 power forward and McDonald’s All-American Khem Birch (#8 – Pittsburgh), and Class of 2013 small forward Kuran Iverson. Third team honors were given out to Maurice Hatton and Class of 2011 prospects shooting guard Jabril Trawick (Georgetown), small forwards Kelvin Amayo (Towson) and Max Hooper (Harvard) and power forward Jalen Cannon (St. Francis (NY)).
Capel Contacts Ellis. In an expected move, new Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel has started recruiting Class of 2012 power forward Perry Ellis (#10) after recruiting him for multiple years as Oklahoma’s head coach. Duke has a unique opportunity with Ellis and Capel as its middleman since they’ll be new to his recruitment but Capel represents a very familiar face. Fonda Ellis, Perry’s mother, has said that it would be tough for a new school to enter Perry’s recruitment since the family likes having the same coaches recruit him throughout high school. Capel’s move to Duke is also revealing since after he left Oklahoma, Fonda Ellis stated it would be tough for new coach Lon Kruger to get Perry to become a Sooner because they haven’t had a long-lasting relationship. That simply means Perry is very much invested in coaches, perhaps more so than prospects usually are. Ellis is such a valued prospect because he is a talented big man with great hands and the ability to run the floor. He catches practically every pass that is thrown to him when he’s in the post regardless of its location and he also excels in transition. He has a good mid-range game where he can knock down the jumper and score when facing the basket, however, he can stand to improve on his back-to-the-basket moves throughout the next year to add yet another dimension to his offensive skill set.
Video of the Week
Rice High School Being Closed? As reported by Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog yesterday, Rice High School (NY) is close to being forced to shut down despite producing notable stars such as former Connecticut guard and likely 2011 NBA lottery pick Kemba Walker. Rice assistant coach Kimani Young told SNY.tv Monday that officials were looking into moving the school to All Saint’s Middle School or Charles Middle School in Harlem to avoid closure. Kashif Pratt, a former Rice and Seton Hall standout, also told DimeMag.com that school officials had reached out to alumni about helping to save the school and are considering reopening the school in a different location. Officials are calling companies, investors, alumni and even the biggest shoe company in the world, Nike, as well. Rice has produced former stars such as Andre Barrett, Felipe Lopez and Kenny Satterfield along with Walker and graduated a future Big East player this year in Jermaine Sanders (Cincinnati).
Josiah Turner, Arizona, Point Guard – The #13 prospect in the Class of 2011 was named the MVP of the iS8 finals as he led the Sean Bell All-Stars to a 71-60 victory over Real Scout, a team loaded with future St. John’s talent in small forwards Sir’Dominic Pointer (#30) and Jakarr Sampson (#44). Turner recorded 16 points and seven assists in the double-figure championship victory and gave Sean Bell the lead for good when he made a layup to close out the third quarter. He did an excellent job of penetrating the lane and made great decisions once in the paint as he dished out numerous crisp and very accurate passes. He also managed the game well into the fourth quarter and knew when to slow it down and when to cut to the basket again. He was simply unstoppable whenever he decided to slash to the bucket and definitely deserved MVP honors.
Tamron Manning, Undecided, Shooting Guard – Manning was a great playmaker on both ends of the floor this weekend and is a sleeper in the Class of 2012. He’s a combo guard with great passing skills and court vision and has a knack for finding the open man. He has also developed a respectable perimeter shot with needed time and space and can knock down a beautiful floater whenever he gets into the lane. However, Manning played even better on the defensive end and showed his versatility by being able to guard all three perimeter positions. He has flown under the radar recruiting-wise thus far and has heard from Indiana, James Madison and Oklahoma State among others. Expect him to pick up more prestigious offers as the summer rolls on.
Jakarr Sampson, St. John’s, Small Forward – Sampson quietly played a key role in Real Scout’s 84-78 semifinal victory over the Playaz Saturday in the iS8/Nike Spring Classic tournament by tallying 17 points and eight rebounds. Sampson also showed his versatility in the semifinal match-up since he had to defend Class of 2011 power forward Desmond Hubert (North Carolina) in the post all game long. Sampson recorded nine points and seven rebounds as well in Real Scout’s 71-60 loss to the Sean Bell All-Stars in the championship game. However, he needs to improve on his outside shooting and ball-handling to take his game to the next level but he is another one of the Steve Lavin‘s athletic and versatile small forwards in the Class of 2011 who will make an impact next year for the Red Storm.
Josh Scott, Colorado, Power Forward – Scott was one of the standouts at the Kansas City Classic and proved to be a great get for Colorado’s Class of 2012. He has a big body and is strong on the interior which allows him to easily establish position. He is also aggressive in the paint and can score with both hands around the bucket. Scott displayed a sufficient mid-range jumper as well with needed time and space and has a good motor. Expect him to emerge as a big man capable of playing for a high-major team (again, he’s a great find for Colorado) and to dominate the glass on both ends of the floor.
Willie Cauley, Undecided, Center – Cauley was another big man standout at the Kansas City Classic and looks to be improving every time he steps out onto the court. He has excellent length and quickness for an interior player and always lives up to the billing that he’s a game-changer on defense because he dominates the glass and is a tremendous shot-blocker. He runs the floor well too which opens up opportunities for him in the transition game. However, he needs to improve on his offensive game so he can becoming a scoring threat and take his game to the next level. Although, it seems getting better and putting in the extra hours in the gym to take his game to the next level is in his DNA so I expect the #46 prospect in the Class of 2012 to jump into the top 35 by the end of the summer. Cauley is currently considering Kansas State, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and USC.
D’Angelo Russell, Shooting Guard, Freshman – Russell is a combo guard who is one of the most talented players in the Class of 2014. He can do a little bit of everything and can use his elite court vision to make the impressive pass or his deep range to hit a three-pointer from beyond the NBA line. The impressive thing about Russell is that he doesn’t let hype get to his head and he continues to improve his game and work hard to become the best prospect in the Class of 2014. He scored over 20 points in five of his games and doesn’t have a list yet although you would think Louisville and Kentucky have a chance at him since he is a Louisville native.
Marvin Clark, Small Forward, Sophomore – Clark is an unbelievable athlete who was one of the most explosive finishers at the rim at the Kansas City Classic this weekend. He reminds me of Class of 2012 small forward Justin Anderson (#45 – Maryland) because of his ability to the make highlight reel plays around the bucket and sprinkle in three-pointers and mid-range jumpers throughout other possessions during the game. He also handles the ball fairly well and although he doesn’t have an official list right now, Missouri has a good shot because of how well Frank Haith has recruited in-state Class of 2013 prospects so far.
Nigel Hayes, Power Forward, Sophomore – Hayes was one of the standouts at the All-Ohio Super Sixteen Showcase and is a combo forward who can excel whether he’s playing on the perimeter or in the paint. He can score both facing the basket and with his back to the basket and has good hands and feet that you like seeing in a young big man. However, his versatility isn’t limited to just offense since he can guard either forward position on defense and is quick enough to guard the perimeter and is tough enough to bang bodies around in the low post. Ohio State and West Virginia has shown early interest in the developing combo forward.
Marc Loving, Power Forward, Sophomore – Loving is another combo forward who stood out at the All-Ohio Super Sixteen Showcase. He is an impressive shooter with range beyond the three-point line and can create offensive scoring opportunities on his own. He also uses his length and size beautifully by simply shooting over smaller defenders and positioning his body so defenders can’t alter his shot. However, he has room to grow on his rebounding production and could also get a more aggressive mentality. I expect this Ohio State commit to continue to grow as a prospect and to become one of the best players in the Class of 2013.