Quadre Green (PG) signs with Kentucky: The fierce recruiting battle for the 5-star point guard came down to Syracuse and Kentucky, with the Wildcats winning the services for the Philadephia native. The electric 6’0″ PG will presumably take the place of current Wildcat freshmen De’Aaron Fox, who looks like he will be a one and done player. As usual, head coach John Calipari doesn’t rebuild, he just reloads. Green is just another example of that.
Billy Preston (PF) signs with Kansas: The number 8th ranked player in the class of 2016 finally chose a school. Considering multiple offers from big-time schools, the 6’9″ PF ultimately signed with the the Jayhawks, making head coach Bill Self a very happy man. Preston’s combination of size, skill, and overall talent will be a welcome addition to the Jayhawk’s front-court.
#1 SOPHOMORE IN CLASS OF 2019 RULED INELIGIBLE
In a more sobering piece of news, it was ruled that Charles Bassey, the overall top player in the class of 2019 will not be playing high school basketball this season. Bassey, who plays for Saint Anthony High School in San Antonio, Texas is not eligible due to academics or age.
Word out of the high school is the reason for ultra-talented 6’10 (PF/C) is quote ““sponsorship by a charitable organization for tuition, room and board.” We aren’t exactly sure what this means and Bassey is clearly devastated by the news. We have had previous written articles on high school recruiting but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Hopefully, for all the individuals involved, there can be a more clearer ruling so a case like this never happens again.
OUR WINNERS/LOSERS FROM NATIONAL SIGNING DAY
National Signing Day came and went. While there remains a bunch of elite players who remain uncommitted, we have a better look now at how the recruiting classes are shaping up for 2017. We are going to review a few teams and select who we believe to be winners and losers from “NSD”.
ALABAMA: Head Coach Avery Johnson has landed a top 5 class for 2017, led by guard Collin Sexton. He isn’t the only impact player headed to Tuscaloosa. Joining Sexton is John Petty, a SG who is the #30 player in the class of 2017. SF Herb Jones (#72) and PF Alex Reese (#73) are 4-star players who will be getting major minutes. Johnson has done an incredible job the past 2 seasons on the recruiting trail. Now it is up to him to get the players to perform up to their lofty rankings.
WASHINGTON: Lorenzo Romar has kept up his incredible job on the recruiting trail. 2 years ago it was 2016 NBA lottery pick Marques Chriss. Last year it was now freshmen Markelle Fultz. This year it is the number 2 ranked player among the senior class in Michael Porter. The SF has all the ingredients to be a high lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Joining Porter as a Husky next year will be Daejon Davis (#45), who is a very athletic combo guard and SG Jaylen Nowell (#70), a good all around scorer.
Joining those 3 are PG Blake Harris (#150) and 3-star recruit Mamadou Diarra. Romar has always been known as a great recruiter. However, for all the great talent he brings into the school, the Huskies don’t always make the NCAA tournament. We believe Romar is on the hot seat at Washington. Recruiting great players is one part of being a successful program. Winning and developing players leads to NCAA appearances and he needs to show that, starting this year.
AUBURN: While it is currently only a 3 player class, head coach Bruce Pearl is bringing in players who will immediately get playing time. C Austin Wiley is a rugged 6’10 big-man and the #16 rated senior. PG Davion Mitchell (#41) and PF Chuma Okeke (#55) round out the class. All 3 players are ranked among the top 55 players in the class of 2017, a sign that Pearl can go out and land top players at primarily a football school. Last year he brought in 5-star Mustapha Heron, a sign that this isn’t a 1 year wonder with recruiting. Pearl did a great job at Tennessee and he is showing his recruiting acumen with the Tigers.
NORTH CAROLINA: UNC currently has the 34th ranked recruiting class in the country for 2017 on 1 recruiting site and the #14th on another. So let’s say they are somewhere in between. We just don’t see the high impact type of player that head coach Roy Wiliams’ has been accustomed of getting. The 4 man class is led by 5-star G Jayek Felton, who is explosive and will bring needed athleticism to the Tarheels line-up. Center Branden Huffman is a 4-star C who is very good defensively with a ways to go on offense. SG Andrew Platek is a sweet shooter who will probably come off the bench in his first couple of years. 3-star C Sterling Manley is a project worth taking a gamble on.
We believe that the Tarheels are being passed by numerous other teams when it comes to landing the top level recruits. Besides possibly Felton, we don’t see any impact players in this group. Platek has the opportunity to be a nice player along with Huffman, but where are the one and done players that a lot of the big-time schools are getting? UNC just hasn’t been getting them lately. Is this going to be a trend or is it just a fad?
INDIANA: Head Coach Tom Crean has done a very good job of landing under the radar type players who turn into excellent players, such as Victor Oladipo. He has also landed 5-star recruits such as Cody Zeller, who was an NBA top 10 pick a few years ago. This current 3 man class isn’t one of his best as he missed out on a number of highly ranked players. They have the 34th ranked recruiting class in one publication and aren’t in the top 40 by another. These rankings can change as a number of very talented players remain uncommitted after National Signing Day.
The best of this bunch is 4-star SF Justin Smith, who we believe will get a lot of playing time in his freshmen year. The other 2 players, Aljami Durham (SG) can shoot it, and C Clifton Moore is a project in our opinion. While this class is not highly ranked, the Hoosiers remain in contention for some very highly-ranked players, although they lost the battle for the services of PF Billy Preston, who just committed to Kansas. With all this being said, we would expect a better overall class for a program with the prestige and history of Indiana. If this class doesn’t add any players, it is up to Tom Crean to develop them into high quality Big-10 players.
COMING NEXT WEEK: We take a look at Western Kentucky and the spectacular job that head coach Rick Stansbury has done on the recruiting trail this year. He has landed 3 players ranked in the top 100 for next year. Western Kentucky could have easily been on the Winners list from above, however we decided to profile them for next weeks edition of “PrepTalk”.
FEATURED PLAYER: TROY BROWN- #12 RANKED PLAYER IN CLASS OF 2017
Troy Brown is one of the more versatile players in the class of 2017. The 6’6′ Oregon commit is now considered a combo guard who has played SF in the past. He is trying to convert himself into a PG, which would raise his stock if he is able to handle the position. It will be fascinating to see what position he ends up at once he gets to Eugene next fall.
Brown shows nice natural passing ability and vision, which makes us think he might be able to handle the transition to PG. Ducks head coach Dana Altman seems to always have a stable of wings each year. It would be a nice thing for him to have a PG with the size of Brown.
Troy Brown is player who we believe has an abundance of potential that he hasn’t tapped into yet. We feel he is the perfect fit for Oregon as he falls in line with the play-makers and athletic players that Altman loves.
NOTE: All players that are featured in “SCHOLASTIC SENSATIONS” will have a High School Basketball Player Profile written on them throughout the basketball season. These profiles will be more in-depth and will be a complete analysis of the highlighted player’s game and future.
To view all of our class of 2016 High School Basketball Player Profiles (ELITES), please CLICK HERE!
To read our 1st Edition of “PrepTalk”, please CLICK HERE.
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