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Recruiting News


Most recent coverage


MORE MAJOR PLEDGES
August 17, 2012

More and more players are ending their recruitments. In addition to some well known big names, high-major programs are taking some chances on sleepers, too. The absence of established frontcourt depth in the Class of 2013 has spurred invention among college coaches needing to bolster their interior.

Memphis scored talented three-point shooter Markel Crawford, a hometown 6-4 WG at Memphis (TN) Melrose. Crawford isn’t an elite slasher but knocks in open jump shots and is a tough, strong defender. Obviously, the Tigers must be able to keep the best prospects within the city flowing through the pipeline, and Crawford provides value from that perspective as well. Read story

SINDARIUS THORNWELL: VIDEO PACKAGE
August 14, 2012

An athletic slasher, Thornwell boasts major potential

AUGUST COMMITMENTS HEAT UP
August 11, 2012

The slate of campus visits won’t begin in earnest until later this month, but already some talented prospects have opted to end their recruitments prior to opening of school. For the most part the action is occurring in the Class of 2013, and some big-time programs have landed pledges. Pitt became the beneficiary of a top-100 pledge this week.

Mike Young committed to the Panthers and is the type of blue collar athlete Jamie Dixon typically rides to success. A 6-8 BF at Jersey City (NJ) Hudson Catholic, Young is a lower top-100 prospect who should remain there when we update our rankings in the late summer. Read story

AUSTIN NICHOLS: VIDEO PACKAGE
August 9, 2012

This blue-chip interior scorer was fantastic in July

FINAL SUMMER THOUGHTS
August 6, 2012

We’re off the road from the summer travel schedule, and the next step in the recruiting cycle is the escalation of various players’ recruitments. Over the next few months players will continue to make unofficial visits, transition to in-home and official trips, and increasingly announce their college choices in time for the November signing period.

The past couple weeks solidified our perspectives on player rankings — in other words, the lists posted here now are unlikely to undergo a massive makeover in our fall rankings — but there certainly were some notables who made a splash down the stretch. Read story

CLIFF ALEXANDER: VIDEO PACKAGE
August 3, 2012, 2012

One of America's best rising juniors is an interior stud

EYBL FINALS: PEACH JAM REPORT
August 1, 2012

The Nike-sponsored Elite Youth Basketball League completed its 2012 calendar in North Augusta, S.C., and its Peach Jam has become a premier event on the grassroots circuit. Some of the most memorable recent performances have occurred at the Peach Jam, and some players previously unknown emerged into the limelight never to look back.

This year, the Oakland Soldiers utilized its overall talent and strong balance — including big-time forward Aaron Gordon and clutch wing Jabari Bird — to outlast Andrew Wiggens and the CIA Bounce in the championship matchup 51-50. Read story

JOHN EGBUNU: VIDEO PACKAGE
July 27, 2012

Traditional center already possesses a solid package of post moves.

FINAL 2011-12 TEAM RECRUITING RANKINGS
July 23, 2012

Now that nearly all of the summer recruiting activity for the incoming Class of 2012 has occurred, it’s time to release our final team recruiting rankings. Kentucky once again inked the nation’s best class, edging UCLA for the top spot. The Wildcats inked three top-14 prospects and the bruins nabbed a pair in the top five.

Other highlights occurred at Arizona, which inked a trio of elite big men, and at non-traditional (but fast-rising) programs Baylor and Providence. Read story

TYLER ROBERSON: VIDEO PACKAGE
July 17, 2012

A lanky face-up forward who has enhanced his stock over the last few months.

RISING JUNIORS DELIVER COMMITS
July 13, 2012

Though the national focus obviously spotlights the Class of 2013, a pair of rising juniors have made their decisions. Mississippi State landed in-state guard Maurice Dunlap, a 6-1 WG/PG at Greenwood (MS) Elzy. Dunlap performed at MSU’s team camp and impressed the coaching staff, and obviously Rick Ray must prioritize keeping the best Magnolia State prospects at home.

Meanwhile, in East Lansing, the Spartans reeled in two-sport star Drake Harris. A 6-3 WG at Grand Rapids (MI) Christian, Harris also excels in football as a wide receiver and likely will sign with Michigan State as a gridiron prospect in February, 2014. Read story

WAYNE SELDEN: VIDEO PACKAGE
July 8, 2012

Selden's move from the 2014 class to 2013 was widely expected and greeted enthusiastically by college coaches. He's a potential McDondald's candidate for next spring and may transition to point guard in college.

MAMADOU NDIAYE: VIDEO PACKAGE
July 2, 2012

Ndiaye is a highly intriguing, 7-5 (!) big man who has performed impressively against national competition. Where he stands as a long-term prospect remains to be seen, but he's definitely one to watch.

TWO MAJOR PLEDGES ARISE
June 27, 2012

Iowa State has needed to undertake a talent makeover, and the Cyclones now appear to be en route. Fred Hoiberg clearly enhanced his roster with his 2012 signing class, and the Cyclones have leapt out to a solid start with this year’s senior crop as well. Monte Morris, a 6-1 PG at Flint (MI) Beecher, committed to the Clones over Butler, Illinois and others.

Morris projects as a playmaker and facilitator to run the show for the club’s offense. In addition to feeding the ball to top-100 incoming freshman Georges Niang (who will be a sophomore in 2013-14), he’ll team with sharpshooter Matt Thomas as a freshman at Iowa State next season. Read story

ANDREW HARRISON: VIDEO PACKAGE
June 24, 2012

No point guard in the class has been nearly as dominant as Texas floor general Andrew Harrison, our choice as the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2013.

NBPA TOP 100 CAMP REPORT: PART II
June 19, 2012

Our first report from the NBPA Top 100 Camp covered elites such as the Harrison twins, and in part two we’ve dived into additional blue-chippers. One theme readers may notice throughout the summer is that the Class of 2013 big men lack the depth that existed in the 2012 class. For that reason recruitments involving legitimate blue-chip bigs are likely to be as competitive as ever.

Additionally, we’ve examined more underclassmen in this installment as well. Read story

NBPA TOP 100 CAMP REPORT: PART I
June 18, 2012

The annual NBPA Top 100 Camp has become arguably the best event of the entire spring and summer. Elite talents converge on the University of Virginia campus, and the camp — which is sponsored by the NBA Players Association — has effectively brought together prospects from the various shoe realm under one roof.

The result is that we’re able to observe match-ups that ordinarily don’t occur on the various travel circuit stops, and over the past several years the event has exerted a profound impact on our ultimate national rankings. Read story

KURAN IVERSON: VIDEO PACKAGE
June 15, 2012

After a very disappointing couple years on the travel circuit and watching his stock fall accordingly, Kuran Iverson has bounced back and is primed for a big July..

JARELL MARTIN: VIDEO PACKAGE
June 11, 2012

Jarell Martin is a versatile and hard-working forward who has a chance to make the McDonald's All-American Game next spring.

SELDEN RECLASSES TO 2013
June 8, 2012

As has been rumored for weeks, BABC guard Wayne Selden has re-classified from the 2014 to 2013, and thus he joins the group that includes top rising seniors such as Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison.

Selden is strong enough for college already, so his transition to a class forward shouldn’t pose a problem for him physically. He also has played well through the spring and early summer, and his national stock has held steady in the top 15, at worst, so he’ll inevitably become a big-time recruit for the fall of 2013. Read story

KARVIAR SHEPHERD: VIDEO PACKAGE
June 6, 2012

Karviar Shephard is one of the nation's most skilled face-up forwards, and we look at his production and recruitment in this video.

PANGOS CAMP REPORT
June 5, 2012

The Pangos All-American camp took place over the weekend and provided us with an opportunity to watch some of the best prospects on the West Coast as well as nationally. Last year, elites such as Shabazz Muhammad and Andre Drummond dominated the camp, and this year there were fewer of those true top-five talents.

That said, the relatively increase in parity — as many high-majors participated — offered us a chance to watch a wide range of players compete without getting overshadowed. And because the camp combines both the Nike and non-Nike talent pools, certain matchups occur here that don’t anywhere else. Read story

CLASS OF 2012 CONFERENCE SCORECARD
June 4, 2012

The flurry of announcements in the last few days - Top 100 BF Montrezl Harrell to Louisville and Top 25 BF/WF Devonta Pollard to Alabama - creates a window of opportunity to examine our conference scorecard for the class of 2012.

As you see, inroads in overall totals were made in the last few months by the Pac-12 over the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12. With the buzz surrounding the UNLV program, there's lots of optimism about west coast hoops. Read story

CLASS OF 2012 CONFERENCE SCORECARD
June 4, 2012

The flurry of announcements in the last few days - Top 100 BF Montrezl Harrell to Louisville and Top 25 BF/WF Devonta Pollard to Alabama - creates a window of opportunity to examine our conference scorecard for the class of 2012.

As you see, inroads in overall totals were made in the last few months by the Pac-12 over the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12. With the buzz surrounding the UNLV program, there's lots of optimism about west coast hoops. Read story

BEEJAY ANYA: VIDEO PACKAGE
June 2, 2012

Beejay Anya is one of the nation's more promising centers, and we look at his production and recruitment in this video.

MAJOR CONFERENCE TRANSFERS
June 1, 2012

With college basketball's spring signing period concluded, it's worth giving more than a passing glance at significant transfers the likes of Khem Birch, Stacey Poole, Roscoe Smith and Antwan Space, amongst others.

This year, in particular, several hundred players throughout the basketball landscape have reconsidered and redirected their basketbll futures. Here's our list of the most notable. Read story

DOMINGO PLEDGES TO HOYAS
May 22, 2012

Georgetown picked up a commitment from California wing Stephen Domingo, one of the nation’s better pure shooters in the Class of 2013. The timing of Domingo’s announcement didn’t surprise, given that he’d narrowed his list of schools to the Hoyas, Stanford, Washington and Harvard.

Clearly, academics factored heavily into the decision. Georgetown will receive a smooth three-point marksman who put on a show at times last summer — including at the Pangos All-American Camp last June. Domingo needs to get stronger and to improve his shot-creation off the dribble, but he should enjoy a fine career at GU. Read story

BLUE DEVILS SPEAR JEFFERSON
May 15, 2012

Amile Jefferson struggled mightily to make a final college decision, but the combo forward finally arrived at one: Duke. With a list that included N.C. State, Villanova and others, Jefferson opted to spend his career in Durham under the tutelage of Mike Krzyzewski. While not an elite athlete and though something of a tweener, Jefferson is a very skilled and intelligent performer who has earned national accolades for the past two years.

Jefferson is very long and thus is able to play taller than his actual height. He also is a pretty good handler and knocks in medium-range jump shots with admirable consistency. Duke now has commitments from Jefferson and All-American guard Rasheed Sulaimon. Read story

BENNETT PICKS RUNNIN' REBS
May 14, 2012

UNLV couldn’t snag No. 1 senior and hometown boy Shabazz Muhammad, but the Rebels enjoyed a triumphant spring nevertheless. UNLV was able to sign top-five forward Anthony Bennett, a native of Canada who prepped this year in Las Vegas.

Bennett arguably is the best jumbo athlete in the Class of 2012. He also considered, Kentucky, Florida, Washington and co-finalist Oregon, but ultimately UNLV was able to pitch him on being an immediate star and utilized his familiarity with the city to offer a high comfort level as well. Read story

HUSKIES LOOK ABROAD FOR DEPTH
May 10, 2012

UConn fans won’t remember this spring fondly. The Huskies lost Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb to the NBA draft, and the NCAA shot down the program’s request to gain eligibility for the 2013 tournament. At that point the exodus began in earnest, as Alex Orikahi, Roscoe Smith and Michael Bradley all exited the program.

And now the Huskies resourcefully have sought depth. After recently getting Milwaukee forward Phil Nolan, Jim Calhoun now has added Leon Tolksdorf, a 6-8 BF from Germany. Though largely unknown in the United States, Tolksdorf purportedly is a face-up big man who plays with the classical European style. Read story

NIKE EYBL: HAMPTON REPORT
May 1, 2012

We attended the second leg of the Nike EYBL circuit last weekend in Hampton, Va., and the event formerly known as the Boo Williams Invitational remains a vital cog in the grassroots framework. What made both Hampton and the prior Minneapolis stop so unique was the presence of college coaches: They hadn’t been allowed to attend travel events during April since 2008.

And in Hampton, due in part to the absence of Jabari Parker, who didn’t travel with the Mac Irvin Fire, an underclassman stood out as the most impressive player at the event. Read story

NIKE EYBL: MINNEAPOLIS REPORT
April 24, 2012

We evaluated the first leg of the Nike EYBL last weekend in Minneapolis, and clearly the guys behind the swoosh once again have stockpiled much of America’s best talent. There are some missing pieces, of course — notably including the Harrison twins out of Texas — but many other blue-chippers are suiting up for Nike-backed clubs this spring and summer.

We’ll be covering all of these guys on numerous occasions during the next several months, but here are some standouts from the weekend who made a strong first impression at the onset of the evaluation period. Read story

REBIRTH OF THE APRIL LIVE PERIOD
April 19, 2012

For the first time since 2008, college coaches will be allowed to watch travel team events this April. Previously a fixture on the grassroots circuit, the NCAA determined that abolishing the spring period would lessen the pressure on high school players to ship out during weekends while the academic year continued to proceed.

But the move enraged many coaches as being wrongheaded — that was our view as well — and proved to cause deleterious effects while not resolving any of the issues it was intended to address. For three consecutive recruiting cycles, coaches did not get to watch prospects competing together at major events until July. The delay harmed both teams looking to make bold decision and players whose exposure became very limited. Read story

BRUINS & CATS SCORE BIG: NOW WHAT?
April 12, 2012

Neither decision could be considered a surprise, but when the nation’s top two seniors announce on the same night, of course the recruiting world stands at attention. No. 1 senior Shabazz Muhammad went first, delivering his immense talent to UCLA over finalists Kentucky and Duke. Muhammad had been considered a Bruins lean early during his recruitment, but UCLA’s turbulent season amplified speculation that he would more closely explore other options.

Nerlens Noel went next, and he picked John Calipari’s Wildcats over Georgetown and Syracuse. Noel formerly was a candidate for No. 1 in the 2013 class, but he re-classed forward and instead will make his way onto a college court next fall. Read story

RECRUITING EXCLUSIVE:
LIFE AFTER MARCH MADNESS

April 6, 2012

With the headlines and high drama of the Final Four waning, it's time for our annual report: Life After March Madness. We’ve once again examined each of the final 16 teams in this year’s tournament while providing insight with our Recruiting Power Index, which projects their chances of making another deep postseason run.

We’ve also tracked the numerous coaching changes that have added to the twists and turns in college basketball since the end of the season, and readers should delight in our look at some Class of 2012 prospects who are likely to shock fans with their own exploits in seasons to come. Read story

MUHAMMAD WINS MVP OF MCDONALD'S
March 29, 2012

To the surprise of no one, unsigned senior wing Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points and captured the MVP award of the 35th McDonald’s All-American Game. Not only is Muhammad arguably the top player in the Class of 2012, he’s an intense competitor who never factors in context when he takes the court.

Unlike most all-star games, this one actually bore a resemblance to real basketball throughout the majority of the game. Read story

CAROLINA CHALLENGE REPORT
March 27, 2012

The annual Carolina Challenge took place last weekend at Raleigh (NC) Ravenscroft, and as always the state of North Carolina’s top prospects — from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes — were in attendance. There was one player who stood out above the rest, but several other high-major prospects took the floor as well.

Here’s a look at some of the best the Challenge had to offer, and of course we’re now less than one month away from the opening of the April live evaluation period. For the final two weekends of the month, college coaches will be allowed to watch AAU events in person — for the first time in several years. Read story

SUPER SIX JUMPSTART SPRING
March 22, 2012

Recruitniks understand that early spring rankings for a given class will undergo dramatic changes by the end of summer, and in the Class of 2013 that reality proves simultaneously true and untrue.

First, let's examine the top of the class. Six prospects stand out as the national elite, and we'll be surprised if any of the top half dozen slide more than a few spots from their current standing. Most classes ultimately develop a series of dividing lines separating talent levels, but the junior crop appears to be different because a stark line has become visible at a very early stage. Read story

CLASS RANKINGS OFFER CLUE
March 21, 2012

Pundits love to analyze the NCAA tournament field by describing teams as courageous, well-coached and possessing great chemistry. But the talent equation looms extremely large, as all recruitniks certainly know.

This spring’s tournament favorite, Kentucky, makes the point. Yes, the Wildcats have lost several of their elite freshmen to the NBA draft, but of course they have loaded up each year under John Calipari. The ‘Cats are led this year by freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and their presence in the 2011 signing class propelled UK to the top spot in our rankings. Read story.

SAMPSON RINGS BELL FOR SJU
March 15, 2012

St. John’s added its second commitment this week, getting the nod from post-graduate wing Jakarr Sampson. A 2011 signee who failed to qualify academically — the Red Storm suffered heavy attrition for that reason from that class — Sampson played at Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy this season and now is back in the fold.

Sampson is a highly versatile talent who, at 6-7, can play either forward position. He’s a skilled perimeter performer but has the size and attitude to compete in the post as well, racking up tons of blocks this season on the prep circuit. He should be able to compete for early playing time next year. Read story.

RED STORM GET SENIOR GUARD
March 13, 2012

St. John’s has suffered defections from its 2012 class this season, so the Red Storm were relieved to add 6-3 WG Felix Balamou in time to sign during the spring period. A product of Centereach (NY) Our Savior, Balamou averaged 17 points per game this season and had begun to attract widespread regional high-major attention prior to choosing St. John’s.

He’s a good athlete who led Our Savior in scoring, a team that features several other Division I prospects. Balamou didn’t receive the level of exposure enjoyed by others during the prior springs and summers but should develop into a solid contributor. Read story.

RAIDERS GET VERSATILE FORWARD
March 8, 2012

Texas Tech picked up the services of Aaron Ross, the one-time Arkansas signee and current 6-7, 220-pound BF/WF at Delafield (WI) St. John’s. Ross enjoyed a big prep year and projects as an immediate contributor for Billy Gillispie’s program. Not only is he skilled enough to shoot from 17 feet or big enough to score around the basket, he’s far more advanced physically than most college freshmen will be.

Ross also considered Alabama and others prior to picking the Red Raiders. He has a chance to earn a spot in our final rankings for the senior class, and at worst he’s a strong top-150 signee who will provide four solid years in Lubbock. Read story.

MCDONALD'S GAME: A LOOK INSIDE

After decades of alternating sites, the McDonald’s All-American Game has come home. For the second straight year, the game will tip off in Chicago, home of McDonald’s corporate and a splendid setting for the country’s most prestigious postseason all-star game. Held on March 28 at the United Center, 24 blue-chip seniors will compete in what for most will be their first appearance on national television.

As always, the McDonald’s Advisory Committee votes 20 players into the game, and then committee chairman Morgan Wootten adds additional members – typically four – to the squad himself. Read story.

A VIEW FROM THE TOP
March 1, 2012

It’s never easy, is it? Just when you think there’s a clear No. 1 player in a class, something comes along and alters the picture. Shabazz Muhammad ruled the Class of 2012.

Once Andre Drummond opted for UConn last fall rather than play out his senior season, our decision to name him the top dog effectively made itself. Muhammad and Drummond had emerged as the only realistic options, and thus we expected Muhammad to cruise into the finish line carrying the flag for his class nationally.

But a complication arose in the form of Nerlens Noel. Read story.

TERPS GET SLEEPER FORWARD
February 22, 2012

Recruiting seniors at this late point in the cycle requires creativity, and Maryland picked up a commitment from a heretofore unknown prospect: Damonte Dodd. A 6-9, 240-pound big forward at Centreville (MD) Queen Anne’s, Dodd lacks a national reputation but obviously possesses legitimate big man size for the high-major level.

Mostly regional low- and mid-majors had been in pursuit, but Georgetown reportedly had begun to express interest prior to the Terrapins’ offer. Dodd never traveled on the AAU circuit and thus never received the kind of exposure that may have made him a bigger name. Read story.

SHEPARD MAKES HIS PICK
February 16, 2012

San Diego State won out for one of the nation’s best available seniors. Big-time combo forward Winston Shepard selected the Aztecs over New Mexico, Oregon, UNLV and others, and he’ll give Steve Fisher a tremendously athletic and hard working forward around whom to construct the program’s immediate future.

Shepard isn’t the most polished scorer but ranks among the best defenders in the Class of 2012. Not only is he quick and long on the perimeter, he’s aggressive and willing to stick his nose into frontcourt skirmishes to block shots. Meanwhile, he’s an exciting transition finisher and a talented passer. Read story.

MCDONALD'S ROSTERS ANNOUNCED
February 29, 2012

The annual McDonald’s All-American Game will take place on March 28 in Chicago, and now we know which players were selected to the game. While a few top prospects weren’t eligible due to injury or other reasons, most of the country’s best seniors will be on display in what is widely viewed as the country’s top postseason all-star game.

Of course, selecting any all-star game will invite a certain amount of controversy, and clearly there were some hurt feelings when the lineups were announced. Nevertheless, a general consensus emerged (we at Prep Stars have two votes: Brick Oettinger and Rob Harrington) and clearly both the East and West squads are loaded. Read story.

BEARS REEL IN ANOTHER MAJOR PLEDGE
February 7, 2012

Baylor is cashing in on its big season, the Bears now getting a frontcourt recruit to potentially replace what they’ll lose to graduation and the NBA draft this spring. Former St. John’s commitment Ricardo Gathers chose Baylor over LSU, Florida and others. He’ll join elite big man Isaiah Austin in Waco and should have the opportunity to earn immediate playing time.

Gathers is a very powerful and aggressive — but undersized — scorer who may be underrated nationally. He’s build like the kind of athlete who lacks agility, but in fact he’s nimble and possesses ample finesse to accompany his brute strength. He’s also a fine run/jump athlete and, while he needs to enhance his ball skills for the longer term, should be college-ready as a freshman. Read story.

NOEL RECLASSES, EYES VISITS
February 3, 2012

One of the nation’s best prospects, regardless of class, has a new categorization. Elite center Nerlens Noel has moved forward from the 2013 class to the 2012 aggregation, meaning he’ll sign with the school of his choice this spring and suit up for someone in 2012-13.

Noel likely will be the top- or second-ranked player in the Class of 2012. His only real competition may be Shabazz Muhammad, the senior scorer from Las Vegas. Noel primarily has been celebrated for his defense versus his offense, and certainly he’s one of the most dominant shotblockers we’ve seen in several years. Meanwhile, he’s a quick finisher who does possess a left hand and has the potential to become a star on both ends of the court. Read story.

CONCRETE CORRELATION
February 2, 2012

Because this is signing week in football, and various stories have emerged questioned the predictive value of recruiting rankings, it’s an opportunistic time for us to take a glance at the value of rankings on the basketball side.

The most obvious difference between football and hoops rankings are that the play pool is significantly smaller in basketball. Thus, it’s possible and routine that the best prospects square off against each other to determine the pecking order. Read story.

WHAT'S UP WITH CHRIS THOMAS?
January 27, 2012

Over the past three or so years, we’ve seen an increasing number of players change their high school classes in unique ways. While players taking a fifth year is a time-honored tradition spanning back more than a decade, recently some players actually have begun to move forward a class to get to college sooner. Those prospects typically are re-classing forward to catch up with their original classmates, but nevertheless it’s a relatively new phenomenon.

But the story to emerge this week was downright strange. Elite junior guard Chris Thomas left South Kent (CT) Prep — where he was expected to spend the next two years — and enrolled at Chipola (FL) Junior College. Read story.

McDonald's Votes Are In: Who will make the team?
January 23, 2012

We don't like to tease, but now is a good time to report that the final ballots have been submitted to the McDonald's All-American organizers, and the results will be announced on February 7. We voted for the top 25 players (roughly by position) and though we aren't yet allowed to release our votes, principally we can say that most of the selections correspond with our current (winter) top 25 rankings.

However, there are some top prospects ineligible for the game (fifth-year preps, for example), and we did factor in the achievements made by players during their senior seasons. The game itself tends to be ugly (let's be honest), but the distinction is very important to prospects and thus we treat the vote with respect. Read story.

CLASS OF 2012: CONFERENCE SCORECARD
January 12, 2012

Now that the scorecard reflects all movement through the early signing period, we're unlikely to see many changes until spring. Obviously, everyone wants to know what No. 1 Shabazz Muhammad will do, and many analysts believe that Kentucky, UCLA and UNLV may hold the edge. The Wildcats and Runnin' Rebels (and several others) also are a player for No. 6 Anthony Bennett, who like Muhammad remains on course to make a final decision at some point following this season.

Given the struggles of the conference as a whole, the Pac-12 definitely needs for its various 2012 classes to pan out. The conference presently ranks No. 9 in Jeff Sagarin's empirical charting, several spots behind the Mountain West. Read story.

CARR, OTHERS MAKE NEWS
January 10, 2012

Seton Hall needed to make a statement in recruiting, and the Pirates certainly accomplished that by getting exciting Baltimore PG Aquille Carr. A junior who has become an internet sensation due to his ball-handling and passing wizardry, Carr is more than mere spectacle.

He’s a voracious competitor who, despite standing under 5-7, has the explosive quickness and leaping ability to make a few plays inside, though clearly his size is an issue against elite shotblockers. Nevertheless, he’s a major talent and gives the Pirates some all-important buzz. Read story.

CLASS OF 2015: EARLY WATCH LIST

As our long-time readers know, we at Prep Stars don't rank players at an inappropriately early age. We don't rank high school freshmen, either, but we have begun to compile a watch list that will expand greatly over time.

The key to making this early list is not so much that we're aiming to identify the very best prospects in the class, but rather we're attempting to merely note achievements made by freshmen against older competition. Some of these prospects will soar to lofty heights, no question, but others likely will fade as their peers catch them in terms of physical maturity. What players fall into which category remains to be seen! Click to check out the early list: 2015 Watch List.

WOOD REOPENS RECRUITMENT
January 6, 2012

The attrition at St. John’s continues to accumulate. The Red Storm first lost former commitment Ricardo Gathers, and now they’ve lost NJ WG Darrick Wood as well.

Wood insists that he’ll continue to consider the Red Storm while he explores other options, but obviously there’s a big concern about the dissolution of the Johnnies’ 2012 class. Having said that, reports surfaced that academic issues may play a role. Of course, getting coach Steve Lavin healthy and back on the sidelines will do wonders to restore stability, and already he has resumed some of his duties of head coach after prostate surgery this past fall. Read story.

HILL PLEDGES TO GATORS
January 2, 2012

Florida landed arguably the top junior prospect within the Sunshine State, getting the nod from Kasey Hill. Long considered a UF lean, Hill is a big-time scorer and overall athlete who continues to evolve as a playmaker. He has enjoyed some fine moments against national competition and is firmly in competition for the McDonald’s All-American Game as well as the top spot at point guard in the Class of 2013.

Looking more broadly, several junior commitments have trickled in. The Gators now join Duke (which has No. 9 Matt Jones) and North Carolina (No. 12 Nate Britt and No. 16 Isaiah Hicks) with top-25 pledges. Read story.

SIGNING PERIOD RANKINGS: FINAL UPDATE

The only shakeup in the top 10 was Kentucky, which added top-30 TN combo forward Alex Poythress and moved up to No.9, pushing Michigan and Villanova back one spot. The period is thus concluded, and now the unsigned seniors — only six of the national top 25 — will draw the headlines from now until the spring signing period in April.

In other big news from the period, All-American TX C Cameron Ridley opted not to sign with Texas despite making a commitments many months ago. He still may ink with the Longhorns in the spring and we're still considering him a commitment, but obviously there's no guarantee. Read story



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