Schools, players start making it official
After months of anticipation, college basketball early signing period has commenced. Scouts Inc. will fill you in on any developments as they happen. Check back for updates throughout the day.
Wednesday, Nov. 18
No. 19 center signs with West Virginia
Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins has announced the signing of David Nyarsuk (Beckley, W.Va./Mountain State University Academy).
The 7-foot-1, 230-pound center is a native of Juba, Sudan and has averaged 10.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. Nyarsuk came to the United States as part of the African Hoop Opportunities Providing an Education (A-HOPE) Foundation in 2008. A-HOPE is a non-profit charity that helps student-athletes from Africa, who do not have the means to advance their education in their home countries, with educational opportunities in the United States. Nyarsuk is ranked No. 19 at his position.
"We're excited about David's ability to be a game-changer at the defensive end of the floor," says Huggins. "His ability to change shots around the basket, as well as run the floor, will fit well into what we want to do at both ends of the floor. David is an extremely hard worker which is what we have prided ourselves on."
Tuesday, Nov. 17
The Florida Gators have announced the signing of their 2010 recruits. Forwards Casey Prather (Jackson, Tenn./North Side) and Patric Young (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) give the Gators the type of athleticism that has been a trademark of the Billy Donovan era.
Here's what Florida's coach had to say about this dynamic duo:
"We're very excited that both Patric and Casey have chosen the University of Florida," said head coach Billy Donovan. "They're two really talented players that bring athleticism and the competitive mindset we're looking for."
Mizzou announces Mitchell signing
Missouri rounded out its early signing period in a big way on Tuesday by signing ESPNU 100 power forward Tony Mitchell (Dallas/L.G. Pinkston). He is the fourth member of Mizzou's recruiting class, joining Kadeem Green (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith), Rick Kreklow (Columbia, Mo. / Rock Bridge) and Phil Pressey (Dallas, Texas / Episcopal).
An incredible athlete in a 6-foot-8, 220-pound frame, Mitchell was built for up-tempo basketball. The McDonald's All-America candidate played his junior season at the Center of Life Academy in Miami, Fla., where he averaged 17.2 points and 8.1 rebounds. The Texas native moved back to his home state this summer and will conclude his high school career at Dallas' L.G. Pinkston High School for head coach Nick Smith.
"Tony is excited to be a Missouri Tiger and we are elated that he is joining our family," head coach Mike Anderson said. "Tony is one of the best forwards in the country and he certainly fits the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball. He is very versatile, skilled, has toughness and great instincts for the game. He's an elite athlete who loves to win. And as talented as Tony is, he's an even better person. He comes from a great family."
Monday, Nov. 16
Yellow Jackets' ink ESPNU 100 SF
Georgia Tech received its first recruiting commitment of the early period from ESPNU 100 prospect Jason Morris (Augusta, Ga./Hotchkiss).
The 6-5, 204-pound native of Augusta, Ga., has attended The Hotchkiss School -- a prestigious boarding school in rural Connecticut -- for the last four years. He averaged 17 points and seven rebounds as a junior last season.
"We're thrilled to get Jason Morris' letter of intent," said coach Paul Hewitt. "He's an excellent student and an outstanding athlete. If I can compare him to some of the guys we've had in the past, he's on the level of Isma'il Muhammad in terms of running and jumping."
Blue Demons' trio of the future
DePaul basketball coach Jerry Wainwright has announced that Moses Morgan (Las Vegas/ Palo Verde), Brandon Young (Washington D.C./Friendship) and Walter Pitchford (Grand Rapids, Mich./ New Creations) have signed letters of intent.
Morgan, a 6-5 guard/forward, enters his senior season at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas, Nev. and brings an outside shooting presence to Chicago. The son of former Indiana Hoosier Winston Morgan averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds during his junior year while shooting just under .500 from the field.
"All three of these kids can really shoot, can score, and they're long," said Wainwright. "We needed to get taller, longer and more athletic. All three kids are excited about the opportunity to play in the Big East."
4:10 p.m. ET
Versatile guard signs with Pirates
Jesse Morgan (Philadelphia. South Kent) has just signed with the Seton Hall Pirates. Morgan's signing is the second for the Pirates during the fall period. Paterson Catholic small forward Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J./ Paterson Catholic) signed on to play for Seton Hall on Nov. 13.
The 6-foot-5, 175-pound, shooting guard is highly regarded as an extremely versatile wing player who can shoot the ball well and score in bunches. He and Edwin will fill the roster spots left vacant by the graduation of seniors John Garcia and Eugene Harvey.
"We couldn't be more thrilled to add Jesse Morgan to the program," coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "He's a versatile player that can play any one of the three guard positions. We feel he's one of the most underrated players in the country and that he's destined to be a future star at Seton Hall. His long-term potential is incredible, and in the short-term, he'll provide quality insurance for Jeremy Hazell. He's a big guard, who can play the point if necessary, and it's good for us to add a kid from Philadelphia to our roster as well."
4:00 p.m. ET
Hurricanes sign two
Miami coach Frank Haith announced the signing of 6-5, 190-pound guard Rion Brown (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) and 6-9, 230-pound forward Raphael Akpejiori (Lagos, Nigeria/Sunrise Christian).
Brown, who averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game as a junior was also recruited by schools such as Virginia, Alabama and Georgia.
"Rion is a tremendous young man," said Haith. "He is a great shooter -- a very athletic combo guard with great size. He has the opportunity to be a very special player for us."
Akpejiori, who is originally from Nigeria, has spent the last two years in the United States and is currently attending Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas. He played in the international game during the 2008 Jordan Brand Basketball Classic in New York City, but sat out his junior season in 2008-09 after sustaining an injury.
"Raphael has great size and athleticism," said Haith. "He's a shot blocker that can attack the basket. I love his toughness and his physicality, and he has the potential to be a really strong post presence in our league."
12:00 p.m. ET
Two more top 100 power forwards come off the board
A busy signing week continues in Memphis. According to MemphisRoar.com, the Tigers have reportedly secured a commitment from ESPNU 100 power forward Tarik Black (Memphis/Ridgeway). Black's commitment gives the Tigers four ESPNU 100 recruits, two in the past three days, and seven total commits. It remains to be seen if he will sign before the early period ends on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Missouri might have vaulted its class into the top 25 with Sunday's commitment from ESPNU 100 power forward Tony Mitchell (Dallas/Pinkston). Mitchell joins ESPNU 100 PG Phil Pressey (Dallas/Episcopal), SG Ricky Kreklow (Columbia, Mo./Rock Bridge) and Kadeem Green (Markham, Ont./United Faith Academy) in the Tigers' class.
Sunday, Nov. 15
1:05 p.m. ET
Memphis gets another top 25 commitment
With the exception of Harrison Barnes picking UNC, Memphis strong recruiting class has to be the story of the early signing period. The group got even better last night with news that top-25 prospect Jelan Kendrick (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler) picked the Tigers.
Here's what Josh Pastner had to say about the Tigers' latest pickup:
"The city of Memphis will be excited to see Jelan wearing the Blue and Gray next year," Pastner said. "Jelan fits in with the vision we have for the program on and off the court. At 6-foot-6, he adds tremendous size to our backcourt. Jelan is a very skilled, multi-dimensional guard who's a very good passer and has a good feel for the game."
1:00 p.m. ET
Sooners announce Clark's signing
Here's what coach Jeff Capel had to say about Clark:
"Cameron is an elite level athlete who has his best basketball in front of him," said Capel. "I don't think he's begun to scratch the surface of who he can become.
"Because of his athleticism, he has the ability to make some 'wow' plays. He shoots the ball very well from mid-range and he can shoot it to 3 (-point range). He also has the ability to do things off the bounce. I anticipate him being a big-time wing player for us, a guy who can be a tremendous defender and one who'll be flying around making plays all over the floor. We're very excited that he's a Sooner."
Saturday, Nov. 141:40 p.m. ET
Wake announces much lauded class
Wake Forest's five-man class is in. The Deamon Deacons will be bringing in four ESPNU 100 class next fall. The group consists of SG J.T. Terrell (Burlington, N.C./Burlington Cummings) SF Travis McKie (Richmond, Va./Marshall), PF Melvin Tabb (Raleigh, N.C./Enloe), Tony Chennault (Philadelphia/Neumann-Goretti) and Carson Desrosiers (Windham, N.H./Central Catholic).
Here's what coach Dino Gaudio had to say about the group:
"We are very pleased with our 2010 recruiting class," said Gaudio. "All five of these young men are good students and high character individuals who will fit in very well on the Wake Forest campus and on our basketball team."
Friday, Nov. 13
4:20 p.m. ET
Wait is over: Barnes signs with UNC
The No. 1 player in the Class of 2010, Harrison Barnes (Ames, Iowa/Ames), is going to play for Roy Williams and the Tar Heels. The 6-foot-8, 209 pound small forward with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor chose North Carolina over other big-name programs, such as Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Oklahoma and home-town school Iowa State.
Barnes makes what is already a good North Carolina recruiting class great. He joins Reggie Bullock of Kinston, N.C. (Kinston), No. 13 in the ESPNU 100 and the second-ranked shooting guard, and Kendall Marshall of Arlington, Va. (Bishop O'Connell), No. 19 in the top 100 and fourth-ranked point guard.
3:42 p.m. ET
Wade rounds our Razorbacks' class
Arkansas added a third signee to its list of commitments in Mardracus Wade (Memphis/Hargrave Military).
"Mardracus is a young man that we have had a chance to get to know for some time," coach John Pelphrey said. "We want to do a good job in Memphis where some of the Razorback greats have come from. He is a combo guard who has the ability to impact a game on both ends of the floor, on offense and defense. He is a good person and an exceptional student who loves the Razorbacks."
As a junior for Mitchell High School in Memphis, Wade averaged 19.3 points per game over a 23-game schedule. At 6-2, Wade also gives the Razorbacks added size at the guard position.
"We are very excited to have Mardracus as a part of our program," Razorback assistant coach Tom Ostrom said. "We targeted Memphis as an important recruiting area and are excited to have him as a Razorback. He is as committed a defender as there is in the country. He is a true gym rat and will add lot of character to our program both on and off the floor."
3:20 p.m. ET
Bennett brings in first class
Up-and-coming coach Tony Bennett has just signed five players for Virginia, including ESPNU 100 prospects power forward James Johnson (Wildomar, Calif./Elsinore) and shooting guard K.T. Harrell (Montgomery, Ala./Brewbaker). The Cavaliers also signed small forward Akil Mitchell (Charlotte/Charlotte Christian), shooting guard Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash./Chelan) and power forward Will Regan (Williamsville, N.Y./Nichols).
"Obviously this is a very important recruiting class because it's the first for our staff at Virginia," Bennett said. "I think the goal to bring in a wide range of players in terms of playing positions and a group that complements each other has been accomplished. We want to take the foundation that's in place here already with the current players and enhance it with this group of five young men.
"As a group they all embody and represent what the University of Virginia stands for and they are excited to be a part of returning Virginia basketball to prominence. Each of them is also looking forward to the academic opportunity that the University presents. They are coming to Virginia for the right reasons."
2:57 p.m. ET
Edwin inks with Seton Hall
Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez just announced that Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J./Paterson) has signed a national letter of intent.
The 6-6, 205-pound small forward, averaged 16 points and eight rebounds a game. "We are very excited about the signing of Fuquan Edwin," Gonzalez said. "He's a very talented, multi-position player that will fit perfectly. I think he's going to have an excellent senior season and will be one of the top four or five players in the State of New Jersey. Every time we see him, he gets better and better. We love the fact that he can get out on the wing and just score the basketball in a variety of ways. Fuquan is coming off a tremendous summer and we think he's going to be a real steal for us to add him to our family for 2010-11."
12:20 p.m. ET
Kirk, who is the No. 6 ranked center in the country, averaged 27.6 points, 14.2 rebounds, seven blocks and three assists as a junior for the Hilltoppers. The 6-7, 190-pound Snell is considered a sleeper and he averaged 14 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
"We have targeted Alex since we got to UNM. He was probably the first player we offered after we saw him playing a game at Highland (High School) as a sophomore. We have developed a good relationship with the entire Kirk family," said coach Steve Alford. "Size, or lack thereof, has been an issue for us and adding Alex (6-10, 226 pounds) fills this void. He is our center for the future. Alex has good hands and he shoots well. He is also a good passing big man, which is important in our offense. Alex is an inside-outside type of center who can contribute immediately."
11:55 a.m. ET
Tigers sign Pressey and two others Missouri coach Mike Anderson announced the signing of three student athletes, including ESPNU 100 point guard Phil Pressey (Dallas/ Episcopal). The Tigers also signed shooting guard Ricky Kreklow (Columbia, Mo./ Rock Bridge) and power forward Kadeem Green (Markham, Ont./United Faith).
"We are certainly excited to have these three young men join our program," Anderson said. "All three come from tremendous families and they are very talented basketball players. We were able to attract three guys that we identified early on in the recruiting process and that speaks volumes about the growth of the Mizzou brand. These three young guys fit our brand and we are elated that each of them wanted to become Tigers."
As a junior the 5-foot-10, 162-pound Pressey averaged 19 points and 10 assists a game for Dallas Episcopal. He also contributed four steals and five rebounds a night, while leading his team to a 27-5 overall mark.
"For us, Phillip is one of the best point guards in the country," Anderson said. "He's a winner. He has a toughness and tremendous feel for the game. He has a high basketball IQ and he's a great passer. He's not afraid to make the big play and he has the ability to make the players around him better. Our style fits the way he wants to play."
11:40 a.m. ET
Wake Forest inks three
Three of Wake Forest's highly regarded five-man recruiting class have signed letters of intent. ESPNU 100 athletes J.T. Terrell (Charlotte/West Chrlotte), Travis McKie (Richmond, Va./John Marshall) and Carson Derosiers (Windham, N.H./ Central Catholic) made it official yesterday according to the Winston Salem Journal.
The 6-3, 165 pound Terrell is the No. 14 ranked shooting guard in the country. He chose Wake Forest over Virginia, Miami and UNC Charlotte. McKie is a 6-6, 195 pounder, who is ranked the No. 10 small forward in the country. He chose Wake Forest over Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth, Maryland and Boston College. Derosiers is the No. 5 ranked center in the country and chose Wake Forest over Notre Dame, Syracuse and Connecticut, among others.
11:26 a.m. ET
Tigers sign two and get surprise verbal
The Memphis Tigers' big week continues. After signing point guard Joe Jackson (Memphis/White Station), the No. 21 player in the Class of 2010, and shooting guard Chris Crawford (Memphis/Sheffield), power forward Hippolyte Tsafack (Charlottesville, Va./Miller School) verbally committed, according to the Commercial Appeal.
"Having Chris Crawford and Joe Jackson is humongous for this program," Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. "They're two really, really good student-athletes and they're Memphis' own. We're so happy. For the community, to have two really good players like that in Chris and Joe is really cool."
The 5-11 Jackson is the biggest recruit of Pastner's early tenure. And even though Jackson admitted after his commitment that he was Memphis-bound from the start, Pastner worked hard and didn't take any chances with coaches, including Bill Self at Kansas and John Calipari at Kentucky trying to get in the mix.
"Joe is just tough, tough, tough," Pastner said. "I call him Joe 'Hardworking' Jackson. He puts his hard hat on, puts the boots on, rolls the sleeves up and goes to work day in and day out. He works and works and he wins."
Crawford was another big hit for Pastner, especially since he stole the Sheffield guard away from Tennessee with a last-minute push in October. A 6-4 sharpshooter, Crawford landed on the national radar in July with his performance on the AAU circuit.
"When he steps past halfcourt, he's in range," Pastner said. "He can fill it up. I think he's one of the most underrated players in the country. He's going to surprise people how good he is. He can flat-out play. He's a multidimensional guard, he's got a good feel, he's crafty and he can score."
10:40 a.m. ET
Two of the nation's top prospects signed with North Carolina
Reggie Bullock (Kinston, N.C./Kinston), No. 13 in the ESPNU 100 and the second-ranked shooting guard, and Kendall Marshall (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell), No. 19 in the top 100 and fourth-ranked point guard, signed with the Tar Heels.
Bullock chose the Tar Heels over Indiana and Wake Forest, while Marshell picked UNC over Georgetown, Villanova and Virginia.
What makes Bullock, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds, stand out is his versatility and ability to score as a big shooting guard, according to Scouts Inc. He will fit in well in Roy Williams' fast-break style as he is a versatile athlete who can consistently knock down open 3s, take contact and finish in transition, and is an effective passer off the dribble. He should be able to quickly adjust to the collegiate game defensively as he is sound on and off the ball and is able to defend multiple positions. Where Bullock separates himself from the pack is when he takes over the game offensively. He has the ability to score in bunches and wants the ball in tough situations. He is a mentally tough kid and at the end of games he is a consistent free-throw shooter. He is a worker that is very coachable and understands how to play.
"Reggie is a wonderful prospect as a perimeter player," coach Roy Williams said. "At 6-7, he has the ability to handle the ball and be a fantastic shooter. He is also a good defensive player. He's the kind of young man whom everyone will enjoy watching."
Marshall, 6-4, 180 pounds, is simply the best passer in high school basketball, Scouts Inc. said. He always has his head up looking for the open teammate. He is extremely efficient with his dribble as he uses it to push the ball in transition. Everything this young man does throughout the course of a game has a purpose. He is so adept at seeing the entire floor and making the assist on target and on time. He makes all kind of passes (penetration and kick, dump off from his drives, skip pass, post feed, open cutters) that lead to open looks. He supports and encourages his teammates if they drop one of his passes, which is the sign of a true leader. Marshall is a good mid-range shooter who needs work on his jumper behind the arc, but that will come.
"Kendall is a true point guard," Williams said. "He's a Lenny Wilkens type player -very clever with the ball. I love his unselfishness. Everyone who has played with him wants to be his teammate again. He's a thinking man's point guard who will fit in well with the way we play."
10:26 a.m. ET
Villanova adds a pair of top prospects
Guard James Bell (Orlando, Fla./Montverde), No. 43 in the ESPNU 100, 6-5, and forward Markus Kennedy (Philadelphia/The Winchendon School), signed with Villanova.
"These are two outstanding young players we are excited to add to our Villanova basketball family," coach Jay Wright said.
Bell is 6-foot-4, 217 pounds and while he's ranked as the No. 9 small forward in the country could play guard for Villanova. He is great off of the dribble with the ability to explode by his defender and get into the paint. He is a high flyer who fearlessly attacks the rim with reckless abandon. Bell fills up a box score as he does a little bit of everything.
"James is a great athlete from an outstanding program at Montverde Academy," stated Wright. "James is a tough, athletic guard who will add another dimension to our team."
Kennedy is 6-9, 268 pounds and has the strength to play inside, but has the ability to play away from the basket as well.
"Markus is a Philly guy and he brings us interior size and toughness," Wright said. "One of the things we came to appreciate about Markus is his understanding of the game. We believe Markus can be an outstanding rebounder at this level and a skilled offensive player in the post.
10: 19 a.m. ET
Vols land one of nation's best shooting guards
Shooting guard Jordan McRae (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Country), who's ranked No. 29 in the ESPNU 100, signed with Tennessee.
Over the past year, McRae, 6-foot-6, 180 pounds, became one of the elite pure scorers in the country with his ability to score in both transition and half court, Scouts Inc. said. He is a long fluid athlete with some bounce and has learned how to attack a defense. He uses screens well, has good body control and despite his thin frame can take contact and finish. He has great potential, but needs to fill out and gain some strength to take the physical play in the SEC.
"Jordan has been committed to UT for a couple years," coach Bruce Pearl said. "His length, his athleticism and his ability to shoot the ball at a high level make him a real special prospect. His offense is ahead of his defense. And once he gets into our weight program and starts to strengthen his build, he will be even more of an impact player."
As a junior, McRae, who is the sixth-ranked shooting guard in the country, averaged 23 points per game, while leading the Panthers to the round of 16 in the Class AAA state playoffs and a 20-6 overall record.
"It's like all my hard work to this point has paid off," McRae said Wednesday. "But at the same time, tomorrow it's right back to work. "I think coach Pearl is a great coach. I like playing with intensity, and at Tennessee, I'll be playing for a coach who is just as intense as me. I like his system and the fast-break game. At UT, off the court, everybody is really close and it really feels like a family, and I Iike that a lot."
Cobbins tops Cowboys' class
Power forward Michael Cobbins (Amarillo, Texas/Palo Duro), No. 85 in the ESPNU 100, highlights a four-player Oklahoma State class brought in by coach Travis Ford.
Cobbins, 6-foot-8, 190 pounds, is a good athlete, has good quickness with good leaping ability. He has good skills for his size, nice hands, and a nice touch to 15-to17 feet. This lefty can create with one or two dribbles, but also showed nice touch inside. He must get stronger, but is an intriguing talent.
"Michael is someone we're very excited about," Ford said. "He's a very versatile player and before he got hurt, was having a top-10 player-of-the-year season. He came to our elite camp and we fell in love with him. He plays a lot of different positions. He has recovered from his injury and is 100 percent, so I'm anxious to see him. He has a great attitude and is a player who has just gotten better and better. He's very versatile and very long. We don't really have anybody like him on our team that's his size with the skills that he has."
He's joined by 6-3 G Markel Brown (Alexandria, La./Peabody), 6-5 G Brian Williams (Baton Rouge, La./Glen Oaks) and junior college transfer J.P. Olukemi, a 6-7, 215-pound forward from Vincennes University in Indiana.
Thursday, Nov. 12
4:48 p.m. ET
A trio of ESPNU 100 players head to Illinois
Illinois took a step closer to landing one of the nation's top classes when it signed SF Jereme Richmond (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan), SG Crandall Head (Chicago/Rich South) and C Meyers Leonard (Robinson, Ill./Robinson). Richmond is ranked No. 17 in the ESPNU 100, Leonard is No. 52 and Head is No. 73.
"They are three outstanding young men who have been committed to us for a long time. They are all tremendously talented players, extremely athletic, with the ability to play a mixture of positions," coach Bruce weber said. "We are pleased to bring in three in-state products who are the top three seniors in the state of Illinois."
Richmond, 6-foot-8, 195 pounds, made a verbal commitment to the Illini program three years ago before ever playing a high school game.He averaged 20.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.3 blocks as a junior, and Scouts Inc. says he is an elite level wing player with a complete package of skills. Has great length and uses it to be a solid defender on the ball and a surprising shot blocker from the weak side. He is his best with the ball in his hands attacking from the wing where he can create baskets for himself or teammates. Richmond has a great feel for the game, a high basketball IQ and makes things look easy.
Head, a 6-4 guard, is the younger brother of former Illini All-American and current Indiana Pacers guard Luther Head. He averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals as a junior and is very athletic, wiry strong and excels in transition. He should flourish in Illinois' motion offense and pressure man defense.
Leonard, 7-0, 215, averaged 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks as a junior. Leonard is an intriguing prospect, Scouts Inc. says. He has budding skills and savvy beyond his years and once his frame fills out -- he can struggle to finish with contact right now -- he should be one of the most talented college prospects. His athleticism is tremendous and despite being 7-feet, he is quite comfortable out on the perimeter. He handles it very well for his size, can knock down the jump shot at the elbow, and his passing both out on the perimeter as well as in the paint area are high-level. He has quick wrists and his vision is that of a point forward at times.
12:42 p.m. ET
West Virginia announces first signing
West Virginia's Bob Huggins got a signature from ESPNU 100 PG Noah Cottrill (Poca, W. Va./Logan) on Thursday. Cottrill is the Mountaineers' lone 2010 commit.
Here was Huggins take on the local guard prospect:
"We are excited to have Noah Cottrill join our basketball program," says Huggins. "Noah is an outstanding shooter, has terrific ball-handling skills and has a tremendous ability to score. It is great to be able to sign one of our own, and Noah is excited to represent this great state on and off the court."
10:40 a.m. ET
Poole UK's lone 2010 signee
Kentucky issued a press release Thurdsday making Stacey Poole's commitment to the Wildcats official. Poole (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) is the No. 51 player in the 2010 class. Here's what Paul Biancardi had to say about Poole when he committed to the Wildcats a few months back:
"He catches your eye and does so on a consistent basis. What stands out about his performance is his eye-popping athletic ability. He also brings great energy and urgency at both ends of the floor to go along with a scorer's mentality. He tries to score and plays with the great effort that coaches look for on a nightly basis."
It's unlikely Poole will end up as UK's only recruit. John Calipari has proven time and again that he can close with the best of them. The Wildcats have a good shot with three top-10 prospects -- PG Brandon Knight (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest), PG Josh Selby (Baltimore/Lake Clifton) and PF CJ Leslie (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) -- and are pursuing several other top 100 players.
9:40 a.m. ET
Battle's half brother makes it official with Penn State
Penn State's Talor Battle, one of the top returning players in the Big Ten, could have some familiar company on campus as a senior. On Wednesday, his half brother, ESPNU 100 SG Taran Buie (State College, Pa./State College), signed a letter of intent with the Nittany Lions. Buie is among the most lauded recruits in Penn State history.
Here was Ed DeChellis' take on his prized recruit:
"We are very happy and excited to have Taran joining our team," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "With his brother, Talor, being here and that relationship, we feel like he has been a part of our Nittany Lion family for awhile now and fits in perfectly with what our program is all about. We are thrilled he has decided to bring his considerable athletic ability and basketball skills as well as his competitiveness and drive to our program."
Wednesday, Nov. 11
11:05 p.m. ET
ESPNU 100 prospect White among FSU's three signees
As he seems to do year in and year out, Leonard Hamilton has put together a recruiting class that is worthy of national attention. FSU's 2010 group is led by ESPNU 100 PF Okaro White (Clearwater, Fla.). He is joined by SG Ian Miller (Charlotte/United Faith Academy) and Bernard James (Tallahassee Community College).
Here's Hamilton's take on the class:
"We are very excited about the three players we have signed during the early signing period," said Hamilton. "We have added three quality players and three outstanding young men to our roster. All three are great fits for our team and will become great teammates. They are players of strong character and people who will develop into life-long leaders."
11:00 p.m. ET
Elite center tops Wisconsin's early signees
Evan Anderson (Eau Claire, Wisc./North), the No. 7 center prospect in the country and No. 100 in the ESPNU 100, highlights three additions to the Wisconsin Badgers. Anderson joins SF Duje Dukan (Deerfield, Ill./Deetfield) and PG Josh Gasser (Port Washington, Wisc./Port Washington) in signing with the Badgers on the first day of the early signing period.
Anderson, 6-foot-11, 250 pounds, is a true center that possesses great size and strength and knows has to use it. He bangs opponents on both ends of the floor. On offense he seals his man with at least one foot in the lane and on defense he is a load to box out. He should develop into a solid contributer in coach Bo Ryan's system.
"His size and physical presence will help him as he starts with us next year. He's developed a very good back-to-the-basket game and already has a collegiate physicality to his game that will serve him well during his Badger playing days," Ryan said. "He's a great kid, who does well in the classroom and comes with very down-to-earth, humble and hard-working parents. Our staff is excited to help mold him in the future and build off what we have seen him do thus far. He plays with an edge to his game and has a passion for the University of Wisconsin which will help him have a successful Badger career both on and off the court. I know our fans will enjoy watching him on the Badger front lines of the future."
Dukan, a 6-8, 190 pounds, averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a junior. Dukan shot nearly 46 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line. Gasser, 6-4, 190 pound s, averaged double figures in both points and rebounds in each of the last two seasons. As a junior at Post Washington High School, Gasser averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game earning conference MVP honors. During his sophomore season he posted averages of 21 points and 10 rebounds per game.
10:47 p.m. ET
Isiah Thomas' first recruiting class includes a top 50 player
Dominique Ferguson, a 6-foot-8, 209-pound forward who is ranked No. 46 in the ESPNU 100, top Isiah Thomas' first recruiting class at FIU. Ferguson (Indianapolis, Ind./Hargrave Military Academy) is joined by guards DeJuan Wright (Gilllete College, Wyoming) and Richaud Pack (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm).
Ferguson is the most highly sought-after recruit in the 28-year history of the FIU program. The No. 13 power forward was once a University of Kentucky commit and also had interest from Arizona, Florida, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Indiana, Connecticut and Duke. With a wingspan of 87 inches, Ferguson is long and athletic and can finish above the rim with ease. He has a good mid range pull up and does a good job on the offensive glass as well.
"Dominique is a versatile player who can play three or four positions out on the floor," Thomas said. "He can handle the ball well with both hands, has a good inside game and is a strong rebounder. He is an impact player with the potential to play at the next level."
The fact it was Thomas' first recruiting class and one of the first steps toward his goal of building the program to national prominance was not lost on the coach.
"This was definitely a special day for us," he said. "These signings, along with players like Jeremy Allen (6-3, junior guard, Central Michigan) and Brandon Moore (6-8, sophomore, forward, Arkansas) who are sitting out this season, will play important roles in turning around the FIU men's basketball program."
10:35 p.m. ET
Izzo brings in one of the nation's top classes
A trio of ESPNU 100 players highlight a top class brought in by Micihgan State.
The Spartans signed four players in what will be one of the nation's top classes. Guard Keith Appling (Detroit, Mich./Pershing), guard Russell Byrd (Fort Wayne, Ind./Blackhawk Christian), forward Alex Gauna (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) and center Adreian Payne (Dayton, Ohio/Jefferson Township) all signed letters of intent on Wednesday. Payne ranks 23rd in the ESPNU 100, while Appling is 35th and Byrd No. 56 in the top 100. Guana, while not in the ESPNU 100 is the 16th-ranked center in the country.
Payne, 6-foot-10, 215 pounds, is a defensive force. With a 7-foot wing span and extraordinarily quick leaping ability, Payne is tough to score against. He needs to gain weight and strength to combat getting pushed around, but his ability to cover ground in the paint area and contest both shots as well as passes coming into the post was special.
Appling, 6-2, 180, has incredible quickness and can put a ton of pressure on the opposing team's defense through his penetration skills. He looks to get the ball to the basket and score whenever he has it in his hands, which makes him more of a shooting guard than point guard, though Appling has the size of a point guard. Byrd, a 6-7, 190-pound player who can play guard or forward, is a confident shooter who possesses great size and strength. He has a sweet stroke, quick trigger and deep range.
Gauna, 6-9, 230, has the size and physical skills to succeed at MSU. He is a strong combo post player and can do some damage with his improved post moves. He has a strong body and has the ability to bang down low, though he could stand to be more assertive in the paint.
10:30 p.m. ET
Arizona State gets LOI from top 100 recruit
Arizona State has received a letter of intent from the most decorated of its three 2010 commits. ESPNU 100 SG Keala King (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) made his commitment to the Sun Devils official on Wednesday afternoon. ASU now awaits signatures from 7-foot-2 center Jordan Bachynski (Calgary/Centennial) and SG Corey Hawkins (Goodyear, Ariz./Estrella Foothills).
Here's coach Herb Sendek's thoughts about King:
"Everything makes me excited about Keala,'' says Coach Herb Sendek about King. "He's a tremendous young player. I expect him to hit the floor running and have a tremendous career here at Arizona State. He's strong, he's tough, he's a multidimensional player. He's a winner."
10:25 p.m. ET
Long Beach State's class features ESPNU 100
It seems like a safe bet that Dan Monson's time at the University of Minnesota helped him cultivate the relationship that caused 2010 ESPNU 100 recruit Jacob Thomas (Columbia Heights, Minn.) to commit to Long Beach State. The 49ers' class also includes SF Shelton Boykin (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and PF Nick Shepherd (Houston/Westbury Christian).
Here's Monson's take on what will be one of the best classes put together by a mid-major program:
"We are thinking in recruiting mode that the first year we were trying to get good players," Monson said. "Now we are trying to get good players that fit our needs. With Jacob we really addressed a kid that can stretch defenses and give us a really skilled shooter at the off guard position. With Shelton, we feel like we really needed a young wing that could do a lot of things -- rebound, defend and knock shots down --- and we think we addressed that with him. And since I've been here we have never had a big man that is taller than 6-foot-8 who is an athlete that could run, finish, block shots and rebound and we really think that Nick fills that void."
10:15 p.m. ET
Montgomery's second recruiting class sets the gold standard at Cal
Mike Montgomery and the Cal Bears announced the signings of a 2010 recruiting class that's heavy on guard talent. The group is led by ESPNU 100 prospect Gary Franklin (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) who is the floor general for one of the nation's top programs. Cal also has signed SG Allen Crabbe (Los Angeles/Price), SG Alex Rossi (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) and PF Richard Solomon (Los Angeles/Price).
Here's coach Montgomery's take on this class:
"As a group, it's very good. Individually, they're very good. Given where we were, what we lose and what we're looking at down the road, this was an extremely important group for us and I think we came up big. It's kind of exciting. Considering we lose Jerome (Randle), Patrick (Christopher), Theo (Robertson) and Jamal (Boykin), specifically those guys along with Nikola (Knezevic), this is a good group of replacements."
10:05 p.m. ET
LSU announces top-25 caliber class
LSU's 2010 class has the potential to be among the best in the SEC. The group, which is comprised of SG Ralston Turner (Muscle Shoals, Ala.), SF Matt Derenbecker (Metairie, La./Country Day), PF Jalen Courtney (Jackson, Miss./Provine) and PG Andre Stringer (Jackson, Miss./Forest Hills), gives the Tigers players who can contribute in every facet of the game.
Here's what coach Trent Johnson had to say about LSU's 2010 haul:
"LSU's basketball future is bright," said LSU Coach Trent Johnson. "We were able to get four quality student-athletes. They are all very, very good basketball players. Matt Derenbecker is the Louisiana payer of the year on a state championship team; Andre Stringer is a Mr. Basketball; Ralston Turner is arguably the best player in the state of Alabama and Jalen Courtney has played on teams that won state championships.
"These are the young men that we targeted whom we felt would fit our program and we look forward to having them here. All that being said, this recruiting class, which is ranked 10th in the country by some polls, should be judged at the end of their careers and not at the start of their careers and I think these players all understand that."
7:08 p.m. ET
Bama adds talent on the perimeter
Point guard Trevor Releford (Shawnee Mission, Kan./Bishop Miege), No. 49 in the ESPNU 100, and guard Charles Hankerson, Jr. (Miami/Coral Reef), the No. 38 shooting guard in the country, signed with Alabama.
"Trevor and Charles Jr. are winners first and foremost," coach Anthony Grant said. " They both come from great high school programs and understand what it takes to be successful. I feel like we have addressed some of our needs on the perimeter with the additions of Trevor and Charles Jr."
Releford, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound point guard, led Bishop Miege High School to the 5A state finals and averaged 18.6 points, 6.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
"Trevor will provide ball handling, decision making and a level of toughness and competitiveness from the point guard position," Grant said. "He understands the game and knows how to make those around him better."
Hankerson can play both the guard and forward positions and averaged 21.6 points and six rebounds per game to help lead Coral Reef High School to its first state title last season.
"Charles Jr. will also provide our team with more skill on the perimeter," Grant said. "He can play multiple positions and has an innate ability to make the game easier for his teammates. He can score in a variety of ways and brings the versatility that I like to have in our perimeter players."
6:58 p.m. ET
Oladipo, who draws comparisons to Rip Hamilton, signs with Hoosiers
Guard Victor Oladipo (Upper Malboro, Md./DeMatha Catholic) is the lone signee so far for Indiana. Oladipo, the No. 53 SG in the country, led DeMatha to a 29-3 record last year and a conference and city league title in the Washington, D.C. area. He had 14 points and 7 boards in the city championship game. He played AAU basketball for Team Takeover this past summer.
Oladipo plays with great passion and effort and Scouts Inc. notes he's similar to current Detroit Pistons shooting guard Rip Hamilton in that Oladipo remains in constant motion, working off the ball to get to open spots on the floor for jumpers. Once he gets the ball on the wing, Oladipo does a solid job of knocking down perimeter shots and has range that extends out to the 3-point line. He also has good passing skills and vision, playing an unselfish brand of basketball, rarely forcing shots, though he has enough athleticism to venture outside of the team concept in search of his own scoring opportunities.
"He made a name for himself with his ability to defend other elite players in the country and we feel that defensive mindset, along with his ever-improving offensive skills, will help him have a very strong career at Indiana," coach Tom Crean said. "That toughness and will also applies academically, and we feel he will be an asset to IU as well."
6:52 p.m. ET
Guard Coleman tops Providence class
Gerard Coleman (West Roxbury, Mass./The Tilton School), who's No. 72 in the ESPNU 100, and Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass./Notre Dame) and Joe Young (Houston/Jack Yates) signed with Providence College.
Coleman, 6-foot-4, 170 pounds, is a pure scorer who should be able to put points on the board immediately at Providence. He is exceptionally smooth going to the rim, virtually unstoppable in the open floor, and very good in the mid-range area. He's a very disruptive full court defender, at his best in passing lanes, and capable of being a good on-the-ball defender. He's filled out some, but he must continue to add strength to prepare for the Big East. Similarly, the release on his jumper is cleaner and more consistent, with improved loft on his ball to match, but he still must make a higher percentage of open shots.
6:44 p.m. ET
A pair of ESPNU 100 players join Michigan
The Wolverines landed a pair of top 100 players when 6-foot-5 forward Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior HS) and 6-9 forward Evan Smotrycz (Reading, Mass./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) signed with Michigan.
Smotrycz is ranked 60th in the ESPNU 100 and Hardaway is No. 99.
"These are two multi-dimensional players that are very capable of playing several different positions," coach John Beilein said. "They have good length. They are outstanding shooters. They have a good feel for the game with high basketball IQs. They have great court vision. What really impresses me is their ability to pass which will be valuable down the road."
6:39 p.m. ET
Trojans land four, but waiting on one more
USC took a step toward solidifying its solid class (ranked 13th heading into the early signing period) when guard Bryce Jones (Woodland Hils, Calif./William Howard Taft), ranked 98th in the ESPNU 100 joined guard Maurice Jones (Saginaw, Mich./Arthur Hill), forward Curtis Washington of Elizabethtown, Ky./Elizabethtown) and forward Garrett Jackson (Portland, Ore./Westview) in signing with the Trojans. Dwayne Polee (Los Angeles/Westchester), ranked No. 78 in the ESPNU 100, has committed to USC, but not yet signed.
"This is a great class in terms of what we were looking to sign," said coach Kevin O'Neill. "All of these guys are good players, good students and good athletes. Everyone of them will come here and contribute not only on the court, but to our great institution. We're proud to have these four guys and their families as part of our Trojan Family."
6:26 p.m. ET
Bejarano, the No. 15 SG in the country, signs with Arizona
Shooting guard Daniel Bejarano (Phoenix, Ariz./North), ranked No. 50 in the ESPNU 100, signed with Arizona. Bejarano averaged 23.0 points and 10.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a junior in leading the Mustangs to the Class 5A Division II state championship.
"First and foremost, I would describe Daniel as an amazing kid," coach Sean Miller said. "He is as energetic, positive and unselfish as any young person I've come across. Although I'm confident he will have a huge impact for us on the court, I'm equally as confident that he will impact our university, the community and our family atmosphere even more."
He is Arizona's lone signee.
6:21 p.m. ET
Woolridge signs with KU
Shooting guard Royce Woolridge (Phoenix, Ariz./Sunnyslope), who's No. 94 in the ESPNU 100 and has been committed to Kansas for nearly two years, made it official when he signed with the Jayhawks.
Woolridge, 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, averaged 28.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a junior. He made 50 percent of his field goals, shot 34 percent from behind the arc and 82 percent from the free-throw line. Additionally, Woolridge averaged 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals for the Vikings in 2008-09.
"We are very happy to add Royce to our basketball program," Self said. "He's a terrific young man, great student and is going to be a heck of a basketball player. Right now he is a combo guard that is really good off the bounce and has become an excellent shooter."
6:14 p.m. ET
Odom highlights Vanderbilt class
Forward Rod Odom (Concord, Mass./Middlesex School), the No. 77 player in the ESPNU 100, joined guard Kyle Fuller (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde) and center Josh Henderson (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) in signing with Vanderbilt on Wednesday.
"We're very excited about the three guys we signed today," Coach Kevin Stallings said. "Our coaching staff was relentless in their efforts in identifying guys that can really help us. We think these three guys will not only have an impact early in their career, but have great careers here and have an impact on our program moving forward."
Odom, is a 6-foot-8, long, athletic forward who averaged 16.5 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocks at Middlesex School as a junior. Odom chose Vanderbilt over Arizona, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville and West Virginia.
"Rod is a very skilled forward who we feel will impact our program greatly," Stallings said. "He's got unique size and skill at 6-9. He handles the ball like a guard, he shoots the ball very well, and he's a good passer. He'll be another one of those forwards we've had in the past in the Derrick Byars, Dan Langhi, or Matt Freije-type mold."
5:34 p.m. ET
Aggies bring in one of nation's best classes
Texas A&M brought in four talented players which should guarantee the Aggies a spot on every top 25 class rankings list.
Coach Mark Turgeon received letters of intent from 6-foot-8 F Toby Oyedeji (Houston/Bellaire ), 6-8 F Daniel Alexander (Dripping Springs, Texas/Dripping Springs), 6-9 C Keith Davis (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) and 6-9 F Kourtney Roberson (Arcadia, La./Arcadia)
Oyedeji is No. 80 in the ESPNU 100 and Alexander is No. 91.
"A&M signed two top 100 players from the class of 2010, a postgraduate player who would be in the top 100, and Keith Davis, who is a little under the radar but is one of the steals of the class," ESPN Scouts Inc. recruiting analyst Mike LaPlante said. "Davis could potentially be the best of the group. There were not a lot of quality bigs out there this year and A&M managed to get four of them. Their size and athleticism really stands out and they will be extremely competitive in the Big 12."
Said Turgeon: "I'm very excited about our 2010 signing class. These guys are great kids and come from great families. This class has a great balance of length, skill and athleticism. It's great to be able to keep Texas kids home and in the Big 12. This class is made up of high character kids who will mesh greatly with the current players in our Aggie basketball family."
4:44 p.m. ET
Flyers flying high after several top talents sign with Dayton
The University of Dayton brought in a talented class on Wednesday, highlighted by guard Juwan Staten, the No. 64 player in the ESPNU 100.
Staten, a 5-foot-11 guard, transferred to Oak Hill Academy this year where he has guided their national prep powerhouse to four wins already this year. In those four games, Staten is averaging 10 points, 5 assists and 2.5 steals.
He was a two-year starter at Colonel White High School in Dayton and led his team to the state championship game when the school was renamed Thurgood Marshall High School last year. Staten was Dayton Area Division II Player of the Year after averaging 21.0 points and 9.3 assists in 2008-09. At the 2009 Ohio Division II state finals, Staten finished with 28 points, four assists, two rebounds and one steal while playing all 32 minutes of the 59-53 loss to Akron St. Vincent St. Mary's. He was Second Team All-Ohio as a junior.
Staten averaged 19.0 points and 7.0 assists as a high school freshman, and 24.0 points and 9.0 assists as a sophomore. In addition to Staten's outstanding high school career, he was the starting point guard on the two-time AAU national championship team, All-Ohio Red.
Joining Staten are 6-1 guard Jesse Berry (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson High School), 6-6 forward Ralph Hill (Westerville, Ohio/North), 6-7 forward Devin Oliver (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central) and 6-3 guard Brandon Spearman (Chicago/Simeon)
"One of the unique qualities of this recruiting class is that even though they have had considerable success as high school and AAU players, they have tremendous potential to improve even more once they get to the college level," Gregory said. "They all fit what Dayton basketball players are becoming known for -- athletic, versatile and skilled players who have a competitive fire deep inside them. They are individuals who are serious about getting a great education while not limiting what they can accomplish on the basketball court. In short, they're all Flyers."
4:47 p.m. ET
Lalanne signs with Bulldogs
Georgia basketball has announced that Cady Lalanne (Orlando/Oak Ridge) has signed with the Bulldogs. The nation's No. 37 small forward averaged 17.2 points, 14 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game for the Pioneers last year.
"Cady is a terrific young kid who has the ability to score inside and outside," Fox said. "One of the things we were looking for was a good interior offensive player, and I think we were able to find him in Cady. But his versatility on offense is something I really like, too. He was also very well-coached in high school, so I expect that his transition to college will be a smooth one."
4:35 p.m. ET
Gophers fill needs with Hollins and Eliason
Shooting guard Austin Hollins (Germantown, Tenn./Germantown), who is the son of Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins and center Elliott Eliason (Chadron, Neb./Chadron), who is the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in the State of Nebraska have announced they are signing with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
"We are really excited to now have Elliott and Austin as part of the Golden Gopher basketball program," said coach Tubby Smith. "We have definite needs for Elliott and Austin in our system with the loss of Damian Johnson, Lawrence Westbrook and Devron Bostick. We know that we are getting a pair of players that not only have great basketball IQ's but are also great students. We look forward to following and seeing their progression during their senior seasons."
4:15 p.m. ET
Thompson likely Texas's lone signee
At this point, it looks like ESPNU 100 big man Tristan Thompson (Brampton, Ont./Findlay Prep) will be Texas' only signee during the early signing period. The Longhorns, however, are in contention for several elite talents who may sign late, including Thompson's prep teammate Cory Joseph (Toronto/Findlay Prep).
Here's what Rick Barnes had to say about the elite big man:
"Tristan is a big, athletic forward who can really rebound the basketball and run the floor well," Barnes said. "He comes from an excellent Grass Roots Canada AAU program coached by Ro Russell and has had the opportunity to play for his Canadian National Team as well. We know he'll also continue to grow and develop this year while at Findlay Prep, both as a person and on the basketball court."
4:10 p.m. ET
Horn, Gamecocks recruit impressive class
South Carolina announced the signings of its five-man class Wednesday. The group consists of Bruce Ellington (Moncks Corner, S.C./Berkeley High School), Damontre Harris (Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian School), Brian Richardson (Wilson, N.C./Greenfield School), RJ Slawson (Charleston, S.C./Fort Dorchester High School) and Eric Smith (Mullins, S.C./Christ School). With a few recent addition the Gamecocks' class has a very good chance to end up in ESPN.com's recruiting class rankings when they are released next week.
Here's what coach Darrin Horn had to say:
"This is our second recruiting class at South Carolina and it continues to help us take the steps that we want to take with our program," Horn said. "We addressed our needs that we'll have with graduation and I think we've added a nice mix of talent and athletic ability. No question this class will have an immediate impact on our team next season and is a special class as we work to build South Carolina basketball."
3:54 p.m. ET
Irish announce guard-heavy class
Combo wing Jerian Grant (Columbia, Md./DeMatha Catholic) is among three prospects who signed with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this afternoon. Grant is joined by Alex Dragicevich (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) and Eric Atkins (Columbia, Md./Mount St. Joseph's). Here's what Brey said about his 2010 haul:
"We're thrilled that we filled our needs with guards," Brey says. "Eric, Alex and Jerian fit the mold of the high basketball IQ guards who have been successful in our system have had. I am excited that these three young men have decided to come to Notre Dame and join our basketball family."
3:40 p.m. ET
NC State missing a signature
Sidney Lowe and NC State got a pair of 2010 recruits to sign on the dotted line Wednesday. However, one of the Wolfpack's three commits might be waiting until the spring to make it official. According to numerous reports today, Luke Cothron ( Huntsville, Ala./Flora MacDonald Academy) will not be signing this week.
Sooners hope good news keeps coming
Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel got some good news today. Surely he hopes that will be the case on Friday when top recruit Harrison Barnes announces where he plans to play in college.
The Sooners got their first official signee today in T.J. Taylor (Denison, Texas). Here was what Capel had to say about the nation's No. 71 prospect:
"T.J. is a strong left-handed guard who can play both guard positions," said Capel in a press release. "He's very physical and he can shoot it. One of my favorite things about him is that he loves to play, he loves to compete.
3:25 p.m. ET
Ole Miss makes in-state splash
Coach Andy Kennedy appears to have done a good job in-state; he's landed two of the state's top four prospects in PF Demarco Cox (Yazoo City, Miss.) and PG Dundrecous Nelson (Jackson, Miss.). Both local products signed with the Rebels on Wednesday.
Kennedy sounded pleased with Wednesday's developments.
"We are very excited to welcome two outstanding Mississippi players to our team for next season," Kennedy said. "With the addition of Dundrecous Nelson and Demarco Cox, the future of Ole Miss Basketball looks very bright!"
3:00 p.m. ET
Washington, Oregon State add talent
A pair of Pac-10 schools have officially added some talented perimeter players to the fold.
Washington got a letter of intent from Desmond Simmons (Richmond, Calif./Salesian), the No. 44 SF prospect in the nation.
Here's what coach Lorenzo Romar had to say about Simmons, who averaged 18.2 points and 12.6 rebounds.
"Desmond Simmons is his own guy but he in a lot of ways reminds us of Bobby Jones because he brings a lot of energy into the game," said Romar. "His motor is always running at a high level and he is tough - both mentally and physically. He will bring a dimension to our team that we are maybe lacking a little bit. He also understands what being on a team is all about and he'll be a leader for us before too long."
Elsewhere out West, Oregon State secured a commitment from Chicago PG Ahmad Starks (Whitney Young). This is a major coup for Beavers coach Craig Robinson, who would surely love to start a pipeline in his hometown of Chicago. We anticipate Robinson will talk about Starks' signing later in the day.
1:55 p.m. ET
Blue inks with Marquette
The ESPNU No. 34 overall player, Vander Blue (Madison, Wis./Madison Memorial), has signed with Marquette. He will arrive on campus this summer and the 6-3, 185-pound shooting guard will have four years of eligibility with the Golden Eagles.
"We are very excited have Vander join our family," coach Buzz Williams said. "So much has been said of who Vander is as a player and that is easily justifiable. What hasn't been said enough though, is who Vander is as a person. He is a better person than he is a player, and he will fit perfectly into the culture of our program, and will be a great representative of our institution on and off the floor."
Playing alongside current Golden Eagle Jeronne Maymon at Madison Memorial High School, Blue helped the Spartans to the state title in 2008-09 under head coach Steve Collins. He averaged 17.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game en route to all-conference and all-state accolades.
1:40 p.m. ET
Ohio State's elite class becomes official
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has announced the addition of six players, four of which are in the ESPNU 100, which is why the Buckeyes' recruiting class is No. 1 in 2010. The highly-touted class includes, No. 1 PF Jared Sullinger (Columbus, Ohio/Northland), No. 2 SF DeShaun Thomas (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers), SG Jordan Sibert (Cincinnati/Princeton), SG Lenzelle Smith (Zion, Ill./Zion-Benton), PG Aaron Craft (Findlay, Ohio/Liberty Benton) and SF J.D. Weatherspoon (Columbus, Ohio/Northland).
"I am thrilled to add these six young men to the Ohio State basketball family," Matta said. "They all bring versatility at each of their positions on the floor. Most importantly, these are high character individuals who bring a culture of winning to our program. All six have won or played for a state championship and four were part of three national championships during the summer."
Sullinger and Weatherspoon led Northland to its first state championship as juniors in 2009. Sullinger made the winning free throws with three seconds remaining. He was named Mr. Basketball for the state of Ohio after averaging 19.9 points and 14.8 rebounds last season and is considered to be one of the top prospects in America.
Count Scouts Inc.'s Paul Biancardi among those who think Sullinger could be a game-changer at the college level.
"He's the best low-post player in the class," Biancardi said. "He's particularly skilled as a rebounder because he gives his team a double-double every night. He has great hands and catches everything. He needs to stay in top shape year round."
Thomas is one of the most sought-after recruits to come out of the basketball-rich state of Indiana. The Fort Wayne native led his high school, Bishop Luers, to back-to-back state championships. In the process, Thomas established himself as one of the state's most prolific scorers. He is already Luers all-time leading scorer.
1:20 p.m. ET
Cyclones' Canadian influence
Iowa State coach Greg McDermott just announced that Canadian native Melvin Ejim (Ontario/Brewster) has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for the Cyclones.
The 6-6, 205-pound wing averaged 12.3 points and 4.6 rebounds last season at Brewster Academy, one of the nation's best prep school teams.
"Melvin is an athletic wing with the versatility to play multiple positions," McDermott said. "He brings a physical mentality and takes great pride in being a defensive stopper. On the offensive end of the floor, he has made tremendous progress in the last year in the development of his perimeter skills. That is a credit to Melvin's work ethic, and that workman-like mentality will allow him to make an immediate impact in our program."
12:10 p.m. ET
Lickliter, Iowa excited about four signees
Iowa coach Todd Lickliter has announced that SF Zach McCabe (Sioux City, Iowa/Bishop Heelan), PF Cody Larson (Sioux Falls, S.D./Roosevelt), SG Ben Brust (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) and SG Roy Marble (Southfield, Mich./Southfield-Lathrup) have signed national letters of intent to the Hawkeyes.
"We're excited to have these four young men join our program and the University of Iowa," said Lickliter. "They are highly skilled and will be a great complement to the foundation that is already in place. This class accentuates the positive team approach we're emphasizing. We love the versatility, basketball knowledge, and skills they possess."
11:55 a.m. ET
Clemson signs Atlanta PF
Clemson has just announced that power forward Marcus Thornton (Atlanta/Westlake) signed his national letter of intent to the Tigers.
"We are really pleased to add a tremendous student-athlete to our program in Marcus Thornton," said Oliver Purnell, Clemson's head coach. "He will really fit in well with our high-octane attack on both ends of the floor."
The 6-7, 215-pounder is the No. 27 power forward according to Scouts Inc. Thornton averaged 14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game last season for a 25-7 Westlake squad. He led the Lions to a region championship and berth in the 5A semifinals in Georgia. He recorded a triple-double in the state quarterfinals with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks against Savannah. Thornton is on pace to break the school record for blocked shots in a career.
He also won the state of Georgia's slam dunk contest in 2009, an event sponsored by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He signed with Clemson over scholarship offers from Maryland and Xavier.
11:47 a.m. ET
Maryland in the hunt for Harris
Maryland has been recruiting ESPNU 100 PF Tobias Harris (Brookville, N.Y./Half Hollow) for some time and he has been to College Park on numerous occasions. According to InsideMDSports.com, he'll arrive in Maryland Friday, spend the weekend there and then fly to Georgia Tech on Sunday for his final official. He'll then spend a day or two considering his options before announcing his decision next Wednesday on ESPNU.
Also of significance: Harris won't sign in the early period, his father Torrel Harris InsideMDSports.com, but will still make a verbal commitment next week. The finalists: Maryland, Syracuse, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisville and Georgia Tech.
Tobias Harris said Maryland's coaching staff is one of the strongest draws.
"I think they have a great coaching staff and a good team, and Gary Williams is a great coach," he said. "He's going to put you in spots to be a great player."
Harris should feel comfortable on his visit; he knows several of the Terps' players personally.
"I know a lot of guys, Dino Gregory, Jordan Williams, Eric Hayes. I talk to a lot of the guys, Adrian Bowie, a bunch of them," he said.
11:10 a.m. ET
Jones first to sign with Marquette
Marquette has just announced the signing of ESPNU 100 prospect Jamail Jones (Decatur, Ga./Montverde Academy). Here was coach Buzz Williams' take on the No. 65 player in the ESPNU 100.
"From the very first time I met Jamail, I genuinely appreciated his spirit," Williams said. "In many ways, he reminded me of Wesley Matthews during that initial encounter. He has an outgoing personality, he is confident in who he is, yet humble and thankful for where he is. His parents and coaches have been perfect role models for him and within minutes he is someone you want to root for on and off the floor."
We are still waiting on the Golden Eagles to make the signing of another ESPNU 100 prospect, SG Vander Blue (Madison, Wis./Memorial), official.
10:55 a.m. ET
Boilermakers sign four
Purdue has announced the signing of its four-man class. The group consists of SG Terone Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central), PF Travis Carroll (Danville, Ind./Danville), Anthony Johnson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) and PF Donnie Hale (New Albany, Ind./New Albany).
Last month, ESPN.com ranked Purdue's class No. 20 in the nation. The top-rated player among the group is Johnson.
Here's what coach Matt Painter had to say about this group in a press release:
"I've always said that it's important for us to recruit our backyard, and recruit kids hard in the state of Indiana and neighboring states," Painter said. "We feel that we have enough players in this area to help us compete in the Big Ten, and we're going to continue to target them with our recruiting efforts."
The numbers really do show that Painter has extra efforts in Indiana are paying off. The Boilermakers have brought in eight players from the Hoosier State in the past three recruiting cycles.
10:45 a.m. ET
Jones, Baylor make it official
The first press release just came across our desk from Waco, Texas. Baylor has made the commitment of Perry Jones (Duncanville, Texas) official this morning. Here's what Scott Drew had to say about the nation's No. 3 recruit:
"Signing a player like Perry (Jones) is a monumental moment for this program," Drew said. "Perry will not only be a great addition to our team, but will also open numerous doors for our program in years to come.
"Most people know what a great player he is, but what excites me so much about Perry are the intangibles," Drew said. "He is a tremendous leader, an honor roll student and, most of all, a great Christian role model."
Scouts Inc.'s Paul Biancardi says Jones has massive potential.
"Jones is the most talented player in the class, with true NBA potential," Biancardi said. "He needs to be more productive on a nightly basis. Although he's 6-10, we see him as a future 3."
EARLY SIGNING PERIOD 2009
Top 25 | Top classes by conference
- Scouts Inc.: Top 25 class rankings
- Top classes by conference
- Biancardi: What we learned
- Scouts Inc. Best uncommitted players
- LaPlante: Best mid-major classes
- Biancardi: 10 instant impact freshmen
- Biancardi: Grading the ACC's classes
- Rankin: Grading the Big East's classes
- Rankin: Grading the Big 12's classes
- Buzzer beater: Vols net Harris, top-10 class
- UNC lands Bullock, Marshall
- PF Perry Jones signs with Baylor
- No. 2 prospect Sullinger inks with OSU
- Big man Thompson Austin bound
- Barton leads Memphis' class
- Early signing period blog