Morris selects Kentucky over Georgia Tech

Updated: May 7, 2004, 11:07 AM ET
By Bill Hodge |

Top 100 center Randolph Morris of Fairburn-Landmark Christian School, Ga., has chosen the Kentucky Wildcats over Georgia Tech.

Morris, who had also considered the NBA Draft and was projected as a late first to second round pick, averaged 25 points, 16 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots as a senior. His decision gives Kentucky coach Tubby Smith a tremendous recruiting class and perhaps his best since arriving in Lexington. The Wildcats had already signed three Top 100 guards in Rajon Rondo, Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley. Junior guard Patrick Sparks will also be eligible after redshirting as a transfer from Western Kentucky.

Louisville has lost another prized recruit to the NBA Draft in junior college forward Donta Smith of Southeastern Illinois CC, Ill. The decision caught Louisville completely off-guard. His departure comes a few days after another signee, guard Sebastian Telfair of Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY., announced his expected entry into the draft. Louisville coach Rick Pitino publicly supported Telfair, but reacted with shock when he learned of Smith's decision and disagreed with the move. Smith, who averaged 25 points this season and does not have an agent, is projected as a second round pick, if even drafted.

Class 2005 center Carl Swanigan, a 340-pound prospect from West Valley City-Hunter, Utah, has picked Mississippi over Louisville. Freshman center Dwayne Curtis of Chicago-Whitney Young, Ill., is transfering from Auburn to the Rebels.

Top 100 guard Malik Hairston of Detroit-Renaissance, Mich., is expected to announce between Kansas, Michigan, Oregon, UCLA and Ohio State.

Washington State signed guard Josh Akognon of Petaluma-Casa Grande, Cal., who averaged 30 points as a senior.

Guard Ricky Morgan of Pontiac-Northern, Mich/Iowa State/Paris CC, Tex/Schoolcraft CC, Mich., picked UNLV over Tulsa, Drake, East Carolina and New Mexico State.

Texas A&M has guard Dominque Kirk of Dallas-Bryan Adams, Tex.

Fresno State gained guards Donovan Morris and Dominique White, both from Winchendon School, Mass.

Sam Houston State signed center Jonathan Woods of San Antonio-Lee, Tex.

Duquesne gained forward Dmitry Razin of Woodmere/Lawrence-Woodmere Academy, NY.

Alabama State signed guard Dustin Richmond of Memphis-Hamilton, Tenn/Mississippi Delta CC, Miss; and forward Joel Bosh of Dallas-Lincoln, Tex.

Guard/forward Stane's Bufford of Ferndale, Mich/Fullerton CC, Cal., is headed to Western Michigan.

Forward Jay Youngblood of Mott CC, Mich., picked Kent State.

Miami-Ohio announced the signings of twin guard/forwards Eric Pollitz and Tim Pollitz of Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf, Ohio.

Western Illinois gained guard Nathan Koster of Lewistown, Ill/Illinois Central CC, Ill; and forward Allen McFarland of Las Vegas-Durango, Nev.

Valparaiso has guard Vince Humphrey of Oak Park-Fenwick, Ill.

*Check Class 2004 lists for Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences. Check Class 2004 Top 100 prospects who have made Commitmen ts or Signed. List of remaining Top 100 Prospects.

2004 NBA Draft
(May 10-Early Entry Deadline; June 17-Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline; June 24-NBA Draft; second round selections do not receive guaranteed contracts)
High School/Prep School Entries
C/F Dwight Howard 6-10 Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga (Uncommitted). Has agent. Draft: Top two in first round.
G Shaun Livingston 6-7 Peoria-Central, Ill (Signed with Duke). No agent. Draft: Three to five in first round.
F Josh Smith 6-8 Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Signed with Indiana). Has agent. Draft: Six to eight in first round.
F Ivan Chiriaev 7-1 Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas (Signed with Iowa State). No agent. Draft: 10 to 12 in first round.
G/F J.R. Smith 6-6 Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ (Signed with NC). No agent. Draft: Middle first round.
G Sebastian Telfair 6-0 Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY (Signed with Louisville). Has agent. Draft: Middle to low first round.
F Al Jefferson 6-9 Prentiss, Miss (Signed with Arkansas). No agent. Draft: Late first round.
C Robert Swift 6-11 Bakersfield, Cal (Signed with USC). No agent. Draft: Late first round.
F Dorell Wright 6-7 South Kent Prep, Conn (Signed with DePaul). No agent. Draft: Late first to second round.
C Jackie Butler 6-11 Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Signed with Tenn). Has agent. Draft: Second round, if selected.

Should Preps Jump to NBA? The most heralded high school player in years, forward LeBron James of Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ohio, was chosen No. 1 in the first round of the 2003 Draft by Cleveland. He averaged 20 points and was Rookie of the Year. The other three preps taken in the first round, all late picks, played a combined 86 minutes during the entire season: Forward Travis Outlaw of Starkville, Miss., 23rd pick by Portland; forward Ndudi Ebi of Houston-Westbury Christian, Tex., 26th pick by Minnesota; center Kendrick Perkins of Beaumont-Ozen, Tex., 27th pick by Memphis, then traded to Boston.

Class 2004 Basketball Database
*Search lists of Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences
*List of Top 100 Prospects/Commitments/Signings/ Remaining Top 100 Prospects.
*More players projected to make an impact: Super Prospects.
*Top JC Prospects: Junior College List.
*Basketball Signing Periods: Early (Nov. 12-19) and Regular (Apr. 14-May 19).

*Indiana, Texas and Louisville lead the early 2004 Top Classes.

Class 2005 Basketball Database
*Search early lists of Prospects/Commitments

The 5/8 Rule
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has voted to approve measures of academic reform that included a repeal of the controversial 5/8 rule limiting college basketball recruiting to no more than five recruits in a single class and no more than eight in any two-year period. With the rule rescinded, coaches can fill their 13-man rosters with the best eligible players who have yet to sign. NCAA Story

2004 McDonald's All American Game
J.R. Smith and Dwight Howard helped the East rout the West, 126-96, at the 27th McDonald's All American Basketball Boys Game in Oklahoma City, Okla. The John Wooden Award which is given to the most valuable player of the game was given to co-winners Smith and Howard. Smith led all scorers with 25 points, while Howard contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Story, Rosters.

McDonald's Games/All-Star Games/NBA Drafts
Search for Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Nike Hoop Summit
The 2004 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select team defeated World Select, 99-79, in the Hoops Summit game in San Antonio. Josh Smith led all scorers with 27 points, J.R. Smith added 17, while Rudy Gay and Al Jefferson had 14 and 13. Sebastian Telfair scored six. Luka Bogdanovic led the World team with 20 points. Churchill Odia and Juan Diego Palacios each scored 10. Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Jordan Capital Classic
Dwight Howard scored 18 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Black team to a 107-96 victory over the White squad in the Jordan Capital Classic and was named the outstanding player. Malik Hairston led the Black team with 23 points, while Robert Vaden added 21. Dorell Wright led the White team with 24 points, while Al Jefferson added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Stories/games/rosters

Basketball Commitments/Signings:
Class 2005: Database
Class 2004: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2003: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2002: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2001: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2000: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 1999: Database
Class 1998: Database/ Top Classes

Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to's Recruiting Page.