Who’s Got Next? Purvis Picks Pack; Stars Talk Midnight Madness, VisitsPosted by Josh Paunil on October 5th, 2011
Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are at the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing or different things you’d like to see, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lead Story: Purvis Picks In-State Wolfpack
Things Looking Good For N.C. State Head Coach Mark Gottfried. Class of 2012 shooting guard Rodney Purvis committed to North Carolina State Friday giving the Wolfpack one of the best guard combinations in any recruiting class thus far between him and point guard Tyler Lewis (to see why Purvis committed check out the “What They’re Saying” section). Purvis ended one of the more interesting recruitments in the class after he committed to Louisville last December, de-committed from the Cardinals in May, made it look like it was a three-horse race between Duke, N.C. State and Missouri, and expanded his list to eight schools that included North Carolina Central and Virginia Commonwealth. His commitment comes just a month after Class of 2012 shooting guard Torian Graham de-committed from the Wolfpack and after Lewis predicted Purvis would be N.C. State’s next commit. This year’s senior class is looking like it could shape into a top ten recruiting class for N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried. Although Graham de-committed, the Wolfpack made small forward T.J. Warren‘s final four list of schools along with Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. Gottfried also still has a shot at small forward Devonta Pollard and power forward Amile Jefferson among many others in the Class of 2012.
What They’re Saying
- Senior Rodney Purvis on committing to North Carolina State: “After many conversations and prayers with the Lord, and visits, I came to a conclusion. There is no place like home.”
- Senior Gary Harris on his in-home visit with Kentucky head coach John Calipari: “He talked about how he wants me to be a part of the program and what they had to offer and discussed when they could get me on campus. Cal has proven he can play same-position players at the same time successfully.”
- Junior Chris Walker on going to Kansas’ Midnight Madness: “I’m going to Kansas’ Late Night in the Phog because my boys are going and I like Kansas!” (*Note: Walker is referring to juniors Isaiah Lewis and Brannen Greene). On what Kansas State head coach Frank Martin recently told him: “Coach Frank said that he loved how I play and that I can make a big impact in my first year. He said he sees me playing the three or four.”
- Junior Jaren Sina on de-committing from Alabama: “I visited the campus a couple times and I still have a good relationship with the coaches and everything. I want to have the opportunity to get a better look at some other schools and some other options just to compare it to.”
- Junior Troy Williams on why he’s attending Georgetown’s Midnight Madness: “I’m going to Georgetown’s [Midnight Madness] because my aunt coaches there. I wanted to go last year but they said it would spoil it for this year. I’ll be there in the daytime to visit the school and walk around the campus all day.”
- Miller Grove High School (GA) basketball head coach Sharman White on Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski visiting Class of 2012 power forward Tony Parker: “Colleges are allowed to see a player three times in the NCAA contact period. [Krzyzewski] said he rarely uses all three of them but he did with Tony because he’s a top priority.”
What Mitch McGary Is Saying
Class of 2012 power forward Mitch McGary wrote a recruiting journal for ESPN RISE giving readers an update on who he’s been talking to lately and what he likes specifically about each school.
- On a potential time-table and Midnight Madness: “As far as more visits, I don’t think I’ll be making any. I’m not gonna go to Kentucky’s Midnight Madness, I feel like I have all the information that I need to start to think about a decision. Within the next month I hope to have a decision made.”
- On Duke: “I really like what Coach K has been talking to me about. He’s about to be the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history and that’s just really impressive to me. That’s something that stays on my mind. Duke has a lot to offer. I think I could go in there and make a great duo with [freshman center] Marshall [Plumlee] and we could make a lot of noise together. I love that Duke likes to get out in transition and run too. That’s a big plus. “
- On Maryland: “I really like their program and think they’re headed in the right direction. I love that they fed the post a lot last year with Jordan Williams. They also get out in transition. Same with Florida, they play a really fast tempo.”
- On Michigan: “They’re in the rebuilding stage and Coach [John] Beilein is another guy I really respect and like. They’re moving up in the rankings too. I look at who they’ve got coming in and I know they’re in a rebuilding situation, but I know that’s a situation where I could really come in and make a strong footprint. I feel like I could really help them and have a strong season there as a freshman.”
- On North Carolina: “People think that me and [class of 2012 small forward] T.J. [Warren] have some sort of package deal going on for North Carolina, but that’s not true at all. I do think about playing with T.J. in college and of course we’re both considering North Carolina so I guess that’s where it comes from. I will say this though, I’ve definitely thought about it. Carolina likes for their big men to get out in transition and run the floor, which is what I want to do.”
What Brannen Greene Is Saying
Class of 2013 shooting guard Brannen Greene discussed his recruitment in a player blog for National Recruiting Spotlight in which he discussed taking visits with Class of 2013 power forward Chris Walker, playing [Boston Celtics shooting guard] Ray Allen and much more.
- On his Florida visit: “It was a great overall experience. I got to sit down with [head] coach [Billy] Donovan! We had a great talk and he told me what his intentions were for me if I were to choose Florida. He said he would play me at the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions. I won’t discuss the rest but I was very impressed overall with the talk.”
- On his Florida State visit: “I went there on the weekend of the Oklahoma game and the atmosphere was out of this world! I took a ton of pictures with random college girls and I had a blast. I got to sit down with [head] coach [Leonard] Hamilton twice and toured the facilities. After that, I went to the team tailgate and the food was awesome!”
- On his Connecticut visit: “It was a great trip. I toured some of the athletic facilities and I got the opportunity to play pick-up against the great [Boston Celtics shooting guard] Ray Allen. I sat down with Ray Allen for about 30 minutes and got some serious pointers from him. He gave me a new way to look at things and I really appreciate him for that.”
- On his Harvard visit: “Boy did I have a good time, I spent two days there and it was two days to remember.I was with the Harvard basketball players. We did a lot of walking around and we ate at places I had never heard of. The food was great and everybody had a ball. We laughed so hard constantly. I really made a ton of friends and we exchanged phone numbers. Harvard was really just a great place to be. Overall, it was a great weekend.”
What We Learned
Stars Align For Midnight Madness. Many avid college basketball fans look at Midnight Madness as the start of the college basketball season, however, it’s also one of the most important days of the year in terms of recruiting. Midnight Madness is the night that can make or break a recruit’s outlook on a school and can determine whether your favorite team is competing for a National Championship or is on the bubble to make the NIT a couple years down the line. Multiple top prospects announced where they’re headed for the mid-October night including Class of 2012 star power forward Mitch McGary (North Carolina) and Class of 2013 power forward Chris Walker (Kansas). McGary initially stated in his blog that he wasn’t going to attend Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness and that he likely wouldn’t take any more visits. However, he later tweeted that he’s going to North Carolina’s Late Night With Roy event. Walker said the fact that fellow Class of 2013 stars Isaiah Lewis and Brannen Greene are attending Late Night in the Phog did impact his decision to go to Kansas’ Midnight Madness.
Pete Thamel Investigates the Abuses of Unofficial Visits. The New York Times‘ Pete Thamel wrote an interesting article on the issue of how problematic unofficial visits are in recruiting. The article touches on how often programs or people illegally pay for a prospect’s unofficial visit and the growing important of unofficial visits in a player’s recruitment because of how recruits commit earlier and earlier every year. As Thamel points out, the significant difference between official and unofficial visits are that during official visits, a recruit’s travel, hotel and meal expenses can be paid for but during unofficial visits, programs can’t pick up prospects at the airport or pay for a hotel stay. Because the visits are unofficial, it makes it easier for coaches to deny any wrongdoing in these types of situations. The abuses of unofficial visits are one of the most common occurrences but also one of the hardest things to regulate and “fix” so programs manipulate rules less.
What You Missed
“Prayer For A Perfect Season” Documentary Premieres October 25. The HBO documentary “Prayer for a Perfect Season” follows the 2010-11 St. Patrick’s High School (NJ) basketball team and predominantly features head coach Kevin Boyle, Kentucky freshman small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Western Kentucky shooting guard Derrick Gordon. As you may remember (or not), St. Patrick’s was the consensus number one high school team in the country for almost the entire season last year in a quest for history riding an undefeated record up until the showdown against the number two squad in the country, St. Anthony’s (NJ) High School, led by Hall-of-Fame head coach Bob Hurley, Sr., and Class of 2012 star point guard Kyle Anderson. The season (and documentary) climaxed in the battle for the mythical national championship between these two schools in the New Jersey state playoffs and takes a look at the real-life issues players and coaches faced. There are numerous heart-wrenching stories from Kidd-Gilchrist’s father’s murder when he was two years old to Gordon’s twin brother’s incarceration for aggravated assault. This film directed by Marc Levin will premier Tuesday, October 25, at 9 PM, exclusively on HBO. To read more about this captivating story, click here.
Lightning Strikes Twice For Colorado. When you think of Colorado basketball, you don’t exactly think of a school that is a big threat in the recruitment of multiple top 100 players, and you especially don’t think they’re capable of a top 20 class in the country. That’s exactly what Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle was able to pull of as he has reeled in commitments from center Josh Scott and small forward Xavier Johnson. Small forward Chris Jenkins and power forward Wesley Gordon also joined Colorado’s class in recent days to give the Buffaloes a four-person, highly rated class that skyrockets the expectations for Boyle in the next few years. Scott is the highest rated prospect of the group and has great physical tools. He has outstanding length, good athleticism and displays impressive footwork in the low post. Scott runs the floor well too and is quick for a big man. He positions his body well and can score using either hand which is one reason he’s a capable interior scorer.
Video of the Week
Check out the trailer for “Prayer For A Perfect Season” which documents the season of the 2010-2011 St. Patrick’s High School (NJ) basketball team (read above for more information).