Who’s Got Next? Indiana Recruiting Violation; Many Commitments and De-commitmentsPosted by Josh Paunil on October 13th, 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: Indiana Self-Reports NCAA Rules Violation
Indiana Commits Violation While Still On Probation. Indiana, who is still on probation until November 24 for major rules violations under former head coach Kelvin Sampson, self-reported a secondary recruiting violation recently that involved head coach Tom Crean visiting Class of 2012 shooting guard Gary Harris the day after the contact period ended. According to Indiana’s self-report, assistant coach Tim Buckley discovered the violation later that day and reported it to the Indiana compliance office. The school then contacted the NCAA that same day. Indiana docked itself two days on the recruiting trail as punishment for the violation after consulting with NCAA enforcement representative Chris Strobel. Although the potential penalty for a minor violation like this will likely have minimal impact on IU, one can’t help but wonder what was going on in Crean’s head. You know you’re on probation, you know this rule inside and out, and one of your commits has been associated with rules violations within the last six months. When you’ve been in the spotlight this much for potential rules violations, it will only hurt you. The ironic twist in all this is that Crean did this to get an upper hand in recruiting, but in all likelihood it will set him back since multiple prospects have told RTC in the past that they have completely stayed away from schools that were just thought to be committing violations, not to mention schools that were actually penalized like Indiana. By next week’s column, we should have a better idea of any possible sanctions the NCAA may impose.
What Troy Williams Is Saying
Class of 2013 standout small forward Troy Williams talked to Blue Grass Hoops about his visit and why the Wildcats are standing out right now.
- On the overall visit: “The visit was really good. I had a lot of fun talking things over with [head] coach [John] Calipari and my uncle.”
- On what went on: “We talked about how I could fit in with the rotation and program; my game really fits the dribble-drive, so it was really intriguing. But Coach Calipari also said I would have to work for my spot. At Kentucky, you have to work harder in practice than games.”
- On his uncle’s thoughts of the visit: “My uncle was just really excited to spend some time with Coach Cal and talk about the old days.”
- On something that surprised him: “Some people knew who I was while I was on campus, and they yelled at me. Most kids my age aren’t used to hearing something like that.”
- On their community: “The visit really sticks out to me. Everything is there. I wouldn’t have to leave campus for anything. It’s a nice little community.”
- On where this leaves Kentucky: “It was something different, but I really had fun. They’re right in there with good position. It was a great visit.”
What They’re Saying
- Senior Shabazz Muhammad on Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewki‘s sales pitch: “Coach K definitely has the best sales pitch. He talks a lot about the Duke brand and what he could do for me and how he could develop me and about all of the exposure that I could get at Duke. I think the thing that makes his sales pitch so good is that he’s really speaking from the heart. That’s the best part.”
- Senior Dominic Artis‘ uncle, Derrick Artis, on his nephew de-committing from UCLA: “He felt like he rushed into his commitment. [He] still loves UCLA and they are the top of his list, but he wants to make sure he is making the right decision.”
- Senior Negus Webster-Chan on committing to Missouri: “It was important that the school I chose gave me the best opportunity to showcase my abilities while playing multiple positions. It was also important for me to have a great relationship with the coaching staff on and off the court. [Head] coach Frank Haith and his staff have developed a good relationship with my family and myself.”
- 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 Julius Randle on what TCU’s sale pitch is: “TCU gave me a whole different way to look at things. They told me that I could come in and change the program and begin my own legacy. That’s a different perspective than the other schools. A lot of those schools can’t present that to me. Most already have Hall of Fame players.”
- Junior Isaiah Lewis on how it has been getting to know the Louisville coaching staff: “I just had fun getting to know the coaches at Louisville, especially [assistant] coach [Wyking] Jones. After my workout he offered me, but that was in the middle of us talking about school, football, what kind of shoes we like. He just seemed like one of the guys. I definitely felt like he was just one of my friends.”
What We Learned
Pair of Point Guards Decommit, Explore Other Options. Class of 2012 point guard Dominic Artis de-committed from UCLA last week after rushing into his college decision, according to his uncle Derrick Artis. Artis’ uncle also claimed the Bruins were still atop his list. Other schools that he considered at the time of his commitment in July were Baylor, Florida International, Florida State and Georgia Tech. UCLA still has point guard Kyle Anderson and small forward Jordan Adams in their group of senior commits. Going along with the theme of point guard choosing to explore other options, Class of 2013 Jaren Sina also de-committed from Alabama last week and has since heard from the likes of Georgetown, St. John’s and Syracuse, among many others, since then. Sina says he’s still considering the Crimson Tide and that as soon as he de-committed his phone blew up with phone calls from a plethora of schools. Alabama’s lone Class of 2013 prospect is now power forward Shannon Hale and the Crimson Tide’s biggest targets for the junior class includes shooting guard Brannen Greene and center Jimmie Taylor.
A Look at Kentucky’s Loaded Midnight Madness Guest List. We talked last week about how important a Midnight Madness visit can be and how it can cause you to land a big-time recruit or fall flat on your face with an in-state prospect you need to get. Well, taking that into consideration, and the fact that these visits are almost always far more helpful than harmful, Kentucky basketball fans shouldn’t be too worried about whether they’ll have another stellar recruiting class once you look down the list of prospects attending Big Blue Madness. The Wildcats have nine attendees — with Class of 2012 shooting guard Archie Goodwin being the only commit — including Class of 2012 small forwards Shabazz Muhammad and Alex Poythress and centers DaJuan Coleman and Willie Cauley. Head coach John Calipari will also host Class of 2013 point guard Andrew Harrison, shooting guard Aaron Harrison and Class of 2014 small forward Andrew Wiggins. The Harrison twins are both top ten prospects as a package deal and Wiggins is the best player in the country among sophomores. When you take into consideration how strong each prospect’s interest is in Kentucky, and how much they’ll all enjoy the event, it’s very reasonable to expect Big Blue Madness to tip the scales in favor of the Wildcats in more than one person’s recruitment.
What You Missed
Noel Sticking With the Juniors. Class of 2013 star center Nerlens Noel decided to not re-classify to the Class of 2012 and announced that he will cut his list before the high school basketball season starts. He has been recruited by nearly every school in the country and has visited Syracuse and Connecticut most recently. Florida, Kentucky and Georgetown are a few of the other major players for Noel although it looks like Wildcat head coach John Calipari has the edge. Since he was born April 10, 1994, he is 17 right now and will be 19 on April 10, 2013, making him eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft if he were a year removed from graduating high school (that is, if he did reclassify to the Class of 2012). Noel is one of the best defensive threats that the game of basketball has seen in years at this level and is quick, mobile and has the ability to alter shots in the lane even if he’s not able to record another block. He’s simply a force to reckon with when he’s guarding the basket.
Ex-Louisville Commit Webster-Chan Chooses Missouri. Class of 2012 small forward Negus Webster-Chan committed to Missouri late last week six months after de-committing from Louisville. Webster-Chan made the decision to back off his commitment from Louisville after assistant coach Tim Fuller left the Cardinals to become an assistant coach for the Tigers. He has good size, length and athleticism and consistently get to the bucket. He exhibits beautiful body control in the lane and is very versatile. Webster-Chan joins a five-piece Missouri recruiting class that includes shooting guard Shawn Smith and center Aaron Scales as well as a pair of community college power forwards in Quantel Denson and Tony Criswell. Smith is the best prospect of the bunch because of his ability to be a consistent and effective slasher who can finish through contact or find the open teammate when the defense collapses on him.
Video of the Week
Here’s a look at some of the best talents in the Class of 2012: