Who’s Got Next? Commitments For Kansas Continues, Jarnell Stokes To Decide Soon…Posted by Josh Paunil on December 21st, 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: Elite Class of 2013 Shooting Guard Selects Kansas
Brannen Greene Not Satisfied, Recruiting Others To Join Him. Class of 2013 shooting guard Brannen Greene announced his commitment to the Kansas Jayhawks this week which makes him the third highest rated recruit to come off the board. The 6’6″, 180-pound Georgia-native joins shooting guard Conner Frankamp as head coach Bill Self‘s two commitments in the junior class and will see playing time at both guard positions and small forward. Greene is a guy who has good athleticism and versatility and shoots the ball very well from the perimeter. He’s also a very intelligent player who has great character and is supremely coachable. The good news for Kansas fans is that he has already started recruiting guys to come join him. A trio of top-10 juniors is currently at the top of his wish list which includes shooting guard Allerik Freeman and power forwards Chris Walker and Julius Randle. The Jayhawks are also very close to getting a commitment from Class of 2013 point guard Isaiah Lewis who could verbal Monday (see more below). In addition to Lewis, Kansas looks to be in the lead to land Walker’s services and could get Freeman as well. Perhaps the only recruiting trouble Bill Self could run into in the Class of 2013 is if he will have enough scholarships available.
What They’re Saying
- Senior Shabazz Muhammad on who’s standing out to him: “UNLV stands out, Kentucky, Duke and UCLA, all really stand out to me from a player’s standpoint. Kansas also really has a great program too, and I’m excited to take my official [visit] up there and see [head] coach [Bill] Self and his staff.”
- Senior Tony Parker on Kansas’ new arrival on his list: “They started recruiting real hard but I don’t know if I’m going to visit yet.”
- Junior Isaiah Lewis on possibly selecting a school Monday: “My birthday is December 26, the day after Christmas, so I’ve been talking to my parents about possibly committing then. If I were to commit then, it would be to Kansas.”
- Junior Nerlens Noel on where he thinks Muhammad will go: “Probably Kentucky or UCLA. He’s the type of player that looks like he wants to stay at home. And Kentucky’s just Kentucky.”
- Sophomore Jahlil Okafor on four schools who are impressing him: “I wouldn’t say they [Duke and Arizona] impress me the most but they definitely impressed me along with Michigan State. I really like [head coach] Tom Izzo, and also Illinois.”
- Jeffrey Greene, junior Brannen Greene’s dad, on his son’s commitment to Kansas: “We felt like Kansas offered the perfect environment for Brannen. He is a young, energetic, very talented, very smart kid with a 4.0 GPA, a very disciplined kid. We felt that environment fosters integrity and family and all the things we pride ourselves on.”
- Harry Martin, junior point guard Aquille Carr‘s high school coach, on the schools recruiting Carr the hardest: “Probably the ones that I’ve seen that express the most interest are Seton Hall, Baylor, Loyola Marymount and Xavier. They are probably the top four that have really been around.”
What You Missed
Jarnell Stokes To Choose Tomorrow. It looks as though the Class of 2012 power forward Jarnell Stokes‘ recruitment saga will come to an end tomorrow at 7:30 PM at a local Italian restaurant. The highly heralded senior prospect will decide between Memphis, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky or Tennessee and has already made his decision, according to his dad. His top three looks to be Tennessee, Memphis and Florida (in no particular order) but quite honestly, I’d be surprised if he picked the Gators. Memphis has long been the hometown favorite but Tennessee has come on strong lately under the new regime of head coach Cuonzo Martin. Stokes has already graduated from high school and will enroll at whichever college he selects immediately for the second semester of this season. He would be a huge mid-season boost for whichever college he chooses and will be an impact contributor right away.
Junior Point Guard May Commit Monday, Would Pick Kansas. If Kansas fans were happy with just the commitment of Class of 2013 shooting guard Brannen Greene, then their heads may explode if Class of 2013 point guard Isaiah Lewis chooses the Jayhawks Monday, something Lewis said was a very good possibility in his player blog for National Recruiting Spotlight this week. Although he says in his blog that there is a 65-70% chance of him choosing a school the day after Christmas, he later confirmed to RTC that there is now a 90% chance of him committing that day, also his birthday. He says if he commits, he will definitely choose Kansas. I don’t know if anyone is keeping track, but if Lewis picks the Jayhawks Monday, he would be head coach Bill Self‘s fifth commitment since November 13 when Class of 2012 center Landen Lucas started it all. In that time, Self has received verbals from Class of 2012 shooting guards Anrio Adams and Andrew White in addition to Lucas, Greene and possibly Lewis.
What We Learned
Four Standing Out To Sophomore Stud. Class of 2014 center Jahlil Okafor, arguably the best big man in the sophomore class, said recently that Duke, Arizona, Michigan State and Illinois are the four schools standing out to him at this point. Okafor explained that he likes the Blue Devils because of how their shooters will open up space for him and he favors the Wildcats because of their ability to develop big men. He is also very impressed by Spartans head coach Tom Izzo and although he didn’t specify why the Fighting Illini stand out, it could be because he’s a Chicago native. The 6’9″, 270-pound big man is such a sought-after prospect because of his interior play, rebounding and physical strength. He is a massive body inside the paint and also possesses an impressive pair of hands and feet.
Shabazz Muhammad’s Recruitment Is Heating Up. Class of 2012 small forward Shabazz Muhammad is the best uncommitted recruit in the country, so naturally he’s bound to encounter head coaches who will try their best to capture his attention. Well, it seems like Kentucky head coach John Calipari did just that as he arrived at Muhammad’s game Monday night with his entire coaching staff.. and a police escort. Calipari and staff wasn’t alone in the stands watching Muhammad as assistants from Connecticut, Washington, Ohio State, UCLA, Georgetown and Michigan were also seen. The top-rated senior also made news late Monday when he said Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Kansas and UNLV are the five schools standing out to him. The 6’6″, 215-pound wing plans on making his school choice in the spring and is considering USC in addition to the five programs who he said is impressing him the most.
Video of the Week
In case you didn’t know, Class of 2013 small forward Jabari Parker, who is the best junior in the country, set the Simeon Career Academy (who boasts alumni such as Derrick Rose) record for points scored in a single game (40). Parker also recorded 16 rebounds and six blocks all in 21 minutes of play. Here are some highlights: