Who’s Got Next? Tony Parker Commits, Ripple Effect of Greenberg FiringPosted by Josh Paunil on April 26th, 2012
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 are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at email@example.com.
Lead Story: Tony Parker Joins Adams, Anderson and Muhammad at UCLA
Tony Parker Gives UCLA Top Recruiting Class. Class of 2012 power forward Tony Parker committed to UCLA Monday over Duke, Georgia and Ohio State, joining point guard Kyle Anderson and small forwards Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad in head coach Ben Howland’s stellar 2012 recruiting class. Parker brings a tremendous inside presence to Westwood and is someone who will be able to rebound as soon as he steps onto campus. He is an elite big man with a great skill set in the low post and has the ability to score through a variety of moves in the paint. He can make a hook over both shoulders and is able to play facing the basket, although he’s at his best with his back to the basket. The biggest knock on Parker has always been the same — that he’s out of shape and lacks stamina. However, the Georgia native has worked hard to dispel that notion and although he can still improve his conditioning, he’s definitely gotten better at running the court and has an improved motor. Once Parker gets to UCLA, he’ll join a crowded frontcourt that already includes sophomore power forwards David and Travis Wear and sophomore center Josh Smith. Every single person in the UCLA’s 2012 recruiting class worked hard on recruiting Parker and Adams even predicted back in December that the Bruins would land him. UCLA fans should remain cautiously optimistic, though, because as we’ve pointed out at RTC, having a highly ranked recruiting class doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, borne out by UCLA’s 2008 recruiting class. Although, there are some differences between this year’s recruiting class and the one four years ago.
What They’re Saying
- Senior Marshall Wood on asking for a release from Virginia Tech: “I need to get my release so I can review all my options. If somebody gets the job at Tech that recruited me or something and I have a really good relationship with [him], I possibly could still go back. But right now I just want to get the release so I can have more options to look at.”
- Senior Tony Parker on committing to head coach Ben Howland and UCLA: “I just thought UCLA was the perfect place for me to get better, be successful. With the prestigious open run that they have in the summertime, I just thought UCLA would be a great place.”
- Junior Semi Ojeleye on who he wants to visit and why: “I’m hoping to get out to UCLA and Stanford. I think we’re going to go back up to Wisconsin too. They’re showing a whole lot of interest and were the first school to offer me so that plays into things. At UCLA, they have a great history and high academics. It seems like a good place to land. As for Stanford, it’s real high academically and I like [head] coach [Johnny] Dawkins.”
- Junior Monte Morris on who he plans on visiting: “I’m going to Indiana May 4 for a visit and then I’m planning on attending Butler’s Elite Camp June 2. Then I’m going to try to get out to Iowa State, USC and Georgia Tech. These schools were the ones who I’ve been talking to the most and they’ve been wanting me to come down since the winter.”
- Junior Josh Hart on who’s standing out to him: “I’d say Georgetown, Marquette, North Carolina State, San Diego State and Xavier. They’re all great schools and have great academics. They have great coaches and great players off the court and great in the community.”
- Sophomore Jalen Lindsey on his favorite team growing up and how it impacts his recruitment: “When I was growing up it was always North Carolina [who I liked]. It impacts my recruitment a little bit, they’re always going to be high on the list if they ever offer because I’ve always liked UNC. They’re definitely always going to be high on the list either way.”
What You Missed
Hokies May Lose Both Signees, Junior Targets After Greenberg Firing. After Virginia Tech fired head coach Seth Greenberg, it was expected that the Hokies may lose one of their signed Class of 2012 prospects. However, not only does Class of 2012 small forward Marshall Wood and power forward Montrezl Harrell both say that they plan on asking for a release, but at least one Class of 2013 target who favored the Hokies isn’t sure how he feels about Virginia Tech anymore. Point guard Will Ferguson said recently that the Hokies were atop his list but now he has to re-evaluate his recruitment. Also, according to one report, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Providence, Louisville, Xavier, Cincinnati and Alabama are the schools expected to make a run at Harrell, the best of the Hokie prospects. Before he committed to Virginia Tech, he held offers from Clemson, South Carolina and Virginia, among others. As for Wood, he committed to Virginia Tech over VCU and Richmond before and he also had offers from Virginia, Michigan, Clemson, Wake Forest, St. Joseph’s, Duquesne, Old Dominion, James Madison, Liberty and William & Mary.
Sophomore Star A Carolina Fan, Kentucky Showing Interest. Anytime a basketball recruit says he grew up a fan of a particular program, admits that they would be high on his list even if they didn’t offer when he has several offers from other high-major schools and even says “I want to go to [insert school here]“, there’s a fairly good chance he’ll end up at that school. Well, Class of 2014 standout small forward Jalen Lindsey has done exactly that after saying recently that he’s always liked North Carolina and stating in a video [that's a year and a half old] that he wanted to go to North Carolina. The Tennessee native already holds offers from Vanderbilt, Alabama, Memphis, North Carolina State, Florida, Louisville and Tennessee and has received interest from Kentucky, Georgetown, Ohio State, West Virginia, Xavier, Florida State, Virginia, Miami, UCLA and Marquette, among others. The 6’6, 180-pound wing is a consensus top-25 prospect in his class and says that he wants to visit Florida, Kentucky and Syracuse. No matter who else gets involved in his recruitment, expect Lindsey to end up at North Carolina.
What We Learned
Duke Offers Four Juniors On Same Day. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has only reeled in one commitment in the Class of 2012 (shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon) but he’s clearly looking to reverse the trend after making a splash in the recruiting world when he offered four Class of 2013 standouts: combo guard Allerik Freeman, small forward Ishmail Wainright and power forwards Marcus Lee and Austin Nichols. The Blue Devils already have shooting guard Matt Jones in the fold and are after other top juniors including small forward Jabari Parker and power forward Julius Randle. Duke is unlikely to land Randle but Nichols grew up a Blue Devils fan and Wainright always seems excited when discussing Duke’s new involvement in his recruitment. Coach Krzyzewski also isn’t done in the Class of 2012 as he’s still battling for power forward Amile Jefferson who remains undecided on when he plans on making a decision.
Son of Former NBA All-Star Re-commits to Maryland. After committing to Maryland a month ago without his father’s knowledge and then de-committing a week later, Class of 2012 shooting guard Sam Cassell, Jr., officially signed with the Terrapins Saturday. The Baltimore native is the son of former NBA All-Star and three-time champion Sam Cassell and joins shooting guard Seth Allen, small forward Jake Layman and centers Shaquille Cleare, Damonte Dodd and Charles Mitchell in Mark Turgeon‘s six-man recruiting class. Cassell is able to score from all over the court on all three levels. He has good length, can facilitate and has a high basketball IQ, too. The 6’4″, 170-pound two guard also has the physical tools to become a quality defender in the future. He’s a good pick-up for Maryland and is just one example of how the Terrapins are re-doubling their efforts to protect their own backyard and keep the local products in the state of Maryland.
Video of the Week
Class of 2014 small forward Andrew Wiggins, the number one sophomore in the country, didn’t disappoint in the first session of the Nike EYBL in Minnesota last weekend.