Who’s Got Next? Williams-Goss Goes With Washington, Pollard Poised To PickPosted by Josh Paunil on May 31st, 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: Top-100 Nigel Williams-Goss Commits To Washington
Huskies Off To A Good Start In Junior Class. Class of 2013 point guard Nigel Williams-Goss announced his commitment to Washington yesterday via Twitter and a player blog on National Recruiting Spotlight, giving the Huskies their first verbal in the junior class. Williams-Goss chose the Huskies over Harvard, Oklahoma, UNLV, and UCLA and held offers from a plethora of other schools including Missouri, Arizona and his hometown Oregon Ducks. The Findlay Prep point guard is a standout on the defensive end and has good stop-and-go quickness. He also has terrific range on his three-point shot and is a good passer with matching court vision. Williams-Goss already has plans to hit the recruiting trail for Washington and has named Class of 2013 standouts such as shooting guard Isaac Hamilton and power forwards Aaron Gordon and Marcus Lee as his targets. Head coach Lorenzo Romar is also chasing after shooting guard Jabari Bird and power forward Jordan Bell, among others. Gordon is a Washington lean and Bird is interested in the Huskies so if Romar can close out on those two, Washington looks to have a very good recruiting class in 2013 in the making. Washington fans will have plenty of opportunities to see Williams-Goss next year as his Findlay Prep team will likely play in multiple televised games on the ESPN family of networks.
What They’re Saying
Junior Jalen James‘ AAU coach, Mike Mullins, on James de-committing from the Illini: “Illinois Wolves 2013 point guard Jalen James will reopen his recruitment for the July evaluation period. This decision was made by Jalen and his family after discussions with the new head coach John Groce. Jalen wishes the Illinois team and program well and is excited for the July period and new opportunities.”
Junior Nigel Williams-Goss on committing to Washington: “There is no substitute for a coach that has watched you mature over a time span of four years and stuck with you through thick and thin. The only two groups of coaches that I can honestly say have helped in my development as a person and player are [head] coach [Michael] Peck and the staff at Findlay and [head] coach [Lorenzo] Romar and his staff at Washington.”
Junior Jordan Matthews are who has been contacting him the most and his favorite coaching staff: “I talk to VCU a lot and I talk to Gonzaga a lot, those are the schools I talk to the most. I’m just taking it all in right now. VCU and Gonzaga are recruiting me the hardest. VCU’s coaching staff is really cool, I talk to them a lot. They’re probably my favorite coaching staff right now. They don’t just tell you what you do well, they tell you what you need to work on and [head] coach [Shaka] Smart, [assistant] coach [Will] Wade and [assistant] coach [Jeremy] Ballard are all really cool. I like talking to them.”
Junior Dominic Woodson on his timetable for when he will commit and who is recruiting him the hardest: “Sometime after next school year. I want to wait until after my senior season so that I can really think all of it through and make the right decision. North Carolina State, Baylor, Louisville, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Memphis, Rhode Island, Illinois, Kansas, Kansas State and UConn [are coming after me hard].”
What You Missed
McDonald’s All-American Pollard Will Commit Friday. Class of 2012 small forward Devonta Pollard (#27) will finally end his recruitment tomorrow as he’ll announce his choice between Alabama, Georgetown, Missouri and Texas at 6pm. The favorites for the McDonald’s All-American are believed to be Alabama and Texas but right now, not even his mom knows where he’ll commit. Pollard is a guy with great athleticism and length and is a terrific finisher. He is very good in transition and is great above the rim. He is also able to finish with both hands and has a good pull-up jumper in the mid-range game. Pollard is a great shot-blocker as well for a wing and impacts the game on the defensive end. He averaged 23.8 points, 15.7 rebounds, and 5.1 blocks per game at Kemper County High School (MS) where he won a state championship this year. Pollard will be a fantastic addition for whoever he chooses, especially this late.
Muhammad Named Parade‘s All-America Player of the Year. Class of 2012 small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#1 — UCLA) added to his already extensive trophy case when Parade Magazine released its 2012 All-America Team and named the UCLA signee Player of the Year. Muhammad, who is also the 2012 Naismith Player of the Year, 2012 Wootten Player of the Year, McDonald’s All-American, Jordan Brand Classic All-American, and two-time Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year highlighted the 40-person list. Other top prospects named to the All-America team include Nerlens Noel (#2 — Kentucky), Kaleb Tarczewski (#4 — Arizona) and point guard Kyle Anderson (#5 — UCLA). However, there were several lower rated guys who made the highly coveted team too such as point guard Stefan Moody (Florida Atlantic), shooting guard Javion Watson (Long Beach State) and center Bruce Marshall (Missouri State).
What We Learned
SMU’s Larry Brown Making Moves On Recruiting Trail. When Southern Methodist hired 71-year-old Larry Brown, there were a plethora of differing opinions, especially on how well he would be able to recruit players who are more than a half century younger than him. Well, so far, Brown has been doing a very good job with his biggest accomplishment so far coming when he convinced the highly rated Harrison twins — Class of 2013 point guard Andrew Harrison and Class of 2013 shooting guard Aaron Harrison — to add SMU to their list after cutting it down to four schools. SMU joins Kentucky, Maryland, Baylor and Villanova on the Harrison twins’ list and although Kentucky remains the favorite, it doesn’t hurt to have a top-ten duo who’s a guaranteed package deal to consider your program. SMU is also close to the Harrison twins’ Texas home. Class of 2012 small forward Savon Goodman also paid Brown and SMU a visit Sunday and Monday and has them on his list in addition to Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, West Virginia, Temple, UNLV, and USC. However, the highly touted wing has only visited SMU, Pitt, and Seton Hall and he has no other visits planned. There is no timetable on Goodman’s decision.
Nike EYBL Peach Jam Teams Announced. The Nike Elite Youth Basketball League’s (EYBL) final regular season session ended last weekend with the 40-team league composed of the top AAU teams in the country narrowed down to 24 for the Nike Peach Jam that will take place July 18-21 in North August, South Carolina. This is without a doubt the best summer league in the country with each squad playing 20 games each during the regular season and features the top talent such as Class of 2013 studs small forward Jabari Parker and power forward Julius Randle, the top players in the junior class. Other elite talents including Class of 2014 small forward Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden participate in the EYBL as well and all four of these star’s teams made the Peach Jam. You’ll get to the last couple of rounds of the Peach Jam as the ESPN family of networks will televise them and if last year was any indication, this year’s Peach Jam should be a spectacle to watch.
Video of the Week
Class of 2013 shooting guard Aaron Harrison gets less attention than his higher-ranked, twin brother Andrew, but Aaron stole the show at the Are You From Here Classic scoring 35 points with Andrew sitting out due to an ankle injury… in the second half.