Pac-12 Recruiting Preview: Part One

Posted by PBaruh on October 9th, 2012

It’s still very early in the basketball recruiting season, yet, many Pac-12 schools have already received multiple commitments. Although these are only verbal commitments, it’s still a good sign to see multiple high quality players already commit to the Pac-12.

Arizona Wildcats

Commitments so far:

Rondae Jefferson - 5 stars, ranked 16th nationally by Rivals and 15th nationally by ESPN. 6’7”, 215 lbs. Jefferson is a big athletic wing who can fit the basketball through tight passing lanes and can finish with a variety of moves. He can get out in the open court and play with and without the ball. He would fit well in any team’s system with his size, length, athleticism and his ability to play defense. He needs to work on his jumper, but other than that, he’s a very sound player.

Elliot Pitts – 4 stars by ESPN, 3 stars by Rivals. Ranked 117th nationally by Rivals and 89th by ESPN. 6’5″, 190 lbs. Pitts is a very smooth multi-dimensional guard. He has an above average shot and can get it off whenever he wants with his dribbling skills that keep defenders off balance. He can pass when he needs to when pressed in the lane and can finish inside as well. His shot does not yet have the consistency for him to be a knockdown shooter from beyond the arc at the college level, but his mid-range game is hard to top.

Recruits they want:

Aaron Gordon - 5 stars, ranked 5th overall nationally by Rivals, 6th overall nationally by ESPN. 6’7”, 210 lbs. Whichever school lands Aaron Gordon immediately becomes a National Championship contender. He isn’t just an explosive dunker; he’s a beast around the rim and can take you off the dribble at times. His tenacity on the glass cannot be matched and he can go coast to coast and lead the fast break. Although his shot needs work, it’s hard to find a more athletic explosive player in the 2013 class than Gordon. Gordon visits Arizona on October 19 and is considering Oregon, Kentucky, Washington and Kansas along with Arizona.

Arizona State Sun Devils

Commitments so far:

Chance Murray - 3 stars, 6’3” 180 lbs. Arizona State is still in a rebuilding phase under Herb Sendek, but they did get a solid player in Chance Murray. He’s a physical player and he’s not going to blow you away in any aspect of the game yet, but he’s a good scorer in the mid-range and has an above average first step to help him get into the lane. He needs work on finishing after contact, but Murray has the potential to be a starter at the college level.

Egor Koulechov - 3 stars by Rivals, 2 stars by ESPN. 6’5”, 190 lbs. Koulechov is an interesting commitment because he’s a foreign born player who still needs to adjust to the different style of play over here. He’s what you want out of a wing: good defense, three point shooting, willing passer and he doesn’t mind going to the rim. Overall, Koulechov could end up being a great find for Herb Sendek, however, he will need a lot of work.

Recruits they want: It’s hard to get a gauge of who Arizona State really wants considering all their offers and potential recruits keep committing elsewhere, but adding Michael Thomas could help this team out to some degree.

Michael Thomas – 3 stars, 6’5” 190 lbs. Thomas still needs a lot of work, but he has a good shot from behind the arc, is lengthy and can rebound well. He needs to become a better ball handler and develop some variety to his game, but has upside.

California Golden Bears

Commitments so far:

Jabari Bird - 5 star recruit, ranked 21st nationally by ESPN and 20th nationally by Rivals. 6’6” 190 lbs. Cal and Mike Montgomery didn’t manage to let Bird, who was playing in their backyard in the East Bay, get away and it was a great haul for them. Bird is a very athletic scorer and has the length and size to make him very hard to stop at shooting guard. He’s a legitimate shooter and has great leaping and dunking ability. He can drive to the hoop with ease as well. His defense can get lazy at times and he’ll throw up the occasional ill-advised shot, but with good coaching these should be easy habits to get rid of.

Jordan Mathews – 3 stars by ESPN, 4 stars by Rivals, ranked 85th nationally by Rivals. 6’3”, 195 lbs. Mathews was another great pickup by Mike Montgomery. He’s a combo guard who can wreak havoc in multiple facets of the game. He’s a good three point-shooter and can attack the rim. He needs to transition into becoming a point guard, a position better suited for him with his leadership skills. Overall, Mathews has some work to do developing his mid-range, but with his work ethic it doesn’t seem like it will be an issue.

Sam Singer – 3 stars, 6’5” 185 lbs. Singer is a great three-point shooter separating himself from everyone else in Cal’s class. He’s a smart player but isn’t just reliant on his outside shooting, though. He can dribble and distribute when necessary and he can move well without the ball. On the defensive end, he lacks lateral quickness and strength and cannot keep up with faster guards.

Recruits they want:

Cal wants Aaron Gordon just as bad as everyone else does, but he’s no sure thing to come there. They have a better chance of landing another highly touted recruit in Marcus Lee, who has narrowed his options down to Cal and Kentucky.

Mike Montgomery has never been known as a great recruiter, but with this class, that reputation might change.

Marcus Lee - 5 stars by Rivals, 4 stars by ESPN, ranked 28th nationally by ESPN, ranked 15th nationally by Rivals, 6’9”, 205 lbs.

It’s hard to see John Calipari losing any recruits that he offers a scholarship to, but I would give the Bears a decent chance here. Lee can do a variety of things around the rim, most notably dunk and block almost anything that goes up. He doesn’t have too many post moves that he uses efficiently and still has a ways to go offensively.  Ultimately, he’s already a good player, but he’s a major prospect that could turn into something special with the right development.

Colorado Buffaloes

Commitments so far:

Jaron Hopkins – 4 stars by Rivals, 3 stars by ESPN, ranked 107th nationally by Rivals. 6’5”, 190 lbs. Jaron Hopkins is an explosive combo guard who can get out and fill the passing lanes or lead the break. His dribbling skills are good, but his vision and passing are elite. He can post up smaller players and he knows how to get to the rim and score. Hopkins could use some work on his outside shot, but other than that, he should make an impact at the college level.

Dustin Thomas – 3 stars by Rivals, 4 stars by ESPN. 6’8”, 210 lbs. Dustin Thomas is a long power forward who can stretch the floor with his pick and pop game and ability to shoot the three. He needs to bulk up a little bit to fit in down low offensively, however, defensively he does a pretty good job at the four and can rebound well. His handles are shaky, but he should improve and has a ton of potential.

Tre’shaun Lexing - 3 stars, 6’6”, 185 lbs. Lexing is the most multi-dimensional player in this Colorado recruiting class. He can take the ball up if necessary and can play the off guard or small forward. He can hurt opponents in a variety of ways with his ability to catch and shoot, take defenders to the hoop, or pull up from mid-range. Lexing could improve on his rebounding ability and sometimes tries to do much and turns the ball over, but it doesn’t seem to be a consistent issue.

Recruits they want:

Tad Boyle wrapped up his class early this year. Although they are only verbal commitments and can back out at any time, it doesn’t seem likely for the Buffaloes. Three official visits and three instant commits.

Washington Huskies

Commitments so far:

Nigel Williams-Goss – 4 stars, Ranked 48th  nationally by ESPN, 58th nationally by Rivals. 6’4”, 180 lbs. Williams-Goss can play both guard positions and has a good command of the floor. He’s a good passer and has active hands on the defensive side of the ball. As is with most recruits, his jump shot isn’t the greatest and he also isn’t the quickest guy on the court. Overall, Williams-Goss is a great get for Lorenzo Romar coming out of Findlay Prep and shouldn’t need a lot of time at the next level to start making an impact.

Recruits they want:

Aaron Gordon, the best player on the West Coast in the 2013 class, will immediately make wherever he goes a potential title contender.

Washington is another school that is high up on Aaron Gordon’s list and if Washington was able to get him, which is not out of the question, they’d be in great shape. However, if they are unable to get Gordon, Isaac Hamilton would bolster their recruiting class strongly as well.

Isaac Hamilton - 4 stars by ESPN, 5 stars by Rivals, ranked 13th nationally by Rivals, ranked 23rd nationally by ESPN. 6’5”, 185 lbs. Hamilton recently narrowed his list down to five schools and Washington remained on the list. What stands out most about Hamilton is his ability to score. He can score in a variety of ways and when his shot is consistent, he’s nearly impossible to stop. He can pass the ball very well and is explosive around the rim. He needs to improve on playing without the ball and can turn it over too much at times, but he’s an elite player in the class of 2013.

Washington State Cougars

Commitments so far:

Ikenna Iroegbu – 4 stars by Rivals, 3 stars by ESPN, Ranked 100th nationally by Rivals. 6’1”, 180 lbs. One of the fastest, if not the fastest, players in the 2013 class is Ikenna Iroegbu who played at Oak Hill last season. He has incredible leaping ability for his size and can dunk with ease. He dribbles down the floor very quickly, but he has established an ability to contain his speed. Occasionally, his speed will cause problems for him and he’ll turn the ball over, but he’s vastly improved that skill in the past year. He’s strong for the point guard position and is a very good and willing passer.

Recruits they want:

Torren Jones - 3 stars, Ranked 114th nationally by Rivals 6’8”, 250 lbs. Jones is an athletic specimen. He’s scary around the rim and is built very well. He can get out in transition and run the floor. However, Jones doesn’t have too strong of a post game and when he has the ball out on the perimeter he’s unable to do too much. Jones is a good prospect due to how strong and athletic he is and will need to work on improving his post game and fundamentals down the road.

PBaruh (54 Posts)


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