Seven Sweet Scoops: Julius Randle Out Three Months, Andrew Wiggins Plans Visit To Florida State…Posted by CLykins on November 30th, 2012
Seven Sweet Scoops is the newest and hottest column by Chad Lykins, the RTC recruiting analyst. Every Friday he will discuss the seven top stories from the week in the wide world of recruiting, involving offers, which prospect visited where, recent updates regarding school lists, and more chatter from the recruiting scene. You can also check out more of his work at RTC with his weekly column “Who’s Got Next?”, as well as his work dedicated solely to Duke Basketball at Duke Hoop Blog. You can also follow Chad at his Twitter account @CLykinsBlog for up-to-date breaking news from the high school and college hoops scene.
Note: ESPN Recruiting used for all player rankings.
1. Julius Randle To Miss Three Months. Julius Randle, the No. 4 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2013, is expected to miss three months after fracturing a bone on the top of his right foot. From Prestonwood Christian Academy (Texas), Randle suffered the injury during the Thanksgiving Hoopfest on November 24. He underwent surgery on Tuesday and is targeting a return to the court either during the high school playoffs for Prestonwood, or the postseason all-star games for the senior class at the latest. Among the schools pursuing the 6’9” power forward include Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Oklahoma and Texas. Randle has already made visits to Florida, Kentucky and Oklahoma and has finalized visits to Texas (December 15-16), Kansas (December 28-30) and NC State (January 25-27), with a spring decision most likely. One day prior to his injury, Randle had notched a double-double in his first and possibly only game for Prestonwood this season with 27 points and 13 rebounds in their season-opener.
2. Andrew Wiggins Scheduling Florida State Visit. The No. 1 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2013 and widely regarded as the best high school basketball player in the nation, Andrew Wiggins is planning his first official visit to Florida State. Although the date has yet to be confirmed, it is likely that the visit will come in the first weekend of December. Since his reclassification into the senior class, Wiggins has received new interest from the likes of Kansas, North Carolina and Ohio State. However, throughout his entire recruitment two schools have been viewed as the leaders for the 6’8” small forward, Florida State and Kentucky. When speaking of the Seminoles, the Wiggins name is synonymous with their program as both of Andrew’s parents — former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and former Canadian Olympic track star Marita Payne-Wiggins — attended Florida State. A member of Huntington Prep (West Virginia), Wiggins most recently participated alongside teammate and Florida State commit Xavier Rathan-Mayes at the Charlotte Hoops Challenge in front of Seminoles’ head coach Leonard Hamilton and associate head coach Stan Jones. With a hectic playing schedule ahead of him, Wiggins is expected to plan more visits when he can in the future with a spring decision targeted.
3. Chicago To Provo? Jabari Parker Visits BYU. For powerhouse programs like Duke, Florida and Michigan State, there is not one recruit in the country that is a must-get. Among the elite year-in and year-out, reloading with talent is considered the norm for those three schools. However, for Brigham Young and rebuilding Stanford, it’s a completely different story. Stanford has seen its share of success in the past but has now entered the stage of getting themselves back to where they were under Mike Montgomery a decade ago. BYU is not traditionally known for its basketball athletics (prior to the Jimmer era). Though in the mind of Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2013, all five schools are considered equal. After taking official visits to Duke, Florida and Michigan State, the Simeon Career Academy (Illinois) small forward visited the BYU campus last weekend. As has been highly documented, Parker is a known member of The Church of Latter-Day Saints and is attracted to the BYU program for more than just their athletics. Realistically speaking, the Cougars have more than a great chance to shock the recruiting scene by landing Parker, who is still recovering from a fracture in his right foot that he suffered in the summer. Just ask some members of the passionate BYU fan base, who went over-and-beyond with their own recruiting efforts as they printed up over 6,300 t-shirts that read “Chicago To Provo” with images of the Chicago skyline and Provo’s Mount Timpanogos. Did it make quite the impression to have a considerable impact on Parker’s recruitment? More than likely it didn’t, but Parker knows what his effect at the BYU program could have. With a possible decision right around the corner and one more visit left to take, all eyes will be on the precocious player to see if he becomes another elite talent at a powerhouse program or a legendary program-changer.
4. With Decision Looming, Karl Towns Jr. Visits Kentucky. Shortly after taking the recruiting scene off guard with news that he would make his college decision on December 4, Karl Towns Jr., made one final visit to Kentucky this past weekend for its game against LIU-Brooklyn. Towns Jr., the No. 1 ranked sophomore in the country, further strengthened the widespread belief that he will announce for the Wildcats this coming Tuesday. The Kentucky connection stems from the summer, as Towns Jr. was a member of the Dominican Republic National Team coached by Wildcats head coach John Calipari. For now, he’s just patiently riding out the days until it becomes official that the 6’11” big man from St. Joe’s-Metuchen High School (New Jersey) is Kentucky-bound. There is also a good chance that Towns Jr. could reclassify into the junior class, although those close to the 17-year old have not given up much information regarding the topic.
5. Stacked Field For Marshall County Hoopfest. This weekend tips off the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton, Kentucky. The annual event brings in an array of the best high school teams from around the country. The headliners participating in this year’s event are Huntington Prep (West Virginia), Fort Bend Travis (Texas), Oak Hill Academy (Virginia) and Briarcrest Christian (Tennessee). Among the top seniors competing include Andrew Wiggins, twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Austin Nichols, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Nick King, Troy Williams, Johnathan Williams, Sindarius Thornwell, Moses Kingsley, Nate Britt, JaJuan Johnson and Dominic Woodson. Top juniors Cliff Alexander and Quentin Snider will also be playing. The 11-game event will take place this Friday and Saturday.
6. Chicago Elite Classic Tips Saturday. Joining the Marshall County Hoopfest this weekend will be the Chicago Elite Classic, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The six-game event will tip on Saturday, headlined by a slew of the best teams in Chicago as well as some of the top teams around the country. Illinois based schools Simeon Career Academy, Whitney Young, Proviso East and Normal U-High will be in action, along with Lone Peak (Utah), DeMatha Catholic (Maryland), Mater Dei (California), and Milton (Georgia). The event is loaded with some of the top prospects in the junior class including Jahlil Okafor, Stanley Johnson, Keita Bates-Diop, L.J. Peak, and Paul White. Among those from the senior class participating are BeeJay Anya, Kendrick Nunn, Nick Emery and Eric Mika. Absent from Saturday’s festivities will be Simeon small forward Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall ranked senior, who is still recovering from a fracture in his right foot.
7. Texas A&M Adds Tony Trocha. Columbian born Tony Trocha, the No. 28 ranked power forward in the class of 2013, signed his national letter of intent on Thursday with Texas A&M. Listed at 6’10” and 220 pounds, Trocha picked the Aggies over the likes of Arizona, Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, Ohio State and UCLA. A current star at St. Thomas Episcopal (Texas), he was a member of the Columbia U-18 team at the FIBA Americas in Brazil where he averaged 16 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He will join power forward Tavario Miller and small forward Devante Fitzgerald in a solid recruiting class for head coach Billy Kennedy.