Seven Sweet Scoops: Roy Williams Watches Andrew Wiggins, Leron Black Decommits From Baylor…Posted by CLykins on January 4th, 2013
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. Roy Williams Sees Andrew Wiggins For Third Time
If you’re a fan of North Carolina, you have to be extremely impressed with the amount of attention head coach Roy Williams is showing the No. 1 player in the class of 2013, Andrew Wiggins, as of late. On Thursday, Williams was in Huntington, West Virginia, to watch Wiggins for the third time this season. The recruiting efforts have essentially paid off for the Tar Heels for now, as Wiggins is expected to take a trip to Chapel Hill at the conclusion of his senior season at Huntington Prep (West Virginia). Including North Carolina, who has signed three top-100 prospects from the class of 2013 in Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks, and Nate Britt, the 6’8” small forward is also considering Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, and Syracuse. He has also already taken his first official visit to Florida State and has plans to also visit Kansas and Kentucky at season’s end.
2. Junior Leron Black Backs Out of Baylor Commitment
For a number of underclassmen, the recruiting process can prove to be exciting for those that feel desired by a number of specific programs, thus leading to a quick and abrupt decision without carefully examining each and every option. Such was the case for Leron Black, the No. 11 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2014, who gave a verbal pledge to Baylor back in September after taking an unofficial visit to the school. On Wednesday, Black announced his intention to re-open his recruitment, citing that he made a rushed decision. John Martin of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal was the first to break the news. Shortly after backing out of his Baylor commitment, the 6’7” small forward out of White Station High School (Tennessee) had already heard from Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. Baylor will still remain in the mix; however, the odds will not be in their favor to re-establish a commitment. This time around, Black will be much more patient and disciplined prior to making his final decision, as he will be one of the most highly sought-after juniors in the class due to his great athleticism and ability to finish around the rim.
3. Tyus Jones, Rashad Vaughn, and Reid Travis Visit Minnesota
The three best players from the state of Minnesota took an unofficial visit together to watch the Minnesota Golden Gophers defeat the Michigan State Spartans on Monday. Tyus Jones, the No. 1 overall ranked junior, Rashad Vaughn, the No. 10 overall ranked junior, and Reid Travis, the No. 29 overall ranked junior were behind the Minnesota bench as they watched the surging Gophers improve to 13-1 on the season after knocking off the Spartans, 76-63. Jones, a 6’1” point guard out of Apple Valley High School, released his official list a few months ago that included both the Gophers and Spartans, along with Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Ohio State. Jones has reiterated that he has no favorites among his eight finalists. He is set to take an unofficial visit to Kentucky at the end of this month. Vaughn, a 6’6” shooting guard out of Robbinsdale Cooper High School, is a high-volume scorer with outstanding range. Including Minnesota, Vaughn currently holds offers from Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Syracuse. ACC powers Duke and North Carolina have also expressed interest. Travis, a 6’8″ power forward out of De La Salle High School, holds an offer from the Gophers, as well as Harvard, Iowa State, Purdue, and USC. Jones and Vaughn will lead their respective teams against one another on Saturday night in a marquee in-state match-up at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
4. Australian Prospect Ben Simmons Moves To US
Allow me to introduce you to arguably the best prospect that hails outside of the United States of America, for those that are unfamiliar. Australian-born sophomore Ben Simmons, a 6’8” small forward, exploded on the national scene in the summer at the Pangos All-American Camp and the Adidas Nations event. While at those particular events, he turned the heads of many with his play; however, while he wasn’t currently a member of any United States high school program, recruiting analysts and scouts chose not to rank him in the class of 2015. Now, those same analysts and scouts have good reason to, after he made the decision on Tuesday to make the move to the US and Montverde Academy (Florida). The lefty is an extremely athletic and skilled player who runs the floor very well in transition and knows how to attack and finish at the rim. He is also a lengthy forward who rebounds the basketball at a good rate. As it stands, the ESPN25 has yet to be updated since Simmons’ move, which leaves many alike intrigued on where he will be slotted. He is a strong candidate to overtake over the No. 1 spot from center Diamond Stone. His recruitment will also begin to heat up with his recent move. LSU will be a likely contender, as he is the godson of Tigers’ assistant David Patrick. However, it is noteworthy to point out that Simmons is most familiar with Duke and grew up rooting for the Blue Devils while growing up in Australia.
5. Point Guard Play Important To Julius Randle?
Since suffering a fracture in his right foot in November that will cause him to miss three months of his senior season at Prestonwood Christian Academy (Texas), Julius Randle has taken his time to zero in on his recruitment. The No. 4 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2013, Randle is considering Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, and Texas. He has already taken two of his five official visits to Florida and Kentucky, and has scheduled his final three to North Carolina State (January 26), Texas (February 9), and Kansas (February 16). However, it was his comments on the topic of who he would most like to play with in college, that has garnered a lot of attention. “I guess… you know a point guard is pretty important, so I like Andrew Harrison,” Randle told Dave Telep of ESPN. Andrew Harrison, along with his twin brother Aaron Harrison, are both natives of Texas and have signed with Kentucky, one of Randle’s potential suitors. Florida also boasts a highly ranked incoming point guard in Kasey Hill, who has also spoken about the opportunity of playing with Randle in college. “I think it would be a perfect fit for us,” Hill said. Of course, the Florida connection has been well-documented throughout Randle’s recruitment, as he was a member of the US U-18 team this past summer coached by Gators’ head coach Billy Donovan. With three visits left and a spring decision imminent, the point guard position is one of the many factors that is being evaluated by the uber-talented 6’9” power forward.
6. Justise Winslow Set To Narrow List
Justise Winslow is arguably the most athletic and explosive small forward not only in the junior class but in the entire country. The No. 9 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2014, Winslow currently holds offers from a who’s who in college basketball. By the end of January, he would like to take his long list of schools down to seven prior to the spring so he could take a few unofficial visits. Among the many potential suitors that could make the cut include Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, and UCLA. All seven schools have relentlessly pursued and made a great impression on the 6’5” wing forward out of Saint John’s High School (Texas). A few schools stand out in this recruitment – Arizona, Duke, Florida, and UCLA – as Winslow has spoken highly of each program. He took unofficial visits to Arizona, Florida, and UCLA before the start of the regular season and has stated that he will take a trip to the Duke campus either this spring, in the fall for an official visit, or both.
7. Louisville Hosts Top Recruits In Victory Over Kentucky
It was a great day to be a Louisville Cardinals fan this past Saturday. Louisville knocked off arch-rival Kentucky, 80-77, in their annual tilt and did so in front of an impressive list of top recruits, including class of 2013 signee Anton Gill, class of 2014 prospects Trey Lyles, JaQuan Lyle, Daniel Hamilton, and class of 2015 prospect Jalen Coleman. While Gill was envisioning himself on the court next season in a Louisville uniform, the four juniors were taking in the electric atmosphere at the KFC Yum! Center. Lyles, the No. 5 overall ranked junior out of Arsenal Tech (Indiana), re-opened his recruitment in August after de-committing from Indiana. Along with the Cardinals and Hoosiers, Lyles is also considering Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina. Lyle, the No. 15 overall ranked junior out of Bosse High School (Indiana), has Louisville very high on his list and this visit makes his fourth total. Lyle is also considering scholarship offers from Florida, Indiana, Ohio State, and Texas among others. Hamilton, the No. 24 overall ranked junior out of Saint John Bosco High School (California), is the younger brother of NBA guard/forward Jordan Hamilton and UTEP signee Isaac Hamilton. Louisville has established a great relationship with Hamilton and will remain in the mix until the end. Coleman, a rising sophomore, is a 6’4″ point guard out of Cathedral High School (Indiana). Including the Cardinals, Coleman is being recruited by Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, and Purdue.