Seven Sweet Scoops: Aaron Gordon Talks Recruitment, Tyus Jones Visits UK, Justin Jackson Trims List…Posted by CLykins on January 11th, 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. Aaron Gordon Talks Recruitment. On Thursday night of this week in a dimly lit gymnasium in San Francisco, RTC caught up with Archbiship Mitty (San Jose, California) senior forward Aaron Gordon. The 6’8″ athletic freak tweaked his knee early in the game which may have affected his overall production, but he still ended up with 19 points and 23 rebounds in leading his team to a late victory, including a scintillating windmill dunk to finish off the game. Afterward, Gordon, the No. 7 player in the class of 2013 according to ESPN.com, spoke of the attributes he likes about each of his three finalists: Arizona (shooters and coaching), Kentucky (all business), and Washington (offense). Take heart, Wildcat fans, he started and ended his answer with Big Blue Nation, and even with a potential logjam looming in the UK frontcourt, it’s apparent that the John Calipari recruiting express shows no signs of slowing down. As Gordon’s excitement was palpable, Kentucky is without question the cool kid on the recruiting playground right now.
2. Kentucky Receiving Visit From Tyus Jones. Last month, Kentucky head coach John Calipari made two separate trips to “The North Star State” of Minnesota within a week’s time to visit the nation’s top point guard, Tyus Jones. This weekend, the No. 1 overall ranked junior out of Apple Valley High School (Minnesota) will return the favor as he will take an unofficial visit to Lexington for the Wildcats’ home tilt against Texas A&M. Jones lists Kentucky in his final eight schools along with Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State. Most recently, he visited Minnesota last week for its game against Michigan State and made two unofficial visits in October to Duke and North Carolina. Jones sat out for Apple Valley during their game on Thursday, as he has been suffering from back spasms throughout his junior season.3. Justin Jackson Trims List To Six. This past week has turned into quite a success for junior small forward, Justin Jackson. It started on Tuesday as Jackson poured in 34 points in front of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams to lead Homeschool Christian Youth Association (Texas) to a victory over St. John’s High School (Texas). The next day, the 6’7″ small forward announced his final six schools, which included the Tar Heels along with Arizona, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Virginia and Washington. Jackson, the No. 16 overall ranked junior, is an athletic and lanky prospect with a great shooting touch from the outside. He has improved his ball-handling and can put the ball on the floor and score from the mid-range or around the rim. Jackson unofficially visited Arizona in September and North Carolina two weeks later.
4. Jalen Lindsey Visiting Louisville For Second Time This Month. The Louisville Cardinals opened conference play in the Big East on January 2 with a victory over Providence. That particular game is noteworthy due to the fact of who was in attendance. Class of 2014 small forward Jalen Lindsey, the No. 14 overall ranked junior out of Christ Presbyterian Academy (Tennessee), made the trip shortly after Louisville head coach Rick Pitino watched the 6’7″ prospect at the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic in late December. Now he has scheduled his intentions to take a second consecutive visit on January 19 when the Cardinals host the Syracuse Orange. Including Louisville, Lindsey also holds offers from Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Memphis, Providence, Ohio State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
5. Decision Forthcoming For Jermaine Lawrence. There remains six uncommitted players ranked inside the ESPN 100 including 6’10″ power forward Jermaine Lawrence. However, a decision from the No. 19 overall senior could be imminent. Currently considering Cincinnati, St. John’s and UNLV after cutting Syracuse earlier this week, Lawrence is expected to take an unofficial visit to watch the Red Storm at the end of the month prior to making his final decision, most likely in February. It’s been a tough senior season at Pope John XXIII High School (New Jersey) for the five-star power forward, as he has not played in a game after undergoing surgery on a tendon in his right hand. Expected to miss at least two more weeks, it will give Lawrence the opportunity to further evaluate his final three schools. St. John’s has the inside track due to it’s close proximity but Cincinnati is making this recruitment a neck-and-neck race to the end.
6. St. John’s, Temple and UCLA Await Rysheed Jordan. Three schools continue to wait on the top uncommitted senior point guard, Rysheed Jordan. St. John’s, Temple and UCLA have been patiently anticipating a decision from the No. 66 overall ranked senior for the past month after Jordan completed his list of scheduled official visits in December. Judging from a tweet through his Twitter account saying that he would decide if he led his team to victory on Tuesday, many felt that the wait was soon to be over. However, it was a false alarm. The 6’3″ point guard out of Vaux Roberts High School (Pennsylvania) quickly dismissed those rumors after stating that “Someone took my phone. I didn’t do that.” He also reiterated that he has not set a timetable. Between his final three, it’s a toss-up; however, Temple could be the likely destination as head coach Fran Dunphy has devoted an excessive amount of time trying to keep Jordan in the state of Pennsylvania.
7. Four-Star Kaleb Joseph Drawing New Interest. Rising junior point guard Kaleb Joseph has seen his recruitment take a drastic change for the better during the first half of the basketball season. This week, the 6’3″ point guard out of Cushing Academy (Massachusetts) received new interest from Duke and Ohio State. Coaches from Ohio State called on Tuesday while Duke assistant Nate James made contact before and after his game on Wednesday. Joseph holds offers from Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Tennessee while also being actively pursued by Connecticut, Georgetown and Kansas State. His new-found interest should come as no surprise, as he has great size at the point guard position with a terrific first step. He can score the basketball in a variety of ways and has a great knack of setting up scoring opportunities for his teammates. He is currently the No. 20 ranked point guard in the class of 2014, but could see an increase in his overall ranking if he continues to have an outstanding junior campaign.