Seven Sweet Scoops: Tyus Jones Visits Kentucky, Justin Jackson Hosts UNC…Posted by CLykins on January 18th, 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. Tyus Jones Takes Unofficial To Kentucky. Last weekend the nation’s top junior, point guard Tyus Jones, took an unofficial visit to Kentucky for the Wildcats’ game against the Texas A&M Aggies. Despite watching Kentucky drop its fifth loss of the season, Jones still considers the Wildcats a top contender in his recruitment. Back in December, head coach John Calipari visited Jones twice in one week and has since developed a strong bond with the Apple Valley (Minnesota) product, who became the all-time leading scorer in school history on Tuesday. Including Kentucky, the 6’1″ point guard lists Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State among his possibilities. While Duke looms as the perceived leader, Kentucky is going to make this a race to the finish.
2. North Carolina Conducts In-Home Visit With Justin Jackson. One week after performing in front of the North Carolina coaching staff, small forward Justin Jackson received an in-home visit with head coach Roy Williams on Wednesday evening. Jackson, who includes the Tar Heels along with Arizona, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Virginia and Washington, has held an offer from North Carolina since the completion of the AAU season. Ever since then, Williams has been on a relentless pursuit in landing the 6’7″ small forward out of the Homeschool Christian Youth Association (Texas). While the Tar Heels aren’t pushing for a commitment yet, they are however looking to get Jackson back down to Chapel Hill for a visit during the regular season. “We talked a little about a visit, like coming down for a game,” Jackson said. “We’ll probably try to figure that out sometime, but right now I’m trying to focus on the season.” For now, this is North Carolina’s recruitment to lose.3. Keith Frazier Schedules Two Visits. There remains six uncommitted senior prospects in the ESPN 100 and 6’5″ shooting guard Keith Frazier is one of them. Frazier, the No. 22 overall ranked prospect out of Kimball High School (Texas), is currently considering offers from Auburn, LSU, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. This weekend, he will take an official visit to Texas for their game against Big 12 rival Kansas. Following that trip, he will then be on the SMU campus on the weekend of February 2. Frazier is looking for a program where he can come in right away and become a main contributor. SMU has long been rumored as the favorite; however, there are no guarantees with this recruitment. The Longhorns and Texas A&M are seriously in the mix with the end of this process rapidly approaching.
4. Nine Schools Remain For Josh Perkins. Early Thursday evening, Regis Jesuit (Colorado) point guard, Josh Perkins, released his newly trimmed official list of nine schools. Making the cut includes Arizona, Colorado, Denver, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and Stanford. Ranked as the No. 58 overall prospect in the class of 2014, Perkins felt that the recruiting process at this point in time became a bit overwhelming, thus deciding to concentrate on just the schools that he shows heavy mutual interest in. Currently in the middle of a successful junior campaign at Regis Jesuit, with averages of 25.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, the 6’2″ point guard will take the next step and begin the process of taking a number of scheduled visits. The Jayhawks have been mentioned among the leaders and will most likely be the first to receive a visit.
5. Iowa State Receiving Visit From Rashad Vaughn. Arguably one of the best shooting guards in the country, Rashad Vaughn will be taking an unofficial visit to the Big 12. Vaughn, the No. 10 overall ranked junior out of Robbinsdale Cooper (Minnesota), will visit Iowa State on February 2 for their game against conference foe Baylor. The 6’5″ shooting guard holds an offer from the Cyclones, along with Florida, Kansas, Kentucky Louisville, Maryland, Minnesota, Syracuse and Tennessee. North Carolina has also expressed high interest. For now, Vaughn intends to take visits to schools that are within driving distance from his home state of Minnesota. In the middle of his junior season, Vaughn is averaging over 28 points and 12 rebounds per game. Known as an elite level scorer, his all-around game is evolving at a quick pace. His handle has improved significantly, allowing him to play at the point guard position. On the defensive end, he has made great strides towards his personal goal of becoming a lock-down defender.
6. Ahmed Hill Watches NC State’s Win Over Duke. Then-No. 1 Duke suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of No. 14 North Carolina State last weekend. In attendance for the ACC tilt was Ahmed Hill, the No. 23 overall ranked junior. Hill, out of Aquinas High School (Georgia), had never made a trip to Raleigh before his visit on Saturday, but enjoyed his unofficial visit so much that he intends to return later in the month when the Wolfpack hosts North Carolina on January 26. “It’s pretty good and they have nice facilities, and I saw the practice facility and liked the banners and all the stuff inside,” Hill said. “It was very nice.” Hill currently holds a scholarship offer from the Wolfpack, along with the likes of Alabama, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Marquette, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia Commonwealth. ACC powers Duke and North Carolina have also expressed heavy interest. A high volume scorer, Hill is currently averaging just over 33 points per game during his junior season at Aquinas.
7. Michigan State Offers Senior Forward Gavin Schilling. Just days after a string of solid games at the Penny Hardaway Hoopfest, senior forward Gavin Schilling was extended a scholarship offer from Michigan State. Head coach Tom Izzo was in attendance for Findlay Prep’s first game and came away very impressed after a stellar performance from the 6’9″ power forward. Schilling has stated that Michigan State is under heavy consideration, along with Georgetown, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio State, Oregon State, UCLA and Villanova. Schilling transferred to Findlay Prep from De La Salle Institute (Illinois) prior to his senior season. While at De La Salle, he was being pursued by the Spartans and coach Izzo, having formed a great relationship. With the Spartans having struck out recently on the recruiting trail for the likes of Jabari Parker and James Young, locking up a commitment would give Michigan State their first and only commitment in the class of 2013.