Who’s Got Next? Kameron Chatman Heads to Ann Arbor, UNLV and Vanderbilt Rising Fast…Posted by rtmsf on October 7th, 2013
Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to discussing the recruitments of the top uncommitted players in the country. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Foul dedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chatman Leaving the West Coast for Ann Arbor
On October 2, four-star small forward Kameron Chatman committed to the Michigan Wolverines. At 6’7”, 195 pounds, Chatman is currently ranked as the 8th-best small forward and 23rd overall. He chose Michigan over three Pac-12 schools in Arizona, Oregon, and USC. Chatman is one of the more intriguing prospects in the class of 2014, which John Beilein and the Michigan coaching staff realized early on. The Michigan recruitment first began in the summer of 2012 with a phone conversation between Michigan assistant coach Jeff Meyer and Chatman’s father, Canaan. Subsequent to the phone conversation Michigan watched Chatman play in Vegas and then made him a top priority over the next year.
In 2012, the Portland native made his mark playing a year above his age group on the 17U Nike EYBL circuit with Inner City Portland Elite (ICP). He teamed up with current Pac-12 freshman Roshcon Prince (USC) and Jordan Bell (Oregon) and averaged 11.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 44% from the field. After the AAU season ended, Chatman decided to follow his ICP coach, Sharrief Metoyer, to California high school powerhouse Long Beach Poly. Unfortunately for Chatman, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) suspended him for the year based on this transfer. Despite the suspension, Chatman still practiced with the team and went up against Prince and Bell on a daily basis. After the one year suspension, Chatman decided to head home to Portland and will attend Columbia Christian School for his senior season.
Over the spring and summer, Chatman shook off his basketball rust and averaged 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for ICP under the watchful eye of Beilein and various Pac-12 coaches. At the end of his summer, Chatman cut his list down to the four schools mentioned above and took visits to all of them. His first visit came on September 6 to Michigan and then he traveled to Oregon, USC, and Arizona in the following weeks. Despite having the earliest visit, Michigan and Beilein impressed the Chatman family enough while providing Kameron with the chance to compete in the hyper-competitive Big Ten.
Overall, Chatman is a tall and talented multi-dimensional wing that oozes potential. He is still coming into his frame with a long 6’9.5” wing span. He is a strong rebounder as shown by his per-game averages despite mostly playing on the perimeter and can do a little bit of everything on the court. This commitment gives Michigan a player who can man different roles on the court and will clearly pay dividends for the Wolverines in the future.
Okonoboh Heads West
Dave Rice already had five-star forward Dwayne Morgan making the trek from the east coast out to Las Vegas. Now he also has Goodluck Okonoboh, a four-star center coming from Boston to the desert. Okonoboh is currently the 5th-ranked center in the class of 2014 and 37th overall. This past Thursday night, Okonoboh made his decision to attend UNLV live on ESPNU. The other two finalists for the center included Big Ten powers Ohio State and Indiana. Okonoboh noted, when asked why he decided on UNLV, “the relationship with Coach Rice. We have a great relationship on and off the court. They had the best blueprint for me.”
It wasn’t long ago that Okonoboh was directly in the shadow of former Kentucky star Nerlens Noel. Both players played on the same Tilton School (NH) team, rocked the same high fade haircut, and specialized in shot-blocking. Before the 2012-13 high school season, Okonoboh made the decision to re-classify from that class and became a member of the 2014 class instead. He also decided to transfer from Tilton to another prep school power in Wilbraham & Monson (MA). Before long Okonoboh made his own mark impressing scouts and college coaches alike during the National Prep Showcase in Connecticut. He blocked every shot in sight and ran the floor with ease throughout the Showcase and as a result saw his recruitment skyrocket from there.
Okonoboh soon began to hear from schools such as Duke, Louisville, UNLV, Missouri, and Florida to go along with the other east coast schools already recruiting him. After his first year at Wilbraham & Monson, he joined up with the Adidas Mass Rivals AAU program. He immediately made his presence felt in the spring and staked his claim as the best shot-blocker in his class in the country. In July, Okonoboh turned in one of the top performances of the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis and earned rave reviews for his hustle, athleticism, and defensive tenacity. After the AAU circuit ended, he trimmed his list down to five schools which included UNLV, Indiana, Ohio State, Duke, and Florida. He eventually cut Duke and Florida from his list and took official visits to Indiana in mid-September before checking out the campuses of Ohio State and UNLV last week. Shortly after getting back from Las Vegas, Okonoboh ended his whirlwind recruitment and chose the Rebels.
Okonoboh stands 6’10”, 213 pounds and sports a 7’2.5”wing span. His biggest strength is his elite shot-blocking ability and he can dominate the paint defensively just like his former high school teammate, Noel. He uses his length and quick leaping ability to block shots either straight on or from the help-side position. He also is a beast on the both the offensive and defensive boards. On the offensive side of the ball, Okonoboh has shown an improved touch over the past year and can hit short jump shots at times; however, he is still fairly raw in this area. Due to his hustle and tenacity, though, he has proven that he can finish around the rim and on the break but needs to continue to work on his post moves and offensive consistency.
With this commitment, UNLV now has two strong players locked up at both the small forward and center positions. Life in Vegas is looking good and now the UNLV staff can turn its full attention down the street to Findlay Prep and the recruitment of elite shooting guard Rashad Vaughn.
Clemson Lands Donte Grantham
Last Friday morning, Clemson landed its first four-star recruit in the Brad Brownell era. Senior forward Donte Grantham, currently ranked 91st overall and 21st at the small forward position, chose the Tigers over the Michigan Wolverines. Grantham had previously taken an official visit to Clemson and had attended the Georgia football game over Labor Day weekend. He recently followed that visit up with an unofficial trip a weekend ago. While he still had Michigan as one of his two finalists, the recent commitment of Kameron Chatman might have helped him finalize his decision to attend Clemson.
This past year, Grantham was a senior at Martinsburg High School in West Virginia, where he led the school to a state championship victory. Grantham put up a 20-point, 17-rebound performance in the championship game and averaged 18.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on the season. The West Virginia Sports Writers Association named him the state player of the year for his efforts. During his senior year he initially received interest from Clemson and various mid-majors before a West Virginia offer also came his way in April.
Instead of committing to a college, Grantham decided to go the prep school route and landed at Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military Academy. He played for DC Assault this past spring and summer and was a key component for one of the top teams on the Under Armour AAU circuit. In the first live recruiting session, Grantham turned in one of the top performances at the Pitt Jam Fest. Numerous high majors took notice and soon Grantham was hearing from schools such as Michigan, Miami, UConn, and Cincinnati to go along with Clemson.
Grantham is a versatuke 6’7″ small forward who excels at slashing to the basket and can hit from the outside. He runs the floor well and uses his length on the defensive end to cause problems for wings on the perimeter, while also blocking the occasional shot. He is not the most physical of players, so Grantham will look to bulk up a bit during his year at Hargrave before heading to the ACC. Clemson is in need of a talent infusion and Grantham provides the Tigers with a versatile athlete who has great upside. The coaching staff of Clemson started recruiting Grantham before the other high majors and their hard work paid off with a nice commitment.
Vanderbilt Nabs Third Recruit in September
Despite coming off a 16-17 season, Kevin Stallings and the Vanderbilt Commodores were on fire in the month of September as the program picked up commitments from three guards in the class of 2014. After previously receiving commitments from Wade Baldwin, a three-star guard out of New Jersey, and Matthew Fisher-Davis, a 6’5” four-star guard from Charlotte, Vanderbilt added Riley LaChance last Monday. LaChance is a 6’3” sharp-shooting guard out of Brookfield, Wisconsin, and he helped the Commodores end the month on an extremely high note. The newest member of Vandy’s recruiting class recently debuted in ESPN’s Top 100 rankings for the class of 2014 as four-star guard; however, he is no stranger to the spotlight. During the high school season, LaChance led his Brookfield Central team to a 20-4 record while scoring 20.9 points per game. One of their victories came against nationally ranked Chester (PA) in the Brandon Jennings Invitational in which LaChance scored 17 second half points to spur a furious come-from-behind victory.
This past spring, LaChance began his AAU season as an unknown commodity playing for Ray Allen Select on the Under Armour AAU circuit. While Big Ten schools such as Wisconsin and Iowa certainly knew LaChance’s name, it was other schools such as Drake, UC Irvine, and South Dakota that had offered scholarships. This all changed in July as LaChance boosted his stock tremendously over the three final live recruiting sessions. During the prestigious UA Summer Jam, in Milwaukee, he led his team to the championship game and put on one of the top performances of the summer. LaChance went 15-of-25 from the field including 7-of-11 from three en route to a 39-point performance against D.C. Assault in the championship game. While his team fell short, LaChance’s reputation only grew.
Fran McCaffery and Iowa received LaChance’s last official visit on September 28, but it was really his early September visit to Vanderbilt that stood out. While he originally wanted to commit after that visit, LaChance waited to take all of his visits and declared his intentions over Twitter just two days after his final trip. He has proven himself as one of the best pure shooters in his class. He has outstanding range to go along with a quick release. He is most comfortable in a catch-and-shoot position but can also hit pull-up jump shots and get into the lane for floaters and the occasional lay-up. LaChance is comfortable playing both on and off the ball. He possesses solid ball-handling and passing abilities and is a strong floor general. A lack of strength is the biggest area of concern that he will need to work on and the main reason that high majors were originally slow to offer. He tips the scales at only 170 pounds and can struggle defending more physical guards. He is also not considered a high riser, but combats this weakness with his quickness and developed shot-making abilities.
For a team that is expected to struggle for the second year in a row there is certainly a bright spot looming in the near future for the Commodores with their current guard trio from the class of 2014. All three September commitments bring different strengths to the table and will look to bring the winning tradition back to Vanderbilt.