Who’s Got Next? Isaiah Whitehead and an Under the Radar Jalen HudsonPosted by Sean Moran on December 24th, 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.
The Next Brooklyn Star: Isaiah Whitehead
With an alumni list that includes Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair, and Lance Stephenson it’s safe to say that Brooklyn’s Lincoln High has produced its fair share of talented and hyped prospects. Next up on the list is five-star senior shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead. At 6’4” and 200 pounds, Whitehead currently is rated the No. 12 player in the country and top overall shooting guard; however the Seton Hall recruit has seen his fair share of ups and downs over the past four years. Highly touted as Brooklyn’s next big thing when he entered high school, Whitehead was physically more advanced than most of his classmates at the time. While others continued to grow and get stronger, Whitehead hit a plateau. Despite leading Lincoln to a PSAL (Public Schools Athletic League) AA title as a junior, he entered the 2013 spring AAU season as a four-star recruit and the No. 8 shooting guard in the country. Playing for the Juice All-Stars, an AAU program run by his high school coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton, Whitehead started off hot in April and never cooled off. He played on both the Under Armour and Nike AAU circuits, along with various camps and showcase tournaments. He averaged 16.3 points per game in Nike play while shooting 38 percent from the three point line and in each setting he came away with awards and accolades while steadily climbing up the recruiting rankings. In his last event of the summer, Whitehead received co-MVP honors in the Elite 24, a nationally televised all-star game played under the Brooklyn Bridge which featured numerous top players throughout the country.
In October, Whitehead announced that he committed to Seton Hall in a surprise decision. Rumors circulated that he was part of a package deal which also included his high school coach, Morton, and a promise of a coaching position on the Pirates staff for the 2014-15 season. With the commitment, Whitehead helped give Seton Hall its first five-star recruit and best overall recruiting class since 2000 when Tommy Amaker brought in one of the top players in the country in Eddie Griffin along with point guard Andre Barrett and shooting guard Marcus Toney-El. Currently the Pirates have the No. 12 class in the nation which includes four-star power forward Angel Delgado (#43 overall, #8 PF), three-star shooting guard Khadeen Carrington, and small forward Ismael Sanogo. All four players come from the New Jersey/New York area and are positioned to give Seton Hall a chance at its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2006. The Pirates will lose high scoring senior guards Fuquan Edwin and Brian Oliver to graduation; however, Whitehead, Delgado, and Carrington should all be able to step immediately and team with leading scorer and assist man Sterling Gibbs to form a potent offense. Whitehead will most likely be the preseason pick for Freshman of the Year in the new Big East and has all of the tools to score easily and often. With a quick release and textbook jumper, Whitehead can shoot and score from all over the court. He can also punish smaller defenders in the post with his strength advantage while creating easy shots for teammates with his underrated passing skills. The famed class of 2000 came into Seton Hall with high expectations and quickly played a role in the program completely falling apart. Kevin Willard can only hope that the 2014 class plays a large part in his rebuilding of the program and that Isaiah Whitehead continues his ascension as the next Lincoln High player to play in the NBA.
Help On the Way For Hokies
Jalen Hudson is not even the best player on his high school team; that honor belongs to five-star sophomore wing V.J. King (#9 overall, #4 SF – 2016), yet this three-star senior guard will make an impact in the ACC next year. In October Hudson committed to Virginia Tech over Arkansas and gave the Hokies a three-man class also featuring four-star shooting guard Justin Bibbs and three-star wing T.J. Lang. With the recent coaching upheaval at Virginia Tech when James Johnson replaced Seth Greenberg, an under-the-tradar talent in Montrezl Harrell de-committed from the program and became a household college basketball name just two years later at Louisville. With Johnson firmly in place, expect Hudson to become the next under the radar player to blossom, this time sticking around in Blacksburg. Hudson plays for St. Vincent-St. Mary’s (OH) High School in Akron, better known as the school that LeBron James attended. This past weekend, Hudson put on a show in the famed City of Palms classic in Florida against the top player in the country in Jahlil Okafor and his talented Whitney Young (IL) team. In the first half, Hudson hit six three-pointers and scored 23 out of his teams 26 points. Not just a pure shooter, Hudson showed off his ball-handling and athleticism on several drives to the basket once the opponent went to a box and-one defense. While not considered a Top 100 player yet, the 6’4” Hudson is a pure scorer that gets great elevation on his jump shot and can create shots for himself. With the Hokies losing their top scorer in Jarrell Eddie next year, Hudson will have a chance early on to showcase his skill set.