Seven Sweet Scoops: JaQuan Lyle Visiting Kansas, Official Visits for Juniors and More…Posted by Sean Moran on January 10th, 2014
Seven Sweet Scoops is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you seven notes from the high-stakes world of college basketball recruiting. 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.
1. Where Will JaQuan Lyle End Up?
Back in September there were a lot of rumors that five-star center Cliff Alexander (#5 – 2014) and five-star guard JaQuan Lyle (#22 – 2014) would be a package deal. Recall that Alexander committed to Kansas in November, and at the same time, Lyle was busy starting his senior season at Huntington Prep (WV). Now, with Lyle scheduled to take an official visit to Kansas on Saturday, the chance to united with Alexander remains strong. With a rivalry game against Kansas State on tap, Bill Self will look to reel in his third five-star recruit in the class of 2014. Originally a Louisville commitment, Lyle is a 6’5” guard who specializes in putting the ball in the hole. A pure scorer, he is also one of only three players in the Top 100 that remains uncommitted.
2. UCLA Stays Hot Despite Loss to Arizona
Days removed from scoring 107 points against crosstown rival USC; Steve Alford stayed hot on the recruiting trail with a surprise commitment from one of the top Los Angeles area sophomores in Lonzo Ball. Currently a four-star guard ranked No. 20 in the class of 2016, Ball committed to the Bruins on Wednesday night. The 6’5” guard averaged 14.3 points per game as a freshman at Chino Hills (CA) and has been called “a dream player” by his high school coach. The highly-ranked player on the West Coast can light it up from deep and is also a strong ball-handler for his size. After Andy Enfield nabbed point guard Jordan McLaughlin (#38 – 2014) and took a dig at UCLA’s pace, it’s been all UCLA in the battle for SoCal supremacy. Not only did Alford quickly put together the No. 7 ranked recruiting class in 2014, highlighted by five-star Kevon Looney (#14 – 2014), but now they’ve landed another future star in Ball.
3. When Will the Commitments Ramp Up Again?
Over the past two months the number of college commitments has slowed to a trickle, and with 97 of the top 100 seniors off the board, recruiting gurus are ready to turn their attention to the class of 2015. With NCAA rules allow juniors to take their first official visits beginning January 1, schools have tried to push up some official visits for key recruits. Last year Arizona, Louisville, and UNC all took advantage of early visits in landing Parker Jackson-Cartwright (#50 – 2014), Shaqquan Aaron (#34 – 2014), and Joel Berry (#21 – 2014), respectively, in the first two months of the calendar year. This year, only two players in the Top 25 have made commitments. Five-star forward Mickey Mitchell has verballed with Ohio State and five-star wing Malachi Richardson has committed to Syracuse. Who’s next?
4. Brandon Ingram: Official Visit Scheduled with UNC
Four-star forward Brandon Ingram has an official visit schedule to UNC on January 26 to watch the Tar Heels go for their 57th consecutive home win against Clemson. Ingram is currently rated as the No. 50 ranked recruit in the class of 2015, but has as much potential as anyone in the junior class. So far he’s spent his high school career growing and currently stands 6’8” with a nearl-seven-foot wingspan but only weighs 180 pounds. With a soft touch from outside, Ingram has primarily played on the wing but could play a stretch four in college with continued growth. Hailing from the same high school that produced former Heels Reggie Bullock and Jerry Stackhouse, it is easy to imagine Ingram as the next Kinston star to head to Chapel Hill. Despite numerous trips to Blue Heaven, both local rivals (Duke and N.C. State) in the Research Triangle have shown strong interest in the lanky forward as well. UNC gets first crack at locking down an early commitment, but as the time goes by after Ingram’s official visit, you can expect the recruiting war to heat up over this prospect.
5. Allonzo Trier – Right in Georgetown’s Backyard
One of the top scoring guards in the country appeared in the Washington D.C. metro area out of nowhere. This past summer, Allonzo Trier, a 6’4” four-star guard from Oklahoma, transferred to powerhouse Montrose Christian (MD) for his junior season. Now the No. 10 shooting guard and No. 41 prospect overall has gained the full attention of the Hoyas’ coaching staff. In their win over St. John’s on January 4, Trier caught all the action at the Verizon Center, and two days later, John Thompson III was seen watching Trier’s prep game. This past summer Trier was fourth in the Nike EYBL, averaging 20.2 points per game and most recently putting on a show in Las Vegas during the Tarkanian Classic.
6. Eric Davis Enjoying East Lansing
Four-star junior shooting guard Eric Davis had an up-close view of Michigan State’s overtime win over Ohio State this past Tuesday. The sinewy 6’3” shooting guard from Arthur Hills (MI) High made the one-hour drive to check out the Spartans, a main player in his recruitment. Davis is currently ranked as the No. 22 prospect in the country and the No. 5 shooting guard. He’s been a part of the USA Developmental Camp and is currently the top-ranked junior in the state of Michigan. A quick guard with a strong handle, Davis has received strong interest from big-time schools such as Kansas, Duke, Memphis, Missouri, Michigan, and a few other Big Ten schools. Even with the heavy interest, one could assume that Michigan State is the current leader. The recent game against the Buckeyes was not the first time Davis has been on campus and Tom Izzo also spent some time in the fall watching him. Another positive for the Spartans is that the most notable alumni at Arthur Hills is former Spartan star, Jason Richardson.
7. Washington Huskies and Rainier Beach
After a dominant showing at the Les Schwab Invitational in Portland, Oregon, over the holidays, Washington powerhouse Rainier Beach moved up to No. 6 in the MaxPreps high school rankings. The defending Washington state champs are led by future Louisville Cardinal Shaqquan Aaron (#34 – 2014), but now Lorenzo Romar has taken notice of all the talent right in his own backyard. After the Invitational, he reached out to three-star senior small forward Djuan Piper and three-star junior guard David Crisp to offer scholarships to both. The teammates were also in attendance for the Huskies’ home win on Wednesday night over Utah. Along with the two teammates, Romar had already offered four-star shooting guard Dejounte Murray (#80 – 2015) as well. The Huskies have struggled in landing five-star talent the last two years; however, they are now certainly looking to again keep the best local talent in Seattle.