Seven Sweet Scoops: Chase Jeter’s Official Visit, HoopHall Classic, Myles Turner and More…Posted by Sean Moran on January 17th, 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. Chase Jeter Sets First Official Visit
On Tuesday night, five-star power forward Chase Jeter announced that he will be making the trip to Duke on March 8 for his first official visit.
The No. 19 ranked prospect in the junior class (2015) is off to Durham for Duke’s senior night against UNC. The decision by Jeter to make Duke his first visit is a huge score for the Blue Devils. Not only does Coach K get the first visit from the 6’9” junior, but he also gets Jeter to make the coast to coast trip from his home state of Nevada. Heavily recruited by Pac-12 schools over the past year and a half, the Blue Devils started showing serious interest this past fall after several viewings during the July recruiting period. Jeter plays at Bishop Gorman (NV) High School and ended his first two years of high school with state championships in each year. As a freshman he was in the shadow of Shabazz Muhammad and as a sophomore it was his big man counterpart in Stephen Zimmerman (#3 – 2015) who garnered most of the attention. Despite the relative lack of attention, Jeter improved rapidly over the past year while putting in hard work in the weight room in order to achieve his goal of getting stronger. Now a junior, colleges such as UCLA, Michigan, Oregon, Louisville, Arizona, and North Carolina are showing strong interest in the up-and-coming Jeter, but it is Duke that nabbed the first visit.
2. HoopHall Classic Preview
The crown jewel of high school tournaments kicks off in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday featuring a plethora of five-star players and highly ranked teams. The first big match-up features Bishop O’ Connell (VA) vs. Rainier Beach (WA). O’Connell features high scoring Maryland commitment Romelo Trimble (#35 – 2014) and Rainier Beach features Louisville wing Shaqquan Aaron (#34 – 2014). The prime time game on Sunday features two prep powerhouses and a point guard delight when five-star Emmanuel Mudiay (#3 – 2014) squares off against four-star and Gonzaga commitment Josh Perkins (#25 – 2014). Come Monday, ESPNU will broadcast four games that will showcase UNC commitment Theo Pinson (#27 – 2014), the top ranked player in the country in Jahlil Okafor, and five-star prospect Stanley Johnson (#7 – 2014). The biggest game will feature man-child Cliff Alexander (#5 – 2014) against the top ranked team in the country in Montverde (FL) which features five-star junior Ben Simmons (#8 – 2015) and five-star guard D’Angelo Russell (#16 – 2014). Each year this tournament hosts the top players in the country and this year is certainly no different.
3. Myles Turner Taking His Time
A lot of programs could use a game-changing center who can run the floor, shoot the three, and bang down low. For Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas, this dream could become a reality next year. Seven-foot center Myles Turner is currently the No. 2 ranked player in the country behind Duke recruit Jahlil Okafor (#1 – 2014), and he enjoyed an Anthony Davis-like rise up the recruiting rankings this past summer. Right now the versatile center is focused on helping his high school team win a state championship and is doing his part by averaging almost 23 points, 15 rebounds, and eight blocks a game for Trinity (TX) High School. Before his senior season started, Turner took his first official visit to Ohio State but has been on an official visit hiatus for the past few months. Despite not taking any official visits, Turner did take a trip to Austin to see the Longhorns play Michigan State in December. According to Reggie Rankin of ESPN.com, Turner has one school in mind for a visit. “Oklahoma State will definitely be my next official visit. We are working on a date possibly in early February,” Turner said. “I will try to fill in visits between my game schedule.” Just like Davis, Turner has the chance to be a game-changer with his size and agility, and could put any of the schools mentioned above in the hunt for a national championship.
4. Luke Kennard Sets Plan to Decide
Five-star shooting guard Luke Kennard has been a hot commodity for the past few months. Well-known coaches such as Thad Matta, John Beilein, John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams and Coach K have all been to Franklin, Ohio, to watch the No. 15 ranked player in the junior class play this season. Routinely scoring more than 40 points per game, the 6’5” guard is ready to start taking official visits. In an interview with Scout.com, Luke’s father said “We are going to start looking at it because if Luke is going to try and get this done by May or June, then he’d like to take them and get it done with.” Unofficially Kennard has visited numerous schools over the past few years including a trip to Ohio State this past weekend. Kennard is a strong shooter with solid ball-handling skills and will be able to play both guard spots at the next level. Given the attention he is getting, Kennard will certainly make one famous coach extremely happy when it comes time to make a decision.
5. Flyin’ To The Hoop Preview
In Kettering, Ohio, some of the top teams from across the country will face off against some of the top teams in Ohio. The action on Friday night gets started with powerhouse Findlay Prep and their five-star players — Rashad Vaughn (#13 – 2014), Kelly Oubre (#6 – 2014), and Craig Victor (#17 – 2014) — taking on Wayne (OH). The next day, the game of the day takes place at night when the high scoring Kennard faces off against future Tar Heel and five-star forward Justin Jackson (#9 – 2014). Other big name players include Tyler Ulis (#29 – 2014) and some of the top players in Ohio include V.J. King (#9 – 2016) and three-star junior wing Esa Ahmad.
6. Minnesota Looking For In-State Talent
When Richard Pitino took over at Minnesota he had the “Big 3” of Tyus Jones (#4 – 2014), Rashad Vaughn, and Reid Travis (#40 – 2014) right in his own backyard. While it was highly unlikely that these well-known recruits would end up as Gophers, Pitino still put time and energy into protecting his home turf. In his first recruiting class, the Gophers landed out-of-state three-star point guard Nate Mason and three-star power forward Josh Martin from the state of Washington. In 2015, however, Pitino is going hard after four-star point guard Jarvis Johnson. Last summer, Johnson, the No. 69 ranked player in the class of 2015 played behind Jones on the AAU circuit but showed off his elite athleticism when he did see the court. The high-rising guard is currently receiving interest from Iowa State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Memphis, among others. For Pitino to succeed in Minneapolis he will have to create a program that protects its in-state talent and Johnson could be one of the players to help jump start the program.
7. Roy Williams Looking for Talent
Back in October, Roy Williams made a trip out west to see senior guard Rashad Vaughn and junior big men Ivan Rabb (#4 – 2014), Stephen Zimmerman (#3 – 2014), and Chase Jeter. With the Tar Heels falling to an unlikely 0-3 to start the ACC and sitting close to dead last in three point shooting percentage nationally (#304), Williams was back out west paying another visit to these same players this week. The Tar Heels are looking to add a shooter in Vaughn to close out their 2014 class, along with an elite big man in the 2015 class.