Seven Sweet Scoops: Duke and Florida Going All Out For Recruits On Saturday, Arizona Adding 7’1″ Dusan Ristic?Posted by Sean Moran on March 7th, 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. Big Saturday Night in Durham
In the last weekend of regular season hoops, Durham, North Carolina, will be the center of attention on Saturday night. Between a visit from archrival UNC, Senior Night festivities, and ESPN Gameday in attendance, there will be quite the buzz going on in Cameron Indoor Stadium. In order to take advantage of the big night, Duke has invited a plethora of big name recruits and top targets to campus. The biggest name on the list is five-star center Myles Turner. The 7’0” center is the top unsigned target in the 2014 class and the No. 2 prospect overall, and the Blue Devils are trying to add him to their already No. 1 ranked recruiting class. From the junior class, five-star power forward Chase Jeter (#18 – 2015) will make his official visit, as will five-star guard Luke Kennard (#14 – 2015). In addition, Coach K will have several players on campus for unofficial visits, including top sophomore Harry Giles, five-star wing Josh Langford (#15 – 2016), and four-star point guard Junior Smith (#26 – 2016). Several of the players noted above, including Jeter, Kennard, Giles, and Smith, are also considering North Carolina. With a win, the Blue Devils will look to continue their recruiting momentum with more five-star signatures. A loss, however, could certainly be devastating. Last year, UNC was in the exact same spot and brought Andrew Wiggins and five-star shooting guard Rashad Vaughn (#13 – 2014) to Chapel Hill. Duke jumped out to a 15-0 lead and the recruits quickly lost interest in the game they were brought in to see.
2. Florida Celebrates SEC Championship
Florida has the SEC Championship locked up, but they will be looking to end the season with an 18-0 conference record. Going against rival Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, Billy Donovan is bringing in his 2014 commitments along with plenty of other recruits for 2015 and 2016. While not on the level of Duke’s haul, Florida will play host to 11 players in total. Four-star Devin Robinson (#24 – 2014), Chris Chiozza (#44 – 2014), and Brandone Francis (#37 – 2014) will all be suiting up for the Gators next year, and they will be joined by a pair of four-stars who are receiving strong interest from the Gators. Guard Antonio Blakeney is one of the Gator biggest targets in the class, ranked No. 39 in the country. He will be joined by 6’3” four-star guard Austin Grandstaff (#47 – 2015), who recently de-committed from Oklahoma State, and 6’8” Noah Dickerson (#49 – 2015). Alonzo Mourning’s son, Trey, will also be in attendance, as will four-star wing KeVaughn Allen (#84 – 2015) while on an official visit. The Gators will be celebrating their regular season accomplishments and will try to impress a few more players who will help them continue the tradition.
3. Serbian Seven-Footer Selecting Arizona On Saturday?
Big man Dusan Ristic is set to announce his college choice on Saturday afternoon, one week after taking a visit to Tucson in order to watch the Arizona Wildcats clinch the Pac-12 regular season championship. Ristic came from overseas to the U.S. in January and currently plays for Sunrise Christian Academy (KS), which also features Lourawls Nairn, the speedy future point guard of Michigan State. Wildcats associate head coach Joe Pasternack recruited Ristic while he was still in Serbia and the center is expected to announce for Arizona tomorrow. The Wildcats currently have sophomores Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley in their frontcourt and both are expected to be back for their junior years. They also currently have the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the country, highlighted by five-star small forward Stanley Johnson.
4. Louisville Adds Another Big Man
Seven-foot center Anas Osama Mahmoud came to the U.S. in the fall and quickly became a hot commodity. The Egyptian native committed to Louisville on Monday after taking official visits to Georgia Tech, Minnesota, and Louisville. While new to the country, Osama Mahmoud is not new to the game. His high school coach told Scout.com, “I’ve never had a big as skilled as this kid. He blocks shots and passes. His basketball IQ is off the charts.” The recruiting staff at ESPN currently has him slated as a four-star prospect and ranked No. 69 in the country. With the recruit, Rick Pitino adds to an already top-10 recruiting class which consists of four-star point guard Quentin Snider (#32 – 2014), four-star small forward Shaqquan Aaron (#34 – 2014) and a host of big men including Chinanu Onuaku (#69 – 2014), Jaylen Johnson (#62 – 2014), and Matz Stockman. With the possible loss of Montrezl Harrell to the NBA, Pitino has made sure to keep his cupboard full of big men. Osama Mahmoud currently plays for Orlando (FL) West Oaks Academy, and his guardian is a former Louisville alumnus.
5. The Next Bibby
Time certainly flies. After recently retiring from the NBA, Mike Bibby is now watching his son, Mike Bibby, Jr., follow in his footsteps. Recently, the 5’11” sophomore point guard led Shadow Mountain (AZ) to a Division II State Championship. The youngest Bibby scored 27 points in a championship victory almost 18 years to the day after his father won a state championship for Shadow Mountain in 1996. Bibby Jr. finished the year averaging approximately 19 points and eight assists a game and currently holds offers from Memphis and USC. Could he be waiting for that Arizona offer to follow in his old man’s footsteps?
6. Henry Ellenson Receives a New Visitor
Four-star power forward Henry Ellenson is a key recruit in the Midwest with schools from the Big Ten, Big East, and Big 12 all making visits to Rice Lake (WI) High School. The 6’10” four-star junior is known for his ball-handling and shooting abilities, but can also bang down low given his 250-pound frame. Creighton and Marquette have shown the most interest, to go along with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa State, and others. On Wednesday, a school from the east coast made a visit, as UNC’s Roy Williams stopped by to check out the junior. While Ellenson had mentioned interest from North Carolina in the past, there seemed to be only tepid interest in that direction. Ellenson plans to take five official visits in the fall, which means that the strong shooting big man will be a popular figure come the live spring and summer recruiting sessions.
7. Georgetown Working Hard For Trier
Georgetown has one of the top scoring guards right in its backyard and the Hoyas are working hard to land 6’4” guard Allonzo Trier. The No. 20 ranked junior in the country plays for Montrose Christian (MD) and has a lengthy list of suitors from all parts of the country. Trier is from the Pacific Northwest but just transferred from Oklahoma where he spent his first two years of high school in Tulsa. On Tuesday night, Trier took in a game at the Verizon Center and witnessed an upset of Creighton. The Hoyas already have four-star power forward Marcus Derrickson (#61 – 2015) committed and are looking for a high scoring wing to fit into the Princeton offense.