Sweet Seven Scoops: Dorsey Leaves Arizona, NBPA Top 100 Kicks Off, Another Package Deal?…Posted by Sean Moran on June 20th, 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 email@example.com.
1. Tyler Dorsey and Arizona Part Ways
This past January, Sean Miller and Arizona made waves by signing the top ranked shooting guard on the West Coast in Tyler Dorsey. At the time, the 6’4” Southern California native was ranked as a five-star recruit and the No. 10 prospect in the class of 2015. With the commitment, it appeared as though the Wildcats were continuing their run on the top talent in California. Then in May, the Wildcats signed another 6’5” guard from California, in Justin Simon (No. 14 – 2015). During this time, Dorsey’s stock began to slip in the spring AAU season despite averaging 17.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game playing alongside some of the top talent on the West Coast. As a result, he then dropped down to a four-star recruit and No. 24 in the rankings. Rumors have been circulating about Dorsey’s commitment for the last month as Miller appeared interested in several other shooting guard prospects, including five-star guard Allonzo Trier (No. 15 – 2015), who was just offered a scholarship.
What’s next for both parties? Well, the Wildcats still have Simon on board and are going after a trio of five-stars in Trier, Isaiah Briscoe (No. 16 – 2015), and Antonio Blakeney (No. 20 – 2015). With Miller an assistant coach on the USA U-18 team, both Trier and Briscoe made the 12-man roster while Dorsey didn’t survive the first cut. As for Dorsey, he was heavily pursued prior to his Arizona commitment and will be tracked heavily by Pac-12 schools during the July recruiting period.
2. Loaded NBPA Top 100 Camp Kicks Off
The NBPA Top 100 camp kicked off earlier this week in Charlottesville, Virginia. Some of the top players in the country are brought in (mostly upperclassmen) for a four-day camp that features scrimmages and instruction on the court and a fair amount of life advice from former players and guest speakers off the court. Last year, center Cheick Diallo (No. 5 – 2015) won the MVP award, while players such as Myles Turner (Texas) and Isaiah Whitehead displayed (Seton Hall) their five-star skills. Diallo is back in action, as are some of the big names to know going forward, such as Ben Simmons (No. 2 – 2015), Thon Maker (No. 3 – 2016), and DeAndre Ayton (2017), among many others. With no consensus regarding the top-ranked players in the class of 2015 some of the match-ups that take place over the next few days could go a long way to determining where players stand going forward. One match-up to pay attention to is the point guard battle that will take place on Friday night between Junior Smith of North Carolina (#25 – 2016) and Seventh Woods (#8 – 2016) from South Carolina.
3. Henry Ellenson Makes The Leap
During the first week of April, 6’10” Henry Ellenson out of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, looked a lot more trim and fit compared to previous viewings. The inside-outside threat is considered a four-star prospect and ranked No. 62 in the country. Already a superb ball-handler and decent outside shooter, his recent weight loss has provided Ellenson with the necessary burst to become one of the top big men in the country. He dazzled coaches in late April during the first Nike EYBL AAU session and continued to wow onlookers throughout May with his unique skill set. Previously, Ellenson was a well-known big man in the Midwest with schools such as Iowa State, Creighton, and Wisconsin interested in his services, but now he is nationally known. He was recently ranked No. 7 in the country by Scout and No. 5 by ESPN. To go along with previous Big Ten and Big 12 offers, Ellenson added ones from Duke, UNC, and UCLA. He finished the EYBL regular season averaging 18.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and now has the whole summer ahead to continue to impress.
4. Another Package Duo?
Last year the recruiting world wanted to know whether two of the top players in the country would team up in college. Sure enough, five-star center Jahlil Okafor and five-star point guard Tyus Jones simultaneously announced for Duke when it came time to select a college, as the duo had long ago formed a strong bond through the USA developmental program. Now, another five-star big man and elite scoring guard are talking about becoming a package deal despite drastic differences in geography. The No. 1 prospect in the class of 2015, 6’10” Diamond Stone hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while the No. 6 ranked player, 6’4” Malik Newman, is from Jackson, Mississippi. Both players roomed together last summer while playing for the USA U-16 team and have developed a strong friendship. The two have talked about playing together and several schools are strongly interested, including Kentucky, UConn, and Kansas. Stone put up dominant numbers on the Under Armour AAU circuit this past spring and Newman is the most prolific scorer in high school. Okafor and Jones were the hot topic last year, but a Stone/Newman package deal might even be more deadly.
5. Jaylen Brown: Dominant
A player who is 6’7” tall, strong as an ox, and almost impossible to stop off the dribble? Last year that was small forward Stanley Johnson. This year it’s Georgia native Jaylen Brown. The No. 4 ranked player in the country is a match-up nightmare for most opponents, but now he has added a jump shot. The knock on Brown used to be his perimeter shooting, or lack thereof, but during the spring AAU season, Brown shot 51.7 percent from the three-point line on the Adidas AAU circuit. He continued his hot play by becoming the leading scorer for Team USA at the Adidas Euro Camp in Treviso, Italy, and then went straight to Colorado Springs and earned a roster spot on the U-18 team. Brown has impressed college coaches and NBA scouts with his recent play and has a long list of suitors. Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State are in strong pursuit as are the two in-state schools of Georgia and Georgia Tech.
6. U-18 USA Team Selected
The USA U-18 team kicks off the 2014 FIBA Americas tournament in Colorado Springs against Uruguay today. Cuts were made last week to finalize a 12-man roster for head coach Billy Donovan, who led the U-19 team to a championship in Prague in 2013. The team features experience with four future college freshmen and eight rising high school seniors. Four players set to enter college next year were McDonald’s All-Americans, including Stanley Johnson, Myles Turner, Tyus Jones, and Justise Winslow. The rest of the team features a variety of traits. Five-star small forward Jaylen Brown (No. 4 – 2015) brings explosiveness, Allonzo Trier is the true scorer, Luke Kennard (No. 19 – 2015) is the outside shooter, and Stephen Zimmerman (No. 8 – 2015) is the 6’10” big man who can play inside and out.
7. Ivan Rabb Giving Thought To Going East?
Ivan Rabb is a 6’11” versatile big man from Oakland and the No. 3 ranked player in the class of 2015. This past spring he averaged 15.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game playing for the Oakland Soldiers AAU program. Resembling a young Chris Bosh, Rabb has plenty of suitors for his collegiate services. With all of the recent success that Sean Miller has had in recruiting the Soldiers AAU program (Nick Johnson, Brandon Ashley, Aaron Gordon, Stanley Johnson) it’s no wonder that the Wildcats will be tough to beat in his recruitment. While Miller is recruiting Rabb hard, so are several East Coast schools. UNC, Duke, and Georgetown all received an unofficial visit in mid-May after Rabb played in Hampton, Virginia, and both Georgetown and UNC have invested serious time in recruiting him despite the long distance. Now they are just hoping to receive an official visit come fall.