Pac-12 Weekly Five: 04.18.12 Edition

Posted by AMurawa on April 18th, 2012

  1. Last time we did a Morning Five, we still didn’t know for certain the future whereabouts of Shabazz Muhammad. A week later, we’re still processing some of the additional recruiting news that has come in. The biggest news since the Muhammad announcement last week has centered around the Washington program. While Lorenzo Romar hasn’t signed any high school seniors for the 2012 class, he did get a commitment from Perris Blackwell, a transfer from San Francisco who will have one year of remaining eligibility beginning in 2013. Blackwell was a fixture in the USF starting lineup over the past three seasons, averaging 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds last year. Romar, however, struck out in his bid to convince 2012 center Robert Upshaw to sign with the Huskies, as the former Kansas State recruit chose his hometown Fresno State program over UW. However, there may be good news on the distant horizon, as the top recruit from the class of 2013, Jabari Parker, has Washington on his very short list.
  2. Arizona found out last week that freshman point guard Josiah Turner would be transferring out of the program, leaving Sean Miller without an obvious choice at the point for 2012-13. In an attempt to shore up that weakness, the Wildcats got a commitment from 2012 point Jacob Hazzard, who will join the program as a preferred walk-on, leaving UA with an additional unfilled scholarship for next season. Hazzard, the grandson of former UCLA star Walt Hazzard, shot over 40% from deep as a high school senior, but would be a long shot to become a significant factor for the Wildcats next season.
  3. Speaking of UCLA, their monster recruiting class may get bumped up a notch on Friday when big man Tony Parker announces his plans for college. The Bruins are considered the heavy front-runner for the 6’9”, 280-pound center from Atlanta, but his home-state school, Georgia, is still in the mix, along with Kansas, Duke and Ohio State. Why is UCLA considered the favorite to land Parker? Among other things, his former AAU coach, Korey McCray, was hired last summer by the Bruins as an assistant coach and one of his teammates with that AAU team, the Atlanta Celtics, was Bruin commit Jordan Adams. Also of note for the Bruins this week was the announcement that their game with Texas next season will be played at Reliant Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. The game is a return engagement from the Bruin/Longhorn matchup this year that was played at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, and it is expected to be a part of a two-game doubleheader, the other game of which has yet to be determined.
  4. Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak has been scrambling to find new players for his program to up the talent level in Salt Lake City, but this week he actually went out of his way to turn away a player. Krystkowiak asked commit Josh Hearlihy to withdraw from the National Letter of Intent he signed last November. Hearlihy was under no requirement to do so, but given his concern about not being wanted, he granted Krystkowiak’s request. Hearlihy missed most of his senior season in high school with a medical condition and the Ute head coach was concerned about his ability to be healthy, so now Hearlihy has to reconsider his potential options with very little time to spare.
  5. Lastly, NBC Sports’ Eric Angevine asks the question, “is Oregon ready to contend in the Pac-12?” Aside from the fact that Oregon was already in contention in the Pac-12 last season, it’s an interesting question. At first glance, a team that loses three of its top four scorers should have no business contending in a conference that should be quite a bit tougher next year, but anytime Dana Altman is prowling the sidelines, that team should not be counted out. This is especially so when he’s got a strong four-man recruiting class coming in. Still, while we expect the Ducks to once again overachieve in 2012-13, the discussion at the top of the conference should begin and end with UCLA and Arizona, with Stanford and potentially Colorado the best bets for sleeper contention.
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Who’s Got Next? Top Uncommitted Prospects To Commit Soon…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 18th, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a bi-weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Twice 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 who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at


From an important commitment Monday to an important commitment today, we’re bringing you everything you’ve missed in the past week in the world of recruiting including new developments in a top ten prospect’s recruitment, the meteoric rise of a somewhat unknown recruit, more rankings being released, a challenge issued to two powerhouse programs on Tobacco Road, and how an ACC program’s recruiting class is falling apart.

What We Learned

Class of 2012 power forward Perry Ellis (#10) might stay in Wichita.

Wichita State Has a Realistic Shot at Perry Ellis. Class of 2012 power forward Perry Ellis (#10) has long had the same list of six schools (Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, and Wichita State) that’s he interested in, but lately, it seems as though there has been some movement as to who his favorite is. The latest shift involves Wichita State after they hired assistant coach Dana Ford, who has a longstanding relationship with the Ellis family. Ford has watched Ellis play since his first middle school game and even worked out with Ellis several years ago when Ford was a Shocker intern. The WSU coaching staff also met with Ellis and his family last Wednesday and emphasized how much they wanted to keep Perry in Wichita (Ellis attends Wichita Heights HS). Some other news involving Ellis includes the fact that Minnesota is now starting to recruit him and head coach Tubby Smith called him on the phone recently. A source very close to the situation also says that they suspect Kansas and Kentucky are two of the front-runners in Ellis’ recruitment.

Mitch McGary is Becoming a Top 2012 Talent. This time of year last year you probably didn’t know who class of 2012 power forward Mitch McGary was; well now he is one of the best players in his class. McGary has become significantly better in all parts of his game over the past 12 months and is a force to reckon with both inside and out. He is a tough, strong, big man to handle in the paint and has the ability to step out and score on the perimeter. However, the biggest reason he has received much more attention lately is because of his incessant motor and the fact that he has gotten his grades in order. Now that schools don’t have to worry about whether he will qualify or not, programs such as Duke, Kansas and Kentucky are in near-constant contact with him. He says that his recruitment is wide open and that he will likely wait until late in the process to make his decision. He also says location isn’t a factor in his choice. As of January, before top programs began taking notice of McGary, he had visited Purdue, Indiana, Illinois and Marquette.

Maryland’s Recruiting Class is Falling Apart. Many people wondered what would happen to Maryland’s recruiting class when the Terps found their new coach and whether their commitments would stay with Maryland or seek releases from their letters of intent; well now we know. The Terrapins have lost every recruit in its Class of 2011 after the university granted shooting guard Nick Faust (#38), point guard Sterling Gibbs and power forward Martin Breunig releases from their signed letters of intent. To make matters even worse, just days after his release was granted, Gibbs committed to the Texas Longhorns (read more about this in the “What You Missed” section below). However the Terps still have a shot at Faust, who is now the second highest rated uncommitted prospect and still likes Maryland (Check out the “What They’re Saying” section below to find out why), and Breunig, who visited Washington Monday night. Keep in mind Faust and Gibbs are good friends so Gibbs’ commitment to Texas might push Faust away from College Park. This coaching change is also affecting Maryland’s 2012 class since small forward Justin Anderson (#45) said Sunday in a text that he isn’t sure whether he will open his recruitment back up. On the brighter side of things for Terps fans, head coach Mark Turgeon picked up Class of 2012 shooting guard Seth Allen who is a prolific scorer and can get the ball in the basket from anywhere on the court.

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