Ranking the 2013 Big 12 Recruiting Classes as of Right Now

Posted by Nate Kotisso on October 24th, 2012

With the lull between Midnight Madness and the start of the season, there’s not a whole of compelling topics that need covering. So it only makes sense to rank how each Big 12 team is faring out on the recruiting trail. While getting some help from Verbalcommits.com, here’s how my league teams shake out among players in the class of 2013 as of right now.

As of Now, Wayne Selden is the Top Prospect Entering the Big 12 Next Year

10. Texas Tech

Commitments: None

Analysis: This was an easy one. Texas Tech isn’t exactly the hottest thing going right now. Forget top-flight recruits, but how are mid-level prospects going to want to go to Lubbock when they just fired the head coach after one season and currently have an interim who may also be gone after this year? If they’re going to get anyone, they’ll probably be players who committed and de-committed to a bunch of schools or players who’ll take a Red Raider scholarship because it sounds better than say, a Florida Gulf Coast scholarship.

9. Texas

Commitments: None

Analysis: Surprised? The reason I put the Horns here is because they don’t have any verbal commitments at the moment but when all is said and done, Texas will surely rack in some recruits of notoriety. Currently, they have two scholarships available for prospects including the top power forward in the class, Julius Randle, and a trio of four-star talents: Keith Frazier, BeeJay Anya and Brandon Austin. Methinks the Longhorns will be just fine.

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Legion of Doom: Figuring the All-Villain Teams For Selected Schools

Posted by rtmsf on September 26th, 2011

The ongoing NBA lockout is resulting in some unintended but interesting effects related to college basketball.  This offseason has already produced a handful of ‘alumni games,’ featuring former players of recent vintage, including some at two of the most storied programs in the sport, Kansas and Kentucky, in addition to last week’s Jimmer All-Stars at BYUSaturday night’s Legends of the Phog in Lawrence was a jam-packed extravaganza of KU hoops that ended in a 111-111 tie as Mario Chalmers nailed a trey at the buzzer (who else?).

You’ll recall that a team called the Kentucky Pros scrimmaged John Calipari‘s Dominican Republic team twice back in mid-August, losing twice in games at Rupp Arena and Yum! Center in exhibitions that sometimes resembled pick-up than organized basketball.  Still, both games were well attended (23k at Rupp, 15k at Yum) and with current professionals like Rajon Rondo, Jodie Meeks, Patrick Patterson and others sitting around these days rather than preparing for NBA training camps, WKYT-TV has reported that there are plans to send these and other former UK players on a barnstorming tour around the state against various “villains” from their collegiate days.

Who Represents the Legion of Doom For Your School?

We actually love this idea, if for no other reason than the potential crowd reactions to some of the villains, reported as “Kemba Walker, Rudy Gay, Tyler Hansbrough, Nolan Smith, Eric Gordon, Terrence Williams, Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried and Shelvin Mack.”  For Kentucky fans from Pikeville to Murray, there’s some serious villain juice here.  Hansbrough was a Tubby Smith recruiting flash point; Gordon and Williams played for hated Indiana and Louisville teams; Noah was the most despised SEC player of the last decade.

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The RTC Interview Series: One on One with Dave Telep

Posted by rtmsf on October 29th, 2010

Rush The Court is back with another edition of One on One: An Interview Series, which we will bring you periodically throughout the year. If you have any specific interview requests or want us to interview you, shoot us an email at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Scouting high school basketball players is a task that probably ranks just above weather prediction and winning trifectas at the track in terms of its certainty, but there are several folks out there who are among the best in the profession.  Dave Telep, former National Recruiting Director for Scout.com and current Senior Basketball Recruiting Analyst for ESPN, is one of those guys.  As a young college graduate in the mid-90s, he helped launch PrepStars before quickly rising up the ladder and developing his name at both Rivals and Scout, two of the pre-eminent recruiting services in existence today.  In the intervening decade, Telep built a sterling reputation for his workhorse approach to scouting, going from game to game in state after state to see players with his own eyes so as to fairly evaluate them.  He also founded Dave Telep’s Carolina Challenge in 2007, a one-day camp for 80 hand-picked North Carolina high school players in who want to learn what it takes to become a top college basketball player.  Some of the recruits who have attended this camp have been Duke’s Mason Plumlee and former Kentucky star John Wall.  The recruiting aficianado was in fact driving to a game in Virginia at the time of this interview — he never stops moving when there are players to be evaluated.  You can find Telep on both Facebook and Twitter — we’d recommend you friend/follow him to stay on top of all of the latest recruiting and scouting news.

Telep is a Scouting Mastermind

Rush the Court: Let’s start with the most newsworthy item in your life right now, the move from Scout.com to ESPN. Can you tell us a little bit about how this all came about and what the plan is for the immediate future there?

Dave Telep: Yeah, you know, I could not be more thankful and more grateful for the nine years I spent with Scout.com and Fox. My contract came up for renewal this summer and ESPN presented a really unique opportunity to do some things in the recruiting world on a bunch of different media platforms. It’s something where, to be honest, I’ve always wanted to work for ESPN. When I realized that I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete around the age of twelve, I realized one of the things I wanted to do with my life was to eventually work for ESPN. It’s really been a fun time for me and my family, and we’re having a great time with it. We have such a really neat team of guys there from the scouts to the guys who operate the database, that it’s really exciting to have so much support of a bunch of guys who are really woven into the fabric of college basketball. It’s awesome!

RTC: To many in this business, getting the call from ESPN is a dream come true. Is this the Dave Telep equivalent of seeing your name at the top of a recruiting list?

DT: The cool thing for me as the father of two boys is that I can someday look at those guys and say “if there’s something in your life that you really want to do, and you have the ability to, through hard work and luck and people helping you out, you can make that happen.” That’s been the neat thing for me with ESPN so far, just sharing and talking about it with my parents. You set these goals when you’re younger, and to see one of them come to fruition on a personal level is really cool. It’s not just a job for me. This is something I’ve always kinda had my eye on. I never knew what I would ever do at ESPN someday; I just knew that I always wanted to be around people who were excellent in their field. I knew from a young age that I would love to do that someday. This is definitely a dream come true for me.

RTC: Let’s move into some scouting questions.  Everyone has predictions from their career they’re proud of and a few they’re not quite as ready to shout from the hilltops. What are some of your most notable ones both ways?

DT: Great question. I was very excited the first time I saw Chris Paul, and I was happy to be one of the first people who spearheaded that charge. That worked out really well for me. You know, recently a couple of years ago we had DeJuan Blair in the top twenty, and the reason why I ranked Blair in the top twenty was because six or seven years before that I totally whiffed on Emeka Okafor by ranking him in the 80s. I was bound and determined that if a guy averaged as many rebounds as Blair did to not make the same mistake that we made with Okafor. I screwed up with Okafor but I’d like to think I learned something from it. Some others – I’ll never forget the day I saw Adam Morrison go for 30+ in a packed gym in Las Vegas, and I totally whiffed on that one. I learned a lot from the evaluation of Stephen Curry. I watched him all through high school. I evaluated him as a low-major player, a mid-major player, and at the end of his HS career, I rated him the highest level mid-major player possible. But if I could have stuck him into the top 100, that would probably be one of my bigger regrets in not doing so. My real job is to learn from all these mistakes and try to avoid them [in the future]. You see a situation like Emeka Okafor – he averaged 18-19 RPG in high school – that is a freaky number, to be frank. Then to see Blair come around and be that same kind of a rebounding force… they’re two different players, but although we screwed up Okafor it taught me a little more on the back end with Blair. When you see a guy with such a freakish skill set and such a knack for doing something extraordinary, your radar definitely goes up.

Telep Was Onto Chris Paul Before Anybody Else

RTC: You’ve talked in the past about ‘balancing potential with production’ when evaluating prospects. Which is harder – figuring out where a prospect can top out or figuring out where he will top out?

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Morning Five: 08.25.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 25th, 2010

  1. Despite a unanimous (16-0) vote by league coaches to dump the double-bye format for the four top seeds, the Big East decided yesterday to not make the change to the Big East Tournament as league officials and ADs felt uncomfortable with the change for a number of reasons including financial and logistical  considerations.   Last year three of the four double-bye teams (Syracuse, Villanova and Pittsburgh) lost their initial tournament games, so coaches were pushing for a traditional sixteen-team bracket in part so that they can load up on some easy wins prior to playing the tougher teams in the later rounds, and in part so that everyone could plan on the same start date.  Won’t happen, at least not this coming year.
  2. Gary Parrish has a good read on former summer basketball camp organizer Sonny Vaccaro, the Godfather of AAU basketball, who has been out of the game the last three summers but apparently has the pieces in place to make another run at world domination of elite schoolboy prospects, just like the good old days.
  3. We mentioned last week the possibility that class of 2011 top twenty prospect DeAndre Daniels may attempt to move up his entrance into college by a year, Scottie Wilbekin-style, but he has made the decision to attend prep school next year and will graduate with his class.  He originally committed to Texas, but has re-opened his recruitment, with Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Tennessee and the Longhorns on his current list.
  4. We found this interesting nugget in an article about something completely different (Jenn Brown’s possible beer ad career), but did you know that the average age of ESPN’s college basketball-watching audience is 48 (!!!) years old?!?!?  For some reason, this is a lot higher than the NBA audience (39), and a year older than that of college football (47).  For some reason, we’re stunned by this — maybe we’ve just been deluded by the much-younger internet audience, but wow.
  5. We hope to have a post on this up later today, but both Scout and Rivals have updated their post-summer recruiting rankings.  Their previous lists both had 6’6 wing Michael Gilchrist from Elizabeth, NJ, as the top player in the class of 2011, but both services have downgraded him coming out of the summer as a result of concerns over his shooting touch.  The new #1s?  Austin Rivers (Rivals) and Anthony Davis (Scout).  Let the debates commence.
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10.08.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on October 8th, 2009

Like the first trickles of a flash flood, the verbal barrage about our beloved sport really started picking up this week.  There’s a lot more previewing, interviewing, writing, talking and salivating going on around the college hoops blogosphere.  Let’s take a look at some of the items that are catching our interest…

  • Dissecting Duke’s Recruiting.  Gary Parrish wrote an interesting article last week about Duke’s recruiting over the past five seasons and we had to comment on it because it fairly accurately depicts what the substantive problem with Duke has been in the postseason (i.e., away from CIS).  We’re on record as saying that Duke hasn’t had a true game-changing stud since Luol Deng graced the gothic campus with his presence for one season in 2003-04.  This is not to say that Duke has been without very good players during that time.  Shelden Williams, JJ Redick and Gerald Henderson all come to mind as great collegians.  But none of those players, and certainly none of the laundry list that Parrish mentions as some of K’s other ‘top’ recruits (McBob, Singler, etc.), are the kinds of elite NBA-level talent that gets teams through the regionals and into the Final Four.  There are of course notable exceptions (George Mason in 2006 is the most obvious), but this is Duke, and Duke is always taking a team’s best shot.  They’re going to be very well coached, but Coach K and his staff know that well-coached moderate talent will lose out to elite talent more often than not.  This is why when Parrish says that Duke needs to secure commitments from Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving in order to compete with UNC, Kansas and now Kentucky on the national stage again, he’s right.  The Jon Scheyers of the world are great to have on your team, and will win you a lot of games over four years; but they’re not the players who can carry a team through rough spots en route to the Final Four.  If you don’t believe us, check out who was the MOP of the 2004 Atlanta Regional, leading the team in scoring in both regional games and literally saving the team on more than one occasion with clutch buckets (hint: it wasn’t the more celebrated upperclassmen).    Box scores here and here.  If Duke is serious about getting back to the big stage again before Coach K retires, he needs players like Barnes and Irving to get it done.  Fundamentally, Duke fans probably realize this, which is why each of these visits makes for tense moments in Durham.
  • Midnight Madness.  So we’re only eight days away from the start of basketball practice, and thankfully the NCAA closed the loophole that meant we were having these things all month of October, like last year.  But ESPNU will be back with coverage from 9pm to 1am EDT next Friday, with a simulcast from 8:30-9pm EST on ESPN.  There will be coverage from nine schools this year, including Kansas’ Late Night in the Phog, Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness, UNC’s Late Night With Roy, and several others (Michigan St., Duke, Washington, Georgetown, UConn and North Dakota St.).  RTC will hopefully provide live coverage in some fashion, but we’re still working out what that will be.  Make sure to check back early next week for more details. 
  • Prodigious Previews, Batman.  From Goodman, the Big Ten, the SEC, the ACC and Big East.  From Parrish, his final Top 25 (and 1) and his preseason all-americans.  Some players getting early-season pub are Gani Lawal, Isaiah Thomas, Alex Stepheson, Lance Stephenson, and the entire Mississippi St. frontline.  Mike DeCourcy answers five questions about his season preview.   
  • Quick Hits.  Patrick Patterson: his junior year at UK will be his last.  Kevin Laue:  great to see things working out for him at Manhattan (RTC flashback).  Contract Extensions: Ed DeChellis at Penn St. and Louis Orr at Bowling Green (Parrish calls BS on these).  Zach Spiker: the new head Cadet at Army.  James Keefe: UCLA F injured shoulder, out 4-6 weeks.  Len Elmore: has UNC, Michigan St., Kansas and Michigan in his F4BinghamtonNancy Zimpher was listening to us after allCAA: silver anniversary teamSeth Davis: an interesting read on overworked college officialsChris Taft: remember himRivals Team Recruiting Rankings: early list for 2010 is out

 

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03.05.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009

Just another night of highly ranked teams playing as if they don’t want to be a high seed. However, I am always on top of my game and I bring 110% to the Fast Breaks everyday. So sit back, relax, and let me do the work for you.

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09.21.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 21st, 2007

21 days to Midnight Madness, folks.

  • Roy’s 05 studs may end up costing him a recruit. 
  • UK’s Joe Crawford got his knee scoped, but is expected to be ready for the season.
  • Arizona doesn’t plan on having McKale Madness this year.
  • Gonzaga plays hard teams.  Now you too can understand how they run their flex offense
  • Katz puts forth an informative article – he rates the top 10 teams’ nonconference schedules (not to be confused as the top 10 nonconference schedules)
  • Rivals projects how ten new coaches will fare this year.
  • Some folks think Florida’s Mareese Speights will become a beast. 
  • Hoopwise interviews the head coach of the Gonzaga of the East (S. Illinois), Chris Lowery
  • Coach Cal is looking for the next Yi Jianlian
  • Seth Davis points out that the recruiting world didn’t end with the text messaging ban in effect. 
  • What kind of sports blogger are we?  Thinking #9, #8, and #3 on this list.  Mmm… link whore. 
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09.19.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 19th, 2007

Aside from Bruce Pearl’s newly-freed, um, pearls, what else is going on this week?

  • From the we-don’t-see-this-often file, Memphis’s home newspaper called out Tiger star and smack-ophist Joey Dorsey for being a piece of oversized dung troublemaker who deserves expulsion from the team.
  • Speaking of trouble, former Oklahoma State all-american Byron Houston was sentenced to four years in prison for violating probation based on a public nudity charge.  Memo to Byron: please stay away from railroad tracks.    
  • Rivals makes a pair of arguments that the Big 10 or the ACC will be the worst major conference this year.  Our vote, just like last year:  Big 10. 
  • Tim Donaghy’s employer waxes poetic on the dangers of gambling to UNC athletes, while simultaneously casing the damage to Psycho T’s nose from Gerald Henderson’s errant ‘bow
  • A former Bruin riffs on his coach Steve Lavin’s wedding that he didn’t get to attend
  • Tony Mejia at cbssportsline.com came up with a list of top NBA players by school attended, and we found it fairly cool. 
  • Goodman talks about Arizona’s offseason (Chase Budinger got stronger), while Parrish confirms that UK fans are indeed nuts (lining up 3 days early for Midnight Madness tix). 
  • Finally, Norman Chad takes our fun, stomps on it, and renders it immature, selfish and otherwise useless. 
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09.11.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 11th, 2007

We’re so far behind in news that this is a must-post…

  • Huckleberry Hound Roy Williams and the entire 1966 Texas Western squad were the collegiate candidates inducted into the Basketball HOF on Friday.  No beef with the Glory Road fellas (although UK and Rupp’s ex post facto vilification is a story that still needs correcting), but has RW accomplished enough yet (five F4s, one title) to warrant inclusion?  Seems as if the committee jumped a little early on that one.
  • Come see the new inclusions in your town this fall, as the HOF is making a 30-city tour around the country over the next year.  The spokesperson of the tour is the Human Highlight Film himself. 
  • Stability in the Northeast – BC’s Al Skinner and Holy Cross’s Ralph Willard both had their contracts extended through 2013. 
  • Calipari mobilizes the entire city of Memphis to watch his players, who apparently cannot be trusted out on their own without inciting a freakin’ riot.  We knew before it even came out that The Mouth of the South, Joey Dorsey, would somehow be involved in this.  Make it rain, Joey.     
  • Not to be outdone, Mike Davis’s transfers at UAB decided to party without him, and all five were arrested on various charges.  The most disturbing in our eyes?  Walter Sharpe’s outstanding warrant for his arrest on a prior marijuana charge.  Not only did he already have a prior, but he didn’t even show up for the hearing?  And Davis didn’t know about this??  Now we know why IU fans wanted him gone.
  • Oh, and former Terp star and NCAA Champion Lonny Baxter has an unhealthy interest in firearms likes guns. 
  • From a while back, ESPN believes that nearly a third of D1 teams are eligible to become Bracket Busters.  (h/t to Awful Announcing)
  • Louisville’s new arena (due in 2010) is already bidding for future NCAA Tournament games.  Possible beneficiaries:  Kentucky, Indiana, Cincinnati, Xavier.   
  • Rivals weighs in with Alabama, Villanova, Illinois and others’ Labor Day weekend trips.  (takeaways:  Bama will struggle w/o Steele and Scottie Reynolds was on fire
  • Andy Katz also contributes with reports (here and here) of his trip to Mexico with OJ Mayo and USC.  (takeaway: OJ is the real deal)  
  • Goodman also has some summer excursion thoughts on Oklahoma, Duquesne, USC and Arkansas here; and Villanova, Marquette and James Madison here
  • Apparently Ohio St.’s Kosta Koufos was offered but did not take a Christian Drejer deal in Greece last week. 
  • Blue Ribbon’s preseason All-Americans are out – Drew Neitzel, Chris Lofton, Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough and Dominic James.  We’re lukewarm on Neitzel as a first-teamer. 
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08.17.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on August 17th, 2007

Nothing like 100-degree heat to make you think college hoops, right: 

  • Our future Prez (ca. 2016 unless some redneck jacks him first) was a baller!  Barack Obama starred at D3 Occidental College back in the day (highlights here – let’s hope his FT shooting acumen is not indicative of a lack of concentration under pressure)
  • FAMU head coach Mike Gillespie was fired for stalking his ex-girlfriend – and yes, because you wouldn’t need a girlfriend unless it were so, he is married. 
  • What the hell is going on at Ball St.?  Coach Ronny Thompson (son of JT2) resigned in July, leaving in his wake an athletic dept smeared by his cries of racism and unfairness (also leaving a 9-22 first year record on the table).  The two black Ws – Wilbon and Whitlock – chime in with conflicting viewpoints on the situation, and new head coach Billy Taylor (from Lehigh) is now left with a mess to clean up.  Why couldn’t David Letterman take care of this?   
  • The NCAA says no more Pembroke States and UC-Davises in D1 for four years. 
  • Al Skinner is getting a raise from BC.  He’d better sign that extension quickly because Tyrese Rice by himself probably can’t cash those checks in 2007-08.   
  • Im-ass is getting sued for slander by one of the “nappy-headed hos” at Rutgers.  The conservatorium is up in arms over this, but we’re not really following their logic – are they really saying that this woman (and her teammates) were not defamed by Imus’s comments?  Seriously?   
  • Celebrations ensue in Madison, Columbus and other places midwestern as the Big 10 Network released its 2008 hoops schedule.  We’ve already circled that Feb. 6 tilt between Minnesota and Northwestern on our iPhone. 
  • W4M: ISO orange-clad GOB who won’t be offended by mannish tendencies and spirited versions of Rocky Top.  Must be willing to be dominated in life and bedroom.  Appreciates the nuances and subtleties of women’s sports (read: boring and lame). 
  • ESPN invented a way to air OJ Mayo three times early in the season – create a new Tournament!  The Anaheim Classic features USC and a bunch of mid-majors.  Expect to see The Juice Deux on tv a LOT this upcoming season. 
  • We’ve never heard of an athletic department bailing out the academic side of the shop, but we’ve also never seen an athletic juggernaut like Florida either. 
  • Gary Parrish exposes the seamier side of recruiting in this article.  Wait, there’s a seamier side?  We thought the whole thing was slimy to begin with.
  • MMAS puts forth its summer thoughts in two detailed postings about (mostly) BCS teams, but there are some valuable insights here.  Btw, we agree about the Vols. 
  • The WWL has an interesting piece on how teams push the envelope with the rules to get an edge.   
  • Rivals is well under way with its Top 64 teams of 2007-08. 
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The West Side is the Best Side…

Posted by rtmsf on June 9th, 2007

2Pac

2Pac was right after all

Quite a bit was made last season of a renaissance in the quality of basketball in the Pac-10 conference, as it ended the season as a top three conference in both the RPI and Sagarin ratings in addition to earning a record six NCAA bids for the conference and enjoying the prestige as the only conference with multiple teams in the Elite Eight (Oregon and UCLA). There has always been a surplus of talent on the west coast, especially in the Seattle and SoCal areas, but it was largely characterized by players opting to play for an eastern school just as often as staying home to play for State U. This has been changing over the last five years, however, as new coaches such as Lorenzo Romar at Washington, Tim Floyd at USC, Tony Bennett at Wazzu and Ben Howland at UCLA have endeavored and succeeded in keeping as many of those talents as possible close to home. This is no more evident than in some of the recruiting wars over the last couple of years that resulted in top ten players such as Spencer Hawes (Washington), twins Brook & Robin Lopez (Stanford), Kevin Love (UCLA) and Brandon Jennings (Arizona) signing to play in the Pac-10 (notable exception: Lake Oswego’s (OR) Kyle Singler to Duke).

Steve Lavin

Lavin’s former conference is on the rise

Still, we were a little surprised when Rivals released its top ten players at each position for the 2007-08 season, and the Pac-10 claimed by far the most players, with thirteen of the top fifty. This is especially remarkable given that the league is losing all-conference performers Arron Afflalo (UCLA), Aaron Brooks (Oregon), Marcus Williams (Arizona) and Nick Young (USC) to the NBA next season, while it welcomes likely top fifty players Kevin Love and OJ Mayo (USC) to the league. With talent like this staying on the west coast, we should expect another great season from the Pac-10 conference next year. Somewhere Steve Lavin’s hair gel is celebrating.

The ACC and Big East have seven players each on the list; the SEC has six, and the the Big 12 has five of the top fifty players. The Mountain West and Conference USA both have three of the top fifty, outperforming the Big 10 (again), who only has two. The Colonial (Eric Maynor – VCU), Horizon (AJ Graves – Butler), Missouri Valley (Randal Falker – S. Illinois) and Southern (Stephen Curry – Davidson) conferences each have one top fifty player returning. Below is the list including multiple-player conferences:

Rivals 2007-08 Top 50 Players

You probably noticed that we shaded the teams with three top fifty players returning next season – Stanford, UCLA, UNC, Kansas. It’s certainly no coincidence that three of those will begin next year in the top five of the polls, and the fourth, Stanford, will probably be knocking on the door of the top ten.

Thoughts -

  • Where is all the Big Ten talent? Having less players on this list than CUSA and the Mountain West is cause for alarm, and helps to explain why only one Big Ten team played into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament last season. Where are the usual stables of talent at Michigan State and Illinois? Aside from the yeoman’s work that Matta is putting into recruting at OSU, the rest of the Big Ten has signed only two top thirty prospects during the last three recruiting cycles – Joe Krabbenhoft of Wisconsin in 2005, and Eric Gordon of Indiana in 2007. An influx of coaching talent has entered the league (Tubby Smith at Minnesota and Kelvin Sampson at Indiana), but without the players to accompany those moves, the Big Ten is going nowhere fast.
  • Nitpicks. We probably would have found a place for the following players: Derrick Low (Washington St.), Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Jerel McNeal (Marquette), and Patrick Beverley (Arkansas). Expect each of these players to be all-conference performers in their respective leagues next season. We also have a sneaky feeling that guys like DaJuan Summers (Georgetown), Deon Thompson (UNC), Derrick Caracter (Louisville) and JaJuan Smith (Tennessee) will make a solid case to be on this list next season.
  • Surprises. NC State’s future looks bright with two young big men, Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley, returning for Sidney Lowe’s team. Alabama should be much improved next year as well, assuming Ronald Steele gets healthy (he was on many preseason all-american teams last year but struggled with tendinitis and ankle injuries that largely derailed Bama’s season). Apologies to the Mountain West, but who are Stuart Creason and Luke Nevill? Their inclusion on this list shows that the depth of talent at the center position in the college game is ridiculously thin.
  • Instant Impact Players in 2007-08. This list next season will be populated by the likes of OJ Mayo, Eric Gordon, Kevin Love, Michael Beasley (Kansas St.), Derrick Rose (Memphis) and Anthony Randolph (LSU).
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06.07.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on June 7th, 2007

  • Yes, you heard correctly.  The Hair (aka Quin Snyder) is now coaching in the NBDL for the Austin Toros.  No word on whether he’s brought out his master motivational techniques yet. 
  • Clemson’s James Mays withdrew his name from the NBA Draft.  He is exactly who the withdrawal rule was intended for – we’re glad to see it working. 
  • Shocker!  Going to class equals a better GPA for student-athletes?!!?  What will the good folks at Georgia think of next? 
  • According to Justin Young at Rivals, the Big East, led by Syracuse and Villanova, brought in the most talent this year, with seven of the top thirty recruiting classes of 2007.  The Pac-10, led by USC and Arizona, is second, enlisting five of the top thirty classes. 
  • The Orlando Sentinel has a clever take on the winners and losers of the Billy Donovan fiasco.   
  • Finally, we’re taking the Spurs in 5 over Cleveland.  The Witnesses will have to wait another couple of years. 

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