Who’s Got Next? Britt Chooses Carolina, Jones To Duke And More…Posted by Josh Paunil on November 30th, 2011
Who’s Got Next? is a 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. Once 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 at the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing or different things you’d like to see, please let us know at email@example.com.
Lead Story: Britt Chooses Carolina, Gives Tar Heels Top Two Committed Juniors
Roy Williams Out To Early Lead In Class of 2013. With junior point guard Nate Britt‘s selection of North Carolina last night, head coach Roy Williams has now received commitments from the top two signed prospects in the Class of 2013 — the other being power forward Isaiah Hicks. Britt has dreamed of being a Tar Heel since the age of 11 and will form a nightmare backcourt with Class of 2012 point guard Marcus Paige (North Carolina) when the two are put together. North Carolina is in great shape at the point guard position over the next few years thanks to the duo of Paige and Britt and won’t suffer a large drop-off after sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall leaves. Britt is such a valuable prospect because of his outstanding ability to score in the mid-range, knock down perimeter shots, and his consistency in getting into the lane. He’s an intelligent player who can finish well around the bucket with both hands. Britt is also a great passer and does a good job of controlling the pace of the game. A couple of other top juniors North Carolina is going after includes small forward Troy Williams and power forward Julius Randle. The Tar Heels have a good shot with Randle, although they aren’t the favorite — that would be Kentucky.
What They’re Saying
- Junior Matt Jones on selecting Duke: “It’s the way they play and [head] coach [Mike] Krzyzewski, everybody respects him and what they stand for with academics on and off the court. They can get me to the next level as a person and a man and as a player to continue to improve my game.”
- Junior Julius Randle on how Matt Jones’ commitment affects him: “I have to do what’s best for me and find the best fit. I know Matt pretty well and I don’t think he’s going to put pressure on me. He’ll tell me that if I don’t go to Duke he’ll love me either way.”
- Junior Nate Britt on committing to North Carolina: “It was like a dream come true that I could have the opportunity to go there. From that point on it was about me looking at the school and making sure it was the right fit for me.”
- Sophomore stud Cliff Alexander on his previous visit to Michigan State: “I loved it. I loved it up there. I like [head coach Tom] Izzo a lot. I like the players. They got a great basketball program. I loved it.”
- Senior star Shabazz Muhammad on UNLV’s upset over UNC: “I don’t view them (UNLV) differently.”
- Latonia Smith, junior Chris Thomas‘ grandmother, on why Thomas likes the Musketeers: “He really likes Xavier because the assistant coach, Rasheen Davis. He really likes the way Rasheen communicates with him and encourages him and is always in his corner, so he really likes that about him.” On why he likes the Wildcats: “He likes Kentucky because Kentucky is Kentucky. [He likes] how the guards run the court and the basketball program as a whole.” On why he likes Florida: “I think the reason why he’s really liking Florida right now is because he’s seen the team play, he likes the way that they run the floor.”
What You Missed
Blue Devils Nab First 2013 Prospect. Class of 2013 shooting guard Matt Jones selected Duke Monday, giving head coach Mike Krzyzewski his first junior commitment. Jones is the prototypical Duke guard between his big-time scoring ability, excellent three-point range and elite catch-and-shoot skills. He’s the type of scorer who can make an impact on the offensive end from the moment he steps on campus. However, despite the fact that Jones is an outstanding prospect, one can’t help but wonder and focus on how much this helps the Blue Devils with Jones’ AAU teammate and friend Class of 2013 power forward Julius Randle, one of the best players in the country. It doesn’t seem like it will affect his recruitment very much if any at all but it certainly won’t hurt the Blue Devils. In addition to Randle, Duke is also going hard after the best player in the Class of 2013, small forward Jabari Parker, who is considering the Blue Devils along with Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State and Washington, among others.
ESPN Says Likely No Change To ‘One-and-Done’ Rule. According to an ESPN report today, the ‘one-and-done’ rule likely won’t be changed in the next two years and it may not be changed even after that for as long as the deal lasts. This comes as great news to fans of programs like Duke and Kentucky who sometimes have players that come in for a year and make an impact who would have otherwise skipped college and gone straight to the NBA. It was widely expected that the NBA would get rid of the 19-year-old age requirement and change it to 20 but ESPN’s sources say that one thing working against the possible change is the lack of time to “thrash out B-list issues.” As the facts become clearer and more information comes out regarding the one-and-done rule we’ll be able to see and discuss the impact it will have.
What We Learned
Sophomore Stud Leaning Towards Spartans. Class of 2014 power forward Cliff Alexander said he was a Michigan State lean last week according to Evan Flood of Badger247. Alexander’s recruitment really took off after his spectacular summer this year (which we wrote about in April) and he now has offers from prestigious programs such as Connecticut, Kansas and Ohio State. The 6’9″, 240-pound sophomore is a tremendous rebounder and shot-blocker and is a game-changer on the defensive end. He has great length and good strength as well. Alexander has a high ceiling in part due to his potential on the offensive end. He showed throughout the summer that he could make hook shots but he needs to improve his consistency and become a better interior scorer. He also has displayed good hands and the ability to finish through contact.
Everything Is Fine At Syracuse. Despite the ongoing investigation into former assistant coach Bernie Fine, Syracuse has not been adversely affected yet with their current commitments, although as time goes on and more facts come out that may change. Class of 2012 center DaJuan Coleman, head coach Jim Boeheim‘s prized recruit, says he is still waiting to learn more information and then he will decide whether he’s going to keep his commitment. However, the Orange’s other senior commit small forward Jerami Grant is sticking with Syracuse after signing a national letter of intent a couple of weeks ago. The allegations also don’t hurt Boeheim’s chances with Class of 2013 star center Nerlens Noel and Class of 2014 elite shooting guard Wayne Selden. The Isaiah Whitehead mess seems to have been cleared up as well and the Class of 2014 shooting guard is still showing interest in Syracuse.
Video of the Week
With holiday cheer starting to spread, we figured we’d give you the gift of Class of 2012 small forward Shaquille Johnson (Auburn). If he already has a top ten dunks video after two games, just wait until the season is over.