Who’s Got Next? Top 75 Guard Monte Morris Chooses Iowa State, Zach LaVine To UCLAPosted by Josh Paunil on June 29th, 2012
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 are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lead Story: Class of 2013 Point Guard Monte Morris Commits To Iowa State
Point Guard Gives Cyclones Second Top 100 Guard in Class of 2013. The only person who may have enjoyed Class of 2013 point guard Monte Morris‘ 17th birthday Wednesday more than the Michigan native is Fred Hoiberg as the four-star floor general committed to Iowa State. Morris is Iowa State’s second top 100 guard commitment in the Class of 2013, joining shooting guard Matt Thomas. Morris spurned offers from the likes of Indiana, Georgia Tech and USC to play at a less prestigious school although the Cyclones’ national profile has been improving because of Royce White (who in RTC’s NBA Draft Profile projects as a late first round pick) and Hoiberg’s success in the Class of 2012 with power forward Georges Niang (#52) signing. Morris is a big-time pick-up because of his ability to create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates. He is a smooth floor general with a good basketball-IQ and pretty good range beyond the three-point line. He has been improving his mid-range game as well but Hoiberg is turning Iowa State into a legitimate player for top 100 prospects year in and year out.
What They’re Saying
- Senior Greg McClinton on deciding on Wake Forest: “I grew up a Wake kid and it has always been a dream of mine to play there. It is always great to be in front of friends and family and play close to home.”
- Senior stud Zach LaVine on choosing UCLA: “All my family is from UCLA. California is home away from home for me. My dad’s favorite school. They’ve always been my favorite. I’ve been on a bunch of visits, they’ve seen me play 10, 15 times, and it seems like the right idea.”
- Senior star Solomon Poole on picking the Yellow Jackets: “First of all, I picked Georgia Tech because I think [the] ACC is the best conference for basketball. Also, my brother [Stacey Poole] is there. The program has a tradition of point guards going into the league, guys like Stephon Marbury and Mark Price.”
- Senior Wayne Selden on the schools recruiting him the hardest: “The schools coming the hardest probably would be Florida, Ohio State, Missouri, UCLA, Harvard and Kansas. [They are] coming at me the hardest.”
- Junior D’Angelo Russell on his Kentucky visit: “My [Kentucky] visit was tight; I was really surprised. I was surprised by the way the coaches care about the players, I didn’t think they cared as much as they do. They really want to bring the best out of their players. That is the main aspect I’m looking for at the moment.”
What You Missed
UCLA Continues Recruiting Success, Picks Up LaVine. It has been well-known for months that Class of 2013 point guard Zach LaVine was heavily favoring UCLA so when he committed to the Bruin program last week, the only surprising aspect was that he committed in June instead of his public timetable of August. The Washington native is the first commit for head coach Ben Howland in the Class of 2013 and was significantly influenced by the fact that he has a lot of family in California in addition to his dad as a UCLA fan. LaVine is an underrated guard who does a great job of both scoring off the dribble and off the mid-range and three-point shot. He’s a capable passer who excels in transition and can score in bunches. Based on the spring and early summer he has, he’s a guy who definitely deserves to be a top-50 prospect if not higher. Now that Howland has LaVine in the bag, he can focus more on other UCLA targets such as shooting guard Isaac Hamilton, small forward Wayne Selden and power forward Marcus Lee.
Hargrave Military Academy Pipeline To Wake Forest Continues. Hargrave Military Academy (VA) sent two of its top prospects in point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre (#55) and center Kyle Washington to Wake Forest last year and the pipeline continued recently when Class of 2013 small forward Greg McClinton choose the Demon Deacons. The North Carolina native is the first commit in his class for head coach Jeff Bzdelik and is a great pick-up for Wake Forest. McClinton is an outstanding athlete who excels in transition. He can score from all three levels between his ability to knock down the three-pointer, the mid-range jumper and is consistently able to get to the basket. He also has good length and rebounds both ends of the floor. With McClinton in the fold, Bzdelik and his staff will be able to focus their efforts during the July period on Class of 2013 standouts like shooting guard Davon Reed and Sindarius Thornwell and Jairus Lyles and center Kennedy Meeks.
What We Learned
Georgia Tech Picks Up Elite Floor General. Seven months after landing a commitment from a five-star prospect in the Class of 2012 in the form of power forward Robert Carter (#28), Georgia Tech got off to a great start in the Class of 2013 as five-star point guard Solomon Poole committed to the Yellow Jackets last week. Poole joins his brother, former Kentucky Wildcat Stacey Poole, and is also the son of a former Florida Gator basketball player. The Jacksonville native is a terrific scorer who is very quick and explosive. He does a great job of getting to the basket and consistently gets into the lane where he displays the ability to finish around the rim. Poole has shown a nice floater around the bucket and can hit the perimeter shot as well. His basketball-IQ is another strong point too and he’s powerful with the ball. Now that Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory has his first major commitment in the Class of 2013, he’ll be targeting other nationally ranked prospects such as point guard Tyler Ennis and center Kennedy Meeks in addition to top in-state players including shooting guard Tim Quarterman and small forward Harold Givens.
UNLV Adds To Huge Recruiting Haul With Goodman. The Runnin’ Rebels already had a very good recruiting class coming in for the Class of 2012 between McDonald’s All-American power forward Anthony Bennett (#7), Ballislife All-American point guard Katin Reinhardt (#40) and Class of 2011 McDonald’s All-American transfer Khem Birch (#8), not to mention point guard DaQuan Cook and power forward Demetris Morant. However, UNLV added to their riches as one of the best class of 2012 prospects left, small forward Savon Goodman, committed to head coach Dave Rice and staff last week. The 6’6, 190-pound former Villanova commit is a physical wing who likes to score and rebound. He’s a guy that plays above the rim and finishes well. Goodman has a high basketball IQ too and plays with a good motor. When you combine UNLV’s recruiting class with their top returning players for the 2012-13 season, the Runnin’ Rebels could very well be a threat to make a deep NCAA Tournament run next March.
Video of the Week
The Florida Rams is one of the best AAU teams in the country and features a trio of Class of 2013 stars in point guard Kasey Hill (Florida), small forward Brannen Greene (Kansas) and power forward Chris Walker. However, you don’t hear that much about them since they’re an Adidas team and not Nike so here are some of their highlights from just a single tournament.