Who’s Got Next? Wainright Opts For Baylor; Missouri Adds Two…Posted by CLykins on October 25th, 2012
Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Chad Lykins, the RTC recruiting guru. 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 discussing the recruitments of the top uncommitted players in the country. We also encourage you to check out his contributions dedicated solely to Duke Basketball at Duke Hoop Blog. You can also follow Chad at his Twitter account @CLykinsBlog for up-to-date breaking 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Drew Hauls in Wainright
After making an official visit to the Baylor campus for their “Midnight Madness” festivities nearly two weeks ago, small forward prospect Ishmail Wainright made it official last Thursday evening by verbally committing to the Bears. Wainright, the No. 26 ranked prospect in the ESPN 100, picked Baylor over Ohio State, St. John’s and Texas.
A Missouri native, the 6’6″ Wainright was formerly a Missouri commitment back in May 2011. At the conclusion of that summer, he decided to reopen his recruitment after a successful AAU campaign. As Wainright began the recruiting process all over again, over 30 of the top schools in the country reached out to the Missouri small forward. With his recent commitment to Baylor, Wainright will join power forward Jonathan Motley as the only two commitments for the Bears from the class of 2013.
When describing Wainright’s overall game, he is a tremendous athlete and one of the most physically imposing small forwards at the high school level. On the offensive end, Wainright does most of his damage scoring around the rim, either in transition or driving to the basket when creating for himself off the bounce. He is also a great passer with even better court vision. He has a knack for making the right play at the right time when creating opportunities for his teammates to make plays. A glaring weakness of his offensive game, however, has been his shooting. Prior to the summer, Wainright was not a good shooter. Most defenses took note of that fact by playing him loosely, forcing him into taking shots from the outside. As exhibited during the early recruiting period in the summer, though, Wainright showed an ever improving jump shot. To round out his game, Wainright needs to make it a point to continue working on his shooting touch before ending up on the Baylor campus. On the defensive end, Wainright is as good as they come. With great length, strength and athleticism, Wainright is arguably one of the best defenders from the class of 2013. He can guard multiple positions on the floor in part due to his great frame. He is a nightmare for the opposition and will continue to be well into his college career.
During the July evaluation period, Wainright was forced to sit out a number of AAU events due to a stress fracture in his left foot. After undergoing surgery, he is getting himself back into playing shape and should be ready for his senior season at Montrose Christian (Maryland). Wainright has mentioned that he could end up playing at 235 lbs. this season. As a junior at Montrose Christian, Wainright averaged 8.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game.
Mizzou Adds Two to 2013 Class
Jonathan Williams III verbally pledged his commitment to the Missouri Tigers last Thursday. Williams, the No. 35 ranked prospect in the ESPN 100, picked the Tigers over George Mason, Georgetown, Michigan State and Tennessee. Out of Southwind High School (Tennessee), he is a versatile 6’8″ power forward who can score inside and out. He is at his best running the break and scoring in transition. In head coach Frank Haith’s up-tempo Missouri offense, Williams will fit in perfectly. He has a terrific mid-range game and can score from the perimeter, stretching the defense. With a great handle, he can also initiate the offense off of defensive rebounds and can facilitate and create opportunities for his teammates. One significant improvement that he needs to make to transition to the college level is his post game. Although he can score inside, he lacks an array of post moves to make it easier for himself. Defensively, he is a nightmare for opposing power forwards. He is exceptional at utilizing his versatility by guarding multiple positions on the court.
After suffering a hernia injury playing with the U-17 USA Men’s Basketball team, Williams III was inactive for the AAU recruiting period. He used the off-time to focus solely on his recruitment. After a “disappointing” visit to Knoxville, Missouri instantly was bumped up as the favorite to land him. As a junior at Southwind, Williams III averaged 15.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. Williams III is the second ESPN 100 commitment in the 2013 Missouri class, joining 6’0″ point guard Wes Clark, the No. 72 ranked prospect.
Missouri also landed a verbal commitment from Arizona native, 6’7″ power forward Torren Jones, this past weekend during his official visit. Jones, the No. 49 ranked power forward in the 2013 class, will finish out his high school career at La Lumiere (Indiana). He is a great athlete that gets up the floor well in transition and can finish in traffic. He is a good rebounder, though it does need work, especially against better competition. He possesses a good mid-range game, but it’s not consistent for the college level just yet. Jones played his junior season for Basha High School where he averaged 19.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Over the summer, Jones then transferred to Dobson High School where he attended the first two days at the school before making a quick switch to Indiana. His transfer to La Lumiere will give him a chance to compete more with college-bound players as well as the top prep schools in the country. The Tigers will also bring in 6’0″ point guard Travis Jorgenson, the No. 42 ranked point guard in 2013.
Recruiting News & Notes
- Recruits Flock to Bloomington – With the 2012-13 season nearly upon us, the Indiana Hoosiers sit firmly at the top as a national title favorite. This past weekend, the Hoosiers started their season off in style with their own version of Midnight Madness, appropriately referred as “Hoosier Hysteria.” More than 20 high school recruits from the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes were on hand, including 2013 commitments Stanford Robinson (No. 56 ranked prospect in ESPN 100), Luke Fischer (No. 30 ranked power forward), Devin Davis (No. 51 ranked small forward) and Collin Hartman (No. 52 ranked small forward). Also visiting from the 2013 class were center BeeJay Anya (No. 30 ranked prospect in ESPN 100) and Troy Williams (No. 31 ranked prospect in ESPN 100). Indiana has long been rumored the favorite to land Anya, while Williams, who was close to ending his recruitment back in May but opted to continue the process, has serious interest in the Hoosiers. Indiana will have to compete with longtime favorite North Carolina for the services of the 6’7″ small forward. From the class of 2014, their lone commitment James Blackmon, Jr. (No. 40 ranked prospect in ESPN 60) was in town, as was top 50 prospects JaQuan Lyle (No. 16 ranked prospect in ESPN 60) and Trevor Bluiett (No. 49 ranked prospect in ESPN 60). Among the names from the 2015 class in attendance was Hyron Edwards (No. 11 ranked prospect in ESPN 25) and Jalen Coleman, one of the top sophomore shooting guards. Finally from the class of 2016, Eron Gordon was in town for the night’s festivities. Gordon is widely recognized as the younger brother of former Hoosier great, Eric Gordon.
- Duke Hosts Top Prospects - Down in Durham for Duke’s “Countdown to Craziness”, the Blue Devils had a short but impressive guest list from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes. From the class of 2014 were three top 10 prospects Tyus Jones (No. 2 ranked prospect in ESPN 60), Jahlil Okafor (No. 3 ranked prospect in ESPN 60) and Theo Pinson (No. 8 ranked prospect in ESPN 60). Regarding these three players, there have been murmurs in the recruiting circles that Jones, Okafor and Pinson could possibly end up playing together once their high school days are complete. A visit at Duke together is a strong consideration for the future. In any case, the Blue Devils sit in a comfortable position with all three players. Out of the 2015 class was Karl Towns Jr. (No. 1 ranked prospect in ESPN 25). Towns, Jr. has now visited the Duke campus twice and is beginning to build great relationships with the coaching staff. Towns plays his high school basketball in the state of New Jersey, one of the Blue Devils biggest recruiting pipeline’s for quite some time. Still years away from any type of commitment, the Blue Devils are making great strides for the future with him. Wrapping up, from the 2016 class is Harry Giles. Giles is one of the top freshmen in the country, hailing from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is a highly skilled 6’8″ small forward with great athleticism and a tremendous mid-range game. Besides Duke, ACC schools North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest have shown interest. Giles was also a participant with the USA U-16 Developmental team earlier this month.
- Key Weekend for Arizona – This past weekend was the annual Red-Blue scrimmage for the Arizona Wildcats and plenty of top talent was in attendance for the event. All three of Arizona’s current commits were on hand, including Rondae Jefferson (No. 15 ranked prospect in ESPN 100), Elliott Pitts (No. 89 ranked prospect in ESPN 100) and Eric Cooper Jr. (Unranked 2014 shooting guard). Joining them from the class of 2013 was the ultra-athletic Aaron Gordon (No. 6 ranked prospect in ESPN 100). At 6’8″, Gordon is the best pure athlete at the high school level and has drawn comparisons to that of Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin. Arizona is trying to make up ground in the recruitment for Gordon, who is viewed as a Washington lean currently. Kansas, Kentucky and Oregon is also in consideration. Class of 2014 propects Justise Winslow (No. 10 ranked prospect in ESPN 60), Stanley Johnson (No. 23 ranked prospect in ESPN 60) and Parker Jackson-Cartwright (No. 27 ranked prospect in ESPN 60) were also in Tuscon for the weekend. Rounding out the guest list was class of 2015 shooting guard Isaiah Briscoe (No. 18 ranked prospect in ESPN 25).
- Parker Visits Michigan State – Jabari Parker (No. 1 ranked prospect in ESPN 100) took his first of five official visits this past weekend to Michigan State. The Spartans have been viewed as co-leaders for Parker along with Duke. Speaking of Duke, Parker will visit the Blue Devils this weekend for their first exhibition game of the 2012-13 season. Visits to Florida, Stanford and BYU will follow each week.
- Woodson Narrows List to Two - Fresh off visits at North Carolina State and Baylor, Dominic Woodson (No. 79 ranked prospect in ESPN 100) will choose between the two schools. Woodson, who was scheduled to visit Oklahoma this weekend, is a 6’9″ 295-lb. center and would fill a key need for either school next season. Woodson will look to decide on his future in November.
- Vonleh Cuts List to Six – After announcing his intentions to reclassify to the class of 2013 in September, Noah Vonleh (No. 7 ranked prospect in ESPN 100) is wasting no time in trimming his recruiting list. Connecticut, Georgetown, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse made the cut for the 6’8″ power forward. Of those six schools, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State and Syracuse are out in front per his high school coach Pete Hutchins. Vonleh is set to visit Syracuse November 2-4 and Indiana the following weekend. A spring decision is likely.
- Randle to Visit Oklahoma - Julius Randle (No. 3 ranked prospect in ESPN 100) will be taking an official visit to Oklahoma this weekend. Randle lists the Sooners along with Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Texas. Randle has made trips to Kentucky and Florida and is still in the process of scheduling visits to Kansas, NC State and Texas.
- Roberson Completes Fourth Visit - At 6’8″, combo forward Tyler Roberson (No. 25 ranked prospect in ESPN 100) has now completed four of his six scheduled visits. A New Jersey native, Roberson was on the Kansas campus this past weekend. Including Kansas, Roberson has now visited Syracuse, Southern Methodist and Rutgers. Still on his list is Kentucky and Villanova, who will receive visits in the next few weeks. Roberson has planned for an early decision, but has mentioned he may trim his list down to three and decide in the spring.
- Nichols Enjoys Tennessee Visit - Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin has put together a solid 2013 recruiting class but he is not satisfied. Martin would like to add one more piece, that being in the form of 6’9″ power forward Austin Nichols (No. 11 ranked prospect in ESPN 100). Nichols has been rumored to be a lock for the Volunteers and if this past weekend was any indication, the decision just got easier. Tennessee pulled out all the stops during the visit, including introducing Nichols to NFL Super Bowl champion quarterback and Tennessee alum Peyton Manning. Nichols also lists Auburn, Duke, Memphis, Vanderbilt and Virginia. The Blue Devils remain Tennessee’s main competition for Nichols.
- McCullough Names Leader - 6’10” power forward prospect Chris McCullough (No. 18 ranked prospect in ESPN 60) has named Syracuse as his leader. A native New Yorker, McCullough could pull the trigger for the Orange at any moment in the next few weeks. If so, McCullough could help the Orange in landing 6’4″ shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead (No. 42 ranked prospect in ESPN 60). Both players have publicly spoken recently about teaming up together in college and Syracuse could quite possibly be the landing spot for that to become a realization.