The Recruiting Market Heats Up
The following are some of the notable recruiting news from the past week.
by Franklyn Calle
According to multiple reports, New York City native Lamont “Mo-Mo” Jones has de-committed from Virginia Tech. The 6-0 senior guard initially committed to Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals last spring after his junior season at American Christian before de-committing over the summer and committing to the Hokies last November. At the time when he picked VTech, Jones was also being recruited by Charlotte, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Southern California, Cincinnati, and Memphis. He started his high school career at NYC powerhouse, Rice High School, where he spent his first two years before transferring to American Christian last year. After the school closed down in June, Jones ended up at Oak Hill Academy this past fall.
“I really thought Virginia Tech was a good fit for him. An opportunity to play and play in the ACC. I was a little disappointed. But he wants to open things up,” Oak Hill Academy head coach Steve Smith told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Smith also told the paper that Jones has set up a visit to Southern California for the April 10-12 weekend.
Early in the week, Josh Davis gave a verbal commitment to N.C. State. The 6-5 senior was also considering High Point, Gardner-Webb, and North Carolina-Wilmington among others. According to ESPN.com, Davis averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds for Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He now joins Lorenzo Brown-a 6-4 shooting guard from Centennial HS in Georgia, Scott Wood-a 6-6 shooting guard from Marion HS in Indiana, and Richard Howell-a 6-8 forward from Wheeler HS in Georgia as part of the Wolfpack’s 2009 recruiting class.
The Tulsa World reported on Thursday that Donte Medder has given Tulsa University a verbal commitment. The 6-1 point guard was also considering Southern Methodist, St. Mary’s, Rutgers, and San Diego State. According to the report, the Arizona native averaged 22.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game at Mesa High School and also took visits to St. Mary’s and San Diego State. Medder now joins Bryson Pope, a 6-6 shooting guard from Jenks High School in Oklahoma, and Kodi Maduka, a 6-10 power forward from James Martin High School in Texas.
The Newport New Daily Press reported that Tre Lee won’t be suiting up for Liberty University this fall. After verbally committing to the school in December, the 6-5 shooting guard, who attends Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia, is back on the recruiting market again. It is unclear whether Lee de-committed or Liberty took the offer off the table but Lee’s HS coach told Newport Daily Press the following: “The details, I’m not at Liberty to discuss. He had given a verbal commitment, which is not legally binding, and now he’s shopping around and trying to find some interest.” Liberty has three commitments for 2009 recruitng class in Chris Perez-a 6-4 shooting guard from Oldsmar Christian High School in Florida, Ovie Soko- a 6-8 forward from Bethel High School in Virginia, and Joel Vander Pol-a 6-10 center from Evangelical Christian High School in Florida. According to ESPN.com, Lee originally had interest from St. Louis, George Mason, George Washington, and Richmond.
The New York Daily News reported on Thursday that Lance Stephenson is “leaning heavily” toward Kansas. Stephenson is expected to announce this Tuesday in Miami at the McDonald’s All-American media day. The report also says that St. John’s is still in the mix. He is down to three schools in Kansas, St. John’s and Maryland, with St. John’s being the only school he didn’t take an official visit to. But at the same time he has played at St. John’s for the last four years in quarter-finals and semifinals games and knows the entire staff, so does he really need to pay an official visit to the school? A good point made by the report is that if he was to pick St. John’s, he would have announced it at Madison Square Garden after PSAL championship played last week, which was where Stephenson initially had told reporters that he would make an announcement. But it is believed that after the Kansas visit last month, Stephenson decided to move the announcement date to the McDonald’s festivities in Miami. Kansas’ assistant coach, Danny Manning, has been recruiting the 6-5 senior guard heavily the last month or so. Stephenson along with John Wall, are the two biggest high profile prospects remaining in the 2009 recruiting class. We shall find out his destination in the next few days.