Who Picked Who
SLAM recaps some of the notable commitments from the last eight days.
by Franklyn Calle
Aside from Xavier Henry, Nolan Dennis (check out my boy Justin Walsh’s exclusive interview with him) and Lamont Jones, there were other commitments that took place last week that should be worthy of your attention.
Not even three weeks into his job, new Virginia Commonwealth University head coach Shaka Smart landed his first recruit when Darius Theus committed to the Rams last Monday. The 6-3 guard out of Norcom H.S. in Virginia, was also being recruited by Washington State, Liberty, Duquesne, East Carolina, among others, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. According to ESPN, Theus visited VCU and Virginia while also considering Marquette. After averaging 17.2 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals his senior year, Theus becomes the first recruit for the Rams’ 2009 recruiting class.
Mississippi State landed their second recruit for the 2009 recruiting class when Wendell Lewis committed to the Bulldogs last Tuesday. The Selma High senior had narrowed his list down to three schools on Monday in Western Kentucky, Auburn and Mississippi State, before coming to a consensus the next day, according to the Selma Times Journal. The 6-8 big man will join Shaunessy Smith, a 6-6 guard of Noxubee County H.S. in Mississsippi, as part of the Bulldogs’ incoming freshmen class.
The Oklahoma Sooners received their first junior recruit last Tuesday after T.J. Taylor gave the program a verbal commitment. The 6-3 Texas guard picked the Sooners over Arizona State and Marquette, according to the Herald Democrat. Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Iowa State also offered, says the report. According to other sources, Texas and Kansas were also being considered. Taylor averaged over 27 points and 6 rebounds per game this past season and is 13 points shy from hitting the 2,000 career point mark.
According to multiple sources, DeAndre Kane signed a letter of intent last weekend with Marshall. The 6-4 guard had previously committed to Duquense, Pittsburgh, and Seton Hall. While at The Patterson School, Kane averaged over 15 points per game this past season.
One of the top small forwards in the country, Terrell Vinson, committed to the UMass Minutemen program last Monday night during an in-home visit, as reported by the Baltimore Sun. He was once a Loyola-Marymount commit but decided to re-open his recruitment in the winter after the resignation of head coach Bill Bayno. The 6-7 small forward out of St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, chose the Minutemen over Cincinnati and Maryland. Vinson, who started his high school career at Montrose Christian in Rockville, averaged 23 points and 8 rebounds this past season. He now joins Freddie Riley- a 6-5 forward from Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, Javorn Farrell- a 6-5 shooting guard from Riverdale Baptist H.S. in Maryland, Sampson Carter- a 6-8 forward from Winchendon School in Massachussetts, and Raphael Putney- a 6-8 forward from Woodbridge H.S. in Virginia, in the 2009 recruiting class.
Georgetown landed two recruits for the 2009 incoming freshmen class last week in Vee Sanford and Jerrelle Benimon. Sanford gave the Hoyas a verbal commitment last Monday while also considering Baylor, Iowa, Georgia and Charlotte, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The 6-3 guard averaged 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.4 assists per game this past season while suiting up for Lexington Catholic in Kentucky. Benimon, a 6-8 forward out of Fauquier H.S. in Virginia, has been under-recruited all year long, according to the Washington Post. He wasn’t receiving much attention from college coaches until the end of the season. “Towards the end of our season, [Georgetown] started coming to a couple of our games and a couple other schools got interested,” Fauquier head coach Wayne Brizzi told the paper. “He went down on a couple Saturdays to check things out. They came up and watched an open gym and one thing led to another and they wanted to sign him.” They now join Hollis Thompson, a 6-7 forward from De La Salle High School in California, as part of the Hoyas’ 2009 recruiting class.
After being released from his letter of intent to Georgia last Tuesday, Daniel Miller signed with Georgia Tech the next day. The 6-11 center had previously committed to the Bulldogs back in September. In a press release on Wednesday, head coach Paul Hewitt expressed his excitement about his latest recruit. “We feel very fortunate to add a student-athlete of Daniel Miller’s caliber to our recruiting class,” said Hewitt. “My staff and I are looking forward to the opportunity to work with him. We feel that he will fit in great with our other players and take full advantage of our player development program.” Miller, a Loganville Christian Academy student in Georgia, will join Derrick Favors- a 6-9 forward out of South Atlanta in Georgia, Brian Oliver- a 6-6 forward of William Penn H.S. in Delaware, Glen Rice Jr.- a 6-4 guard of George Walton Comprehensive H.S. in Georgia, Mfon Udofia- a 6-2 guard from Miller Grove H.S. in georgia and Kammeon Holsey- a 6-8 forward Hancock Central H.S. in Georgia, as part of Yellow Jackets’ 2009 recruiting class.
Indiana received a verbal commitment from David Williams on Wednesday, making him the first recruit for the recruiting class of 2010. Williams, a 6-7 junior forward of First Coast H.S. in Jacksonville, Florida, chose the Hoosiers over Kentucky, Florida, Clemson, Miami and South Carolina, according to the Indianapolis Star. The paper reports that head coach Tom Crean was in Jacksonville on Wednesday to see Williams play in an open gym. Coach offered a scholarship and the Florida native accepted it.
As if it wasn’t already loaded with talent, Wake Forest landed its fourth recruit for the 2010 recruiting class on Wednesday when Travis McKie verbally committed to the program. The 6-7 junior forward, who attends Richmond Community H.S. in Virginia but suits up for John Marshal H.S. because his school doesn’t have a basketball team , also held offers from Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth, Maryland and Boston College, according to the Greensboro-North Carolina News & Record. This past season McKie averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds as a junior. Mckie will now be joining Tony Chennault- a 6-2 guard out of Neumann-Goretti H.S. in Pennsylvania, J.T. Terrell- a 6-3 from Burlington Cummings H.S. in North Carolina and Melvin Tabb- a 6-8 forward of Enloe H.S. in North Carolina, in the Demon Deacons’ 2010 recruiting class. This class is loaded.
Kansas State has a pretty deep incoming freshmen class and on Friday it got deeper after Martavious Irving verbally committed to the program during an official visit, according to the Miami-Herald. The Fort lauderdale shooting guard had also taken visits to St. Louis, Virginia Commonwealth, and Jacksonville while planning one to Georgia. He was also considering Southern Mississippi, Marshall and Old Dominion among others. He averaged 17 points 7 rebounds and 2.5 steals for Boyd Anderson this past season. The 6-2 senior guard now joins Wallace Judge- a 6-8 forward out of Arlington Country Day School in Florida, Jordan Henriquez- a 6-11 center from Winchendon School in Massachusetts, Nick Russell- a 6-4 shooting guard from Grace Preparatory Academy in Texas, Rodney McGruder- a 6-4 guard from Arlington Country Day School in Florida and Devon Peterson- a 6-2 guard from Cloud County Community College in Kansas, as part of Wildcats’ 2009 recruiting class.
Terrence Ross became Maryland’s second recruit for the 2010 recruiting class when he verbally committed to the Terrapins on Friday. The 6-5 guard was also being recruited by Georgetown, Louisville, Villanova among others, according to the Baltimore Sun. Ross, who is currently a junior at Montrose Christian Academy in Maryland but is originally from Portland, Oregon, averaged close to 15 points per game this past season as a junior. He joins Terrell Stoglin, a 6-0 guard from Santa Rita H.S. in Arizona, in the Terrapins’ 2010 recruiting class.
On Friday, Seton Hall landed Ferrakohn Hall for their first recruit in the 2009 incoming freshmen class. Hall, 6-8 power forward, chose the Pirates over Albama-Birmingham and Baylor, according the Star Ledger. He averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds per game for White Station H.S. in Memphis as a senior.