Weekly Recruiting Update
Isiah Thomas shocks the college world after receiving a commitment from one of the nation’s top players.
by Franklyn Calle
I took a break from covering the weekly commitments during the month of July as the live recruiting period was on full swing and prospects were getting a chance to meet new coaches and their programs. It always seems like commitments diminish during July while de-commitments amplify. But now that those days are history, SLAM will continue to give you commitment updates on the weekly basis. So here we go.
Last week’s most notable commitment without any doubt has to be Dominique Ferguson’s verbal to Florida International University. As you may recall, I wrote a piece last week about Isiah Thomas and his new start at FIU. Ferguson, one of the top players in the nation, chose the Golden Panthers over Indiana, UCLA, Florida, Duke and Kentucky. It came as a surprise since Thomas has yet to coach a game at the collegiate level and FUI numbers don’t compare to those schools that were recruiting Ferguson. The Golden Panthers went 13-20 last year, making it 3 in 4 years in which they finish with a 20-loss season. The 6-8 power forward is looking to sign a letter of intent with the program in November. Ferguson, an Indiana native who attends Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, will be joining Phillip Taylor, a 5-9 guard out of Wheeler H.S., and DeJaun Wright, a 6-4 transfer of Gillete College, as part of the Golden Panthers 2010 recruiting class.
Rising junior Austin Etherington gave a verbal commitment to Indiana last Monday, choosing the Hoosiers over Butler, Notre Dame, Xavier, New Mexico and Oklahoma State. His father, Brett, played at Butler from 1987-1991 and many expected for Austin to follow. The 6-6 shooting guard averaged 15.7 points and 6.7 rebounds after missing the first half of the season with a left knee injury that required surgery. Etherington, an Indiana native who attends Hamilton Heights H.S., becomes the second recruit for the Hoosiers 2011 recruiting class and will join Matt Carlino, a 6-3 shooting guard of Bloomfield South.
The University of Virginia received their second and third commitments in the recruiting class of 2010 last week after Joe Harris and K.T. Harrell gave them their word. Harris, a 6-5 guard of Chelan High in Chelan, Wash., chose the Cavaliers over Washington State, Portland, San Diego, SMU, BYU, Pacific, Eastern Washington and Seattle. He averaged 26 points per game, shooting 53 percent from the floor (41 percent from behind the arc), helping him ear high school 1A Player of the Year in the state of Washington honors. Harrell announced his verbal commitment a day later. The 6-4 Montgomery AL., native who attends Brewbaker Tech Magnet H.S. chose the Cavs over Auburn, Mississippi State, Georgia and Alabama, among others. New Virginia men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett has already received a verbal commitment from Will Regan, a 6-8 forward of Nichols School in Buffalo, NY.
Top Georgia guard, Rion Brown, gave the University of Miami a verbal commitment at the beginning of last week, becoming the first recruit in the Hurricanes 2010 class. The 6-5 guard from Liberty County H.S., was also considering Alabama, Georgia and Virginia. Brown averaged 15 points per game last year as a junior but really caught the attention of colleges this summer after a strong performance in the AAU circuit. “I just looked at their guard play, and they have great guard coaches,” Brown told the Sun Sintenal. “I just know coach Haith can help me get to the next level. I mean, it’s the ACC, which is one of the best college basketball conferences in the nation.”
P.J. Hairston committed to the University of North Carolina one day after receiving a call from Roy Williams with a scholarship offer. The 6-5 junior wing becomes the first commitment for the Tar Heels in their recruiting class of 2011. The Greensboro, N.C. Native who currently attends Dudley Senior H.S., picked UNC over Arizona, Wake Forest and Florida.
Jim Boeheim received his fourth commitment for the 2010 recruiting class when Fab Melo gave a verbal commitment this past week to the Orangemen. The seven-footer was also considering Louisville, Miami and Florida. Although the Brazilian native, regarded as one of top centers in the nation, was forced to sit out last year after arriving at The Sagemont School because of Florida High School Athletic Association transfer rules, he was able to have a strong showing in the AAU circuit with the Florida Rams and grab the attention of college coaches and recruiting services. So despite the fact that he has yet to play a high school game, Melo is headed to Syracuse. He will join Dion Waiters, a 6-5 guard from Life Center Academy in New Jersey, C.J. Fair, a 6-7 forward from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, and Baye Moussa Keita, a 6-11 center from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, as part of next year’s incoming freshmen class.