Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Recruiting Model for College Basketball

The NCAA has finally addressed some of the hot topic issues facing college athletics today. The NCAA approved the option for conferences to allow $2,000 of spending money as a part of an athletic scholarship.

A conferences has the right to either approve or disapprove this extra money.

In an attempt to put a bandage over the recruiting fiasco, the NCAA "revamps" the Men's Basketball recruiting model.

Coaches are now allowed to contact recruits whenever, wherever, at any time under the new recruiting model listed today. Coaches are still not allowed to comment publically about a recruit on social media due to the rule about publicizing recruiting efforts as noted in the report.

The NCAA also restored two weekends in April for recruiting evaluations. That is what many coaches and media members argued for and that will certainly give them extra time to see kids and make better judgments while evaluating.

More changes by the NCAA:
  • July will be trimmed to three four day periods instead of the previous two 10 day periods.
  • Juniors in High School are allowed to take official visit after January 1st with the travel expenses being covered by the institution.
  • Permitting some contact at a prospect's high school during the junior year with an evaluation with some restrictions and requirements
  • On campus evaluations while on official visits.
The new recruiting rules will be in effect by August 1, 2012. In April 2012, coaches will be permitted to evaluate kids on two weekends other than the Final Four, Standardized Test weekends or Easter weekend. Coaches will also see a change in the July calendar starting July 2012.

I have to say that I agree with where the NCAA is headed with the new rules and regulations. The college game had seen many transfers over the past few years and it was a great time for the new regulations to be put intact. 

This will help college coaches properly evaluate a prospective student-athlete thoroughly before and during the summer circuit.  

Here's some of what my Twitter followers had to say about the recent changes:

@TheDanMyers said: $38.46 per week won't end the dirty behind the scenes business. Just my thoughts...

@Collin_OConnor said: Like it, definitely a step in the right direction, but still isn't really going to solve anything, IMO.

@Lackey9133 said: Most players get free room, board & education anyway. So what is the 2K really for?

@SaltLakeMetro said: April opening is good. Unlimited texting is bad. Restricted July leans towards bad. Official visits Jr. year great.

Now, as I stand to agree with most, I feel like this is going in a great direction but it doesn't help much. Back in the day, athletes were granted $15 dollars a week. Now it's just a shade under $40. That still isn't going to stop "runners" and "street agents" from getting their hands on potential prospects.

However, I think the biggest help came from the unlimited contact rule. Before, there were very strict contact rules that were enforced by the NCAA. Coaches weren't always allowed to contact recruits whenever they wanted and they were forced to exercise alternative options.

Most coaches started to gain relationships with many other people in direct contact with the respective athlete. Now that the unlimited contact rule is intact, coaches will now be allowed to skip the middle man and speak with the recruit himself.

In all, I feel like the new model of college basketball recruiting helps more than it hurts. We lost days in July but added pivotal weekends in April. Also added the unlimited contact rule, which could erase the middle man.

More importantly, allowing recruits to take official visits during their junior year. It will certainly allow them a chance to get a better feel for campus life, build relationships with coaches, and ultimately, prevent a recruit from changing his mind consistently on which school he wants to attend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DaJuan Coleman to 'Cuse

DaJuan Coleman (Jamesville-Dewitt, NY) made it official today at his press conference that he's headed to Syracuse to play for Jim Boehim and the Syracuse Orange.

Coleman, who many considered, one of the best frontier players available, is ranked top-20 nationally by many accounts and top-5 player at his position.

During his press conference, with three hats sitting in front of him, Coleman said, "The school I will be attending this coming fall will be Syracuse."

The 6-10, 280-pound frontier player will be an instant impact at in-state school Syracuse. The long five man is versatile enough to play both ends of the floor and he spoke a little bit about how coach Boehim expects to use him next year.

Coleman joins 6-8 Jerami Grant (DeMatha, MD) in Syracuse's 2012 recruiting class, giving coach Boehim another great frontcourt combo to build upon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brice Johnson Announcing Soon

Brice Johnson, (Edisto, NC) a 2012 forward, is closing in on his final decision. According to a tweet by ESPN's Dave Telep, Johnson will announce his college decision Wednesday.

6-9 Johnson is torn between four schools with Clemson, Florida, North Carolina and North Carolina State as the only schools in the mix.

North Carolina seems to be the team to beat in his sweepstakes. Many will speculate Florida is also another possible destination but during his most recent visit, nothing changed in his recruitment.

However, after going to Chapel Hill in September, he went away saying the Tar Heels were in his top three.

It will be interesting to see who ends up with Johnson. He had thought about visiting Clemson after visiting Florida but didn't and opted to make an early decision instead.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Josh James Has High Major Game

Standing at 6-1, from Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York is point guard Josh James. James, who recently took a trip to Manhattan for their Midnight Madness festivities, was among the top guards in attendance.

He commented on the event, saying, "It was okay."

James has yet to scheduled any other visits and has started to focus on the upcoming basketball season.

James is a developing talent with a lot of potential. He continues to work hard to become threat out of the backcourt. "I'm working on my jump shot," he said. "I'm also working on my ball handling and becoming more aggressive."

As he prepares for his junior year in high school, more schools are starting to notice the guard and his school list is starting to grow.

He holds offers from Albany, Canisius, Iona, Manhttan, Quinnipiac, St. Peter's and Stony Brook. He also mentioned Albany, Quinnipiac and Stony Brook as teams that he likes.

He also has interest coming in from Harvard, Marshall, Siena and St. Bonaventure.

With heavy recruiting interest expected, James has decided to keep his recruitment open and listen to all schools. "Yes, I am [wide open]," he said. "I'm not really considering any school right now."

With recruiting interest coming in, James has certain guidelines for deciding which schools will better suit his talents.

"A nice atmosphere and somewhere I feel comfortable," he said. "I want good people around me, who want to see me succeed and a place where I can come and play right from the jump."

While basketball is a huge part of what college he'll decide, another aspect seems to overhaul that. "it is very important," he said of academics. "My parents first and for most, expect me to get a degree."

James saw his recruitment take off this summer playing with the New York Gauchos on the AAU circuit. He was apart of many successful wings and showcased his ability to lead a team.

He has plans to continue that momentum into the upcoming season and hopefully consistently improve before he gets to college.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ruston Hayward Opens It Up

A big blow was dealt to the Mississippi Valley State 2012 recruiting class as Ruston Hayward, (Phillis Wheatley, TX) a 2012 guard-forward, decided to decommit and re-open his recruitment.

The 6-4 slasher was a huge get for the Delta Devils and had the potential to be SWAC All-Conference all four years in college.

That is something he realized but he turned down that opportunity to pursue a better one. "I decommitted from Mississippi Valley State," he said. "[I decommitted] because I have a lot of colleges coming at me right now."

After decommitting, Hayward becomes one of the top wings to keep an eye on in the class of 2012.

He's a big time energy guy that can defend and finish at the rim. He's versatile enough to play the two in the backcourt as well. He's improved his shot and is now hitting the three with consistency.

He can defend both positions and could excel at either one.

Since the decommitment came today, Hayward has yet to hear from schools just yet but Texas Southern, Colorado State and Nebraska are programs that he's hoping to hear from.

Despite decommitting, Hayward doesn't rule out the possibility of returning as the lone member of the Mississippi Valley State's 2012 recruiting class. "Yes," he said when asked if he was still considering the Delta Devils. "I just opened it up for other colleges."

Hayward is emerging as a high major prospect. The kid can flat out play and should see a boost in his recruitment do to his decommitment. He has all the intangibles you want in a slashing playmaker off the ball.

"A lot of [colleges] will come," he said of what colleges were interested and I believe it.

DePaul Offers Three In-State Prospects

The state of Illinois is jam packed with talent and DePaul is wasting no time in it's recruiting approach.

Coach Oliver Purnell has already successful sold the program to one recruit and received a verbal pledge from 6-3 point guard Billy Garrett Jr. Garrett Jr is considered one of the best lead guards in the country.

Purnell has a great floor general, now its all about surrounding him with talent.

DePaul has it easy with nearly all of the top talent in the nation being from the state of Illinois or very close to Chicago.

The Blue Demons know who they want to target and isn't keeping the word in. Coach Purnell and his staff decided to offer three in-state guards.

2014 guards Darius Austin, Darreon Reddick and Paul Turner all picked up offers last night after attending DePaul's Midnight Madness.

Each recruit walked away from the festivities that night and was impressed. The same word was reiterated from everyone who attended the event and that "crazy."

Austin, a 6-6 wing, has high major game and is a great swingman. He's at his best when he's getting to the rim and finishing through contact. He has a physical game, great handle and finish at the rim with both hands.

His jump shot is developing and should be another asset as it continues to improve.

Reddick, a 6-3 guard, is a versatile threat out the backcourt. He has the ability to get his teammates involved but his scoring ability has gotten many thinking he could play the two at the college level.

Similar to Austin, Reddick has consistently shown that his jump shot was No. 1 priority in the gym. Improving his stroke will only improve his stock.

Turner, a 6-4 shooting guard, also has shows flashes of versatility in the backcourt. I feel his destine postion in college will be the two but he's proven that he can play the one. On the circuit, Turner tore it up in the mid range and proved that he was way ahead of his peers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Smith-Rivera to Georgetown

It's official, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Oak Hill Academy, VA) is headed to Georgetown. The 6-3 former pledge of Xavier decided to chose the Hoyas over Louisville, Memphis and North Carolina State.

Smith-Rivera is the second pledge in Georgetown's 2012 class and should make a instant impact.

ESPN describes his game, "Smith-Rivera is an excellent basketball player that has a full offensive package. He will definetly be an elite level recruit and college basketball player.

"He is skilled and talented enough to be a great college player and a possible pro...time will tell."

He joins Brandon Bolden (Quality Education Academy, NC), a 2012 power forward, who should also be a great addition to the Hoyas.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jordan Neff Talks Recruiting

Jordan Neff, (North Cobb, GA) a 6-7 forward, has a developing game that should attract high majors. His game use to be mostly in the post, however, Neff is starting to develop his perimeter skills and has made his way towards the wing.

"The main things are outside shooting and dribbling," he said of what he's working on. "[I'm] just becoming an all around better perimeter player."

Neff certainly has the skills to become a very skilled wing with his ability to defend and knock down jumpers outside of 18-feet. He's a long 6-7 and in two years, should be a high-major talent.

As of now, he has no shortlist and doesn't plan on making one anytime soon.

"I'm keeping all my options open," he said. "I haven't narrowed down my list any yet."

Many schools have shown interest in Neff, including high-majors who are currently tracking his progress. He currently holds offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, North Florida and Wright State.

He also has a great idea of what he's looking for in colleges during the recruiting process. "I want to go to a school where I get along with and like the coaching staff a lot," he said. "Also, where I can play with players I get along with and getting to play the style of play I like is important too."

A player like Neff would strive in a up-tempo system. He's a forward that can really get out on the break, run and finish explosively at the rim. He showcased that ability a lot during the On The Radar Hoops Showcase in Georgia.

As the high school season continues to approach, Neff is looking to get some visits in before the season starts. "I've been on visits to Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State," he said.  "I will be going on another unofficial to Tennessee sometime soon."

This weekend, however, it's a different story. He's expecting to take unofficials to two programs this weekend while in Tallahassee, FL. "I'm going to North Florida and Jacksonville this weekend," he said. "They both have offered."

Despite keeping his options open, Neff wants to make his decision as quickly as possible. "I would love to make it as soon as possible," Neff said of his college decision. "But, I'm not going to rush anything. I'm keeping my options open right now. Hopefully by the summer, I will have a decision. That's my goal."

Neff is an interesting prospect to keep your eye on. He is a very explosive player that has great upside. As he continues to develop his handle and quickness, more schools will take interest.

Darren Montgomery has new interest

Combo guard Darren Montgomery (Arlington, IN) has added new interest from Chicago-area schools. Florida International, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois have all recently shown interest in Montgomery.

The 6-2 guard is looking to become more of a point guard this upcoming season and so are the colleges that are showing interest. "[They're] waiting until the middle of season to see how I have progressed," he said. "They want to see me run the point, be creative in the clutch and defend."

Butler, Louisville, Purdue and Toledo are also programs that have shown interest in the combo threat out of the backcourt. It'll be interesting to see just how many more schools get involved as his high school season progresses.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IU Self Reports Recruiting Violation

Indiana University issued a statement Tuesday that Tom Crean committed a NCAA violation while recruiting an un-named athlete in Indianapolis last week.

That un-named athlete was, 6-4 shooting guard Gary Harris (Hamilton Southeastern, IN). In the report, the school acknowledges that coach Crean traveled to see Harris after the contact period came to it's conclusion on October 6th.

An assistant realized the calender error and contacted the Indiana compliance office, which contacted the NCAA.

"Coach [Tom] Crean immediately reported an inadvertent recruiting contact violation to our complainace office," the school said in a statement. "We are following our normal procedures."

The Hoosier have docked Crean and his staff two recruiting days for the violation.

Harris, who's visiting Indiana this weekend, is also considering Kentucky, Michigan State and Purdue.