Thursday, June 19, 2014
NBPA Top 100 Day 1 news and notes
By Gerry Hamilton
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The opening day of the 2014 NBPA Top 100 not only brought out some of the nation’s top prospects in the 2015, 2016 and even 2017 classes, but some recruiting news as well.
Jeter nearing decision There was not a prospect more popular than five-star ESPN 100 prospect Chase Jeter.
The reason is simple, as the 6-foot-11 2015 power forward has six schools remaining with a decision expected at the end of the summer.
Las Vegas native Chase Jeter says location could play a factor in his choice.
“I’ll probably keep it the same six on there,” Jeter said. “… Oregon and Kansas didn’t come at me as hard, but they are still on the list.”
And what about the other four?
“Right now, I really like Arizona, Duke, UCLA and UNLV,” the No. 13 player in ESPN 100 said. “They have come at me the hardest since I trimmed my list … so I feel like those four schools are competing. At this point, it’s really just where I feel most comfortable.”
Jeter has been on the campus of all four programs, including an official visit to Duke on March 7.
While there are the family connections to UNLV, many have pointed to Duke as the clear favorite. Jeter, however, is only focused on making the best decision -- with relationships, comfort and proximity being the deciding factors.
“People are going to make predictions at the end of the day, but with all humility, it’s about me and wherever I feel most comfortable is where I will end up,” he said. “ … Definitely, my relationships with the head coaches and the assistant coach relationships are very important. How comfortable I feel with the program, how comfortable I feel being away from home. Distance plays a factor, and style of play.”
Jeter also said he wants his parents to be able to see him play, which could affect his choice.
Duke offer resonates with Smith If there is an award given for the most exciting player to watch at the NBPA Top 100 camp, it could very well go to ESPN60 No. 9 Dennis Smith Jr.
The 6-1, 173-pound point guard with otherworldly leaping ability has not only dazzled in the spring and early summer on the court, but also saw his recruitment go to another level in recent weeks.
“I took a visit to Duke about three weeks ago,” Smith said. “I talked to Coach K, took a tour around the campus, and I picked up the offer.”
The message from Mike Krzyzewski to the North Carolina native was simple.
“He said he would use me the same way he used Kyrie Irving,” Smith said. “He said he’s not going to recruit a 2015 point guard, so he wants me in 2016, and to come right in and play. That’s an honor to hear it from Coach K.”
If anyone is to unseat the Blue Devils in the race for the top-ranked point guard in 2016, it will likely come from within the state lines.
“NC State, that was one [offer] I was looking forward to because I came up an NC State fan,” the Fayetteville, N.C., product said. “The ACC schools that have offered me are Duke, Wake Forest, NC State and Miami.”
It appears ACC powers will be battling to land Dennis Smith Jr.
Not to be left out, UNC is also turning up the heat on Smith.
“… Coach [Roy] Williams called me on the [June 15th]. I talked to him about thirty minutes, and he wants me to come over for a visit soon,” Smith said.
Kansas and VCU have also offered, and heavy interest is coming from Texas, Arizona, Florida State and Michigan.
Woods visiting UNC After a Wednesday afternoon game in which ESPN 60 No. 20 Seventh Woods flashed his elite athleticism and ability to score, he announced he would be visiting the Tar Heels.
“I think I’m actually going to UNC on Monday for some open run,” Said Woods.
The visit was prompted by a phone call from Williams.
“I have talked to North Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson, Kansas, Duke and Baylor. I’m not sure who has offered, but I know the University of North Carolina has offered,” the 6-foot shooting guard said. “Coach Williams said they just wanted me to come back and visit.”
Having placed recruiting on the back burner with his mom taking many of the calls, Woods is now ready to attack the process.
“It was alright because I have been waiting for it myself, so it’s just a blessing to receive the offers and attention,” Woods said. “I’m officially a junior now, so it’s kind of in my hands now.”
While Woods is transitioning to point guard and learning the ins and outs of the postion, he knows exactly what he is looking for in a college.
“A place that I fit in on the court, off the court and a place I can call my second home,” he said. “Style of play also, and what fits me best as a player. That will be big for me.”
Notable Class of 2015 No. 83 Deng Adel is seemingly closing in on a decision. The Louisville Cardinals are the heavy favorite to land the quickly improving 6-foot-7 wing. Louisville is the only school where Adel has been on campus, and his cousin Mangok Mathiang plays for the Cardinals.