Thursday, May 27, 2010
Quality over quantity
By Reggie Rankin
Texas and Missouri highlight the Big 12's 2010 recruiting class, however, Baylor and Kansas have two of the best recruits in the country.
(Note: Classes that were ranked outside the top 25 with identical letter grade are listed alphabetically.)
Recruits: two | ESPNU 100: two
Rick Barnes landed 6-foot-3 point guard Cory Joseph (Pickering, Ontario./ Findlay College Prep) to go along with fellow Canadian and high school teammate power forward Tristan Thompson (Brampton, Ontario), who inked early with the Longhorns. These two McDonald's All-Americans should contribute right away. At 6-10, Thompson will immediately provide great size and the ability to rebound in the Big 12. Joseph is one of the top shooters in the class, has an excellent feel for the game and fills a huge hole at the point. It is important to note that Joseph could also play off the ball, if needed. The recruiting pipeline from Canada to Austin, Texas, has been great for Barnes and his staff.
Recruits: six | ESPNU 100: two
Mike Anderson caged a group of talented young Tigers that fit perfectly in his style of play. After signing power forward Tony Mitchell (Dallas/ L.G. Pinkston) and ultra-quick point guard Phil Pressey (Dallas/ Episcopal School) to go along with local product Ricky Kreklow (Columbia, Mo / Rock Bridge) and shot-blocker Kadeem Green (Markham, Ont./ United Faith Christian Academy), Anderson then hit the juco ranks and got two All-Americans. Power forward Ricardo Ratliffe (Hampton, Va./ Central Florida CC), who averaged 27.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, is a potential All-Big 12 player, while Phil Pressey's older brother -- shooting guard Matt Pressey (Dallas/ Navarro College) -- can create off the dribble and is defensively savvy, according to Anderson. This class is loaded with talent, size, athletic ability, skill and toughness.
Recruits: three | ESPNU 100: two
Point guard Stargell Love (Lumberton, N.C./ Quality Education Academy) joins McDonald's All-American power forward Perry Jones (Duncanville, Texas/ Duncanville) and shooting guard Bakari Turner (Plano, Texas/ Plano West), who gave their pledge to Coach Scott Drew in the early signing period. At 6-10, Jones has perimeter skills and "one and done" potential, while Turner can knock down jumpers with regularity. Love, who played his way into the ESPNU 100 during his senior season, provides great speed, quickness and above-the-rim explosiveness; he could be a sleeper.
Recruits: two | ESPNU 100: one
After signing a true wing scorer early in Royce Woolridge (Phoenix/ Sunnyslope), Bill Self went to the East Coast and landed an immediate starter in scoring point guard and McDonald's All-American Josh Selby (Baltimore, Md./ Lake Clifton). Selby, a former Tennessee commit, plays in full attack mode on every catch. He will take over for former Kansas point guard Sherron Collins the day he arrives in Lawrence. Selby and Woolridge can both get buckets in a hurry and will give perimeter defenders fits.
Recruits: eight | ESPNU 100: two
After landing two ESPNU 100 perimeter players early -- in Cameron Clark (Sherman, Texas/ Sherman), a super athletic wing that excels in transition, and versatile combination guard T.J. Taylor (Denison, Texas/ Denison) -- the Sooners continued to make their presence felt in the Lone Star State. Coach Jeff Capel overhauled the roster, adding six players that included one transfer, three high schoolers and two from the juco ranks. Point guard Carl Blair (Houston/ Houston) will bring 29 starts and 9.2 points per game from the University of New Orleans. He will be eligible immediately due to the school moving to Division III. Calvin Newell (Wallingford, Pa. / Evelyn Mack Academy) is a scoring point who can make plays for himself and others. Tyler Neal (Oklahoma City, Okla./ Putnam City West) is a 6-6 wing that should be able to stretch the floor with deep shooting range. A trio of power forwards give this class not only size and depth, but good skill as well. At 6-10, Abdi Ahmed (Essex, Eng./ Canarias Basketball Academy) will bring skill with his ability to make perimeter shots and his touch around the rim. Nick Thompson (Clinton, Utah./ College of Eastern Utah) can pick and pop, make plays off the dribble and pass extremely well. Athletic ability and rebounding will be the strengths of C.J. Washington (Stringtown, Okla./ Conners State). Overall, Capel has a mixed bag with this group and the quicker they mesh, the quicker the wins will come.
Recruits: five | ESPNU 100: one
The Cowboys added a rim-attacker and rebounder to an already outstanding early class in 6-7 juco standout power forward Darrell Williams (Chicago/ Midland). ESPNU 100 prospect Michael Cobbins (Amarillo, Texas/ Palo Duro) is another live body that plays above the rim, while wings Markel Brown (Alexandria, La./ Peabody Magnet) and Brian Williams (Baton Rouge, La./ Glen Oaks) and J.P. Olukemi (Simi Valley, Ca./ Vincennes) make head coach Travis Ford's squad extremely athletic and versatile. Oklahoma State really improved its frontcourt depth, especially at the power forward and small forward position.
Recruits: five | ESPNU 100: none
Former Iowa State legend and NBA player Fred Hoiberg returned home to Ames as head coach after Greg McDermott left for Creighton and has a nice group to work with during his first season. Melvin Ejim (Ontario, Can./ Brewster Academy) is an athletic small forward and DeMarcus Phillips (Milwaukee, Wis./ Marshalltown Community College) is a combination guard that will get an early look due to his ability to create and score. Add in three power forwards -- Jordan Railey (Beaverton, Ore./ Beaverton), Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./ Princeton Day Academy) and Calvin Godfrey (Robbinsdale, Minn./Robbinsdale) -- and the Cyclones instantly improve. All three are about 6-9, athletic and above-the-rim finishers who can rebound.
Recruits: three | ESPNU 100: one
After the tragic death of ESPNU 100 power forward Tobi Oyedeji, the Aggies' class goes from great to very good. Head coach Mark Turgeon loaded up the front court, starting with Turgeon's other ESPNU 100 early signee, forward Daniel Alexander (Dripping Springs, Texas/Dripping Springs). Other quality big bodies headed to College Station are 6-9, 245-pound Kourtney Roberson (Arcadia, La./ Christian Life) and Keith Davis (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto), who is also about 6-9. Look for the Aggies to come together during a tough time and get quality production from this talented, young group.
Recruits: four | ESPNU 100: none
Point guard Jeuvol Myles (Toronto, Ont/ Tallahassee CC) joins the Wildcats after signing with Louisiana Tech out of high school. He is a strong, physical guard that averaged 12 points per game and will have three seasons of eligibility at K-State. Will Spradling (Overland Park, Kan./ Shawnee Mission South) is a good shooter and passer who should add depth. Small forward Shane Southwell (New York/Rice) will provide playmaking ability from the wing and Freddy Asprilla (Miami/Miami Dade) will be a low-post scorer and rebounder on both ends for coach Frank Martin. Expect toughness and immediate contributions from this class.
Recruits: three | ESPNU 100: none
Pat Knight's class stayed put from the early period. Jamel Outler (Houston/ Bellaire) will add an athletic slasher from the wing who can also get to the rim on the break. Javarez Willis (Dallas/ Christian Life Center Academy) is an attacking combination guard, while the back-to-the-basket scoring and experience of power forward Paul Cooper (Auburndale, Fla./Gulf Coast CC) give the Red Raiders a well-rounded class that will provide depth and athletic ability inside and out.
Recruits: three | ESPNU 100: none
Doc Sadler had to regroup after a couple early signing period shake ups, but has recovered well. He was able to hold on to center Andre Almedia (Yuma, Ariz./ Arizona Western College), who will be the No. 1 option in the post at 6-10. First team juco All-American wing Caleb Walker (Hutchinson, Kan./ Butler CC) brings scoring, rebounding and versatility on the perimeter and should be an impact player right away. Former Oregon point guard 6-2 Kamyron Brown (Santa Ana, Calif./ Mater Dei) transfers in after being the assist leader for the Ducks.
Recruits: two | ESPNU 100: none
After not having a commit on the board in the early period, new coach Tad Boyle hit the ground running. Center Ben Mills (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) is 7-1 and will provide great size, skill and upside after being released from his Boise State commitment. Forward Andre Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/ Wagner) is very mobile and skilled. This class will be a good start for the Buffs as they continue to build, but the size and athletic ability of this class will demand their opponent's full attention.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to '90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season.