Back during a pretty important time of year with regards to recruiting. Evaluations will be going on in a month, and guys are starting to come off the board. There's quite a few new names to get to know. Also, the Rundown Rankings debut this month, so please comment, debate, and tell me where I screwed up.
Also, I'm using a new service for the profiles (247), and there's a lot of new features to talk about.
Crystal Ball- an awesome feature, it lets analysts and insiders predict where they think a recruit ends up. It gives you a great idea of where your school stands with a recruit. It's great to get a general feel about the recruitment... But don't disregard everything else. It's next to impossible to predict where a recruit will go weeks or months before he commits (example: Marquis Teague).
Twitter Mentions- pretty self-explanatory.
Interests- a lot less vague than the list they give you on scout and rivals.
247 & 247Composite Rankings- The first line of numbers is where the prospect ranks on 247's site only, the second line is an average of all four major industries.
The Rundown Rankings
- JaQuan Lyle
- Trey Lyles
- Isaiah Whitehead
- Brandone Francis
- Rashad Vaughn
- Devin Robinson
- Elbert Robinson
- Kelly Oubre
- Leron Black
- Dante Exum
Here's my explanation. I said that JaQuan Lyle was going to be number one last month, and nothing has happened to change my mind. It appears that we are the favorites, and his visit on Sunday only strengthens our position.
Trey Lyles is an even better player, but the thing is, we're in an absolute dogfight to get him. Isaiah Whitehead is someone who we are looking strong with, and provided that we get him on campus, we look to be a top option. He's a great scorer who's dramatically improved his shot.
Francis is the Balado guy who appears to be an intriguing top prospect.
Devin Robinson is one of the new names that has been batted around over the past few weeks. He's a small forward who is having an Anthony Davis kind of growth spurt. He was 5'10 his freshman year and currently stands at 6'8 with guard-like skills. Oh, and he's still growing.
Elbert Robinson is the big seven foot prospect out of Texas who will be visiting over the summer.
Kelly Oubre is a versatile forward out of Texas who can score and impact the game in a variety of ways. We have been involved for about a month and a half here.
Leron Black is a combo forward with a great motor and skills that stretch out on the perimeter. He's a tad undersized for power forward, but is one of the most talented players in the class. We've offered him just last week.
Also, note that a lot of the newer guys like D. Robinson, Oubre, and Leron Black have the potential to move up.
Now, to the rundown.
At this point, Lyle is the top target for Louisville. He and Trey Lyles played in the Indiana/Kentucky Junior All-Star game at St. X Saturday night, and took a visit to Louisville on Sunday. Louisville's primary competition has always been Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio State, and the latter just got a pretty big commitment from a certain local prospect. I would say that neither side is going to be terribly interested in the other from this point forward.
I'll admit, Exum has been linked to Louisville by some people, but I've never really thought of him as a legit candidate to come here. Number one, he can just declare for the NBA Draft in 2014 without having to play in college, being from Australia. Two, I think Indiana has made him a priority, especially since losing out Theo Pinson. Skeptical of this one happening, unless we use Zach Price's scholarship to bring him in as essentially a 1/2 and done player. Don't see it though.
Shooting Guards/Small Forwards
At this pont in time, we've got four major targets at the guard position, and I'd say they're all just about on even ground at this point (the fourth is Lyle).
Whitehead, as discussed, is a great scorer who the Cards are in the top two for. He's got a jumpshot that's much improved. I think you'll see him move up in the rankings over the next few months. I think as of today, Syracuse is the leader... but as the process goes on, especially if he visits campus here, there's potential for that to change.
Francis is really intriguing. He's the guy with connections to Mike Balado. As far as what type of player he is, he's a pretty good offensive player, with defense that needs to improve. The main selling point with Brandone is that he can play three perimeter positions (he's 6'5) and has great passing skills. Obviously, sharing the ball is very important, especially in a pro-style pick and roll system like the one we run. We just offered him a scholly a few weeks ago, and it's a pretty realistic possibility. Florida is the perceived leader, and there are rumors that he almost commited to the Gators back on the AAU circuit a few months back. I think the longer this thing goes, the better for us.
Vaughn is a scorer out of Minnesota. And when I say scorer, I'm not kidding. I'd say he's probably the best pure scorer in the class. He's been most linked to North Carolina, and just a few weeks ago, people were saying it was only a matter of time before he committed there. Those people were also wrong. Louisville's in a good position to land a visit from Rashad, and from there, anything can happen. Vaughn has also been talked about with Kentucky, and the hometown school, Minnesota.
Oubre is a small forward out of Texas who can score both off a jumpshot and taking it to the basket. He's also a tough defender. Really, Oubre should probably higher on my rundown rankings. We've only been recruting him for a little while, but the guy has a lot of interest, and has been interested in Louisville for a long time` (just waiting for it to be mutual). We will definitely get a visit, and look to be a strong contender. This is a recruitment to watch.
To start, we have prospect 1A, Lyles. Right now, it's gonna be a fight between us and UK to land him, but we've got a few things going for us in that, him and Lyle are really good friends, his parents like Louisville, and UK's roster for 2014-2015 may be stacked with big guys. Recrutiing doesn't happen in a vacuum, and if UK returns Marcus Lee, Dakari Johnson (maybe), and brings in Karl Towns and Cliff Alexander, is that really a good situation for Lyles to walk into. No way. We're going all out for this one, and if we get him, it'd be a pretty darned big deal. The good thing is that we're only really recruiting against UK at this point. Duke, Florida, UCLA, and Butler really aren't even close at this point. Too early to say if this one gets done. It'll depend on how well our visit goes, whether we have the scholarship when spring rolls around, and UK's roster after next year.
Lattin we know about, and nothing has changed. Same for Elbert Robinson.
Devin Robinson could be listed as either a small forward or power forward. He's more of a small forward right now, but by the time he steps foot on a college campus, he'll more than likely have the frame of a power forward. He can do a lot of things really well, since he was a guard a year ago. He has a pretty good shot, great athleticism and length, but could improve his dribbling ability. He's got a ton of potential, and the staff is forcing their way into this recruitment. One thing that'll really help us as he ascends the rankings is that we're going to have been in on him early, which is going to make it tough on schools to just jump in on thre recruitment. I would watch this one.
Leron Black is a player that we just offered a scholarship to a week ago. He's a high energy power forward (some sites list him as a small forward). He's not big at all for his position, but he's lengthy and has explosive athleticism. He has a developing jumpshot and is a great rebounder. Doesn't have great handles. Not sure how involved we'll be in the recruitment. Next month we'll have a better idea of where we are.
Jaylen Johnson is a top prospect out of Michigan. We literally contacted him for the first time a week or so ago, so it'll be interesting to see where this recruitment goes. Another one to check in on next month.
So, that brings us to the end of the post. Comment and tell me where I screwed up in this month's rankings, and vote in the polls.