August 29, 2012

Mailbag: Good move for Goodluck?


MORE: New Rivals150 rankings

What does re-classifying to the class of 2014 do for Goodluck Okonoboh? Is he pretty much a defensive specialist? Who is recruiting him? -- David, Fall River (via email)
A 6-foot-9 center from the Boston area, Okonoboh spent the last two seasons at Tilton (N.H.) School building a reputation as a defensive and rebounding specialist. Along with moving back to the class of 2014, he's transferred to the Wilbraham and Monson School in Massachusetts. While Okonoboh can't be expected to turn into an offensive dynamo overnight, the extra year should ultimately prove to be very beneficial in his development. During the summer with Mass Rivals, he showed more aggressiveness attacking the basket and more touch facing out to eight feet.

A three-star prospect who was in line to get elevated to a four-star prospect when he was still in the 2013 class, he'll enter the 2014 rankings in four-star territory and is being recruited by the likes of Missouri, Syracuse, Connecticut, West Virginia, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and others.

Why haven't Michigan and Michigan State shown more interest in James Young? -- (via question from rankings recruiting chat)
I think it's fair to say that the Wolverines have never had much involvement with Young. The 6-foot-6 wing who recently transferred from Troy (Mich.) High to Rochester (Mich.) High never had much interest in Michigan and they landed Zakarie Irvin pretty early in the process anyway. As for Tom Izzo and the Spartans, they did show pretty significant interest in Young early but exactly how much interest was shown in return is up for debate. Fast forward to today and the five-star prospect and the Spartans have more interest than at any other time. Michigan State has reached back out and Young -- who has made no secret of his interest in Kentucky -- and the high scoring wing has been much more receptive to their interest this time around.

What did you like about Rysheed Jordan and Roddy Peters when it came to ranking them? I remember reading somewhere earlier this summer that Peters held his own against Jordan in an AAU matchup, maybe even had the better overall game. -- Jp321 (via message board)
Even though Jordan dropped a bit (No. 16 to No. 26) in the recent update to the Rivals150, Rivals.com is still very high on the 6-foot-4 point guard from Philadelphia (Pa.) Vaux Roberts. He has great size, is very athletic and once he decides to make something happen off the dribble he is capable of getting to almost any spot on the floor he wants to. Additionally, Jordan is a high level defender. On the other side, there were times during the summer where Jordan was wasting dribbles and his jump shooting hasn't yet improved as much it needs to. Now let's talk about Peters. Like Jordan, the District Heights (Md.) Suitland point guard has terrific 6-foot-4 size. Not quite as athletic as Jordan, Peters is more of a skill guy who uses changes of pace and an outstanding understanding of how to use his frame to ward off defenders. A natural scorer, Peters has improved as a playmaker and his steady improvement and willingness to face all challengers allowed him to rise all the way up to No. 39 from No. 100 in the class of 2013. Bottom line both are big point guards who bring lots to the table as off the dribble attackers despite slightly differing styles.

Did Tre'Shaun Lexing get a serious look for the Rivals150? -- @TziskBuff (via twitter)

A 6-foot-6 wing from Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln, Lexing received considerable consideration for the 2013 Rivals150. In fact, the three-star prospect was among the first five prospects missing the cut. He has good athleticism, slashes to the basket and is a streaky jump shooter who has a good overall feel on the offensive end. The fact that a guy like Lexing just missed the cutoff for the rankings speaks to the outstanding depth of the 2013 class. There are several players capable of helping out high majors and upper end mid majors who just missed the rankings and might have made it in a year where there wasn't as much depth as the current senior class. Lexing will visit Colorado in late September and is also hearing from programs like Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State and Gonzaga to go along with offers from schools like Santa Clara and Boise State.

Why is USC recruiting a guard? With three schollies left and only three bigs (potentially) next year you would think they would be focusing on bigs right? -- @TheFullTimeDad (via twitter)
No doubt this question is prompted by news that the Trojans will host former Utah commit Julian Jacobs on an official visit this weekend. Jacobs is an athletic 6-foot-3 combo guard and USC already has commitments from three perimeter players in Roschon Prince, Kendal Harris (both Rivals150 members) and Kahlil Dukes.

Even with three perimeter players onboard, the Trojans staff likely feels that they can never have enough guards and they could still use an additional ball-handler for depth as Dukes is more of a shooter/scorer and Prince is a slasher. Also, Kevin O'Neill and his staff do have a total of six scholarships at their disposal for 2013, so they have flexibility. The plan is to add at least two frontcourt players and among those being targeted are top 100 prospect Vincent Hunter, along with Henderson (Nev.) Findlay three-star teammates Gavin Schilling and Fallou Ndoye. Another possibility is Chicago native Thomas Hamilton, who will spend his senior year at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG.

Thoughts on Jordan Mathews, who is supposed to be visiting Kansas State this weekend or next. KSU have a chance? -- @Powercatzac (via twitter)
At least among national scouts, I don't know that there is a bigger fan of the 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Santa Monica (Calif.) High than myself. A scorer who drains jumpers, is always in attack mode and understands how to use ball screens -- (not a surprise given his father is an assistant at UCLA) -- Mathews is a four-star prospect that ranks No. 85 nationally. So far, Mathews has declined to list any favorites, but the fact that the Wildcats will get his first official visit this weekend says a lot. Mathews has attracted quite a bit of other interest but so far the only other official visits he's set are Wake Forest for the weekend of Sept. 14 and Marquette for the weekend of Oct. 12. Bruce Weber and his staff will also three-star wing prospect Wesley Iwundu from Houston on an official visit this weekend.



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