Arizona made a significant jump in the team rankings with the addition of once-committed point guard Abdul Gaddy. The Wildcats climb from No. 12 to third overall in the early class of 2009 team rankings.
Gaddy, a five-star prospect and the No. 2 point guard in the nation, is a major commitment for the Arizona basketball program. His commitment is certainly welcomed in Tucson, the home of Point Guard U.
UAB continues to steadily climb up the team rankings, too. The Blazers are now ranked No. 7 in the team rankings, moving up a spot from last week. Unranked three-star guard Adrian Coleman committed to Mike Davis on Sunday after officially visiting the Conference USA school.
Oklahoma State enters the list at No. 13 this week after a pair of commitments. Texan Roger Franklin is a major pledge for Travis Ford and the Cowboys. He is a big-time forward that gives the team vocal leadership and high-energy. Junior college prospect Brad Reese also committed to the Big 12 school.
The Tar Heels have sprinted out of the blocks better than any program in the country. Roy Williams and staff have locked up five players all ranked inside the top 70 national rankings in the class of 2009. Henson, a 6-foot-10 versatile post, is the gem while Strickland and McDonald are the future of the backcourt. The Wear twins give UNC some size inside as well as long term helpmates to the rotation.
Who says the Wildcats are just a guard program? Villanova has a pair of impressive post players in Yarou and Armwood to compliment Wayns, one of the best floor generals in the country. With three players all within the top 65 rankings, the future of Villanova hoops is in good hands.
Arizona doesn't have to worry about the point guard position anymore with Gaddy's commitment. The Tacoma, Wash., native is one of the best in the nation, and Arizona beat out Pac-10 rival UCLA for his services. Hill is a jack-of-all-trades wing that can handle the ball, defend in the backcourt and is athletic enough to play three positions. Moser could be the most intriguing of the bunch. He's long, athletic and full of upside. Dowell, a former Alabama commitment, pledged to the program before Gaddy and should give the team good depth in the backcourt.
The Yellow Jackets wanted to lock up the foundation of the class early in 2009 and did so with a quick run of pledges in June and July. Oliver was the first to pick the ACC school and did so in mid-June. Holsey announced at the Nike Peach Jam and a week later Udofia popped in Las Vegas and Rice in Orlando. Staying in state was also a priority.
The Hoosiers added Watford at the beginning of September and he gives the program a big, versatile forward that should see major minutes as a freshman. Creek was high on Marquette when Tom Crean was at the helm and carried over his fondness when the Hoosiers hired the former Golden Eagle head man. Creek should help from day one in the guard oriented style that Crean employs. Indiana fans love the fact that Crean is recruiting the local kids. Hulls, a Bloomington native, embodies the Hoosier spirit with his play. So does Capobianco, an Ohio forward. Elston, a holdover from the Sampson regime, missed the summer due to injury.
If there was any question about the Illini's ability to lock up the in-state talent like year's past, the class of 2009 has proven that the program and still lock up the locals. The future looks bright, particularly in the backcourt. The trio of Paul, Richardson and Bertrand is a major upgrade at the guard positions while Griffey has the tools to be a grinder down low all the while being a great forward to run the pick and roll with.
The Blazers have an answer for Memphis in Cousins. In fact, they may have an answer for just about every program in the nation. Cousins, a Birmingham native who is playing in Mobile now, is one of the true elite talents in the class. His addition alone gives UAB a major shot in the arm. Adding Mitchell, a big time junior college scorer, and Murray are key players in the backcourt. Kreft, a former Florida State signee, has reportedly cleaned up his life after a felony drug charge in high school. The Chipola (Fla.) Junior College transfer pledged to the Blazers early September.
Rick Pitino and staff have already filled several needs in the 2010 class with these three commitments. Buckles is one of the most intriguing players in the class because of his size, raw ability and versatility at the power forward position. Siva is a similar scoring point guard that the Cardinals have relied on in the past. Marra is an athletic wing with great range on his jumper. Van Treese is a bouncy forward that can run the floor.
The Wolfpack love the I-85 pipeline down to Atlanta. After securing J.J. Hickson two years ago, Sidney Lowe and staff have mined Georgia hard for talent. The results have been positive in 2009 with Brown and Howell. Both should help from day one. A mini Indiana connection is also growing. Last year the team landed Julius Mays. This year, Wood is the latest Hoosier State player to head south to Raleigh.
It seems like Oriahki and Coombs have been committed to the Huskies for a decade. Both pledged to Jim Calhoun very early in the recruiting process and over time the duo have improved tremendously. Oriahki could be a McDonald's All-American while Coombs has developed into one of the top wings in the nation. Look for both to make contributions in Storrs.