Recruiting updates on some Big Ten Confenence Schools:
Despite reports stating Illinois is out with Ike Diogu (right, a 6-8 forward from Garland, Texas, his family insists this is not true. Ike’s dad, Edward, told us last night that his son is still considering Illinois, Connecticut, and Arizona State. It still is an uphill battle for Illinois to win this battle but Mr. Diogu still says that his son has not made up his mind between the three schools.
Shannon Brown, the outstanding junior shooting guard from the state of Illinois, said he plans on giving each of this top schools a fair chance in his recruiting process. Though it is early in Brown’s recruiting process, many schools have already offered. Among those who have offered are Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Northwestern. Brown is a terrific offensive player. He is not sure when he might make his decision. But he might feel the pressure during the winter if he has a great season. More and more players from the class of 2003 are indicating they want to make a decision by the spring of 2002.
The Hoosiers have indeed contacted Oak Hill Academy head coach Steve Smith about his 6-11 center Sani Ibrahim left). Indiana, still stunned over Sean May’s decision to verbal to UNC, is now trying to regroup itself and find another talented big man. Ibrahim is talented but his classroom work needs some improvement. There has been talk about Ibrahim visiting Bloomington. However, as of publishing this story, the Hoosiers have not yet called back. A transcript has been sent over to Indiana. The transcript might not be attractive enough for Indiana to bring Sani in for a visit.
Kris Humphries, one of the top players in the class of 2003, is expected to visit Iowa in November, according to his father Steve. Michigan and Michigan State are also seriously being considered.
The Wolverine staff has done an excellent job in completing their 2002 recruiting campaign. They are already in high gear trying to recruit the class of 2003 class. Tobie Smith, recruiting reporter for the Wolverine, has done an excellent job of interviewing some of the top prospects in the class of 2003. Below is a list of the players and links to the stories:
Flint (Mich.) Northwestern
North Muskegon (Mich.) High School
Birmingham (Mich.) Detroit Country Day
The Spartans are one of many schools that outstanding junior guard Steve Hailey has expressed interest in, according to Worcester Academy head coach Mo Cassara. Hailey has an outstanding summer for the BABC AAU program. He competed at the Peach Jam in Augusta, Georgia and the Showcase in Orlando, Florida. He has a quick first step to the basket and his perimeter game has been polished.
Cassara told us that Connecticut, Boston College, Providence, Charlotte, Memphis, Duke, Georgia Tech, and Clemson have also indicated early interest in Hailey. Many of the schools in the Northeast are pressing Hailey for an early decision.
Keep an eye on JaQuan Hart. He has been practicing with Buckeyes. Sources say he is lighting it up and will likely be a major offensive player over the next several years for the Buckeyes. It appears that Ohio State has done an excellent job in taking some great talent from the state of Michigan since Jim O’Brien and staff landed in Columbus.
The Buckeyes are very excited to have in their 2002 recruiting class Charles Bass, a 6-9, 200-pound multi-skilled forward from Crete-Monee High School. He committed to Ohio State back in late September. What Ohio State likes most about Bass is his upside. Bass improved his game this past summer with one of the country’s top AAU programs – the Illinois Warriors.
Bass, who may not be done growing, has a tremendous wingspan and is very athletic. Bass will make a great college player due to his athletic ability and agility along the baseline. A lefty, Bass is very agile and slick along the baseline. He is thin. His body will probably fill out another 10-15 pounds and he would not lose any of his fluid motion. Bass has a nice touch from the outside too. Despite his thin frame, he handled himself smoothly in the low post this past summer. He battles hard for loose balls. Once Bass re-defines his body for the college level, he should be a four year contributor for the Ohio State program.
When Purdue landed Melvin Buckley, they knew they were getting a solid player and a very good student. Buckley is a 6-7 skilled sniper from the perimeter who is also adept at drawing contact into defenders and getting to the line. Buckley is very comfortable pulling up off the dribble from mid-range. This is what makes Buckley an attractive recruit. Buckley has the mental awareness of when to stop on the break and take the short jumper. He does have range out beyond the three point arc as well.
Buckley averaged 14 points, five rebounds and two assists per game as a junior. He said he has a 3.7 GPA in the classroom and a 23 on the ACT, both of which are qualifying marks under NCAA eligibility guidelines. Buckley would like to improve his strength by working hard in the weight room.
One of the interesting 2002 recruits to watch for over the next couple of years on the college level will be DeForest Riley, a 6-5 guard from Winton Woods High School in Ohio. Coming into the summer, Riley was one of the most highly recognized players in the Ohio area. The Buckeyes recruited him hard until they landed a couple of recruits early. Riley averaged 14 points last year as Winton Woods, which had its second consecutive unbeaten regular season. He is a teammate of 6-2 combo guard Robert Hite. Riley played with Hite during the National AAU tournament in Orlando, Florida this past summer. Riley is intriguing because when his game is on, he is one of the best scorers in the Midwest. He has a chance to be a special offensive player for Penn State. Rivalshoops.com expects to have a chance to watch Riley perform this season and will report back to you on his year.
Jason Chappell, a rising senior who has decided to play at Worcester Academy under head coach Mo Cassara this winter, committed to Wisconsin this morning. Sources told us he notified all the coaches involved in his recruiting process this morning.
Chappell had been thinking about taking an official visit to South Carolina. The visit was scheduled for this upcoming weekend. It has now been cancelled. He already had taken a trip to Rhode Island.
"He loved his visit to Wisconsin, and felt very comfortable there," Cassara said. "Hhe had it down to URI, South Carolina, and College of Charleston."
"If he waited until the spring he would have more schools involved," Coach Cassara said.
Chappell has grown some more since we last saw him play. Chappell is now about 6-9. He has a 28 on his ACT and a 3.75 GPA. He is a great student and plans to enter their engineering program
But Chappell now is looking forward to handling the top competition in the New England Prep League. Chappell knows how to play the game and is a very good offensive player.
Cassara added, "Jason has been working really hard on the court and in the weight room. He is a skilled 4-5 man and is almost 6'10 now."
"After a year here and some added weight and maturity, he is going to be a great player," Cassara concluded.
As Jason Groth of GopherHole.com reported last week, Minnesota picked up a player with a great deal of upside to his game in Aliou Kane (right), a 6-10, 245 pound center from Blue Ridge School in Dyke, Va. Rivalshoops.com had a chance to watch Kane play quite a bit during the summer. Kane played on one of the best AAU teams (Team Texas—NIKE). Kane was solid throughout the summer. He did not receive the attention his other mates did because his touches were not of what he normally would get with his high school team. With Bryan Hopkins and Bracey Wright playing in the backcourt, Kane did not really have the opportunity to score more points. And Kane is a very unselfish player. So the best days are ahead for Kane, who is also one of the great kids in the class of 2002. Kane is always working hard but smiles no matter what the situation is on or off the court. He is the type of recruit you root hard for when he moves to the college level.
There seemed to be a little confusion on whether Northwestern was in the final battle for Cody Horning, a highly skilled 6-8, 175 pound small forward from Longmont H.S. in Longmont, Colo. Horning committed to Pepperdine, according to Rivalshoops.com’s Russ Blake.
Horning had taken fall trips to Pepperdine (Oct. 11-13), Wichita State (Sept 21-23) and UC-Santa Barbara (Sept. 28-30) before casting his lot with Paul Westphal's Waves program. Horning had also seen summer interest from Southern Methodist and Northwestern, but said he picked Pepperdine over Wichita State and UCSB. It appeared that interest between Horning and Northwestern evaporated during the past two months.
But Northwestern certainly has the commitment of Jim Manley, whose best days are ahead of him. Manley has nice size (6-6) for a swingman and once he fills out his frame will be a very good player in the Big Ten.
Tomorrow: Big 12 Recruiting Notebook