football

Fastbreak Friday

Djaugustin10 20200
National Signing Day is quickly approaching and the prospects are popping by the hour. The Rivals150 list looks more like the Rivals25. Coaches are looking through their information booklets from the summer time. They are calling their contacts. They are working the angles. Who is left? Who can they recruit? It's crunch time and in this week's Fastbreak Friday, Rivals.com breaks down who is left on the board.
Top 150 guys shrinking
There are only 24 players left on the Rivals150 that are uncommitted as of Friday, Oct. 28. Only five are remain in the top 30 and only 12 are in the top 75 that have not made a final decision. Here is a look at the top players at each position still on the board:
Center
Is Jason Bennett wearing a WWHD bracelet? What will Huggins do? That's what Bennett is probably wondering. The 7-foot-2 prospect from Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day has made it no secret that he wanted to play for Bob Huggins, the former Cincinnati head coach. Now that Huggins is watching the sidelines instead of working them, Bennett could very possibly wait until Huggins lands back on his feet at a Division I gig.
All of that being said, Bennett is being recruited by a number of programs including Clemson, Georgia, Miami and Michigan. That list will likely grow once the season starts. Remember Jared Carter last season. The 7-footer from Kentucky went from a guy with offers from Western Kentucky to Kentucky, North Carolina and others as the season went along.
Bennett, the No. 23 ranked player in the class of 2006, has dramatically improved his game as he's added weight and needed confidence. His recruitment could get very interesting when it's all said and done.
Power Forward
Darrell Arthur is visiting Baylor. He's also visited Kansas, Indiana and SMU. North Carolina is out. Texas is not likely in the race with the commitments from Matt Hill and Dexter Pittman. Will he sign early? His trip to Waco could be telling.
When Arthur, the No. 19 ranked player in the class of 2006 by Rivals.com, is on the top of his game, he's one of the best. However, inconsistency has been one of the biggest things that have slowed down the ultra-talented big man. Whoever lands him will get a guy that could put a team over the edge for chasing a run to the Sweet 16 and beyond.
Small Forward
What is the real story with Lance Thomas? Will he sign early or will he wait. It depends on who you talk to. His uncle Monty Montgomery has long said that his gut is telling him that Thomas will wait. Talk to Thomas and you get the feeling that he's looking at making a decision earlier than later.
Thomas, the No. 27 ranked player in the senior class, is officially visiting Rutgers this weekend with his high school teammate Eugene Harvey. Duke, Florida and Wake Forest are all hoping to host Thomas as soon as possible before the signing date on Nov. 9.
Shooting guard
This list was pretty depleted on Monday. On Friday, one of the most talented two guards is back on the board. Detroit native Ramar Smith was once committed to Connecticut and was a huge piece to the Huskies dandy recruiting class. Not anymore. Sources say the Huskies pulled the scholarship after Smith failed to show his determination to get it done in the classroom.
Now finding Smith is looking more like a nationwide FBI search. He's bounced around high schools and locating him isn't an easy task. That being said, he's a super talent but now with some super baggage to carry around, too.
Point guard
This wasn't how it was supposed to be for D.J. Augustin. The four-star point guard was like every other sought after basketball recruit in the country. Then Katrina hit and wiped out his home and all of his possessions. Fast forward to present day, the former Brother Martin HS product is now in Houston, Texas (without his two Louisiana state trophies) and hoping to help take Hightower High School to the Texas title game.
Life must go on for the always-positive point guard. He's always had the same final two schools of Texas and LSU. He's visited LSU officially and Texas is coming up soon. It's still a two-horse race for the No. 54 ranked player in the country.
On deck
Notice that Greivis Vasquez isn't listed as the best available shooting guard. He would have been an easy choice but the Montrose Christian product could announce his decision in the next week. Where will he go? Don't be surprised to see Gary Williams and the Maryland Terrapins land the No. 62 ranked player in the land.
Notice that Doneal Mack isn't listed either. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Statesville (N.C.) Christian is close to taking his name off of the board, too. In all likelihood, he'll pick between Florida and Virginia Tech.
Grand Prairie (Texas) High School forward Bryan Davis said he doesn't know what he wants to do regarding signing early. He's quietly visited Texas and Texas A&M in recent weeks. If he waits, he could see a number of programs jump on board with hopes of landing the defensive-minded big man. If he does sign early, don't be surprised to see the Aggies land a good one and close out a great recruiting effort by Billy Gillespie and his staff.
TreVon Willis was the man that shined the brightest in the big games this summer for the loaded EBO program. As he watched the Lopez twins pick Stanford, Derrick Jaspers pick Kentucky, Quincy Pondexter commit to Washington and Kenny Lawson pick Creighton on Thursday, Willis knows he's on the clock. He's down to UNLV and Memphis. Look for a decision from him soon, too.
Best of the rest
There are still a number of talented uncommitted guys that are available.
Daye Kaba, a big point guard from Our Savior New American, is emerging as a guy that that high-majors are eyeing. He's visited USC and is checking out Boston College this weekend.
Tyrone Appleton is back in the Midwest after spending a year at Bridgton Academy. The Indiana native is at Harmony Prep in Cincinnati and would be a nice late get for a high-major program. The 6-foot-3 guard shined with the SYF Players this summer. He's a solid defender with a good motor.
Chris Singletary, a Chicago native now spending a year at Florida Prep, is a big combo guard that should have no problem adjusting to the rigors of Division I basketball. His style of play would fit in perfectly in the Big Ten, Big 12 or Big East.
The wing position still has a number of skilled prospects available. Former UConn and Nebraska commit Will Harris is seeing a number of high-major schools inquire of him now that he is at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. Also at Brewster is Mike Freeman, a 6-foot-8 forward from the D.C. area.
California small forward Blake Wallace is one of the top West Coast prospects still undecided. The 6-foot-7 native of Anaheim (Servite High School) is a skilled face up player with good range on his on his shot and has a nice combination of power forward and guard skills.
Former USC commitment Andre McFarland is another guy to watch. The Las Vegas Durango High product is a skilled wing that can make things happen on the blocks and is improving his perimeter game. Look for him to be a coveted player in the late signing period.
Bigs, bigs, bigs. Coaches want them and this team of the year, they want them even more. Who is left? It's slim pickings at the center position.
Moving from Denver to L.A. and back to Denver, Ray Hall has been a tough guy to track down. He has the size at 6-foot-11, 280-pounds but hasn't developed into a high-major as some thought he could. He's still open but finding him is not easy.
Moving to Chicago from Detroit is 7-footer JaVale McGee. Now at Hales Franciscan, the same school that produced Purdue freshman Nate Minnoy, McGee is looking to show that he's a guy worth looking at for Big Ten schools. More of a mid-major prospect, the bigger schools will look longer and harder as the season progresses.
Don't be surprised to see schools tapping into a rich JUCO talent pool this season. Ten of the top 25 players ranked by JucoJunction.com are uncommitted forwards.
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