basketball Edit

Starting Five: Big weekend at Clemson

Nobody had a more impressive list of visitors than Clemson over the weekend. Missouri continues to build momentum, Pac-12 programs add guards and more in this week's edition of the Starting Five.

RELATED: Castleton to visit Florida | Nolley progressing toward decision



Exactly what the dividends will be of a monster recruiting weekend won't be known for a while, but Clemson boasted the most impressive roster of visitors of any program in the country.

In addition to committed three-star shooting guard John Newman, Brad Brownell and the Tigers hosted 2018's No. 2 player Zion Williamson, five-star point guard Devon Dotson (who had to postpone his Florida official visit due to Hurricane Irma), 2019 five-star combo guard Jalen Lecque and top 30 2019 guard Josiah James.

A homegrown talent, Williamson -- whose stepfather Lee Anderson played at Clemson -- has Tigers fans dreaming of what could be. Common thought has him leaving his home state for a program like Kansas or Kentucky, but make no mistake Clemson is pulling out all of the stops. A teammate of Williamson's in Las Vegas during the summer, Dotson is thought to be leaning towards Kansas or Florida but recent speculation has said that distance could end up being big factor for the Charlotte product. As for the 2019 prospects, Lecque is a high scoring and athletic guard while James is another in state talent and a 6-foot-6 point guard who the Tigers have gained early traction with.


Cuonzo Martin and Missouri landed four-star shooting guard Torrence Watson on Friday. A fine athlete who has the tools to be a versatile player on the offensive end and a potential multiple positional defensive stopper. He's another upgrade and his commitment is another momentum building block for Martin and his staff.

When he took the Missouri job, Martin made it clear that locking in on local talent would be a priority and he's delivered on his promise. Brothers Michael Porter Jr. and Jontay Porter may have spent the 2016-17 season in Seattle, but they spent several years in Columbia before that. Jeremiah Tilmon is an East St. Louis product and Javon Pickett is also from the St. Louis area.

Another interesting trend with Missouri is how many of their commitments in 2017 and 2018 were previously committed elsewhere. Watson had initially pledged to Ohio State and of the seven players to commit to Missouri since Martin was hired, six were committed elsewhere before choosing the Tigers.

Odds are the Tigers aren't done cleaning up locally either.


Colorado and Washington both had big weekends on the recruiting trail as the two programs combined to land a trio of three-star prospects.

Tad Boyle and the Buffaloes locked down what they hope can be big producers in their backcourt of the future when Texan combo guard Elijah Parquet and homegrown combo guard Daylan Kountz committed.

An athlete who can create off the dribble and has a streaky jump shot, Parquet left a big impression on us when we saw him play during the summer. He just missed making the Rivals150 and is a high upside guy that has the athletic tools and aggressive nature to develop into a quality Pac-12 player. Kountz doesn't have quite the athleticism or build that Parquet does, but he is also a scorer. He can heat it up from deep, has good passing ability and is a surprisingly good rebounder given his slight frame. Because he needs to add so much strength, Kountz could be a good redshirt candidate.

New Washington coach Mike Hopkins locked down the guy he hopes can be the point guard he builds around in Elijah Hardy. Hardy is a long and athletic point who has big-time speed and the lateral quickness to be a strong defender. Learning to harness his speed and aggressiveness and not let it get him too out of control is going to be the key for him when he makes the transition from high school to college.


Patrick Ewing has landed his first commitment from the class of 2018 and in big man Grayson Carter, he's found a kid who has some serious potential at the Big East level.

A strong kid with excellent size, Carter committed during his official visit over the weekend and has the ability to be a good rotational player as soon as he hits campus. Eventually, he could be a multiple-year starter for the Hoyas.

First of all Carter has college-ready strength. He holds his position well in the post and has very good hands. What's most important is that Carter has a high skill level. He can play some pick-and-pop basketball, is an outstanding passer from the high post and out of double teams on the block.


Last week, four-star point guard Jamie Lewis made the difficult decision to reopen his recruitment and backed off of his pledge to N.C. State.

Lewis' family told that while he still has a good relationship with Kevin Keatts and his staff, they thought it was best to take a look around at the options open to them.

In the past, Lewis has been able to play as both a facilitator or high scorer from the lead guard position. However, over the past year he has battled ankle, hamstring and groin injuries that have kept him off the floor for stretches and prevented him from playing at full strength when he has been on the floor.

For his senior season, Lewis has left his Atlanta area home and will play at powerful Findlay Prep. Since opening up his recruitment, UCLA, Wake Forest, Alabama, Mississippi State, Baylor and Georgia Tech are among those to reach out. Though nothing is yet set in stone, look for Lewis to wait until the spring to make his decision so that he can see how the point guard dominoes fall and so that he can show what he's capable of when fully healthy.