Starting Five: Fletcher scoring big offers, Blackshear watch continues
The blue bloods have come calling for top 40 wing Cam'Ron Fletcher as the rising senior wing's recruitment continues to take off. The college basketball world continues to wait on a decision from Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear and more in this week's edition of Eric Bossi's Starting Five.
1. THINGS PICKING UP FOR CAM'RON FLETCHER
The spring wasn't quite what super athletic 6-foot-6 wing Cam'Ron Fletcher of St. Louis (Mo.) Vashon hoped it would be. He had his flashes playing in Nike's EYBL with Bradley Beal Elite but inconsistent play kept him from scoring some of the offers that he had hoped to land.
All of that is changing quickly. A few weeks ago at the NBPA Top 100 Camp Fletcher put his best foot forward as he played with a non stop motor and showed more ball skills as a handler and passer than at any other point in his high school career.
Don't get me wrong, Fletcher wasn't exactly hurting for attention. Home state Missouri, Saint Louis, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan State, Kansas State and many others have been heating him up for a while now. But his play at NBPA yielded new offers from Arkansas, Vanderbilt and UCLA. Then came North Carolina, and over the weekend Kentucky offered him.
Fletcher hasn't ever put out a final list and has been careful not to name favorites but the thought behind the scenes has been that he's hoping to end up at one of college hoops glamour programs. Despite the new interest, Missouri and Michigan State have to be considered firmly in the mix but as we wait to see a true list of finalists from him it will be important to monitor the impact that offers from UK and UNC could or will have on his recruitment.
2. PROGRAMS WAIT ON BLACKSHEAR'S DECISION
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard, "I think Kerry Blackshear goes down today".....well, I would have at least 15 or 20 dollars. Not enough to make me a rich man, but it could get me a nice lunch and you get the picture.
The most high profile remaining grad transfer on the market, Blackshear's recruitment has college basketball's eyes -- especially those in the SEC --- watching closely to see what happens.
After developing into a potential NBA level big man at Virginia Tech, Blackshear has been the subject of pretty strong recruiting battle that has had twists and turns and lots of indecisiveness. My belief is that he should be making his decision soon and I would venture to guess that he picks either Arkansas, Kentucky or Tennessee but until he makes a decision we'll all continue to watch and wait.
3. OFFERS POURING IN FOR 2022 WING
It was only a matter of time before the college offers started mounting for Gradey Dick and that time happened over the weekend.
Playing in an event in front of coaches in Liberty, Mo., the high flying and sharp shooting 6-foot-5 wing from Wichita (Kans.) Collegiate started to rack up offers.
After picking up his first offer from hometown Wichita State last week, Dick added offers from Iowa State (where his mother played), Kansas and Nebraska. More are expected to come this week and his recruitment could get interesting. Even though he's yet to begin his sophomore year, keep a close eye on Kansas as potentially the team to beat.
4. OREGON SCORES LATE ADDITION
At this time of year, schools are often times taking a swing and hoping to make contact when looking to make late roster additions. Time will tell what Oregon has in Lok Wur but the 6-foot-8'ish combo forward from Papillion (Neb.) LaVista created a buzz over the past few weeks thanks in large part to a highlight reel that showed the second team all-stater going coast to coast for jams, hitting deep shots and looking like some undiscovered gem.
Undiscovered gem or product of excellent editing? We'll see soon enough but having seen Wur some he is a bit intriguing. He's definitely athletic, he definitely has some ball skills and there's no doubt he has some upside. How quickly can he put on weight? Can he learn to cut down on mistakes and polish the rough edges? We'll see but at the least Oregon and Dana Altman have landed a kid who could be interesting to watch down the road.
5. QUICK HITTERS FROM GHSA TEAM CAMP
Over the weekend the NCAA allowed state associations to take control of "live" weekends for high schools. I was in Georgia on Friday and Saturday for the GHSA Team Camp and I have to say it was a wonderful event. It doesn't hurt that the state is absolutely loaded with talent, but the organization, competition and facilities were top notch and I literally saw hundreds of college coaches taking in the action.
If I had to name a winner for the weekend I would go with high flying small forward Eugene Brown of Decatur (Ga.) Southwest DeKalb. Man, talk about a motor and intensity. I loved watching him fly all over the floor for dunks, he looks like a capable three-point shooter and I believe he's got the tools to be an elite defender in college. Now healthy after a junior season leg injury, he could be one of the summer's biggest risers. Georgia is his most recent offer and Tom Crean was watching closely. Georgia Tech has offered as well and Josh Pastner watched as did Clemson's Brad Brownell. VCU, Mississippi State and Xavier were among others who have watched that have offered and I'd expect more coming very soon.
The most intriguing young player that I saw was Marietta (Ga.) Kell's rising sophomore point guard Scott Henderson. Playing against a loaded Grayson (Ga.) High team led by top 50 point guard Deivon Smith, Henderson was the best player on the floor. At 6-foot-2 he's got good size, he passes well, he can get to the rim and he plays with tenacity. His efforts earned him offers from Florida, Florida State and Ole Miss.
All in all, the event was loaded with big time players but I want to finish by mentioning a pair of rising sophomores, Jusaun Holt and Taihland Owens, who made cases to be included 2021's national rankings. A 6-foot-6'ish wing at Roswell (Ga.) St. Francis, Holt is a good-sized wing who nails pull up jumpers, gets to the cup, has great hands and competes. He's got good genes, too, his father Justin Holt was the state of Washington's player of the year in 2002 beating out the likes of Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson. As for Owens, he's a smooth shooting and offensively aggressive two guard from Canton (Ga.) Cherokee. Both look like potential top 100 type players and both have early offers from Georgia Tech. Owens also has offers from Appalachian State and VCU but more should be coming for each of them.