basketball Edit

Starting Five: Four-star PG Shai Alexander has options

Since opening up his recruitment last week, four-star senior point guard Shai Alexander's name has been popular. Find out the latest on Alexander, plus get the lowdown on recent pickups by Utah, Tulsa, Oregon State and St. Louis.

CLASS OF 2017 RANKINGS: Team | Player



Shai Alexander
Shai Alexander (Nike/Jon Lopez @NikeEYBL)

Last week, four-star point guard Shai Alexander decided that he needed to take a step away from his long-standing Florida commitment and reconsider his options.

Ranked No. 53 in the class of 2017, the list for the 6-foot-4 point guard from Canada, who plays at Chattanooga (Tenn.) Hamilton Heights, is starting to take place.

Over the weekend, a source familiar with Alexander's recruitment confirmed to that Kentucky will be in to evaluate him on Monday with Kansas expected on Tuesday.

An athletic and slippery floor general with great size, Alexander drew high marks over the summer for his play in Canada's national team program.

Florida will remain under consideration and Alexander will also consider UNLV, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Texas and Syracuse, and all of those programs are expected to check in with him in the next week or so.

Look for potential playing time to be a big factor in Alexander's decision and though it would seem like he may need to wait until the spring to gather enough information for a decision, an early signing hasn't been ruled out.


Over the last year, four-star big man Branden Carlson has been one of the most improved interior players in America. Sunday night, he ended his recruitment by committing to home state Utah.

Carlson will take a mission before he arrives on campus meaning that Utes fans won't get to see him until the 2019-20 season. However, that shouldn't dampen the excitement level at all.

Carlson wasn't even a full-time starter as a high school junior but his game exploded over the spring and summer. He moves very well for a young big man, he has catch-and-shoot range to three and he's bouncy around the rim, where he's a solid rebounder and a potential anchor for the defense as a rim protector.

Carlson is Utah's second commitment from the class of 2017, joining three-star point guard Jaxon Brenchley, a player with whom he teamed during the summer on the Exum Elite Utah Prospects.


When it comes to legitimate high-major post player options on the West Coast in the class of 2018, pickings are currently fairly slim. Others are sure to land on the radar, but for now it's a relatively thin group which makes Oregon State's weekend addition of Rivals150 junior big man Jack Wilson all the more important.

A legitimate 7-footer, Wilson committed to the Beavers while on campus for his second unofficial visit.

More of a throwback big man who likes contact and playing on the block with his back to the basket, Wilson has an upside that appears to be a bit bigger than his current ranking of No. 137 overall. The reason for that being his above-average hands, good skill level, footwork and the job he's done changing his body and leaning up.

The Beavers' first commitment from the class of 2018, he's the sixth Rivals150 player that Wayne Tinkle has landed since taking the program over in the spring of 2014.


Sunday evening, three-star combo guard Elijah Joiner decided to play his college ball in the American Athletic Conference with a commitment to Frank Haith and Tulsa.

A bubble Rivals150 player, Joiner is a cold-blooded scorer who mixes deep shooting, off-the-dribble scoring, toughness and steadily improving playmaking for others in his game.

One AAC assistant compared Joiner to current Cincinnati guard Troy Caupain and I can see the comparison. The second member of Tulsa's recruiting class, Joiner joins junior college wing Daquan Jeffries as an early commitment and I wouldn't be surprised to see Joiner end up a multi-year starter and one of the better guards in the conference.


The recruitment of Rivals150 power forward Hasahn French came to a conclusion on Monday morning.

A rugged and tough 6-foot-7 forward who plays with a serious edge and a non-stop motor, the NYC native has decided that he will play his college ball for Travis Ford and the St. Louis Billikens.

One of the most high energy players in the class of 2017, French took an extended unofficial visit to SLU during June and then stopped by again for an official visit during the Fall. French looks to be an ideal fit for a frontline player in the Atlantic 10 and is the second Rivals150 player to choose the Bills.

French joins four-star guard Jordan Goodwin in SLU's 2017 recruiting class.