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Starting Five: Good weekend for new ACC coaches

RANKINGS: Class of 2014 - 2015 - 2016
With fewer and fewer top prospects left on the board, the news cycle has slowed down a little in high school basketball. Over the weekend new coaches at Wake Forest and Virginia Tech continued to settle ino their new digs. We discuss both Danny Manning and Buzz Williams, plus much more, on this week's Starting Five.
Success for new coaches in ACC
Getting a new job in the ACC at a program looking to rebuild has to be a bit daunting. The conference is loaded from top to bottom and many of the top programs such as Duke, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Virginia have pretty firmly entrenched coaching staffs with strong systems in place.
Most of the time when coaches take a new job, they want to know if they can consistently be in top five or at least top half of their conference. In the ACC, that may be a tougher task than any conference in the country. So Danny Manning at Wake Forest and Buzz Williams at Virginia Tech have their work cut out for them.
At least looking at very early recruiting results, Manning and Williams appear to be game.
On Saturday, Manning and Wake added three-star power forward John Collins. One of the final cuts to the post-summer Rivals150, Collins is a pretty productive four man who uses a very good hoops I.Q. and motor to make things happen. A year young for his class, Collins is a big upside guy who has the tools to turn into a very productive two way player once he adjusts to ACC level play. Throwing him in with two four-stars in top 50 big man Doral Moore and top 80 point guard Bryant Crawford gives Manning and his staff a great foundation group to build on. Not only should the trio be able to help early, they should be around for a while and make a terrific group to build the program around.
Already experienced running a high major program at Marquette, Buzz Williams knows what it takes to recruit at a high level. One the coaching professions true grinders, Williams is very detail oriented and goes all out when he sees something or somebody he wants. Maybe most importantly, Williams locks in on his targets and doesn't seem to worry much about who else thinks that player is good. Because of that he's developed a reputation for finding under the radar gems (see Butler, Jimmy, Chicago Bulls wing).
Sunday, Williams and his staff landed point guard Justin Robinson and he seems to fit the Williams M.O. Robinson is currently an unranked three-star who like Collins just missed the Rivals150. He is athletic, does well operating off of ball screens and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He is a good pairing to rapidly rising Rivals150 power forward Kerry Blackshear. If the Hokies can land four-star wing Chris Clarke to go along with Blackshear and Robinson, they will be well on their way towards relevance in the ACC.
Temple building foundation class
In Philadelphia, Fran Dunphy and his Temple staff had hoped to land one particularly big fish in five-star point guard Jalen Brunson. The Owls might have missed out on Brunson, but the guys that they have landed are nothing to sneeze at.
Already the owners of commitments from local Rivals150 guards Levan Alston and Trey Lowe, the Owls added a rugged big man on Sunday in Ernest Aflakpui.
Another local from Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop John Carroll, Aflakpui is a well-built 6-foot-9 center who plays an old school type game. He is strong, he is physical and he does all the dirty work around the rim. A rebounder and sometimes shot rejector, Aflakpui can be relied upon to do what it takes around the rim.
The trio makes a very good core looking forward. Alston can handle and score, Ewing is a wing slasher and shooter while Aflakpui can anchor things in the middle. More than likely, each of these guys ends up multiple year starters.
Decisions coming
Before the week is over with there's little doubt that there will be more than two notable decisions made. However, as things start the two planned announcements that are standing out are unranked three-star combo forward O.G. Anunoby on Tuesday night and four-star combo guard Shake Milton on Wednesday.
Since he's picking first, we'll start with Anunoby. A product of Jefferson City (Mo.) High, Anunoby was building buzz as a long and athletic combo forward during his junior season before injury cost him the second part of his high school season and much of his grassroots season. During the month of July with Memphis based Team Thad, though, Anunoby quickly built a buzz back up because of his length, activity and upside.
He will pick Tuesday night from Indiana, Iowa, Georgia and Ole Miss. Headed into his decision, the Hoosiers have gained a lot of steam behind the scenes.
Indiana is also involved with Milton. The 6-foot-4 combo guard from Owasso (Okla.) High is a crafty, smart and skilled senior who can play all over the perimeter. In particular, Milton has a strong midrange game and he is pretty reliable in late clock situations where somebody has to go and make a play.
A product of the MoKan Elite summer program, Milton should pick from the Hoosiers, Oklahoma and SMU on Wednesday night. There's always room for change, but a few days before he announces the Sooners are generating the most buzz with SMU trying to claw their way into it.
USF picks up a pair
It was a pretty busy weekend for Orlando Antigua and his staff at USF. The Bulls landed combo forward Tulio Da Silva from Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day and Jahmal McMurray from Bel Aire (Kan.) Sunrise Christian.
A native of Brazil who is spending his senior year in the states, Da Silva is a bit of an unknown. Listed during the summer as a 6-foot-6 power forward on Brazil's 18U team in the Fiba Americas tournament, Da Silva has been billed as a 6-foot-8 small forward since arriving in the States. The truth is that he is somewhere in between both position and size wise. Recently, contributing analyst Russ Wood saw Da Silva play and he noted that Da Silva is a ferocious rebounder whose game is from the three point arc and in who has the potential to be a top 50 to top 100 type player in the class of 2015.
Originally from Topeka (Kans.), McMurray is spending a year of prep school at Sunrise. A three-star prospect, McMurray spent the majority of All-State high school career playing off the ball as an undersized six-foot shooting guard. He plays with the heart of a lion, is pretty effective off the dribble and can make defenders pay from deep. The goal for his prep year is to become more of a true point guard and he's done enough to convince USF that he can do that.
Interestingly, McMurray is already the third player to commit to Antigua with Sunrise Christian ties. 2014 signee Ruben Guerrero went there and fellow 2015 commit Luis Santos is now at Sunrise.
Rivals150 forward to Northwestern
For the second year in a row, Northwestern is on the board with a four-star prospect.
Monday morning, Tyron Boswell of the Expressions Elite summer program confirmed to that the No. 98 player in the class of 2015 Aaron Falzon has given a commitment to Chris Collins and his staff.
A 6-foot-7 faceup four man at Northfield (Mass.) Mount Hermon, Falzon looks to have a made a very good pick.
Working on his second solid recruiting class in a row, Collins has created a buzz around Northwestern basketball that hasn't been seen in some time so there is a newfound fan interest. But, most of all, Northwestern is a great system fit for Falzon.
Given his druthers, Falzon loves to roam between the high post and three point line to shoot jumpers. Mechanically he is very sound with his shooting and he's also pretty mobile with a body to build on. As he prepares for the rigors of Big Ten play, Falzon will need to get stronger but the talent is certainly there.
Moving forward, improvement of shot selection and finding a better balance between his inside and outside game (something he has really improved on) will play a large role in how quickly and how much Falzon can help.
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