basketball Edit

Starting Five: Manning gets statement recruit

There was a flurry of Sunday recruiting activity highlighted by Danny Manning and Wake Forest landing a signature recruit in top 40 senior guard Chaundee Brown. In the Starting Five, we take a look at some of the major decision makers and preview a pair of upcoming decisions in the state of Alabama.

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1. DANNY MANNING LANDS BIG FISH IN BROWN

Chaundee Brown (Nike/Jon Lopez @NikeEYB)

Make no mistake, Wake Forest coach Danny Manning has had some recruiting success. His first full class as the head coach at Wake featured a pair of four-star prospects in point guard Bryant Crawford and center Doral Moore. Three-star forward John Collins from the same class has already proven to be a terrific find.

However, on Sunday, Manning landed 2017's No. 39 player Chaundee Brown and in the eyes of Rivals.com he's the signature recruit of his tenure as the head coach of the Demon Deacons.

A well-built 6-foot-5 wing from Orlando, Brown is a physically tough, athletic and skilled player who should be able to step in and provide immediate scoring punch at Wake. Not only is he a big-time player, Manning – with big help from assistant Brett Ballard – beat out formidable competition in Manning's alma mater, Kansas, to win the services of Brown.

2. MARYLAND SCRAMBLES FOR FOUR-STAR

It looked for all the world that Maryland would grab an early decision out of four-star center Ikey Obiagu. If not, it looked like it had a nice fallback plan in four-star Nate Watson. Instead, Obiagu decided to drag things out and Watson went to Providence.

Have no fear Terp fans, Mark Turgeon and his staff have done quite nicely for themselves in their quest to find a center after landing Bruno Fernando on Sunday.

Originally a member of the class of 2016 who had committed to SMU, Fernando instead opted for prep school and Maryland moved quickly in his recruitment over the past few weeks.

A good athlete who can run the floor, Fernando is a center with toughness and a Big Ten-ready frame. He rebounds, plays physical positional defense and tries to dunk everything he gets his hands on. He will need some refinement with his footwork, but Fernando has the tools to be a very productive player in College Park.

3. "LATE NIGHT" EVENT PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR KANSAS

When it comes to the season-opening spectacles that take place on campus all across the country, few can match what Kansas has in its "Late Night in the Phog" event. This year's event featured a loaded lineup of visitors and has already produced a commitment from 2019 point guard Markese Jacobs of Chicago (Ill.) Uplift.

Though his 5-foot-11 listing may be a little generous, Jacobs is already capable of playing above the rim and has an explosive first step, along with a fearless mentality that makes him tough attacking the basket. Sources close to the situation told Rivals.com that Jacobs reminds Kansas head coach Bill Self of former star and Chicago native Sherron Collins and current point guard Frank Mason.

In addition to Jacobs, who visited unofficially, Kansas hosted 2017 five-star prospects Trevon Duval (unofficial), Collin Sexton (official), Billy Preston (official), Troy Brown (official) along with four-stars Cody Riley (official) and Tremont Waters. Other visitors at "Late Night" currently ranked in the top 25 of their respective classes included point guard Immanuel Quickley (2018), power forward Bol Bol (2018), point guard Brandon Williams (2018), power forward Matthew Hurt (2019), power forward Jeremiah Robinson (2019) and shooting guard Grant Sherfield (2019).

4. INDIANA LANDS POTENTIAL SLEEPER

Sometimes it is all about being in the right place at the right time. While scouting Malik Williams during the summer, Indiana came across power forward Clifton Moore. While Williams ended up committing to Louisville, Indiana added Moore on Sunday and he's one of the more intriguing, if not downright mysterious, guys in the class of 2017.

He is a long and slender athlete who moves with fluidity and he appears to have a very dangerous jump shot with easy range to the three-point line. However, he is also lacking in strength and isn't a player that has been heavily scouted against other top high school talent.

In speaking with some coaches who unsuccessfully recruited Moore, it appears that Indiana may have stumbled across a genuine under-the-radar gem. Moore's shooting and upside have been consistently praised and the word is that once he adds weight he could merge into a sleeper prospect. Two coaches compared him to former five-star and current Florida junior Devin Robinson.

5. DECISIONS COMING FROM ALABAMA FOUR-STARS

It is going to be a big week for four-stars from the class of 2017 in the state of Alabama. Rivals.com has confirmed reports from Hoopseen.com's Garrett Tucker that power forward Alex Reese and shooting guard Herb Jones are both expected to make their decisions this week.

Ranked No. 73 nationally, Reese has been down to UAB and Alabama and just wrapped an official visit to Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide have been considered the favorite and as of today we would still look at Avery Johnson's bunch as the team to beat. Reese has good athleticism, moves well and has good hands to go along with a nice level of skill.

Jones is ranked one spot higher in the Rivals150 than Reese and took his official visit to Alabama at the same time. The long and rangy shooter has also seen Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Georgia Tech, and is a wing with huge upside once he adds some strength. Jones' recruitment has been a little tougher to gauge with arguments being made in favor of all of his finalists at one time or another. However, the timing of the visit doesn't look to be a bad thing for the Crimson Tide and it wouldn't be a surprise if they were able to land Jones in addition to Reese.

If they do, it will certainly be a great start to a recruiting class where they still have big timers like five-star guards Collin Sexton and Troy Brown along with high end four-star John Petty on their radar.