Previewing The Fall Signing Period
No. 1 overall UCLA heads loaded Pac-10
Sept. 7, 2007
By Van Coleman
CSTV & Hoopmasters.com
Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
For players in the Class of 2008 looking to make their college decision, the serious part is on its way with visits to campuses going on now more than ever.
Typically, they'll have heard about, seen first hand, and have done their homework on the basketball program by this point. School is back in session and football games are going on so that makes a perfect time to bring a recruit on campus and show what a school is all about.
Commitments will begin to break while players are on campus, on the plane or in the car back home afterward, or in their own home when a coach comes in to visit with the player and family.
Most of the players offering verbal commitments in this fall period will sign their letters of intent in November's signing period.
With that in mind, here's a look at who's at the top now, who's behind them, chances of getting more kids, and those with great starts that are still very active recruiting wise.
UCLA - The Bruins have the best backcourt recruited on the west coast in many a year. The group is headed by Jrue Holiday (6) and two other tremendous talents in Malcolm Lee (23) and Jerime Anderson (35). For good measure, throw in a potential first round draft choice down the road once he fills out and develops in Drew Gordon (31). UCLA's still looking for another big man and has sights on and J'Mison Morgan (39), Matt Simpkins (63) and Ralph Sampson Jr. (78). The Bruins might even step out and get a talented scorer in Renaldo Woolridge (75). (UCLA Recruiting Log)
Arizona - Of course Brandon Jennings (1) heads the class but the real key could end up being their first legitimate inside-presence in a while in Jeff Withey (34) and the addition of athletic wing man Emmanuel Negedu (30), who played overseas most of the summer. Throw in hometown product Brandon Lavender and they have a great class. The `Cats are still involved with Willie Warren (12) and Justin Brownlee (96), but could get involved in the John Riek Suas (11) lottery if he does in fact stay in the 2008 class. (Arizona Recruiting Log)
USC - Back to the Pac-10, the Trojans add one of the best offensive talents in the class in Demar DeRozan (5). Throw in Malik Story, who can shoot it and create space for the guys inside, and add in Percy Miller, a good solid backup point guard, and this is a great start. They're still involved with Greg Monroe (2), Matt Simpkins (63) and Renaldo Woolridge (75). (USC Recruiting Log)
Wake Forest - A trio of quality big men are on their way in Al-Farouq Aminu (8), Ty Walker (22) and Tony Woods (43) and that gives them a solid front line for the future, along with one scholarship still available. However, that probably won't be dealt until the spring after the unfortunate passing of Skip Prosser and the adjustments facing the staff. (Wake Forest Recruiting Log)
Michigan State - To make that Final Four push and follow up on their '07 class, the Spartans needed a class that contained all quality players and they did just that this fall. Delvon Roe (7) will be an immediate impact, Korie Lucious (69) will blend in naturally to the backcourt and Draymond Green (99) adds a sorely missed rebounder, (Michigan State Recruiting Log)
But it's early, and by no means are those seated 5-10 safe. If they don't continue to add players, they have a good chance to lose their spots to the following:
Cincinnati - The Bearcats already have two Top 150s in Yancy Gates (62) and Cashmere Wright. They're involved with Gibson, Courtney Fortson (79), Travis Leslie and Toby Veal. (Cincinnati Recruiting Log)
Louisville - The `Cards have Samardo Samuels (4) and Melquan Bolding already in the fold and are still in very well with all of Greg Monroe (2), Tyreke Evans (5), Vargas, and Olek Czyz (56). Enough said. (Louisville Recruiting Log)
UConn - Nate Miles (41) and Kemba Walker (29) are done deals. Now, the Huskies are looking to sign some size with Suas (10), Simpkins (63), Kevin Jones (66) and Latavious Williams all targets. Plus, they're still involved with Tyreke Evans (3). (UConn Recruiting Log)
UNC - Ed Davis (10) and Larry Drew (58) are a good start as the Tar Heels would like to sign another guard. Iman Shumpert (21) has them in his top three schools with Marquette and Georgia Tech, and Tyreke Evans (3) still mentioned them this summer. Look for an inside presence to possibly be sought out in the form of John Riek (11) or Chris Singleton (28). (North Carolina Recruiting Log)
Maryland - The `Terps already have two dynamic scorers committed in Terrence Jennings (19) and Sean Mosley (55). They're still involved with Gus Gilchrist (68), Ralph Sampson Jr. (78) and Quintrell Thomas. (Maryland Recruiting Log)
Indiana - The Hoosiers took a tremendous offensively gifted talent from the East in Devin Ebanks (14) and have one of the most underappreciated guards in the class in Bud Mackey (47). They would like to sign an inside talent with Tyler Zeller (16) the top target but are also involved with Tom Pritchard, L.A. Pomlee, and Stan Simpson. Kelvin Sampson and company could sign another forward into the fold as they're involved with Vargas, Kevin Jones (66), Josh Crittle and Luke Fabrizius. (Indiana Recruiting Log)