Fall Recruiting Preview - Big East (Pt. II)

Teams hoping to rebound after finishing last year in the bottom half of the conference

Oct. 7, 2007

By Van Coleman

CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com


Van Coleman

Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
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We are just beginning the stretch run to the fall signing period (Nov. 14 - Nov. 21), and the colleges are getting ready to kick off practice next week.


The past couple of weeks have been very busy with campus visits and a number of national level commitments. But rather than cover individual commitments, I'd like to look at who's doing well in conference recruiting and who some of the surprise schools are as we move toward the November signing date.


Up first is the Big East where Louisville and Connecticut have jumped out to the early lead in recruiting, while Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Georgetown have strong starts in the fall recruiting wars.


With that in mind, here's Part II of the Big East (Part I), looking at those hoping to rebound from last year's finishes in the bottom half of the regular season conference standings:


Villanova (Recruiting Log) doesn't have any commitments at this time, but is still in the hunt for No. 3-rated 6-foot-4 Tyreke Evans from Aston, Pa. American Christian. The very talented Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff from Pennsauken, N.J. Apex Academy, list the Wildcats among the three schools they are now considering after re-opening their commitments to Memphis. Any mix of the three of this group would constitute a successful class for the `Cats.


Providence (Recruiting Log) has a commitment from 6-foot-8 power forward Bilal Dixon from North Arlington, NJ Queen of Peace School. He has face-up tools and an explosive game around the hoop. As is the norm for the Friars, they will likely be looking for a diamond to emerge in the spring recruiting.


Among some of the early names we've seen with the Friars are 6-foot-4 Sean Kilpatrick, an athletic wing talent from White Plains, N.Y. Six-foot-4 wing shooter Mike Marra from Northfield, Mass. Mount Hermon and 6-foot-1 point guard Trinity Fields from Bayside, N.Y. Cardozo also list PC. We expect the Friars name to come up with a number of prep school and possibly a couple JUCO talents by the spring.


St. John's (Recruiting Log) doesn't have any commitments at this time, but is certainly very active this fall. The Red Storm missed recently on No. 37-rated Sylven Landesberg, who's headed to Virginia, but are still in the hunt for two special wing talents in No. 45-rated 6-foot-6 Mookie Jones from Peekskill, N.Y., who will visit on Oct. 27, and 6-foot-4 Devoe Joseph of Ajax, Ontario Pickering School, who was on their campus two weeks ago.


Jones will also visit DePaul, Marquette, Rutgers, and Syracuse.


If they miss on that duo, then 6-foot-5 Patrick Jackson from Brooklyn, N.Y. Xaverian is the most likely candidate for the wing scholarship, although 6-foot-4 Sean Kilpatrick from White Plains, N.Y. is still on the Red Storm's radar.


Up front, the Red Storm is close on four talented prospects. They are in the final three at this point, along with Villanova and Kansas, for the 6-foot-9 Morris twins Marcus and Markieff, who are prepping at Pennsauken, N.J. Apex Academy. They are in the hunt for visits from 6-foot-7 Kevin Jones from Mount Vernon, N.Y. and 6-foot-8 powerman Dan Jennings, who is playing his senior year at Mouth of Wilson, Va. Oak Hill Academy.


Connecticut (Recruiting Log) is set to sign two very talented perimeter talents in 6-foot-1 point guard Kemba Walker, our No. 29-rated senior from New York, N.Y. Rice, and 6-foot-6 wing Nate Miles, our No. 41-rated senior from Lenoir, N.C. Patterson School. The Huskies would like to add another backcourt talent along with some size upfront.


Currently the Huskies are in the hunt for a number of the nation's better wing guards in No. 3-rated Tyreke Evans, No. 12-rated Willie Warren and this weekend's visitor in 6-foot-4 Devoe Joseph from Ajax, Ontario Pickering Academy. 


Joseph has Arkansas, St. John's, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Rutgers as other schools he's considering. 


Up front, they are one of the five players along with Duke, Georgetown, LSU, and Texas in the sweepstakes for our No. 2-rated senior Greg Monroe of Gretna, La. Helen Cox. They are mentioned with No. 11-rated 7-foot-2 prep school big man John Riek-Suas from Winchendon, Ma., as are Duke, Georgetown and Florida. 


The Huskies are also involved with 6-foot-9 Matt Simpkins from North Bridgton, Maine Bridgton Academy, who has said he'll visit Storrs sometime this fall, along with 6-foot-8 Dan Jennings from Mouth of Wilson, Va. Oak Hill, and 6-foot-9 Latavious Williams from Starkville, Miss., along with 6-foot-7 Wesley Witherspoon from Lilburn, Ga. Berkmar. 


Recently, No. 19-rated Terrence Jennings from Fitchburg, Mass. Notre Dame Prep added the Huskies to his must-visit list.


Seton Hall (Recruiting Log) has a commitment from one of the Garden State's top point prospects in 6-foot-1 Jordan Theodore from Paterson Catholic. 


The Pirates are still involved with a couple of forwards with local ties in 6-foot-7 Kevin Jones from Mount Vernon, N.Y., and 6-foot-8 power man Dan Jennings of Mouth of Wilson, Va. Oak Hill Academy. If they miss on this duo, look for them to look at available prep school and JUCO talent in the spring.


South Florida (Recruiting Log) doesn't have any commitments at this time, but the Bulls have had a number of prospects on campus the past two or three weeks.


The recent visitors are headed by 6-foot-11 Gene Swindle from Miami, Fla. Gulliver Prep, who is also looking at Virginia Tech, Old Dominion and Miami (FL). Others were 6-foot-7 Ken Gabriel from Charlotte, N.C. United Christian and 5-foot-10 speedster Damier Pitts from Chatham, Va. Hargrave Military. All three reportedly have been offered by the Bulls.


They also like 6-foot-7 wing shooter Michael Morrison from St. Petersburg, Fla. Lakewood, 6-foot-5 Dago Pena from Punta Gorda, Fla. Charlotte, along with fast rising 6-foot-7 combo forward Eladio Espinosa from Chatham, Va. Hargrave Military. Don't be surprised if the Bulls take a long hard look at junior college help in the spring.


Rutgers (Recruiting Log) has commitments from No. 49-rated Michael Rosario from Jersey City, N.J. St. Anthony's and wide-bodied 6-foot-8 prep school post man Christian Morris from South Kent, Conn. School. They look like they'd like to add some help on the wing this fall.


The Scarlet Knights have shown early interest in adding some help at the forward spot. 


6-foot-8 Quintrell Thomas from Elizabeth, N.J. St. Patrick's, has visited the Scarlet Knights along with Maryland and Kansas. He will visit UNLV for Midnight Madness. 


No. 45-rated 6-foot-6 wing man Mookie Jones from Peekskill, N.Y. will be on campus October 20, and will also visit DePaul, Marquette, Syracuse and St. John's.


Last but certainly not least is 6-foot-5 Big Apple wing Patrick Jackson from Brooklyn, N.Y. Xaverian, who will visit Rutgers and St. John's while considering Iowa State, Houston and Virginia Tech.


Cincinnati (Recruiting Log) has commitments from one of the top power men in the class in No. 62-rated Yancy Gates from Cincinnati, Ohio Withrow High. He is a physical big man who can finish around the hoop. High-scoring 6-foot combo Cashmere Wright of Savannah, Ga. Urban Christian joins the Bearcat backcourt. They could add one or two more with shooting guard the current priority.


The Bearcats are in the hunt with No. 12-rated 6-foot-3 shooter Willie Warren, but if they get a visit it won't be until spring as he only has time for fall visits to Oklahoma (10/6) and Kansas (10/13) before getting into the season at Oak Hill Academy Va.


6-foot-4 jumping jack Teondre Williams will visit with Cashmere Wright. He also likes Florida State, Mississippi and Oklahoma.


The Bearcats are on the short list with former Indiana commit 6-foot-4 Eshaunte Jones from Chatham, Va. Hargrave Military. 


They're also still in the hunt for the final visit, along with Baylor, Kentucky and Louisville, of No. 39-rated 6-foot-10 J'Mison Morgan from Dallas, Texas South Oak Cliff. He's visited UCLA, Kansas, LSU, and is visiting Alabama this weekend.

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