Fall Recruiting Preview - Big Ten

Ohio State leads the way with Mullens and Buford

Oct. 11, 2007

By Van Coleman

CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com


Van Coleman

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We continue our look at conference recruiting with the Big Ten, where a number of schools have wrapped up their fall recruiting, but a couple of teams are still working on classes that will challenge for top 20 or higher honors.


Leading the early recruiting in the Big Ten are Ohio State and Michigan State with Indiana and Minnesota poised to challenge for the top spot, while Wisconsin and Iowa have solid starts in the fall recruiting wars.  With that in mind here's an early look at the Big Ten:


Ohio State (Recruiting Log) is poised to have its third straight top ten class this fall.  This year's talented class is led by two top twenty talents, No. 9 rated 7-foot-1 big man B.J. Mullens from Harvest Prep (Canal Winchester, Ohio) and No. 15 rated 6-foot-4 combo guard William Buford of Libbey (Toledo).  They have tools to challenge for starting spots as freshmen.  They are joined by two other talented combo guards who will add depth at the point spot in No. 88 rated 6-foot-2 Anthony Crater, who is prepping at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), and 6-foot-2 Walter Offutt from Warren Central (Indianapolis).  But, the Buckeyes could add one more this fall.


The main target at this point is 6-foot-8 195-pound Kevin Jones from Mount Vernon, N.Y.  Jones took his first visit to Ohio State and will be at Indiana this weekend, and has visits scheduled to West Virginia (10/19), Massachusetts (10/26), and Pittsburgh (11/3).  Local wing talent 6-foot-4 Devon Moore from Columbus Northland has also been mentioned with the Buckeyes.


Michigan State (Recruiting Log)  has already added its full allotment of available scholarships this fall receiving three commitments headed by No.7 rated 6-foot-8 combo forward Delvon Roe of St. Edward's (Lakeland, Ohio).  He has tools to be an impact talent in the Big Ten.  He's joined by No.69 rated 5-foot-11 point guard Korie Lucious from Pius X (Milwaukee, Wisc.).  He will team with current frosh Kalin Lucas to replace Drew Neitzel, their All-Big Ten point.  The last piece to the Spartan class is No.99 rated Draymond Green from Saginaw, Mich.  He's a tough board man who'll add depth up front. The Spartans are done for this fall, and have moved on to recruiting the junior class.


Indiana (Recruiting Log) has had a fast start to recruiting with three commitments (one is in doubt) this fall.  The newest Hoosiers are headed by No.14 rated 6-foot-8 Devin Ebanks from St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.).  He is very similar to former Hoosier great Jared Jeffries.  He will be joined up front by 6-foot-9 power man Tom Pritchard from St. Edward's (Lakewood, Ohio). He flat out blew up at the end of the summer,  The final Hoosier commitment is from No. 47 rated Bud Mackey from Mason County High (Maysville, Ky.).  His status with the Hoosiers is up in the air since he was arrested recently on drug possession charges.  Stay tuned on his future.  The Hoosiers could sign at least two more this fall.


Their top target at this point is 7-foot center Tyler Zeller, our No. 16 rated senior prospect.  He visited the Hoosiers in September along with North Carolina.  He will visit Notre Dame (where his brother plays) this weekend, then head to Purdue on October 19th.  They have also shown interest in a couple other big men in 6-foot-9 Andre Clark from Genesis One (Mendenhall, Miss.), who recently de-committed from Oklahoma, 6-foot-8 Jarrod Jones from Michigan City, Ind., and 6-foot-8 L.A. Pomlee from Central (Davenport, Iowa).  The other high priority recruit is the above mentioned Kevin Jones, who will be visiting Bloomington this weekend.


Minnesota (Recruiting Log) has been making a late charge of late and now has three commitments this fall.  They are led by two potential junior college All-Americans in 6-foot-8 power forward Paul Carter from Missouri State-West Plains CC and 6-foot-5 220-pound win scorer Devron Bostick of Southwestern Illinois CC.  Both have the tools and physical attributes to compete for starting spots in the Big Ten.  They are joined by one of the summer's fastest risers in 6-foot-10 big man Colton Iverson from Yankton, S.D.  He has potential to be an All-League player before he leaves Minneapolis.


But, the Gophers aren't done yet.  They could sign a couple more this fall with size and backcourt firepower targets they are recruiting.  Upfront, they are hard on two fall targets, and very interested in a third.  The two fall targets are 6-foot-11 Ralph Sampson Jr. from Northview (Duluth, Ga.) visited the Gophers in September and has visited Georgia Tech, too.  He will head to Kentucky this weekend.  6-foot-8 Josh Crittle from Elmhurst Timothy Christian just visited the Gophers on October 6th, he has also visited Oregon, Kansas State, and Southern Illinois.  A decision should come soon.  They will have 6-foot-8 230-pound Jarrod Jones from Michigan City, Ind., on campus this coming weekend.  The other big man on their radar is 6-foot-10 Stephen Goins from Chicago Curie who is also getting looks from DePaul, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, Valparaiso, and West Virginia.


In the backcourt, the Gophers still have interest in 6-foot-5 shooter Scottie Haralson from Provine (Jackson, Miss.) who visited the weekend of October 6th.  He is also considering UAB, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Penn State, and Mississippi.  Others they like are 6-foot-3 point Verdell Jones from Central (Champaign, Ill.), 6-foot-4 Devoe Joseph from Pickering (Ajax, Ontario), Travis Leslie, a 6-foot-5 wing from Columbia (Decatur, Ga.), and 6-foot-3 Kendall Durant who is prepping at New Hampton (N.H.) School.


Wisconsin (Recruiting Log) completed its recruiting earlier this summer having added four prospects in the Class of 2008, headed by two big men and two guards.  In the front court the Badgers will sign twin towers in 7-foot-1 Ian Markolf from Churchill (San Antonio ) and 6-foot-10 Jared Berggren of Princeton, Minn., who will give the Badgers a familiar look inside down the road.  In the backcourt, 6-foot-4 wing scorer Robert Wilson from Garfield Heights, Ohio and 6-foot-1 point guard Jordan Taylor of Benilde-St. Margaret's (St. Louis Park, Minn.) will add immediate depth next fall.  The Badgers have moved on to the junior class and will concentrate on the nation's top juniors at this point.


Iowa (Recruiting Log) has commitments from three senior prospects at this point headed by our No.70 rated wing guard Matt Gatens from hometown Iowa City High.  He is a tough competitor who will be joined in the back court in the future by sweet shooting 6-foot-4 combo Anthony Tucker from Minnetonka, Minn.  Look for this duo to add immediate depth on the perimeter for the Hawkeyes.  The third recruit is 6-foot-8 power forward Andrew Brommer from Rosemont, Minn.  He originally was headed to the Gophers, but decided to open recruiting after the coaching change last spring.  He is an excellent outside shooter who fits into Hawkeyes new offense extremely well. The Iowa staff is looking to add one or two more recruits this fall.


They could add at least one talent upfront or possible a guard.  Upfront, the Hawkeyes could go junior college.  One future juco All-American they like is 6-foot-7 combo forward Daniel Payne from Coffeyville CC, Kan., but face some competition from Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Purdue, and Wichita State who join Iowa on his early list.  The Hawkeyes have spent some time at Vincennes CC, IN and the College of Southern Idaho this fall.  Possible targets include Vincennes' 6-foot-9 Zvonko Buljan and 6-foot-7 Patrick Posey, while at CSI 6-foot-7 Juan Pattillo seems to be the player of interest, although transfers 6-foot-7 Joey Shaw, 6-foot-6 Terry Fields and 6-foot-5 Harvey Perry could intrigue the Hawkeyes.  Another juco talent, this time in the backcourt (although Perry can play the two-spot) that has caught the Hawkeyes' eye is 6-foot-4 Jermain Davis from Kirkwood CC, IA.  He originally was headed to UNI, but opened up his recruiting this summer.  On the perimeter the Hawkeyes have shown interest in 6-foot-5 Michael Morrison from St. Petersburg, Fla. Lakewood and 6-foot-3 Quintin Dailey of Las Vegas, NV Bishop Gorman.  Look for the Hawkeyes to continue to evaluate a number of high school and prep school talents, so look for their list to grow in the spring if they don't close on one or two of the above talent this fall.


Purdue (Recruiting Log) comes off a top ten class last spring, and has added two solid back court additions led by 5-foot-9 speedster Lewis Jackson from Eisenhower (Decatur, Ill.).  He is an explosive scoring point who will see major PT as a freshman.  He will be joined in the back court by 6-foot-3 wing shooter Ryne Smith from Toledo, OH Whitmer who will add depth on the wing for the Boilermakers.  Purdue will look to sign at least one more prospect this fall.


The Boilermakers' main target is 7-foot Tyler Zeller from Washington, Ind.  The multi-skilled big man will be on the Purdue campus on October 19th. Other front court possibilities include 6-foot-8 Dwight Miller from Westbury Christian (Houston, Tex.), Jarrod Jones, along with 6-foot-7 juco super Daniel Payne. If they miss on Zeller, look for their interest in jucos grow if inside help remains a priority once the season starts.


Michigan (Recruiting Log) has two early commitments at this point, they are headed by eastern big man 7-foot 240-pound Ben Cronin from Henniger (Syracuse, N.Y.).  He is the kind of low block talent who can become a nucleus to build around as he matures. He's joined by 6-foot-2 combo guard Stuart Douglass from Carmel, Ind. who will add depth in the back court.  The Wolverines could add one more wing talent if the right one comes along.


Currently, the Wolverines are evaluating a number of players since Kyle Kuric (who visited earlier) has cut his list to Louisville and Southern Illinois.  The players that the Wolverines are looking at include, 6-foot-6 Ben Simons from Cadillac, Mich., 6-foot-4 Devoe Joseph, 6-foot-3 combo Quintin Dailey of  Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), and 6-foot-4 Devon Moore from Northland (Columbus, Ohio).  Look for others to be added to that list this winter.


Northwestern (Recruiting Log) has two fall commitments in the fold, in-state talents 6-foot-8 John Shurna from Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn) and 6-foot-5 shooter Nick Fruendt of Batavia, Ill.  They are skilled, smart, hard working competitors that fit the Wildcats system.  With added strength both will be solid Big Ten talents.  The `Cats could add one more.  The leading target at this point is 6-foot-11 230-pound Garrett Stutz from North Kansas City, Mo.  This fast rising big man will be at Kentucky's Midnight Madness this weekend.  He visited Northwestern in September, he's also been to Wichita State, Saint Louis, Kansas State, and will take visits to SMU on October 19th and Marquette October 27th. He would like to sign early, but may visit a couple schools a second time before deciding.


Penn State (Recruiting Log) has one commitment to date in 6-foot-8 Billy Oliver from Chatham, NJ in the fold so far this fall.  The Nittany Lions are very active and could add at least two more this fall or next spring.  They are looking for wing and frontcourt help. 


The players they are showing the most interest in at this point are 6-foot-7 245-pound Evan Ravenel from Brandon, Fla.  The powerful rebounder visited State College September 1st.  He's also been to Tulane, Wichita State, and Virginia Tech.  He will take his final visit to Boston College this coming weekend for Midnight Madness.  They are also on the short list for 6-foot-8 Jarrod Jones, who's at Minnesota this weekend and 6-foot-8 Chris Cooper from Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.), who just visited Temple.  They also are in the final three for wing shooter Owen Wignot of Bishop Hogan (Wilkes Barre, Pa.), who is deciding in the near future from among the Nittany Lions, Siena and Temple.  They are mentioned with 6-foot-5 Scottie Haralson, 6-foot-3 Kendall Durant, 6-foot-4 wing Stacey Waters from Renaissance (Detroit), and 6-foot-5 Eric Wamsley from Tucker County (Hambleton, W. Va.).


Illinois (Recruiting Log) hasn't received any commitments in the class of 2008 as we write this column, but did have a huge day in the class of 2009 adding two commitments from junior perimeter talents in 6-foot-4 D.J. Richardson, our No. 61 rated junior and 6-3 Brandon Paul.  But, we're concentrating on this year's class, and the Illini would like to add at least three signees this fall.  A big man, a wing, or the best available back court talent would be our best guess at the needs they'd like to fill.


Up front they are in the final three with 6-foot-9 Stan Simpson from Simeon (Chicago) who visited the Illini last week.  His other two schools are Arkansas and Bradley.  They are one of the finalists for 6-foot-8 Renaldo Woolridge from Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) who will be at Georgetown this weekend.  He has the Illini, Hoyas, USC, Tennessee, and Marquette as his finalists.  The Illini are also involved with Chicago big man 6-foot-10 Steve Goins, 6-foot-8 L.A. Pomlee, 6-foot-8 Brandon Moore of Holy Cross (New Orleans, La.), and future juco All-American 6-foot-7 Daniel Payne.


In the back court, the Illini are in the final three for 6-foot-3 Deividas Dulkys from Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), who has visited Florida State and San Diego State to date and will schedule a visit to Champaign before the signing date.  6-foot-3 point Verdell Jones still has the Illini in the hunt along with Minnesota, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and Marquette.  Other players they like include Devoe Joseph, Justin Watts, a 6-foot-4 wing from Jordan (Durham, N.C.), and 5-foot-11 point Damier Pitts of Hargrave Military (Chatham, Va.).


Hope you enjoyed our look at the Big Ten's fall recruiting. We will continue our conference by conference breakdowns with the ACC next, right here at "Generation Next.

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