Fall Recruiting Preview - Big 12 (Pt. I)

Kansas takes over early conference lead with huge Halloween

Nov. 2, 2007

Nov. 2, 2007

By Van Coleman

CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com


Van Coleman

Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
E-mail here!

It has been a slow start for the Big 12 this fall, especially since the conference has finished among the top two conferences in recruiting the past three years.


A number of coaching changes coupled with schools that don't have a lot of available playing time has slowed fall recruiting. 


However, this is more of a combination of factors happening rather than it being a trend.


The Big 12 has a new leader in fall recruiting since Kansas had a big day adding the Top 100-ranked Morris Twins to their fall class.




A number of schools are off to solid starts, and a number have yet to sign anyone.


With that in mind, here's Part I of our look at Big 12 fall recruiting:


Kansas (Recruiting Log) has received five commitments, three from among our Top 100 and one a Top 10 junior college talent. 


The top newcomers for the Jayhawks are our No. 33 rated senior 6-foot-3 combo Travis Releford from Shawnee Mission Bishop Miege and the aforementioned Top 10 JUCO talent in 6-foot-5 wing man Mario Little from Chipola, Fla. CC.


Last week, they added one of the top rebounders on the east coast in 6-foot-8 225-pound Quintrell Thomas from Elizabeth, N.J. St. Patrick's. 


On Halloween, they solidified a Top 10 fall class.


The addition of the Philadelphia native Morris Twins, No. 60 rated Marcus and No. 82 rated Markieff, gives Kansas two players with the ability to play multiple positions up front and blend in well with Thomas and returning post man Cole Aldrich. The twins have the ability to play both forward slots and can role to the post, using their quickness and ball skills to score around the hoop.  That versatility is a key to their stepping in and helping to fill the void left by graduating seniors 6-foot-9 Darnell Jackson and 6-foot-10 Sasha Kaun.


That gives the Jayhawks five commitments this fall, but they may add one more since it's likely that Brandon Rush will head to the NBA next spring. 


They were a finalist for No. 39 rated 6-foot-11 center J'Mison Morgan from Dallas, Tex. South Oak Cliff, but he just chose LSU this afternoon.


They have had No. 12 rated 6-foot-4 shooter deluxe Willie Warren from Fort Worth, Tex. North Crowley on campus and are among eight-or-so schools he's considering, like Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas, Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville and Kentucky.


The Jayhawks could also turn to the JUCO ranks where they are one of the leaders for 6-foot-7 Daniel Payne, a definite top-five talent at that level.


Missouri (Recruiting Log) has received six commitments so far this fall led by Top 25 JUCO talent 6-foot-9 Keith Ramsey from Okaloosa-Walton CC, Fla. 


Ramsey has the tools to be a double-double guy for the Tigers next year. 


Up front, he's joined by 6-foot-9 powerman Steve Moore from Independence, Mo. Truman and 6-foot-7 Laurence Bowers from Collierville, Tenn. St. George's. They will add plenty of depth up front in Columbia. 


In the backcourt, the Tigers added one of the best shooters in the class in 6-foot-3 Marcus Denmon from Kansas City, Mo. Hogan Prep, along with solid 6-foot-1 passing point Miguel Paul of Lakeland, Fla. Kathleen. 


Both will see lots of playing time as freshmen, while 6-foot-5 Kim English of Fitchburg, Mass. Notre Dame Prep will add depth on the wing.


The Tigers may be finished with their Class of 2008, although they seem to still be interested in 6-foot-2 combo Varez Ward from Lenoir, N.C. Patterson School.


Finishing early may give them a jump on the junior class, where they have their sights on in-state talents 6-foot-8 Tyler Griffey from Ballwin, MO Lafayette and 6-foot-2 point Michael Dixon of Lee, Mo. Summit West.


A big 2009 target is fifth-ranked 6-foot-11 DeMarcus Cousins from Mobile, Ala. Leflore.


Texas A&M (Recruiting Log) has received two commitments this fall headed by No. 94 rated point guard Dashan Harris from Montverde, Fla. Academy. 


This solid floor leader led his club to a 30-0 record last winter. 


Harris is joined by fast rising 6-foot-9 David Loubeau from Davie, Fla. Davie-Westlake, a potential Top 100 2008 talent when we re-do the rankings in February.  He has said he'll re-classify from the 2009 class, where he is currently ranked No. 51.  


The Aggies reportedly have one more scholarship and could add another perimeter talent either this fall or in the spring. 


They are one of the schools who have shown interest in 6-foot-7 Daniel Payne from Coffeyville CC, Kan.  He has the tools to make an immediate impact and is a top five JUCO talent. 


They are also looking at 6-foot-3 Garland Judkins from Humble, Texas Christian Life, 6-foot-7 wing Justin Johnson from Wolfeboro, N.H. Brewster Academy, 6-foot-4 combo Ryan Baker from Cypress, Texas Community Christian, 6-foot-7 wing A.J Hardeman from Cincinnati, Ohio Harmony Community, 6-foot-4 wing Devoe Joseph from Ajax, Ontario Pickering, and 6-foot-3 combo Tyree Thompson from Compton, Calif. Centennial.


The Aggies have gotten a solid jump on the junior class, especially in the Lone Star state. Look for them to be in the hunt for 6-foot-8 Quincy Acy from Mesquite Horne, 6-foot-9 John Henson of Round Rock, and 6-foot-8 Ray Turner from Houston Jones next spring and summer.


Colorado (Recruiting Log) has received four commitments this fall headed by a trio of high school front court talents.


The Buffaloes are lead by 6-foot-7 wing man Toby Veal from Savannah, Ga. Johnson, an explosive rebounder and scorer along the baseline.  He will be joined by fast rising summer surprise 6-foot-8 Austin Dufault from Killdeer, N.D., who really blew up in Vegas.  He can knock down jumpers from the arc or ace and drive on big men to the hoop.  Home-grown post man 6-foot-9 Trey Eckloff from Cherry Creek Englewood rounds out the inside trio. 


In the backcourt, 6-foot JUCO point guard Javonte Clanton from Blinn CC, Texas is set to sign.  He is a physical, quick floor leader that they will depend on to run the show in Boulder next fall.


The Buffaloes appear to be finished for the fall with this quartet and will be able to get a jump on the class of 2009 over the next couple months.


Iowa State (Recruiting Log) has received four commitments this fall headed by a physical rebounder who's stock really rose this fall in 6-foot-7 Clinton Mann from Overland Park, Kan. Thomas Aquinas.


Mann really kicked some tail at the Price Chopper tourney in late July to catch a number of high-major programs' eyes, but the Cyclones were his final choice.  His toughness is a key to what the Cyclones like to do up front.  


Joining him will be another tireless worker inside in lanky 6-foot-10, 225-pound post Justin Hamilton from Highland, Utah Lone Peak.


In the backcourt, two early commits will add depth, headed by help at point guard from 6-foot-3 Dominique Buckley from Romulus, Mich. and 6-foot-3 Wes Eikmeier of Fremont, Neb., who will remind Cyclone fans of one of McDermott's players at UNI and a thorn in their side for four years in Ben Jacobson.


It looks like the `Clones are done for this fall, but they could add another player with size in the spring.


They are involved with 6-foot-8 L.A. Pomlee from Davenport, Iowa Central and are evaluating a number of quality junior college talents with 6-foot-10, 240-pound Jamie Vanderbeken from Tyler CC, Texas among the players they have been in to see recently. 


Look for this list to grow over the next couple months as the Cyclone staff has time to get out and see the nation's top JUCO talent.


Oklahoma (Recruiting Log) has received two commitments so far this fall headed by fast developing 6-foot-10, 270-pound junior college post man Orlando Allen from Paris CC, Texas. 


Allen is becoming a real force in the paint on the defensive end.  He is just flat huge!


Joining him will be springy wing athlete 6-foot-5 Ray Willis from Atlanta, Ga. Westlake. 


The Sooners are still very active and could sign at least one more, maybe two.


Up front, they are still watching 6-foot-9 powerman Chris Roquemore from Garden City CC, Kan., along with 6-foot-9, 250-pounder Dee Proby from Angelina CC, Texas, and 6-foot-8 Marcus Goode of Lenoir, N.C. Patterson School.


But, the backcourt could be the real priority as the Sooners are in the hunt with No. 12 rated Willie Warren from Fort Worth, Texas North Crowley, along with eight-or-so schools including the likes of Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati and Kentucky.


If they miss on Willie Warren, look for serious consideration to be given to 6-foot-3 combo Garland Judkins from Humble, TX Christian Life, 6-foot-3 Stacy Waters from Detroit, Mich. Renaissance, 6-foot-4 Ryan Baker of Cypress, TX Community Christian, or 6-foot-2 Jamel Guyton from Odessa CC, Texas.


That's our look at Part I of the Big 12 conference.  We will kick off Part II tomorrow, right here at "Generation Next."