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Needed changes coming to recruiting

22 Oct

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

The recruiting model for college basketball needed a change in a bad way. A change could be coming by the end of the month. Continue reading

California Dreaming: How Arizona is taking over the Golden State

6 Oct

Photo: Getty Images

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report        

Just a few short years ago, legendary Arizona coach Lute Olson decided to hang them up. The Wildcats had reached new heights under their longtime head coach, and after controversy, illness, and a drop off in production, the team that had once made the NCAA’s 25 times in a row ceased to exist.

What was Arizona’s answer to replacing such a legend? Hiring Xavier coach Sean Miller.

Xavier has had a history of being a launching pad for good young coaches, producing the likes of Skipp Prosser, Thad Matta, and Miller. Within his first season as the new boss for the Wildcats, Miller had proven that Arizona would be a power on the recruiting trail, despite a disappointing 16-15 record that year.

While Miller has gotten top players from all over the country, recently he has set his eyes on the fertile recruiting area that is California. What makes this foray into the area more interesting is that fellow PAC-12 teams UCLA, Cal, USC, and Stanford all reside in the state as well, meaning the Wildcats are doing a lot of recruiting in their neighbors’ backyards.

The pipeline from California emerged this past season with Miller getting top point guard Josiah Turner to come to Tucson as well as fellow top 100 prospect Angelo Chol. Turner was the best player in the class of 2011 to come out of California, and Chol was the second best big man to come from the state. While those two should team with fellow freshmen Nick Johnson and Sidiki Johnson to form a solid nucleus this season, its next year’s class that have Arizona fans really excited.

Three top 50 players in the class of 2012 have already committed to Arizona, and all of them are from California. Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett are two of the top big men in the country as well as the two best players in the state. Gabe York is a talented combo guard who is the third best player and best guard coming out of California this season.

To put it bluntly, Arizona has put a stranglehold on recruiting California. It is worth mentioning that the Wildcats are also involved with center Robert Upshaw, the fourth best player in the state. While Upshaw seems to be a backup plan if Arizona can’t land Kaleb Twarzewski, it would be impressive if they were able to land the top 4 players in the state.

So why the sudden dominance of Arizona in California?

Stanford has had problems returning to the level they were once at when the Lopez twins were roaming the paint. USC is still dealing with controversy sparked by Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo, and UCLA will always have the image of a team that doesn’t let its players reach their potential under Ben Howland. Cal is a solid program that has yet to make the jump to be a consistent contender in March, and until they do, it will be hard to lure in the top recruits in the state.

The recruiting area that is California is up for grabs right now, and Arizona is making a serious push to take over as the top dogs in the conference because they recruiting the state so well.

Look for Miller and company to continue to pull top prospects out of the state as long as he is the boss there. If the Wildcats can do that, it might be another 25 years before they miss the tournament again.

Big Visit Weekend & Commit Signal Harvard’s Arrival as a National Recruiting Player

27 Sep

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

When you think of programs that can recruit consistently at a national level while bringing in talented players a few schools come to mind. Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, Arizona, and more recently St.Johns, Florida, and Ohio State have all been able to draw top talent from all around the country to their programs.

While they aren’t going after quite the same talent level, schools such as Xavier, Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason, Butler and Gonzaga have been quietly expanding their recruiting territory to a more national stage over the past decade or so, causing the line between mid and high major to become more blurred than ever.

There is a new program that is attempting to join the elite mid-majors and take the next step towards becoming a top non-BCS program in their own right – Harvard. Continue reading

PG flying under the radar?

12 Sep

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

As you know, not every great player who has come out of high school  is highly touted. There have been under the radar players like Steph Curry and Andrew Goudelock. Heck even Derrick Williams wasn’t one of the top players in his class. Another under the radar could be Indiana area point guard Adonis Filer. Continue reading

Big Texan making the visit rounds

1 Sep

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

Connor Lammert is one of the more underrated recruits in the class of 2012 and while the public hasn’t heard much about him yet, the major programs have. Continue reading

August 30th is national signing day?

30 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

Most everyone that follows college basketball recruiting looks forward to two dates: November 10th (start of the early signing period) and April 13th (start of the late signing period). Well everyone, Christmas has come early. Continue reading

The Mighty Ducks: Dana Altman is quietly building a giant in Oregon

25 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

One of the biggest storylines last season was the search for a new head coach in Oregon. Candidates ranged from established coaches like Tom Izzo to Brad Stevens. In the end the Ducks ended up with Creighton head man Dana Altman, it was regarded as a solid, if unspectacular hire. Continue reading

Woodberry to follow AAU teammates?

10 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

One of the fastest rising players in the class of 2102 is Adam Woodbury. The Iowan native had one of the most impressive spring/summers in recent memory. Continue reading

Missing the point?

9 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

A few weeks ago I did a piece on how Dominic Artis to UCLA affected a lot of the point guards and programs in the class of 2012. Now another domino has fallen with Javan Felix announcing that he will be attending Texas next season. Where does this leave guys like L.J Rose, Ray Lee, and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera? Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading

The Jarnell Stokes race is on

5 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

Jarnell Stokes is one of the premier big men in the class of 2012 and could be looking at a serious bump in the rankings after leading Memphis YOMCA to the finals of both the NIKE Peach Jam and AAU Nationals. In what can only be described as a stellar month for the power forward, things are going pretty well for the big man. Continue reading