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Nuclear Dish

2007 Recruiting Updates

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Belein already signed a contract through 2012 last season. Plus at a press conference, he said he wasn't leaving the program unless it was personal issues.

Yeah, yeah, we've all heard it before from these coaches. Just wait until WF comes calling with a hefty contract and a chance to take over a pretty good team in the ACC.

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Latest Huggins rumor: he's going to Marshall and taking Mayo and Walker with him.

Latest Lance Thomas rumor: Rutgers' coach Gary Waters might be fired, which would potentially eliminate them from contention. Assuming that happens, dook is the runaway leader right now (Thomas is going to the UNC-dook game at Cameron in March), followed by Arizona and Florida.

And although it's not on TV (which ESPN should be ashamed of), huge matchup in HS ball this weekend, as Oak Hill (Va.) faces North College Hill (Oh.). Oak Hill is 34-0 and ranked #1 in the country by USA Today and #2 by Rivals. North College Hill is 19-0 and ranked #2 by USA Today and #4 by Rivals.

There are 5 legit pro prospects in the game:

For Oak Hill, you have Tywon Lawson, PG, heading to UNC; Mike Beasley, SF, heading to Charlotte; and Nolan Smith, SG, heading to dook.

For North College Hill, you have OJ Mayo, G, undecided; and Bill Walker, SF, undecided.

Just to give you a sense of how good Walker is, Mayo was out last weekend with an ankle injury, and Walker picked up the slack by finishing with 50 points and 25 boards.

I'm real interested to see how Lawson (6'1") does with Mayo (6'4") guarding him. Reports say Mayo is just as quick, but has the significant height advantage.

FYI in terms of local schools, DeMatha (24-0) is ranked #3 in both rankings, Mount St. Joe (30-0) is #9 in USA Today and #10 in Rivals, and Montrose Christian (15-2) is ranked #12 in Rivals and #13 in USA Today.

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Where is Walker leaning towards??

Wherever Mayo goes, which is likely wherever Huggins goes.

Oh, and BTW, Oak Hill won 88-74.

OJ Mayo 43 points

Bill Walker 24 points

Rest of North College Hill 7 points

Tywon Lawson 21 points, 5 assists

Nolan Smith 19 points, 11 rebounds

Anthony Wright (signed w/ Michigan) 13 points

Jeff Allen (signed w/ VT) 12 points

Michael Beasley 11 point

The game wasn't really in question because North College Hill kicked their 6'11" center off the team last week, so the biggest they could go was 6'6", 6'5", 6'5". Oak Hill lined up at 6'10, 6'9", 6'7" and they outrebounded NCH 49-27.

Mayo went 12-30 from the field and 14-15 from the line, with 5 3's. He ad 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 turnover.

Walker went 10-19 from the field (7 dunks), hit a 3, had 6 rebounds and 4 steals.

The rest of the NCH team went 3-24 from the field.

The loss ended a 40-game winning streak for NCH, and the win extended Oak Hill's win streak to 53.

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The Latest on Lance Thomas

Well, first of all, Thomas has officially reuced his list to dook and Rutgers. That means that Arizona and Florida have been eliminated from contention.

Second, the rumor I reported a month ago has in fact come to fruition. Gary Waters has been bought out as head coach at Rutgers.

HOWEVER, I had reported that this might be good news for dook fans, figuring that the uncertainty at Rutgers would lead Thomas to go to dook.

It now appears that that speculation was way off base. In fact, just the opposite may be happening.

Rutgers has reportedly chosen to eschew a coaching search in favor of hiring Associate Head Coach Fred Hill. And Thomas may have been lobbying for Hill all along.

According to NorthJersey.com:

“Coach Waters has been the coach,” said the 6-8 Thomas, the St. Benedict’s Prep star who watched the game from behind the Rutgers’ bench. “For me to say it would be better for coach Hill to be the coach, that would be out of my place. I can’t really comment on that.”

Thomas has narrowed his choices to Duke and Rutgers, and still plans to attend Saturday’s North Carolina-Duke game. (Who wouldn’t given that opportunity?)

One knowledgeable basketball person said he has heard Thomas publicly proclaim his desire to play for Hill, and even kidded that if Rutgers named Hill the new head coach this week, Thomas might skip his trip to Duke.

Officially, Thomas is going to be in Durham on Saturday. Hill could be named Rutgers' next head coach as early as Monday, after the regular season finale against St. John's, although it could be delayed beyond the NIT, if Rutgers gets a bid there. Most people are expecting an announcement from Thomas some time in the next 2-3 weeks.

Stay tuned...

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ND, any new news on how this effects Thomas?

There is no question that Hill getting the job is a bonus for Rutgers.

However, there are currently 2 strains of thought on Thomas' recruitment:

1. He has waited this long to take the heat off him for his ultimate decision to go to dook. He didn't want to hear it from the NJ fans all season long, so he delayed a final decision, but he's known he is going to dook all along.

2. If it were a basketball decision, he'd have decided on dook long ago, but since he hasn't, there are other factors at play, such as hometown loyalties, his girlfriend, and of course, the coaching situation.

I tend to think that #2 has more validity than #1, which is entirely speculative. At least in #2, we know for sure that he is in fact from New Jersey, his girlfriend will be attending Rutgers next year, and they did just change coaches.

Nonetheless, there's no telling which way he'll decide.

FYI, he is expected to be making another unofficial visit to Rutgers this weekend (he goes frequently). This will be his first visit there since Hill's hiring. He's been on an official and an unofficial to dook so far.

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BTW, I said something would shake out in 2-3 weeks. Well, tomorrow is 3 weeks from when I posted that. I wouldn't be surprised to hear something one way or the other after this weekend.

Also, the Mizzou rumors about chasing Huggins or Beilin are obviously way off. However, it's been confirmed that they asked for and got permission to approach Steve Alford. Alford is denying any interest in leaving, and I can't see him going to Mizzou over Indiana, but it's another place for him to consider, I suppose.

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BTW, I said something would shake out in 2-3 weeks. Well, tomorrow is 3 weeks from when I posted that. I wouldn't be surprised to hear something one way or the other after this weekend.

Also, the Mizzou rumors about chasing Huggins or Beilin are obviously way off. However, it's been confirmed that they asked for and got permission to approach Steve Alford. Alford is denying any interest in leaving, and I can't see him going to Mizzou over Indiana, but it's another place for him to consider, I suppose.

Well apparently Indiana is not interested in Alford and Mark Cuban, and other high power alumni, want Whitman.

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