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Recruiting Updates

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Jerry Smith, 6'1" (#10 SG) #44/#42

(See above) Smith chose Louisville over WF. This probably means that WF will step up their recruitment of Mike Conley, who is considering WF and Ohio St. The other schools Smith had been looking at include Tennessee, Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Marquette.

Jerome Burney, 6'9" (NR PF) NR/NR

Committed to Miami (FL). PF from Georgia did not show real interest in other schools, although he had mentioned Alabama, Clemson, GT, NC St. and S. Carolina.

Anthony Gurley, 6'3" (#14 SG) #60/#50

Committeed to WF over Boston College. Also had NC State high on his list.

Joevan Catron, 6'6" (NR PF) NR/NR

Thought to be undersized for most major programs, Catron has received his first offer, surprisingly enough from Illinois. He has also expressed interest in Arizona, Michigan Stae, Oregon, and Dayton.

Pierre Niles, 6'7" (#12 PF) #48/#61

(See above) May not have eliminated GT after all, and Tennessee may still be an option. Still, Memphis is the definite leader, with Arkansas still a major factor.

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Brian Carlwell, 6'10" (#8 PF) #37/#37

Committed to Illinois over Florida St., Michigan St. and Valpo.

Michael Washington, 6'8" (#5 PF) #23/#71

Committed to Arkansas over Oklahoma St. and Arkansas St.

Jeffrey Allen, 6'7" (#35 SF) NR/NR

Committed to VT, which was the first official offer he received. Allen decided he wanted to play with his Dematha teammate, Nigel Munson, who had earlier committed to VT. VT now has a very good recruiting class, with Munson, Allen and Lewis Witcher.

William Harris, 6'6" CLASS OF 2005 (#41 SG) #135/NR

Had formerly signed a letter of intent to Nebraska, but was able to get his release, and is now about to announce. He is one of the last remining 2005 recruits. He is down to UConn, DePaul, Miami (FL), Providence, and Seton Hall.

Greg Oden, 7'0" (#1 C) #1/#1

Committed today to Ohio State over WF, Michigan St. and Indiana.

Mike Conley, 6'1" (#7 PG) #40/#26

Committed today to Ohio State over WF. With Oden and Conley joining Dequan Cook and David Lighty, Ohio State has one of the top recruiting classes in history, joining the Fab Five, a couple of Dook classes, and the Carolina 5 in '89.

Marcus lawrence, 6'0" (#27 PG) #126/NR

Oregon State, Washington, and maybe UCLA lead, but Arkansas and Minnesota have both shown enough interest to make an offer.

Christian Polk, 6'3" (#33 SG) #130/NR

Committed to his hometown Arizona St. over Florida State, Miami (FL) and Indiana.

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Curtis Kelly, 6'9" (#4 PF) #14/#16

Committed to UConn over Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, and St. John's. Big signing for the Huskies, who had been shutout so far.

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Kelly is a great signing. UConn is still shocked that Durant went to Texas but this is a very nice pickup. I expect they'll end with a couple other solid players.

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How good does OSU figure to be with Oden?

Well, let's remember that they have the following going for them before this recruiting class:

1. Terence Dials was 2nd team All-Big Ten as a center, averaging 16.4/7.9 and shot 58.4% from the field.

2. They bring back 4 of their top 5 players, including Ivan Harris, who can shoot lights out from 3 when he gets the chance.

3. They probably would have been a tournament team with a 20-12 record and the only regualr season win against Illinois last year, if not for a self-imposed postseason ban.

4. They've added Thad Matta as their head coach, which is a huge improvement over Jim O'Brien. Matta's a great players' coach, and he's been hugely successful at Xavier.

So I have to think that OSU is one of the favorites in the Big ten this year, even before you add in this haul.

Of course, they'll graduate a lot of talent before Oden, Conley, Cook, and Lighty ever reach campus, so they'll be very young in '06-'07. Nonetheless, I see them as a top 20 team each of the next 2 seasons.

I'm not willing to predict any better for them than that. As good a class as this is, there's a lot missing to be as complete a class as the Fab 5. Even if Oden is as good as Webber and Cook is as good as Rose, there's no Howard in this group to push them over the top. Besides, that's really asking a lot of a group of 4 freshmen.

Throw in a good recruiting class in '07 and guarantee me that all 4 of these guys stay for their sophoomore year, and I'll tell you that they'll be an Elite 8 team in '07-'08. But I doubt if that ever happens, since Oden will go pro as soon as he's eligible.

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The question is...Can Oden have a Carmelo type impact?

No, I don't think so. And Carmelo had more to work with. He wasn't coming in as a savior. They would have been a good team without him. He just pushed them over the top.

OSU without this recruiting class isn't a top 25 team in '07. They'll be 4 freshmen, a senior, and a junior. Not easy to win like that.

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Not HS recruiting related but does anyone have any insight on where JR Giddens might be thinking of transferring to?

I can't tell you what he's thinking now, but I can tell you that his final 5 when he was being recruited in 2003 were Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Okla. St., and TCU. He's from Oklahoma City.

Of those programs, I can see him going to Okla. St., which has taken in guys of questionable character recently, such as JamesOn Curry. But I don't know what the Big 12 rules are for transferring within the conference. The ACC doesn't allow it.

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Gilbert Brown, 6'6" (#32 SG) #127/#69

Committed to Pitt over West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Miami (FL).

Justin Mason, 6'2" (#19 SG) #79/NR

Committed to Texas over Texas Tech. Second good signing for the Longhorns, as Mason joins Kevin Durant.

Cory Johnson, 6'7" (NR SF) NR/NR

Committed to Iowa St. over Iowa and Minnesota. Also had an offer from FSU.

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Javaris Crittendon, 6'4" (#5 PG) #26/#20

Committed to GT over Florida. Had been considered an early-entry risk, but with age limit, decided to stay at home at Tech for a year before making that decision. Also in the running were FSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and WF.

Matt Bouldin, 6'5" (#15 SG) #64/#96

Gonzaga leads over Cal and Notre Dame. BC, NC State, Illinois and Texas are also in the mix.

Solomon Tat, 6'5" (#12 SG) #51/#78

Texas leads over hometown Georgia, GT, and others.

Tyler Roche, 6'7" (NR SG) NR/NR

Committed to BC over late pursuer NC State, as well as New Hampshire, St. Bonaventure, and Wisc.-GB.

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Will Harris CLASS OF 2005, 6'6" (#41 SG) #135/NR

As reported previously, had decommitted from Nebraska. Finally decided to attend UConn over DePaul and Miami (FL).

Casiem Drummond, 6'10" (#28 PF) #134/NR

Committed to Villanova over St. John's and Seton Hall. Had waited for offer from Pitt and Cincinnati, but they never came. When Nova came in, he jumped.

Antonio Pena, 6'8" (#27 PF) #131/#86

Committed to Villanova over Miami (FL) and St. John's. Big week for the Cats.

Will Paul, 6'9" (NR PF) NR/NR

Committed to Stanford over GT, G'town, and Colorado St.

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Rumor of the week:

I love this one because it's so preposterous, but it was legitimately reported, so I'll repeat it here.

The trio of Earl Clark, 6'9" (#6 PF) #17/#16, Lance Thomas, 6'8" (#7 SF) #22/#19, and Derrick Caracter, 6'8" (#7 PF) #35/#12 are considering forming a package deal, and taking their services to Rutgers, completely overhauling that program. All three are from NJ, and all three have offers from Rutgers, which is probably how the rumor got started. Despite Caracter's high ranking, he hasn't received too many official offers yet (just Rutgers and St. John's), and Thomas has refused to narrow his list from the 10-15 schools who have offered him. That leads to some crazy prognostications, and this is surely one of them.

More likely, Caracter could be the fallball option for Kentucky, Dook, or UNC for the ones that lose out on Brandan Wright, Clark is likely to go to Louisville (or if he wants to be close to home, to Villanova), and Thomas will select the big-time school of his choosing when he's good and ready (my guess is Dook or Arizona).

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