Category Archives: Recruiting

Pac-12 Basketball Recruiting: Early signing period links

Aside from Herb Sendek’s twitter account, recruiting is the weirdest thing in college basketball. I follow it but I hate myself for following it. It’s the future of your program and it’s lusting for 17 year-olds. I hate that I just wrote that. But LOIs have been signed – binding contracts more firmly kept than a Kardashian prenuptial – and the 2014 classes are taking pretty firm shape.

Here are some notes and links on the Pac-12’s early signing period:

Washington State

Tremaine Isabell is a PG out of Seattle. He’s unrated by the scouting services but Jeff Nusser gives a good synopsis of what the Cougs are getting here. The question, of course, is who’s Isabell going to be playing for next season?

Washington – 

The Dawgs have inked two essentially local talents in Olympia’s Donaven Dorsey and British Columbia’s Tristan Etienne. Here, Percy Allen breaks down the significance of these post commitments. He has some interesting notes on Romar’s recruiting direction.

Oregon –

N/A as no one has graduated yet to transfer. I keeeeed! Dana’s bringing in four new players in Dwayne Benjamin, Michael Chandler, Ray Kasongo, and Casey Benson (a product from my home state!). Chandler might be the most interesting of these pickups as he’s a former top-50 prospect who couldn’t qualify and went the JC route.

Oregon State

Another class that might not play for the coach they signed with, the Beavers signed four noobs: Isaiah Manderson, Chai Baker, Devin Watson and….THE MITTEN! Yes it’s Gary Payton’s son (Gary Payton Jr.) who has earned the nickname THE MITTEN in the shadow of his father’s glove.


Monty has never been known as a mega recruiter but he picks up 4-star point guard, Ahmaad Rorie a season removed from an outstanding class including Jabari Bird.


Dawkins brings in an excellent class that is rated 14th by Scout. We of course aren’t positive if he’ll still be the coach in 2014 but that’s neither here nor there. We do know that the Cardinal are about to lose a lot of talent so garnering this class is imperative for the Cardinal to fight on ;).


Kevon Looney picked UCLA in a late surprise but no one should really care about that part. The fact is that Alford has reeled in a talented big man for a season in which he’s about to lose the Wear family. This was a critical get and the first big one of Alford’s UCLA tenure. They also signed Gyorgy Goloman. I know nothing of this Hungarian but it is also worth noting that Isaac Hamilton is kind of a piece of this class as he’s “transferring” from UTEP.

USC – 

Any Enfield made the first big splash in the revamped LA coaching scene when he garnered a commitment from Jordan McLaughlin. Joining the LA-area guard in Enfield’s 2014 class are forward Malik Price-Martin and center Jabari Craig. Another transfer note is that the Trojans will pick up Katin Reinhardt amongst others but I can’t keep up with all the transfers so…good luck.

Arizona –

Sean Miller continues to own California as he grabbed both Parker Jackson Cartwright and Stanley Johnson out of LA. The Wildcats also got a commitment from 5-or4-star PF, Craig Victor who I sometimes call Victor Craig and vice versa. Kadeem Allen also joins the 2014 class as a Juco addition in the back court. Miller expects his class to grow (Justise Winslow on Wednesday? Myles Turner in the spring?).

Arizona State –

Herb is finding strength in numbers. He’s inked six kids to his 2014 class as he’s about to lose Jahii and Jordan and Jermaine (the killer J’s?). Here is his class: C Octavious Ellis (JC), SG Gerry Blakes (JC), SG Roosevelt Scott (JC), PG Tra Holder, C Connor MacDougall, PG Kodi Justice. Holder and MacDougall are 4-stars and the latter is a local kid out of Phoenix and that’s critical to successful programs.

Colorado –

As I noted in the above ASU snippet, garnering the locals is critical. While Tad Boyle missed out on mega recruit and Colorado native, Josh Perkins, he’s did manage to get Dominique Collier – a four-star recruit from Denver’s East HS. Joining Dom will be Tory Miller out of NH.

Utah –

Larry K has seemingly revamped his lineup in each of his three seasons at Utah. But he’s starting to get things done on the recruiting trail and is following my favorite model: the aforementioned keeping-local-talent. His 2014 class includes: Isaiah Wright, Kyle Kuzma, and Brekkott Chapman. Chapman is the gem of this class. He’s a local four-star, power forward and has a cool first name.

West Coast Recruits and Pac-12 Chair Temps

Last week the West Coast saw three top-75 recruits commit to schools not named Pac-12 schools. Per Scout ratings, #23 Kameron Chatman of Oregon/LA is headed to Michigan; #60 Namon Wright of Los Angeles is off to BF-Missouri; and #71 Trey Kell of San Diego is staying home at SDSU.

Additionally, Shaq Aaron of Seattle (Scout’s #32 prospect) isn’t staying in Seattle. He’s off to Louisville, following the same path as Peyton Siva who saw great success in the Bluegrass State (ring). Josh Perkins (#25) had already bolted the West (from Colorado to prep school in West Virginia) and will return but not to a Pac school. He’ll be a Zag.

Horace Greeley most certainly did not encourage any young men to “go east.”

This is unsettling news despite what appears to be a reinvigorated Pac-12, poised to have its best season since before the great recession. But gone they are and while this isn’t about to undermine this 2013-14 campaign, I did notice another preseason list (gotta love those) that this perhaps does undermine. Or at least plays a significant role in:

The Top-10 Coaches on the Hot Seat

NBC’s College Basketball Talk cranked out their national list of coaches needing to fill the left column to keep their university paychecks. Four of the listed ten are Pac-12 coaches. Is there a correlation between losing backyard talent and your job? Me thinks, YES.

As it were, in a piece I worked on that might never make the interwebs because it’s become a 2500+ word blob, I found that UW has had their most success with nearby, if not in-city, talent. 77% of their draft picks since 2002 have been locals (or damn close to it as Terrence Ross was from Portland). Easy pickins for Mr. Romar, representing a sustainable and mirrorable model. And sure, not every city is pumping out McDonald’s All-American’s like SeaTown, but you can’t tell me it’s easier for Ken Bone to get a kid to Pullman from New York than it is to get a similar talent from the Bay Area.

The toasty chairs of Johnny Dawkins, Craig Robinson, Herb Sendek, and Bone extend beyond the recruiting  but I can’t help but see some parallels to these talent escapes and their job security.

Herb’s best season at ASU was guided by James Harden (LA), Jeff Pendergraph (LA), and Derek Glasser (LA). He is now finding himself in his second straight season with a patchwork lineup of little continuity. Jahii Carson is a lovely local piece, building  upon it would be the the next step. Is that going to happen with another grad transfer?

And it’s certainly not  a matter of  losing bluechippers. Their recruitment often takes a national tone and the idea of staying at home can be a trump card, but it’s not reprehensible to lose out in some of those occasions. The kind of talent that builds quality rosters in Pullman, Corvallis, and the like is precisely not that kid. He’s not $ingning. Rather it’s the players in that 50-100 range – the precise ones bolting right now – that can help in getting over the hump (read: dancing).

Is it easy to snatch these players up? Hell no! But if they’re already on the West Coast, the scales are already tipped in your favor. Take a look at these coaches’ rosters as they are. They’re littered with kids from the area. Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re talented. And the kids who left would seem to be the types that could help a roster.

I guess I’m really just trying to be a proponent of keeping things simple. Ever dated long distance? I have and it sucks. I’d rather have the girl next door because the long distance thing eventually burns out.

And it just might be burning out for a few Pac-12 coaches.

All treat for the Pac-12 this Halloween

It was indeed a treat of a Halloween for the Pac-12. Before noon pacific, the conference had secured three huge commitments.

Dominic Artis committed to Oregon, Rosco Allen to Stanford, and Kaleb Tarczewski to Arizona. By Ballin’ is a Habit’s consensus rankings, that’s 61 to Eugene, 68 to Palo Alto, and 8 to Tucson.

The biggest treat of the day is Tarczewski who will bring immediate interior help to a young and developing Arizona frontcourt. He’ll be joining Sean Miller’s already impressive (tops in the nation) 2012 class including Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett, and Gabe York. From a talent standpoint, this is obviously a huge get for the Wildcats, but it’s an example of the rich getting richer – no Robin Hood here. Miller managed to swoop the big man right off Kansas front porch and I imagine he’ll have no regrets as the seven-footer owns the McKale paint.

Artis is a solid pickup for Oregon and is the second commitment from the Oakland Soldiers to commit to the school. Dana Altman will have Jabari Brown on this year’s roster. After de-commiting from UCLA last month, Artis had much of the west coast after him. Settling on Oregon his huge for Altman as he looks to establish his Ducks amongst the conference elite.

And then there’s Allen. A young man who grew a lot in a little time and somewhat lost his position. From wing to power forward, Allen is settling into his 6’8″ frame and should bring a very solid skill set to Johnny Dawkins’ Cardinal squad.

With the recent decline of Pac-12 hoops, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Miller’s rapid recruiting successes have put heavy pressure on the rest of the conference to up its game. Granted, there has been somewhat of a absence of high school talent coming out of the west, but that hasn’t stopped Ben Howland this off season. He’s secured the nation’s #2 class, hauling in two East Coasters in Kyle Anderson (NJ) and Jordan Adams (GA). Success breeds success and today’s commitments is evidence of that.

As more and more talent stays or heads west, the better everyone will be. And maybe then, the conference can life up to its monicker: The Conference of Champions.