Things are moving along at a solid rate as a few more top recruits came off the board in favor for some of the better basketball programs across the nation. Now with a month until the early signing period begins, expect for much more movement to be made in the coming weeks. However, looking back at the week that was, no one seems to have put together a better string of days than the staff at Alabama and the one at Boston University.
POWER CONFERENCE COMMITMENTS OF THE WEEK
ALABAMA SNAGS THREE SOUTHEAST RECRUITS
A week ago at this time, the staff at Alabama were quickly trying to put something together as they held zero prospects committed from the class of 2017. Today, things are pretty good in Tuscaloosa and not just for the football program that has dominated its opponents on the gridiron.
Slow and steady wins the race sometimes and this past week epitomized that perfectly. On Thursday, the SEC gang struck twice within a matter of four hours by landing the commitments of two of the top prospects from within the state’s borders. Herb Jones was the first to come off the board as the 6-foot-6 swingman gave his verbal to Avery Johnson and his staff. The top-100 recruit is a versatile piece on the perimeter that can playmake and score the ball with added efficiency.
Joining the party later on Thursday was Alex Reese, a 6-foot-9 power forward that is rather finesse than physical, but he is skilled and is someone that can play either big position on the floor due to his mobility, feel for the game, and scoring package.
The following day, Galin Smith was the cherry on top to it all as the 6-foot-9 big man from Mississippi made it known that he too is planning on attending Alabama next year. Next to Reese, Smith should be someone that will be relied upon as a rim protector and for his defensive prowess, allowing his fellow interior recruit to contribute more on the offensive end.
Sure, the Tide would love to grab the talents of top-50 recruits John Petty and/or Collin Sexton in the weeks ahead but even if they come up empty handed, the past few days created great momentum for the second year staff down in Tuscaloosa.
NON-POWER CONFERENCE COMMITMENT OF THE WEEK
WALTER WHYTE COMMITS TO BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Playing on a loaded PSA Cardinals bunch this past summer on the Nike EYBL circuit, Walter Whyte oftentimes didn’t receive all of the proper dues that he deserved. However, to the keen eye, programs throughout the east coast and the New England region hastily pursued the 6-foot-5 small forward. This past week, Boston University cashed in with a major coup coming in the form of the do-it-all Whyte.
Practically the entire Ivy League and a few Atlantic 10 programs had hosted the St. Luke’s prospect over the course of the past few months for a visit and while Davidson had been the perceived leader for Whyte for some time, the Patriot League bunch quickly slipped in and came away with one of the top mid-major pick-ups throughout the early fall this year. The commitment gives Boston University an immediate piece over the course of the next four college basketball season.
While Whyte wasn’t asked to do most of the scoring this past summer and was usually the fourth or fifth scoring option placed out onto the floor, his willingness to buy in and do what was ever asked out of him was more than impressive. A solid athlete at the basket that sports a college ready body and someone that can guard various spots on the playing floor, the easiest way to describe the New England recruit is as an elite glue guy.
That is not to say that Whyte can’t be leaned upon as a scorer when need-be. He has vastly improved his ball skills over the past calendar year and is now able to create for himself within the half-court offense as he has solidified his 20-foot and in jumper, but in the same manner, shows off a quality feel and pace for the game as he can slide over onto the ball and playmake for his team when asked to do so.
Landing Whyte may not have received all of the attention in the world especially compared to some of the other highly ranked prospects that came off the board this past week. One thing is for sure though and that is Whyte will be a demon of a match-up issue in the Patriot League for years to come and someone that should contribute from day one in Boston.
- Keith Williams, 6-foot-5 small forward, Bishop Loughlin High School (New York)
- Victor Enoh, 6-foot-8 power forward, Greenforest Christian Academy (Georgia) – STATE RANKING: 28
- William Douglas, 6-foot-4 guard, Christian Brothers High School (Tennessee)
- Justyn Hamilton, 6-foot-10 center, Independence High School (North Carolina)
- Jalen Knight, 6-foot point guard, United Faith Christian Academy (North Carolina)
- Joey Naccarato, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Coeur d'Alene High School (Idaho)
- Jaylen Butz, 6-foot-8 power forward, North Side High School (Indiana)
- Luke Schultz, 6-foot-10 center, Our Lady of the Hills High School (Texas)
- Denmark Slay, 5-foot-11 point guard, St. Stephens & St. Agnes School (Maryland)
- Connor Crabtree, 6-foot-5 swingman, Orange High School (North Carolina)
- Matt Haarms, 7-foot-2 center, Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas)
- Levi Stockard, 6-foot-8 power forward, Vashon High School (Missouri)
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE
- TJ Massenburg, 6-foot-8 power forward, Shiloh High School (Georgia) – STATE RANKING: 19
- Therren Szmidt, 6-foot-5 small forward, Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tennessee)
- Evan Gilyard, 5-foot-10 point guard, Simeon Career Academy (Illinois)
- Marcus McClary, 6-foot-3 shooting guard, The Patrick School (New Jersey)
- Nelly Cummings, 5-foot-11 point guard, Lincoln Park Charter School (Pennsylvania)
- AJ Bullard, 6-foot-8 forward, The Woodlands High School (Texas)
NORTH CAROLINA A&T
- Mohammed Abu Bakar, 6-foot-8 center, Eagle's Landing High School (Georgia)
- Kameron Langley, 6-foot-1 guard, Southwest Guilford High School (North Carolina)
- Tyreke Key, 6-foot-2 guard, Clay County High School (Tennessee)
- Darian Scott, 6-foot-10 center, Centennial High School (Nevada)
- Demarius Jacobs, 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Uplift Community High School (Illinois)
- Charlie O’Briant, 6-foot-8 power forward, Greater Atlanta Christian School (Georgia)
- Roberto Gittens, 6-foot-5 small forward, Foss High School (Washington)
- Nigel Jackson, 6-foot-6 small forward, Mount St. Joseph High School (Maryland)
- Josh Helton, 6-foot-8 power forward, Kings Mountain High School (North Carolina)
- Walter Whyte, 6-foot-5 small forward, St. Luke’s School (Connecticut)
- Jimmy Sotos, 6-foot-2 point guard, Conant High School (Illinois)
- Gabe Merete, 6-foot-7 forward, Bishop Kenny High School (Florida)
- Trevin Knell, 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Woods Cross High School (Utah)
- Herb Jones, 6-foot-6 small forward, Hale County High School (Alabama) – NATIONAL RANKING: 79
- Alex Reese, 6-foot-9 power forward, Pelham High School (Alabama) – NATIONAL RANKING: 121
- Galin Smith, 6-foot-9 center, Clinton High School (Mississippi)
- Chase Johnson, 6-foot-9 power forward, Huntington Prep (West Virginia)
- Matt Halvorsen, 5-foot-11 point guard, Christ School (North Carolina)
- SK Shittu, 6-foot-9 center, Providence Classical Christian Academy (Arkansas)
TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI
- Myles Smith, 5-foot-10 point guard, Klein High School (Texas)
- Isaac Johnson, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, North High School (Minnesota)
- Mark Tikhonenko, 6-foot-10 power forward, Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tennessee)
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE
- Justin Carpenter, 6-foot-8 power forward, Mt. Carmel High School (Illinois)
- Javan Johnson, 6-foot-5 small forward, Austin High School (Alabama) – STATE RANKING: 6
- Leonard Caples, 6-foot-7, center, North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School
- Damari Milstead, 6-foot-2 point guard, Moreau Catholic High School (California)
- Josip Vrankic, 6-foot-8 power forward, Wasatch Academy (Utah)