Now that we are less than a month away from the early signing period, players are flying off of the board as they finish out their official visit tour and set their eyes to where they will play out their college careers beginning next fall. While a few will wait until the spring to officially announce where they might be headed, this past week brought another batch of commitments. On the power conference side, no one made a stronger push for future success than the Oregon Ducks as they kicked off their 2017 recruiting class with two tremendous, versatile pieces out on the periemter . Duquesne, within the non-power conference rung, may have won the week with not just one, but two steals from the frontcourt.
POWER CONFERENCE COMMITMENTs OF THE WEEK
OREGON LANDS TWO DUCKS
While Dillon Brooks, the star forward for Oregon entering the 2016 college basketball season, is nursing an injury, things are pretty good in Eugene. The Ducks enter the year as the favorite for the Pac 12 title and this week, things got that much better for, what could be, future conference championships.
Although they had been left out in the dark up until this point, the patience that Dana Altman’s staff had shown and the wide net that they threw out across the nation, all paid off and in a major way this past week. By Wednesday evening, Oregon landed its first commitment from a 2017 class member, this one coming in the form of explosive athlete VJ Bailey. The 6-foot-4 guard had become a highly followed and priority recruit for a bevy of Big 12 programs but the sell and fit at the Pac 12 program was too good to say no to.
A few days later, after scooping up Bailey from Texas, the Ducks went north, once again, for Abu Kigab. The 6-foot-6, ultra-versatile and egoless wing-forward type, is expected to become the next in line of the many Canadian natives that have flourished out in Eugene. While Kigab is finishing out his high school career at Prolific Prep in Canada, look for the hard playing and multi-positional small forward to step in and take some minutes that Dillon Brooks will leave after this college basketball season.
Is Oregon done with the 2017 class? Heck…no. However, this past week brought even more room for optimism for its nearby and long-term future, all thanks to the commitments of VJ Bailey and Abu Kigab.
NON POWER CONFERENCE COMMITMENTS OF THE WEEK
DUQUESNE SNATCHES TWO TALENTED PROSPECTS FROM THE FRONTCOURT
Finding guards to fit and flourish at Duquesne in past years has not been much of an issue. Whether it was before the Jim Ferry era on the Bluff, or during it, pace has been the name of the game with the Dukes. However, with the recent losses of Micah Mason and Derrick Colter, this season brings a sense of renewal and chances aplenty for the new talent infiltrating the program, whether it is from the transfer wire, or those that will be kicking off their college eligibility.
Looking ahead, finding big men that can stretch the floor in order to play more 4-out and one-in, or a back to the rim piece that can be a strong asset from the high post setting, has been valued greatly by the A10 staff and will continued to do so. This past week, the Dukes hit both needs dead on the mark.
John Walker, a 6-foot-8, spry and major upside forward out of Texas, declined various offers and interest from CUSA, AAC, and Big 12 programs. Instead, he decided to give his commitment to Duquesne, a major, major steal heading into the early signing period. Having just grown nearly half of a foot and someone with his best basketball ahead of him, with the proper progressions and the right coaching, Walker can and should be a star.
While Walker will he the lightning to it all, Lewis Djonkam will be the thunder. A strong bodied forward from Switzerland that is finishing out his prep career at Hargrave Military Academy, the 6-foot-8 power forward can be play either spot in the frontcourt where his production should remain efficient. He has good touch in the lane and has recently reworked his body in handling contact better in the lane but also allowing for him to produce whenever the game speeds up.
Together, the two should bring immediate contributions to Jim Ferry’s program in Pittsburgh and add to what is looking to be the most talented frontcourt in sometime at Duquesne alongside such others as Nakye Sanders, Jordan Robinson, and Isiaha Mike during the 2017-2018 college basketball season.
- Sterling Manley, 6-foot-10 center, Pickerington Central High School (Ohio)
- Anthony Ochefu, 6-foot-8 center, Westtown School (Pennsylvania)
- SanAntonio Brinson, 6-foot-6 small forward, South Kent School (Connecticut)
- Lewis Djonkam, 6-foot-8 power forward, Hargrave Military Academy (Virginia)
- John Walker III, 6-fooot-8 power forward, Thurgood Marshall High School (Texas)
- Miles Brookins, 6-foot-8 power forward, Mater Dei High School (California)
- Nathan Cayo, 6-foot-7 small forward, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (Canada)
- Paul Scruggs, 6-foot-3 guard, Prolific Prep (California) – NATIONAL RANKING: 33
- Holland Woods, 5-foot-11 point guard, Apollo High School (Arizona)
- Bryce Fowler, 6-foot-5 forward, Agua Fria High School (Arizona)
- Dre Marin, 5-foot-11 point guard, Apollo High School (Arizona)
- Jaylen Sebree, 6-foot-6 small forward, Christian County High School (Kentucky)
- Jalen Seegars, 6-foot-5 small forward, High Point Christian Academy (North Carolina)
- Braxton Beverly, 6-foot point guard, Hargrave Military Academy (Virginia)
- Myles Franklin, 6-foot-4 guard, Villa Park High School (California)
- Greg Eboigbodin, 6-foot-8 power forward, University of Detroit Jesuit High School (Michigan)
- Desmond Cambridge, 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Hun School (New Jersey)
- George Mawanda-Kalema, 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Episcopal High School (Virginia)
- Gabe Stefanini, 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Bergen Catholic High School (New Jersey)
- Adrease Jackson, 6-foot-8 power forward, Santa Margarita Catholic High School (California)
- Aaryn Rai, 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Orangeville Prep (Canada)
- Reed Farley, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, La Jolla High School (California)
- Taj Benning, 6-foot-3 guard, Bergen Catholic High School (New Jersey)
- Samson George, 6-foot-7 power forward, First Love Christian Academy (Pennsylvania)
- Kedrian Johnson, 6-foot-2 point guard, South Oak Cliff High School (Texas)
- Manny Stokes-Dixon, 6-foot-5 small forward, Notre Dame High School (New Jersey)
- Isaiah Poor Bear Chandler, 6-foot-8 power forward, Omaha Central High School (Nebraska)
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE
- Talek Williams, 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Allentown High School (Pennsylvania)
- EJ Anosike, 6-foot-7 forward, St. Thomas More School (Connecticut)
- Dalonte Brown, 6-foot-5 small forward, Bowsher High School (Ohio)
- Brandon Randolph, 6-foot-5 swingman, Westtown School (Pennsylvania) – NATIONAL RANKING: 39
- VJ Bailey, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, McNeil High School (Texas) – NATIONAL RANKING: 78
- Abu Kigab, 6-foot-6 small forward, Prolific Prep (California)
- Cody Riley, 6-foot-7 power forward, Sierra Canyon High School (California) – NATIONAL RANKING: 56
- Javante McCoy, 6-foot-3 guard, Phillips Exeter Academy (New Hampshire)
- Brandon Rachal, 6-foot-6 small forward, Natchitoches Central High School (Louisiana) – NATIONAL RANKING: 72
- KeyShawn Feazell, 6-foot-9 power forward, Lawrence County High School (Mississippi)
- Devontae Shuler, 6-foot-2 guard, Oak Hill Academy (Virginia) – NATIONAL RANKING: 84
- Noah Gurley, 6-foot-7 power forward, Fayette County High School (Georgia) – STATE RANKING: 35
- Tragen Fahl, 6-foot-8 power forward, Atlantic Shores Christian School (Virginia)
- Marcus Thomas, 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Moravian Preparatory School (North Carolina)
NORTH DAKOTA STATE
- Tyree Eady, 6-foot-5 small forward, Middleton High School (Wisconsin)
- Micah Johnson, 6-foot point guard, Tift County High School (Georgia)
- Troymain Crosby, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Laurel High School (Mississippi)
- Matt Turner, 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Blair Academy (New Jersey)