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June 13, 2012
Around the nation: June means switch in focus
Historically, June means a switch in focus for the nation's top high school prospects. The number of big grassroots events decreases during the month as players spend time with their high school teams, attending individual camps and taking in unofficial visits before July's evaluation period hits. Here's a look at some news and notes from around the nation.
AROUND THE NATION
Over the weekend, class of 2014 prospect Dominique Collier of Denver (Colo.) East traveled East for the Chris Paul camp. After the four-star point guard finished up working out at the camp, he made a drive over to Chapel Hill to check out the campus of North Carolina. Collier was unable to meet with head coach Roy Williams, but the 6-foot-1 floor general did spend time touring the facilities and meeting with assistant coaches and administration.
Since taking over as the head coach at Virginia Tech, James Johnson has been working overtime to get in deep with class of 2013 prospects. As he's done that, 6-foot-4 point guard Roddy Peters from Suitland (Md.) High has emerged as a major target. He's big, he's crafty and he has the game to be a playmaker at the ACC level. Peters is hoping to visit Tech before the end of June and is also talking about making potential visits to Xavier and Virginia.
The Iowa State Cyclones are locked in a head-to-head battle with Virginia for the services of Matt Thomas. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Onalaska (Wisc.) High, Thomas is arguably the nation's top perimeter shooter and he's got game off the bounce to go with his prolific shooting from deep. Thomas was in Ames over the weekend and has officially narrowed his choice down to the Cyclones and Cavaliers. He hasn't set a decision date, but it could be coming at any moment, and if it doesn't happen in the immediate future, it would be a surprise to see him take longer than a month.
Oklahoma State got a visit from in-state point guard Stevie Clark on Tuesday. The four-star point guard from the class of 2013 is still trying to decide whether or not to move to the class of 2012. A scoring machine at the point, Clark had been expected to visit UCLA over the weekend but was unable to make his visit.
The Georgetown Hoyas are expecting a very important visitor on Wednesday. Class of 2014 four-star forward Dwayne Morgan from Baltimore (Md.) City will be on campus to take an unofficial visit. One of the faster rising prospects in the class of 2014, the 6-foot-7 Morgan projects as a small forward long term, but has the size and low post game to play as a four man if needed.
Marquette and Buzz Williams are intent on locking down as much local talent as possible. Their 2013 recruiting class is full of Milwaukee-raised kids and they are making sure that they do everything in their power to get the area's top 2015 player, Diamond Stone, in a Marquette uniform. The soon-to-be five-star was on campus shortly after returning home from the Elite 100 in St. Louis and has an offer on the table. Looking more immediately, Kendrick Nunn from the class of 2013 was in town on Monday. The 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Chicago (Ill.) Simeon has an offer on the table.
Rutgers did something that isn't exactly easy to do in getting Rondae Jefferson on campus. It's not that the No. 23 player in 2013 is opposed to taking visits, it's just been tough for any school to get him to venture very far from Chester (Pa.) to take a visit. A five-star prospect in the class of 2013, Jefferson has huge family ties to Temple. The Scarlet Knights also hosted class of 2013 four-star forward Kris Jenkins on an unofficial visit over the weekend.
John Groce and his staff at Illinois have their first recruit. 2013 Rivals150 big man Maverick Morgan from Springboro (Ohio) High committed to the Illini on Wednesday. A 6-foot-10 big man who can play either the five or the four in the Big Ten, Morgan has a solid, 240-pound frame that can easily carry more bulk. On top of his size, Morgan has the skill to make jumpers facing the hoop, is an excellent passer and is pretty mobile for a guy his size. He joins four-star Malcolm Hill to make up the early 2013 recruiting class for Illinois. On Monday, the Illini hosted 2014 four-star point guard and prime in-state target Larry Austin on a visit. On Sunday, the Illini will get a visit from class of 2015 point guard Hyron Edwards. Edwards, is an explosive scoring point guard and one of the top floor generals nationally in his class.
Over at USC, they've never been afraid to recruit young prospects. Last week, the Trojans hosted and offered class of 2016 point guard Derryck Thornton. On Tuesday, they had another local star on campus in class of 2015 shooting guard Tyler Dorsey. A 6-foot-4 scoring machine, Dorsey has a chance to be among the nation's elite at the shooting guard position and is very polished offensively. Dorsey has an offer from USC on the table.
Craig Robinson and Oregon State have landed recruit No. 2 from the class of 2013. Relatively unknown big man Cheikh N'Diaye from Carlsbad (Calif.) Army-Navy committed to the Beavers late Tuesday. A near seven-footer who hails from Senegal originally, N'Diaye hadn't played much summer ball, which makes him a mystery to much of the country. He's reportedly a shot-blocker with some athleticism and a frame to build on. He joins three-star combo guard L.J. Westbrook as a Beaver commitment.
Auburn continues to be active in the visit market. Class of 2012 big man Jordan Dickerson just wrapped up an official visit and look for the seven-footer to make a decision soon. Odds are that he'll choose between Auburn and South Carolina, where he visited last week. The Tigers also hosted class of 2013 four-star wing Markel Crawford on an unofficial visit. A 6-foot-5 rising senior, Crawford is a high level athlete and slashing wing scorer.
Missouri almost always seems to have visitors coming and going, and it's been no different lately. After competing in St. Louis at Nike's Elite 100, class of 2014 prospects Trey Grundy and D'Angelo Russell took unofficial visits. A teammate of Russell's on the Louisville Magic, Grundy is a three-star combo forward who is an athletic 6-foot-6 kid who loves to bury 15-foot jumpers. Russell, on the other hand, is a Louisville native who is attending school at Montverde (Fla.) Academy. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard currently ranks No. 16 nationally.
Down in College Station, Texas A&M had a big visitor on hand last weekend when four-star center Dominic Woodson stopped by. A top-30 prospect in the class of 2013, the 6-foot-9 big man is a native Texan who spent his junior season at Saxton's River (Vt.) Vermont Academy. According to Vermont Academy coach Jesse Bopp, Woodson will not be returning to the school and will be on the move for his senior season.
The decision could be coming in soon for the No. 72 player in the class of 2012 and UNLV is in the thick of it with Savon Goodman. The athletic 6-foot-6 combo forward from Philadelphia (Penn.) Constitution was in Las Vegas late last week and the Rebels are in a dogfight for his services. Also emerging as a major player of late for Goodman is SMU and sources close to the situation indicate that he's been going back and forth between the two programs. Keep in mind, that Goodman may ultimately need a year of prep school to tighten up his academics.
At this rate San Diego State is going to be very tough to beat for 2013 Rivals150 point guard Brandon Randolph. The explosive lead guard was on campus again earlier this week and at this point the Aztecs are in the driver's seat to land the six-foooter.
Rhode Island hosted a trio of visitors from the Expressions summer team. Expressions coach Tyron Boswell checked in to let Rivals.com know that four-star shooting guard Jared Terrell, four-star power forward Abdul-Malik Abu and 6-foot-5 wing Damion Smith visited. All three players are members of the class of 2014.
On Tuesday, Creighton offered class of 2014 point guard Nick Norton. A product of Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge, Norton received the offer during a visit to Omaha. Creighton has also offered Grandview (Mo.) High combo guard Tyrone Taylor, who is Norton's teammate on KC Run GMC's 16U team.