What in the world is going on with the shooting guards in 2010? For starters, we lost one of the best ones in the middle of the month when Andre Dawkins decided he was going to fill a need at Duke and graduate early. He’s not even part of the class anymore.
Now, three short days after the conclusion of the evaluation period, a trio of up and coming senior wings (plus a stud sophomore) pull the trigger? Rion Brown, we hardly got to know you. Joe Harris, we were just building our file. Ditto for Charles Hankerson. Each of them gone, off the board as of Monday evening.
The gut reaction is that dominoes are falling. Is that what really happened? To find out, we started calling a few of the remaining shooting guards who haven’t committed.
We began the search for information with K.T. Harrell, arguably the top senior in Alabama this year and a guy who turned the corner in July and made himself a prime target. The Montgomery (Ala.) Brewbaker Tech wing is a future Scout.com Top 100 prospect.
For the record, Harrell only partially saw this coming. “I was looking at (those commitments),” he said. “I knew Virginia was going to get (Joe Harris). Coach Grant gave me a hint that I had to get it when it comes. I wasn’t surprised that (Charles Hankerson) did it, I just didn’t know when he was going to do it.” Harrell said that Alabama’s commitment did affect him and the Tide would no longer be under consideration.
We called Harrell following the barrage of commitments because he made the most sense. A target of both the Crimson Tide and the Cavaliers, maybe he was the next domino?
Wrong. Harrell isn’t ready to commit but he does have a leader. Tony Bennett and Virginia are out in front on this one. “I do want to go to (visit) Virginia,” Harrell said. “They’re at the top of my list. I’m probably going to visit Georgia and I’ve already visited Auburn.”
Arkansas and Mississippi State are in the mix as well. “Mississippi State and Arkansas up there. Right now I haven’t taken any visits so I don’t know what these schools are about. I can’t commit to any one of them now because I don’t know what they’re about.”
Harrell does, however, know about Virginia and its coach.” I really like Coach Bennett, he’s a great guy. I feel like more than basketball, I feel like in life he’ll help me out a lot. I feel comfortable around him.”
Do all these commitments create a sense of urgency for a guy like K.T.? “In a way but I believe that I pray a lot and I ask God to help me make my decision. As far as guys committing early, if I have to wait … coaches don’t want to wait maybe I’m not the one for their team. I feel like God is going to show me the right school to go to. If they leave because I’m not committing early that makes it easy on my part.”
OK, so Harrell’s on ice at least for the time being. As of 11 p.m. Monday night, the commitment spree has slowed down. Still, we wanted to check in with another Top 100 recruit. We hadn’t heard any rumblings (yet) about Doron Lamb, Trey Zeigler, Anthony Brown, Vander Blue, Mardracus Wade, Ralston Turner, Jerian Grant or Victor Oladipo. We blew a call into Trae Golden to take his pulse before he leaves for adidas Nations on Tuesday.
Golden, a Top 100 shooting guard out of McEachern, Ga., had been working the phones a little himself or at least reading the internet. “I heard Virginia got a commitment. I was talking to Coach Bennett today.”
Did the rash of commitments affect him at all? “Not really,” Golden said. “I feel like if a school wants me, they’ll respect the time that you have to take a visit there and make sure it’s the right fit for you.”
Cross Golden off the list, he’s not going to commit this week but he is formulating his plan for visits.
“Right now I can say Virginia, Marquette and Tennessee are probably the first schools that I’ll visit,” Golden said. “Those schools have really been recruiting me long and I’ve got good relationships with the coaches. It’s been a longevity type thing.”
Mix in some Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Florida, Arizona State, Arizona, Connecticut and Pittsburgh and you’ve got his complete list or at least the ones he could name off the top of his head on Monday.
They say the NFL is the ultimate copycat league. It didn’t take the “Wildcat Formation” long to circulate through the teams. We’re thinking this commitment spree may ripple through college basketball offices with light speed.
During the next 7-10 days exists a theoretical window of opportunity. The thinking is if schools apply the pressure, maybe they can “get it done” before the player realizes campus visits can be fun on football Saturdays in the fall. Come the middle of August, in our mind, guys will be committed to visits. Until then, feel the rush, hit refresh and ride wave just like we are!