NCAA Basketball Tournament - Saint Louis v Memphis

What’s with all the commitments?

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This weekend had a number of big-time players making big-time commitments to big-time programs.

It started Thursday with Rondae Jefferson’s commitment to Arizona and continued with players like five-start swingman Robert Hubbs picking Tennessee and most recently, Northwest Florida State College point guard Chris Jones committing to Louisville on Monday morning.

In between, Malcolm and Marcus Allen picked Stanford (adding to a long list of twins to play in Palo Alto), Kendrick Nunn sprung for Illinois, RaShawn Powell made a commitment to Memphis, Moses Kingsley tabbed Arkansas as his college of choice and Cat Barber made his selection with North Carolina State.

There have been busy weekends in recruiting for sure. But with this many top-level prospects picking schools at this pace? What could possibly be the reason?

“I think the weird thing is, this year is different from the past couple of years, because we’ve had commitments right after the July evaluation period,” Recruiting Analyst Evan Daniels told CBT on NBC. “Kids get on campus and you knew it was just a matter of time for them to start popping. But the last couple of days have been pretty wild, to be honest with you.”

Daniels said he hasn’t seen anything like this, with the amount of Top 100 commitments picking schools at this rate. Saying it’s been “quite a run.”

Verbal commitments are always shaky. Some more than others. Nothing is final until pen hits paper on a National Letter of Intent/Grant-In-Aid agreement, but to see these types of players going off at an alarming rate is something that seems unprecedented.

I imagine this trend will slow down as the seasons, both college and high school, get closer, with more time being focused toward actual games. But an episode like this can sure help build momentum toward mid-October and the official start of college basketball.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.