It’s over 2,300 miles from the University of Louisville campus to Seattle, Wash. Despite the distance, it hasn’t stopped Rick Pitino from landing some of the Pacific Northwest’s top talent.
Rainier Beach High School small forward Shaqquan Aaron, considered a top-30 player in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, committed to Louisville on Saturday. The 6-foot-8 Aaron, who lived in California until this year, will become the third Rain City product to play for Louisville under Pitino. Peyton Siva is the current Seattle native playing for the Cards while Terrence Williams, who also went to Rainier Beach suited up for Louisville from 2005-2009.
“Of course we have history there with Terrence going there, and we’re pretty close with Peyton Siva,” Rainier Beach head coach Mike Bethea told Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal. “It’s just one of those things where you feel comfortable and know it’s the right fit. He came back (from the visit), and he was just blown away by it.”
Aaron had offers from Connecticut, California and UCLA, according to Rivals. Kansas and Kentucky were also involved in his recruitment. He joins Ballard High School (Ky.) point guard and Louisville native Quentin Snider as members of the Cardinals’ 2014 class.
The versatile wing is averaging 23 points, and six assists in his junior season at Rainier Beach.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.
Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.
“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”
He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.
Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.
Memphis just cannot catch a break.
It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.
Today, CBSSports.com reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.
Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.
This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.
That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.