Larry Krystkowiak

Isaiah Wright becomes Utah’s second commitment of the weekend

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What began as a solid weekend for the Utah basketball program thanks to Kyle Kuzma’s decision to verbally commit got even better on Sunday evening, as 2014 point guard Isaiah Wright wrapped up his official visit by doing the same Sunday evening.

Wright, a 6-2 guard from Boise, is the state’s reigning Gatorade Player of the Year and has led Borah High School to consecutive Class 5A state titles. As a junior he averaged 16.2 points, 6.9 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. Among the other schools to have offered Wright were Boise State and Creighton, but after spending a weekend on the Utah campus he apparently saw all that he needed to see.

In a story by Rachel Roberts of the Idaho Statesman, Wright cited his relationship with Utah assistant coach Tommy Connor as one reason for his decision to commit to the Pac-12 school.

“I think the big thing was because (assistant) coach (Tommy) Connor was recruiting me for quite a while, starting my sophomore year,” Wright said. “We created a great relationship and I just felt something when I went up there that I didn’t feel at Santa Clara or Creighton. I knew I wanted to go there.”

With Wright’s decision Utah’s 2014 class gets even better, as he joins the aforementioned Kuzma and forward Brekkott Chapman as verbal commits. And with two of Utah’s better players being sophomores (forward Jordan Loveridge and guard Brandon Taylor), coach Krystkowiak and his staff are on the right track when it comes to turning things around at the Huntsman Center.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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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 guard could miss season with shoulder injury

Kedren Johnson
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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, 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.