Sometimes it’s hard to remember which teams switched over to new leagues. But while we’re finally wrapping our minds around the conference alignment changes, you can sometimes forget that teams are also recruiting for the new league they’re entering.
Creighton — with its move from the Missouri Valley Conference to the Big East — is facing the challenge of previously recruiting at a mid-major level and switching to a high-major level and the Bluejays are off to a solid start with Monday’s commitment of 2014 forward Leon Gilmore.
The commitment of Gilmore, as first reported by Evan Daniels of Scout.com, is significant for the Bluejays because they’re getting a 6’7″ forward that had other high-major scholarship offers and it helps legitimize them with other high-major targets they’re recruiting.
A forward Manvel High School in Missouri City, Texas, Gilmore played for the respected Houston Hoops AAU program in the EYBL and averaged 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 21 minutes of play during the EYBL as he played alongside five-star forwards like Justice Winslow, Kelly Oubre and North Carolina commit Justin Jackson. Gilmore was rated as the No. 121 prospect in the Rivals 2014 national class.
For the Bluejays to land a high-major commitment from a player that had in-state high-major scholarship offers from schools like Texas Tech and Houston means that Creighton is doing something correct on the recruiting trail as they transition to the Big East.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.