Rashad Vaughn made news this summer when he decided to leave Robbinsdale Cooper High (Minn.) for Findlay Prep (Nev.) for his senior season of high school. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard trimmed his lists on Tuesday, and is now down to seven schools.
Arizona, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina and UNLV made the cut ($), according to Paul Biancardi of ESPN’s director of basketball recruiting.
“The reason he wants to do it now is that he wants to focus on the schools that he is most interested in,” Vaughn’s mentor Pete Kaffey told Biancardi on Tuesday.
Early in September, Vaughn set three official visits. He had originially intended on making his first official to Chapel Hill on Sept. 27, though that was postponed. He set an trip to Baylor on Oct. 18 and visit to Iowa State the following month. According to Ameila Rayno of the Star Tribune, don’t expect Vaughn to take an official visit to his home state of Minnesota. Vaughn has been on campus there several times before, so no need to waste one of five official visits there.
Vaughn was originally down to 11, but UConn, Georgetown, UCLA and Kentucky were all cut from contention on Tuesday. It’s the second top-10 player in the Class of 2014 to eliminate Kentucky in two days. Curie High (Ill.) big man Cliff Alexander said he cut UK because contact between them has stopped. Though, the Wildcats are still in the running for top players at both those positions.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.