Stevenson High (Illinois) rising senior Jalen Brunson is a top-15 recruit and is arguably the top point guard in the Class of 2015.
The five-star floor general narrowed down his list of options to eight back in May. On Tuesday night, Joe Henricksen reported Brunson had scheduled three of his five official visits. The 6-foot-1 point guard will remain in-state for his first visit, going to Illinois on Aug. 29-31. Brunson will head to Philadelphia the following two weekends, heading to Villanova on Sept. 4-6 and then Temple from Sept. 11-13. Later in the week, Brunson revealed his final two official visits. Henricksen also reported Brunson will be at Michigan State from Sept. 19-21. That will be followed by a trip to Purdue on Sept. 26-28, according to Reggie Rankin of ESPN.
The third visit is the most intriguing. In June, a report surfaced that Jalen’s father, Rick Brunson a Temple grad who both played and coached in the NBA, would be added to Fran Dunphy’s coaching staff as an assistant. However, Rick Brunson was charged with attempted sexual assault and battery in July after an incident involving a masseuse. Hiring Rick Brunson was likely an attempt to land Jalen. A package deal like that is allowed by the NCAA.
Jalen Brunson is also considering Kansas, Michigan and UConn.
As a junior at Stevenson, Brunson averaged 26.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game. He dropped state tournament record 56 points in a playoff game against Jahlil Okafor and Chicago powerhouse Whitney Young. This summer, he was part of a USA Basketball U18 team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championships in Colorado Springs. Even in a reserve role, Brunson averaged 12.0 points and 5.6 assists per game in the five-game tournament. He also shot the ball well from deep, at a 40 percent clip. In 23 games on the Nike EYBL circuit with Mac Irvin Fire, he averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”
The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.
CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.
The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.
The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.
VIDEOS: Stephen Curry’s personally invites athletes to his select camp
John Calipari has a goal this offseason: to lose some weight.
“Mid-50s, I let it go a little bit,” Calipari said as he worked out on an elliptical. “Had a heck of a year. But going forward, gotta get in better shape. Gotta get the body right. Started a week ago. What I will say to you is really simple. I’m not showing you my body for a month.”
The reason why Cal needs to get into shape?
He’s going to have to coach this year, because Tyler Ulis is heading to the NBA.
“I shoulda got some of his salary,” Ulis joked.
Cal won’t have to coach too hard. He’s got one of the best recruiting classes in the country coming into the program, including three top ten players and five of the nation’s top 30 prospects.
Coaching changes can wreak havoc on a program’s recruiting class, and that’s been the case for UNLV thanks to the tumultuous nature of their search for a new head coach. Thursday evening one prospect who remained committed to the Mountain West program throughout the process that ultimately led to Marvin Menzies landing the job announced that he’s decided to reopen his recruitment.
“I was very much looking forward to the opportunity to be a Rebel this year,” Fisher wrote. “But there have been a lot of changes with the program since I committed to UNLV; changes that have made me reconsider whether UNLV is still a good fit for me. So with that in mind and after much consideration with my family, I have decided it’s best that I reopen my recruitment.”
Fisher’s decision leaves wing Justin Jackson as the lone member of UNLV’s 2016 class at this point, with Jackson telling Scout.com in early April that he was undecided as to whether or not he’d reopen his recruitment. The school’s search for a coach began in January when they parted ways with Dave Rice, promoting Todd Simon in an interim role.
After deciding not to retain Simon, who’s now the head coach at Southern Utah, UNLV hired former Little Rock head coach Chris Beard…who left for Texas Tech less than two weeks later. UNLV landed Menzies, who they passed over for Beard, and he’s got a lot of work to do to field a roster that will be competitive in the Mountain West next season.
As for Fisher, the Arlington, Tennessee native should be a popular prospect with his decision to reopen things. And with Memphis losing former commit Charlie Moore, the Tigers are in need of help at the point. The question now is whether or not new head coach Tubby Smith will look to reach out to Fisher.