College Basketball Talk’s Recruiting Roundup

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source: AP
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Each Monday and Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, Oregon State’s big weekend, three-star Minnesota big man sets two visits and New Jersey big man has a final list of five with some visits.

Can Oregon State keep the momentum going?

The commitment of three-star big man Drew Eubanks to Oregon State might not appear to be a major recruiting breakthrough on paper, but the Beavers and new head coach Wayne Tinkle are hoping to ride Tuesday’s commitment into a few more verbals this weekend.

Heading to Corvallis for the weekend is Eubanks, Tinkle’s son, Tres, and Stephen Thompson Jr., the son of Oregon State assistant coach Stephen Thompson. Three-star point guard Derrick Bruce is also expected for an official visit also with the aforementioned trio, according to Oregon Live‘s Andrew Nemac.

While coach’s sons will often consider staying home and playing for their fathers, the younger Tinkle and Thompson aren’t your average recruits; they’re top-100 players in the 2015 class.

The 6-foot-6 Tinkle is Rivals‘ No. 88 player in the 2015 class while the 6-foot-3 Thompson Jr. is regarded as the No. 74 player. If you piece together those two players with the 6-foot-10 Eubanks and the three-star Bruce at point guard, then the Beavers are looking at a formidable four-man start to the 2015 recruiting class.

Not only would commitments from Bruce, Tinkle and Thompson Jr., have a big affect on Oregon State in the short-term, but it would mean that the staff was able to get talented players to play around the expected commitments from their sons.

It also gives Oregon State a head start on the remainder of the 2015 class or future classes as the new staff can sell the potential quartet of recruits to future prospects.

Of course, Oregon State has to land verbal commitments from Bruce, Tinkle and Thompson Jr., but they look like they’re in the driver’s seat in all three cases.

Alex Illikainen has two official visits lined up

An intriguing recruitment to follow the next few weeks will be that of three-star Minnesota native and power forward Alex Illikainen. The Class of 2015 product is now attending Brewster Academy for his senior season and the 6-foot-9 forward recently set up some official visits.

According to Rob Howe of Hawkeye Insider, Illikainen will trip to Iowa for an official visit this weekend and follow that up with an official visit to Oregon on September 13th.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are both also involved with Illikainen and he’s trying to set up official visits to those schools as well. Cal also got an official from the forward when the old staff was still there and they are no longer recruiting him.

Although Illikainen averaged 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in the EYBL this spring and summer, he shot 43 percent from the three-point line, which is intriguing because of his good natural size. Stretch fours are coveted in college basketball and Illikainen will only get better playing his senior year at Brewster.

New Jersey forward sets a list and some visits

Isaiah Briscoe is Roselle Catholic High School’s most prominent player but 6-foot-8 forward Chris Silva is also a three-star forward and the No. 132 overall player in Rivals‘ 2015 rankings.

According to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, Silva took an official visit to Seton Hall on Wednesday and then he’ll visit Rhode Island on September 3rd, South Carolina on September 12th and he’ll also likely trip to Kansas State. Villanova, the fifth team on Silva’s list, has no visit set so far.

This is an interesting recruitment because the schools involved with official visits come from different conferences, and in many cases, different parts of the country. Silva has a lot of different variables at play here.

Playing with Sports U in the Under Armour Association, Silva averaged 9.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 13 games this spring and summer.

Sex assault count dropped against ex-Creighton player Watson

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree sexual assault charge against former Creighton point guard Maurice Watson after questions arose about the accuser’s story.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine announced Friday that his office had dropped the felony charge, filed earlier this year when a 19-year-old woman accused Watson of assaulting her early Feb. 4 at a party in an Omaha home. Watson has denied that allegation.

The 24-year-old Watson pleaded no contest Friday to misdemeanor assault for an encounter the same night with a different Creighton student, who said Watson touched her thigh and tried to make her touch his genitals. Watson was sentenced to the five days he’d already served in jail.

Watson was a senior when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in January, just days before the party.

Storm damage forces Paradise Jam out of Virgin Islands

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MIAMI (AP) — The Paradise Jam basketball tournament will not be played in the U.S. Virgin Islands this year because of damage caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

The tournament will be played in the U.S., with a new site expected to be announced by Sept. 29.

The Paradise Jam field this year includes Wake Forest, Colorado, Drake, Drexel, Houston, Liberty, Mercer and Quinnipiac, and each of those schools was given the chance to bid for the right to host the tournament.

Tournament officials say they looked at multiple other options, such as moving to another island and using a cruise ship for accommodations, before deciding to move the event to the U.S.

For now, the tournament is scheduled to be played from Nov. 17-20.

Kentucky lands commitment from five-star point guard

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Kentucky landed a commitment from Immanuel Quickley on Friday night, a top ten prospect and arguably the best point guard in the Class of 2018.

Quickley picked the Wildcats over Kansas, who he visited earlier this month, and Miami, who he was scheduled to visit before Hurricane Irma struck south Florida.

The 6-foot-3 point guard is the first commitment in the class of head coach John Calipari, and it really comes as no surprise. He’s been considered a Kentucky lean for months, and Quickley played for Calipari on the USA U19 team during the 2017 FIBA World Cup.

While Quickley has the size and the build – he’s 180 pounds with broad shoulders and long arms – of some of Kentucky’s former elite point guards, he’s not the same kind of point guard as, say, De’Aaron Fox or John Wall. He’s more of a smooth athlete than an explosive one, and while his long strides allow him to get out into transition, he’s not the finisher at the rim that those two were. What he is, however, is an intelligent player. He’s good in ball-screens, he’s an excellent passer and facilitator and he is a good enough shooter that he forces defenses to stay honest. He also has the potential to be a plus defender given his physical tools and the fact that he’ll try on that end of the floor.

Where this commitment gets interesting is the current point guard in Kentucky’s back court, Quade Green. Green was a five-star recruit in his own right, but he’s not quite built as a potential one-and-done prospect. Calipari has maneuvered through two point guards in the past, and each of the last five national champions have played major minutes with two point guards on the floor at the same time, but if Green is back next season that will be something to monitor.

That, however, is a long ways away.

What matters now is that Kentucky has gotten this commitment out of the way, and it paves the way for them to also receive a commitment from Zion Williamson. There has long been talk of those two attending college together, and with Quickley on the board, that likely keeps Kentucky in the driver’s seat as they pursue the South Carolina native.

If Kentucky can also wrangle a commitment out of R.J. Barrett, the No. 1 player in the 2018 recruiting class, that would likely be the end of the discussion of whether or not Duke has surpassed the Wildcats on the recruiting trail.

Five-star forward King picks Oregon

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Oregon has nabbed one of the top players in the 2018 class.

Louis King, a top-20 forward, committed to Dana Altman and the Ducks on Thursday via a video on social media.

“It’s been a tough, strenuous process,” King said, “but today makes all of that worth it. I’ve been blessed with great opportunities.”

The 6-foot-8 New Jersey native selected Oregon over other finalists Seton Hall, NC State, Purdue and Kansas.

“I would like to thank each of them for all the time and effort they put into my recruitment,” King said. “I would like to thank my coaches and my teammates that have pushed me and helped get me to this point in my career. My friends for all their love and support, but most of all I would like to thank my family, who has been by my side through it all.”

King is Altman’s second commit in 2018, joining four-star big man Miles Norris, a top-75 recruit in the class. It’s the beginning of what could be an absolutely dynamic class for Oregon, which still has two scholarships remaining.

“Out of all of my schools I felt like it was best for me and my family,” King said to MADE Hoops. “Coach Altman said that I would have the ball in my hands throughout the season. When I get there, it will be an easy adjustment for me with how I handle rock and get my teammates open. Our goal is to win a national championship next year.”

 

Four-star forward Miller Kopp commits to Northwestern

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Northwestern has a second four-star recruit in its 2018 class.

The Wildcats received a commitment from Miller Kopp, a 6-foot-6 forward, on Thursday, he announced via social media.

“I built a really strong relationship with (coach) Chris Collins and I fell in love with the campus,” Kopp told Scout. “I knew it would be a nice campus and have that stuff, but I think me and him are wired the same way. II think that his personality fits mine and I think we complement each other. I’m definitely excited to be able to go to a program on the rise and be able to make some history.”

Kopp picked the Wildcats over offers from Georgetown, Butler, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. The Houston native is ranked in the top-100 of his class by most recruiting services.

He gives Collins and the Wildcats an exceedingly strong 2018 class, which already featured four-star guard Pete Nance of Ohio along with three-star recruits Jordan Lathon and Ryan Young. It represents a major leap forward for Northwestern. It would appear that the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance last March has brought momentum to the recruiting trail.