2017 recruiting

Maryland lands four-star Class of 2017 big man

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Maryland picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2017 over the weekend as four-star big man Bruno Fernando made a pledge to the Terps.

The 6-foot-10 Fernando was at one time an SMU commit, but he opted for a postgrad year and re-opened his recruitment before deciding on Maryland. Regarded as the No. 112 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Fernando should add to a solid stable of big men that the Terps have had the last few years.

Coming off of a class where they picked up four, four-star prospects, Maryland is off to a very good start in the Class of 2017 with Fernando. With Damonte Dodd being a senior and Michal Cekovsky starting his junior year, Maryland can develop Fernando as a rotation player the next few years before he needs to play bigger minutes.

VIDEO: 2017 power forward Isaiah Stokes shatters backboard

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As the younger brother of former Tennessee power forward Jarnell Stokes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 2017 power forward Isaiah Stokes plays with similar authority. At one point a dual-sport athlete with football also getting attention, the younger Stokes has decided to focus on basketball with a host of high major programs looking to land his commitment. And Thursday afternoon at the adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas, Stokes displayed the strength and power he’s been known for.

Late in the M33M Elite program’s win over the Iowa Barnstormers, Stokes threw down a two-handed dunk that shattered the backboard and can be seen above. Stokes fell onto the chards of glass that accumulated under the basket, and he needed three stitches to close up a wound on his left pinky finger. Stokes told ESPN.com that while he had intentions of breaking the backboard, he “didn’t think I’d be able to do it.”

Games on that court were delayed for a couple hours due to the clean-up process and the need to bring in a replacement basket. According to ESPN.com Stokes is down to five schools: Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Iowa State and South Carolina.

Five-star 2017 power forward trims list to eight

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski flashes a thumbs up against North Carolina-Wilmington in the first half during the first round of the NCAA college men's basketball tournament in Providence, R.I., Thursday, March 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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One of the top prospects in the Class of 2017 announced on Monday that he’s trimmed his list down to eight schools. 6-foot-10 power forward Wendell Carter Jr., a native of Atlanta, revealed his final list Monday afternoon on Twitter with some of the nation’s best programs making the cut.

The final eight schools in the running for Carter’s commitment are Arizona, California, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The power forward position in the Class of 2017 is loaded, with Carter joining the likes of DeAndre Ayton and Mohamed Bamba at the head of the class. Seeing perennial powers on Carter’s list comes as no surprise given his skill level, with both in-state power conference programs still in the mix as well. The inclusion of Harvard may surprise some, but Carter’s performance in the classroom has opened that door for him should he choose to go that route.

Something else to keep in mind when it comes to Carter’s recruitment: how guard Gary Trent Jr. approaches his recruitment. It’s been reported in the past that the two friends are hoping to attend the same school. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, as recruiting tends to be a fluid situation, but it is something to consider as Carter, Trent and the rest of this class makes its decisions as to where they’ll attend college.

Guard Platek becomes North Carolina’s second 2017 commit

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts after cutting the net after a regional final men's college basketball game against Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament, Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. North Carolina won 88-74 to advance to the Final Four. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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Monday afternoon North Carolina picked up a second verbal commitment in the Class of 2017, as shooting guard Andrew Platek announced via his Twitter account that he will play his college basketball for Roy Williams. One of the top perimeter shooters in the class, the 6-foot-4 Platek joins fellow guard Jalek Felton in North Carolina’s 2017 crop thus far.

A native of Guilderland, New York, Platek plays for the Albany City Rocks grassroots program and attends Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts. The recipient of many offers from high- and mid-major programs, Platek was offered a scholarship by North Carolina in late-April, with Williams making the phone call himself to deliver the news.

Outside of the now-graduated Marcus Paige perimeter shooting was an issue for North Carolina in recent years, but that’s been addressed on the recruiting front. Among the three signees in the 2016 class is shooting guard Brandon Robinson, who was one of the top shooters in that class, and Platek can also help in that regard when he arrives in Chapel Hill.

Among the other programs to offer Platek were Miami, Penn State and Stanford with Indiana showing some interest in the spring.

Point guard Harris becomes Washington’s second 2017 commit

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With four-star shooting guard Jaylen Nowell having already committed and elite forward Michael Porter Jr. viewed by many as a player well within reach, Washington is off to a good start when it comes to the 2017 recruiting class. Things got even better for Lorenzo Romar’s program late Monday night, as point guard Blake Harris announced via his Twitter account that he will attend Washington.

A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the 6-foot-3 Harris attends Word of God Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina and plays for the CP3 All Stars team on the Nike EYBL grassroots circuit. The addition of Harris gives Washington additional depth on the perimeter, something they’ll need if highly regarded freshman Markelle Fultz is as good as advertised, and he’s a good distributor of the basketball as well.

Among his highlights this spring/summer was a poster dunk over five-star 2017 forward Billy Preston, with Preston suffering a broken finger in attempting to block the shot.

Washington likes to play an uptempo style in which their players get into the opposition defensively, resulting in turnovers and open-court opportunities for their perimeter options, and Harris should fit in well given his skill set.

Wisconsin lands third 2017 commit in point guard Davison

Greg Gard
Michael P. King/Wisconsin State Journal via AP
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With Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter both entering their senior campaign, Wisconsin was in a position where they needed to add depth to the point guard position in the Class of 2017. Monday night they did just that, as 6-foot-3 point guard Brad Davison announced via his Twitter account that he will attend Wisconsin.

Davison is the third commitment in Wisconsin’s 2017 recruiting class, joining fellow guard Kobe King and power forward Nathan Reuvers with Reuvers also being a Minnesota native. A native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, Davison plays his grassroots basketball for the Howard Pulley Panthers program on the Nike EYBL circuit.

“Davison had a tremendous spring and was a big reason Howard Pulley was one of the better teams in the EYBL,” NBC Sports recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said of Wisconsin’s latest commit. “With solid size for a shooter, Davison can knock down perimeter looks and he also had a very sound assist-to-turnover ratio. Davison isn’t a number one option, but he fits Wisconsin’s system and knows how to play basketball. This is another solid get for Wisconsin in the 2017 class.”

Wisconsin did add a point guard in the 2016 class with the late signing of D’Mitrik Trice, the younger brother of former Michigan State guard Travis Trice. But there was still a need for another option who can run the point for Greg Gard’s team, and Davison fits the bill.