Clarke’s departure left Tennessee’s Class of 2015 without its top prospect. Whether Clarke’s decommitment from Tennessee had anything to do with the investigation is up for debate. But for the other two pledges in that Volunteers’ class — Shembari Phillips and Admiral Schofield — remain committed to Tyndall and Tennessee, according to Ben Frederickson of the Knoxville News Sentinel despite the investigation and Tyndall’s past rule breaking.
“I talked to the staff,” Schofield told Frederickson. “They gave me a briefing on the situation. My commitment stands. I think Coach Tyndall really has a plan for me. Anything that happened or didn’t happen at Southern Miss doesn’t affect my decision.”
“I’ve met Coach Tyndall. Anything they say he did wrong I really don’t believe any of that. You can’t really believe what you hear on the Internet,” Phillips added. ” I’m still strong with my decision.”
Phillips, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard, and Schofield, the 6-foot-5 wing, are both listed as three-star recruits, according to Rivals.
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, Tennessee gets two commitments over Labor Day weekend, Glynn Watson’s big decision for Nebraska and a four-star guard is nearing a decision.
Tennessee lands two over Labor Day weekend
While the talk of college basketball recruiting for the last week or so has been Bruce Pearl’s commitment spree at Auburn, Pearl’s former program, Tennessee, added two additions on the wing over Labor Day weekend.
First came Admiral Schofield, a 6-foot-5 power wing from the suburbs of Chicago. Schofield is a late-bloomer and skilled, big-bodied wing who didn’t play for a shoe company team in grassroots season and was the second option on Zion-Benton’s High School team last season. But over the summer the light clicked and Schofield started going to work.
At AAU Nationals in Louisville, every high-major program in attendance was clamoring to see if Schofield was worth a scholarship offer and Tennessee was one of the programs to take a leap of faith.
Although some will scoff at head coach Donnie Tyndall not landing a top-100 player in his first class, this is a weak class nationally and there aren’t as many difference-making players in the top 100 as usual. For Tyndall to get a pair of wings that he likes and feels comfortable with in his system — to go along with the players he recruited in the 2014 class in the spring — is not necessarily a bad start.
Tennessee has one more scholarship to give in 2015 but could have more available spots if players decide to leave the program. When you consider that Memphis transfer Dominic Woodson is also apart of this incoming group then Tennessee has three guys that could contribute in the SEC.
Nebraska gets its point guard
As has been stated numerous times on CBT, there just aren’t many good guards in the 2015 class, especially high-quality, pass-first point guards.
Which makes Nebraska’s verbal commitment from Illinois native and point guard Glynn Watson a big deal. The Cornhuskers and head coach Tim Miles are capitalizing on last season’s success and the hype surrounding their always-sold-out Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Now with a legitimate top-100 player and quality point guard in the mix, Miles and the Nebraska staff can sell other players in the 2015 class on playing with a guard that will make them better. The Cornhuskers winning games last year might have caught some people by surprise, but their success on the recruiting trail this year shouldn’t come as any sort of shock.
Miles knows how to land quality players and his charisma and all of the positives that Nebraska has to offer — a great arena, fan base and the Big Ten — are great selling points to recruits. Look for Nebraska to maintain some recruiting momentum heading into this season.
Four-star prospect to announce on Friday
Four-star guard Haanif Cheatham is scheduled to announce his decision on Friday at Pembroke Pines Charter in Florida.
The 6-foot-5 guard is the No. 68 overall prospect in Rivals‘ 2015 rankings and has Cal, Wichita State, Florida State, Georgia, Marquette, and Georgetown in his final six.
Cheatham has taken recent official visits to Cal and Marquette and the Golden Eagles are considered the favorite in this race at the moment.
With leading returning scorer Josh Richardson (10.3 ppg in 2013-14) entering his senior season, new Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall had the need to add a forward to his roster for the 2015-16 season. That goal was accomplished Sunday afternoon, as 6-foot-5 forward Admiral Schofield verbally committed to the SEC program.
The news was first reported by Ben Frederickson of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, with Schofield sending out a tweet shortly thereafter.
I have committed to play basketball at the university of Tennessee #GoVols#RockyTop 🔶🔶🔶🔶🔶🔶🔶
Schofield’s on campus for an official visit this weekend, and his versatility at the forward position is something that should fit in well with Tyndall’s program. As a junior at Zion-Benton Twonship HS in Zion, Illinois, Schofield averaged 15.6 points and eight rebounds per contest on a team led by Saint Louis freshman Milik Yarbrough.
The Zee-Bees finished the 2013-14 season with a 26-4 record, and with Yarbrough now at the college level Schofield will have the opportunity to do even more as a senior. In a story written by Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun-Times, Schofield cited his comfort with Tyndall when asked what led to his decision to commit to Tennessee.
“It felt like home to me,” says Schofield. “Coach Tyndall and I hit it off. He’s a very straight-forward guy and he has a plan for me, and that’s to get me to reach the highest level and the best of my abilities. I believe in him. He says he wants to win championships, national championships. And that’s what I want and what I’m about, doing all I can to win.”
With the aforementioned Richardson entering his senior season and Derek Reese, who played just under 11 minutes per game as a sophomore, being a junior adding depth to the small forward position was important for Tennessee. Schofield has played both forward spots in high school but given his height one would think that he’ll project to the small forward role in college.
Tennessee added three freshman forwards to the program this offseason, with Jabari McGhee, Willie Carmichael and Tariq Owens being the additions. The Volunteers have also added Memphis transfer Dominic Woodson, although it has yet to be determined whether or not he’ll be eligible to play immediately.