Wake Forest added the fourth piece to its 2016 recruiting class on Tuesday as 6-foot-10 four-star center Samuel Japhet-Mathias committed to the Demon Deacons.
Head coach Danny Manning has his center of the future to go along with a class that includes three-star forward Donovan Mitchell, three-star point guard Brandon Childress and three-star shooting guard Richard Washington.
Japhet-Mathias was a backup on the PSA Cardinals this EYBL season and he was productive in the minutes he saw. Playing in 11 games this spring and summer, Japhet-Mathias averaged 13 minutes a game and put up 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. A native of England, Japhet-Mathias spent last high school season at Vermont Academy, but opted to go to England and be a member of the Class of 2016.
Wake Forest will take Japhet-Mathias’ natural size, as he’s already 240 pounds and possessing good strength and along with 2015 recruit Doral Moore, the program has two big men to work with in the future.
With Codi Miller-McIntyre and Madison Jones both out of eligibility after the 2015-16 season, Wake Forest was in a position where they needed to add some perimeter options in the 2016 recruiting class. It’s safe to say that Danny Manning and his staff have done that, with Brandon Childress committing earlier this summer and 6-foot-5 shooting guard Richard Washington Jr. doing so Saturday night.
News of Washington’s commitment was first reported by Scout.com, and he did so while on an official visit to the Wake Forest campus.
The Newport News, Virginia product attends Walsingham Academy, and he played for the Team Loaded Virginia program this summer. Washington played well at the adidas Uprising Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta in mid-July, averaging 12.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He and Childress, the son of Wake Forest great and current assistant Randolph Childress, will join a perimeter that has four players with eligibility remaining beyond the 2015-16 season.
Mitchell Wilbekin and Rondale Watson will both be sophomores this upcoming season, with Keyshawn Woods sitting out the 2015-16 season after transferring in from Charlotte. The Demon Deacons also have point guard Bryant Crawford, who will be a freshman.
Two weeks after his team’s season came to an end, Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning announced that guard Madison Jones had been suspended for a violation of team rules. The suspension prohibited Jones from participating in any basketball-related activities with the team, and as a result there was work to be done to ensure that he’s be a member of the team in 2015-16.
Wednesday the school announced that Jones is back with the team, as Manning has decided to reinstate the rising senior guard. Jones played in 32 games last season, starting six, and averaged 4.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
“I have made the decision to reinstate Madison from his suspension from all basketball-related activities after several weeks away from the program,” Manning said in the release. “I have evaluated his progress over the past several weeks and feel that he has made great strides and better decisions to earn his way back. We anticipate that he continues down this path for his senior year.”
Jones’ reinstatement gives the Demon Deacons another experienced guard to call upon in 2015-16. Joining Jones as returnees on the perimeter are fellow senior Codi Miller-McIntyre (the team’s leading scorer) and sophomores Mitchell Wilbekin and Rondale Watson. Wake Forest also adds freshman Bryant Crawford to the perimeter rotation.
The presence of Jones and Wilbekin should allow Wake Forest to get Miller-McIntyre, who in addition to leading the team in scoring was also its assists leader, some opportunities to make things happen off the ball offensively.