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, Florida State’s big weekend, Texas A&M continues momentum and can Tom Crean and Indiana pull together a solid recruiting class?
Florida State basketball puts together a huge weekend
Florida State is fresh off of a national championship on the football field and many fans of college athletics wouldn’t associate the school with having a strong basketball program.
But Leonard Hamilton made major waves in the college basketball world over the weekend by landing two high-level wings in Georgia native Malik Beasley and in-state five-star wing Dwayne Bacon. When you couple those two with previous Florida State 2015 wing commit Terance Mann, the Seminoles have the makings of a class that competes with ACC juggernauts like Duke, North Carolina and Louisville.
Bacon, Beasley and Mann all do different things well and when you add a shooter like Xavier Rathan-Mayes to the equation, then the Seminoles have the makings of a fantastic dearth of wing talent for years to come.
Now, can the Seminoles keep the recruiting momentum going by adding an elite point guard or big man with this group in the next year or two? That remains to be seen, but recruits absolutely notice Florida State’s athletic department thriving and basketball should be a sport that is included in that equation.
But if Florida State wants to annually compete with the big boys of the ACC they’ll still need to add a high-level floor general to get those wings the ball and a post presence that can make Leonard Hamilton’s free-flowing offense tough to stop. The wings are a start, and give Florida State a lot of playmaking talent, but they need to keep going if they want to win championships on the hardwood.
Texas A&M continues to pull in talented players
Billy Kennedy and Texas A&M continued its Texas Titans-to-A&M pipeline over the weekend with the commitment of four-star small forward and perimeter shooting threat D.J. Hogg.
The addition of Hogg and Tyler Davis in the 2015 class goes along with Texas Titans guards Avery Johnson Jr. and Alex Robinson in the previous class. Simply put, this is one of the biggest grassroots-to-college pipelines we’ve seen in quite some time and other recruits are starting to notice the influx of talent as well.
Prized five-star guard Malik Newman — not a member of the Texas Titans, but from Mississippi — has scheduled his first official visit to Texas A&M, according to Courtney Cronin of the Clarion-Ledger, and the Aggies also remain in the mix for Titans wing and former Ohio State commit Mickey Mitchell.
Despite resurgent 2013-14 campaigns from in-state rivals Texas and SMU, the Aggies have built recruiting momentum in Texas, and elsewhere, using in-state connections and the hard work of assistant coaches Kyle Keller, Rick Stansbury and Amir Abdur-Rahim.
Texas A&M is already off to a great start in 2015 and more important commitments could be on the way.
Can Indiana put together a strong class?
Indiana and head coach Tom Crean aren’t in the mix with many elite five-star prospects in the 2015 class, but can the Hoosiers still piece together a good group?
That’s what Hoosier fans are hoping for and a big piece of that equation will come on Wednesday when four-star forward Juwan Morgan decides between Indiana and Vanderbilt.
Although Crean and his staff aren’t involved with many All-American candidates, in-part because Indiana’s high school prospects are a bit down in 2015, Crean has still done plenty of good things with under-the-radar prospects that he later develops.
During both his time at Marquette and Indiana, Crean has developed guys like Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo from under-recruited prospects into NBA lottery picks. That’s not to say Crean and Indiana will work that sort of magic with this 2015 class, but it goes to show that talent development is a big part of what Indiana can accomplish.
If Indiana ends up with Mokan teammates Morgan and Shake Milton, the Hoosiers are getting two players that helped lead that program to Peach Jam while each player had a strong spring and summer.
They might not be the All-Americans that Indiana fans are craving, but Crean has shown that he can still win a lot of games without those types of recruits.