Payton Pritchard

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Top-50 recruit Payton Pritchard commits to Oregon

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Payton Pritchard, rated a top-50 recruit in the Class of 2016 by Rivals, decided to remain in-state, committing to Dana Altman and the Ducks on Friday evening.

Reggie Rankin of ESPN.com first reported the news. Evan Daniels of Scout.com also reported the commitment.

The 6-foot-1 Pritchard had originally committed to Oklahoma. He reopened his recruitment in July.

Pritchard averaged 16.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, shooting 49 percent from three in the Nike EYBL with Seattle Rotary this summer. In the adidas Gauntlet with Team Fast Elite, he averaged 22.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

One of the top shooters in the high school ranks will join a backcourt in 2016-17 that loses graduate transfer Dylan Ennis but will likely return Tyler Dorsey, Casey Benson, Ahmaad Rorie and Kendall Small

The No. 46 overall player in the Class of 2016 joins four-star small forward Keith Smith in Oregon’s 2016 class. Smith is ranked No. 73 overall in the Class.

Four-star Class of 2016 point guard decommits from Oklahoma

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Oklahoma lost a key member of its 2016 class on Monday as four-star point guard Payton Pritchard decommitted from the Sooners, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

The 6-foot-1 point guard is currently regarded as the No. 46 player in the Class of 2016 national rankings from Rivals and he comes with a considerable scoring arsenal for a lead guard. A native of Oregon, Pritchard represented USA Basketball in the 3×3 World Championships in Hungary this summer and he’s one of the best long-range shooters in the class.

Pritchard was active this spring, playing multiple sessions in both the adidas Gauntlet with Team Fast Elite and the Nike EYBL with Seattle Rotary. With Team Fast, Pritchard poured in 22.4 points a game to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 5 assists. As a member of Seattle Rotary, Pritchard averaged 16.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field, 49 percent from 3-point range and 100 percent from the free-throw line.

The Sooners still own a commitment from three-star in-state wing Kristian Doolittle in the Class of 2016, but the loss of Pritchard could be a huge loss. His offensive approach and ability to create offense would have fit nicely in Lon Kruger’s offense. Oklahoma is still in the running for Pritchard’s services, but with the July live evaluation period tipping this week, it will be interesting to see which schools track Pritchard’s games.

 

Oklahoma commit Payton Pritchard hits nine 3-pointers as U.S. advances in 3×3 World Championships (VIDEO)

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The FIBA U18 3×3 World Championships don’t receive a ton of attention from the American basketball audience, but we’ve sent some talented players to Hungary to compete for gold this summer.

Representing the United States includes Oklahoma commit Payton Pritchard, Gonzaga commit Zach Collins, North Carolina commit Jalek Felton and Class of 2017 forward P.J. Washington. The team advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over Poland on Saturday as Pritchard had nine 3-pointers (considered 2-pointers with the one and two-point baskets in 3×3 ball) to lead them to victory.

The United States will play France in the quarterfinals.

CBT’s Recruiting Roundup: Arizona’s interior depth, Oklahoma gets rolling, another Memphis recruit reclassifies

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TJ Leaf (adidas)

Each Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, Arizona continues to add interior depth, Oklahoma gets rolling in 2016 and Memphis has more commitments reclassifying.

Arizona continues to added talented forwards

When Arizona added five-star Class of 2016 forward T.J. Leaf on Wednesday, it gave the Wildcats another blue-chip talent, but it also stabilizes head coach Sean Miller’s depth at power forward for the foreseeable future. Leaf still has another two season of high school basketball before he begins his college career, but his pledge means that Arizona has a good feel for its interior depth the next few years.

Junior Brandon Ashley and freshman Craig Victor currently give Arizona a talented duo at the four, and if Ashley opts to leave early for the 2015 NBA Draft as some have speculated, then the Wildcats will still have depth without him. Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson is currently waiting in the wings as a redshirt and could fill in for Ashley in the starting lineup and Victor would be a valuable backup again as a sophomore.

Once Anderson leaves Tucson after his one season playing for the Wildcats, Victor would likely assume the starting power forward role and Leaf, a freshman, would be the stretch-shooting backup. Miller has to love the depth he has in place at this position the next few seasons. If that projection played out as I just laid it out — and injuries and players exceeding or failing expectations could certainly change that — then Miller would have an upperclassman starting at that position in three straight seasons with a talented underclassman backing him up.

Let’s focus more on Leaf for a second. With his skill level and ability to stretch the floor, he provides valuable additional shooting off the bench in his first season or two as he adjusts to the physicality of the college game. While many teams in the college game will space the floor at forward, Leaf’s 6-foot-10 size gives him an immediate advantage over his peers at the position.

Leaf will need to get a little tougher on the inside and become a more consistent rebounder, but he has two years to add strength and get more comfortable with his size before arriving in college. Arizona continues to roll on the recruiting trail and Leaf is a great start in the 2016 class.

Oklahoma lands a key piece in 2016

Lon Kruger has a lot of positive things going at Oklahoma right now. The Sooners are a trendy darkhorse Final Four pick and Oklahoma looks like it should be able to score points in bunches again this season. That on-court momentum has also translated to recent recruiting success as Kruger landed a commitment from Oregon native and four-star 2016 guard Payton Pritchard on Tuesday.

Adding Pritchard means that Kruger has another high-octane guard who can push tempo, create shots for himself or find others with the pass. Oklahoma now has the luxury of having a skilled guard in place to mold the next few seasons before Pritchard is asked to take over for Jordan Woodard.

Woodard should be a senior when Pritchard is a freshman and the two guards could spend time playing alongside each other and forming a potent scoring backcourt while Pritchard can also get points off of the bench.

This is a nice start to the 2016 class for Oklahoma, and as the No. 38 overall prospect in Rivals’ 2016 national rankings, this is the most highly-touted commitment Kruger has reeled in.

More Memphis reclassifying

Memphis has been all about reclassifying commitments this fall as the Tigers already had two different verbals move classes to balance things out a little better for the future. In a previous recruiting roundup, I went over Memphis putting Dedric Lawson with his brother K.J. in the 2015 class and former 2015 center Nick Marshall moving to the 2016 class.

Now, the Tigers are at it again, as guard Randall Broddie is moving back up to the 2015 class from the 2016 class, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com. Given the early-season struggles for Memphis with its guard play, this really comes as no surprise.

Broddie is a combo guard capable of scoring or doing a little bit of distributing and he’ll at least push the competition level at guard next season if he isn’t ready to come in and play major minutes right away. Josh Pastner has done a lot of tweaking with this 2015 class, but based on his team’s slow start, it’s become apparent that he needs a shot in the arm on the perimeter and this next group should bring some help.

Oklahoma lands the highest-rated recruit in Lon Kruger’s tenure

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Oklahoma had landed a commitment from Payton Pritchard, a four-star point guard in the Class of 2016.

Pritchard is the No. 38 recruit in the class, according to Rivals. The 6-foot-1 playmaker is the first commit Kruger has gotten from the junior class. He’s also the highest-rated recruit that has pledged to the Sooners during Kruger’s tenure.

“Pritchard is a scoring guard who can handle, pass and shoot from the perimeter and off the dribble,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said. “He had a nice month of July and should give Kruger another capable guard who make plays.”

A native of Oregon, part of what made this commitment easy for Pritchard is that he’s not only a legacy at the school, he has family in the area. Both of his parents went to Oklahoma; his dad was a tight end of the football team.

Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma’s current starting point guard, is just a sophomore. He’ll likely still be on campus when Pritchard arrives.

CBT Quotables Part II: P.J. Dozier, Payton Pritchard, Horace Spencer

Payton Pritchard (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
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Payton Pritchard (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Over the course of July’s live recruiting period, we at College Basketball Talk will be posting anonymous quotes from coaches about the prospects that they are watching and recruiting. With coverage from the LeBron James Skills Academy, Reebok Breakout Classic and Adidas Unrivaled, we had people at the three biggest events of the week. 

Here’s what the coaches had to say, with quotes cobbled together from a handful of conversations we had:

MORE: Quotables Part IAll our content from the 2014 July Live Recruiting Period

CG P.J. Dozier, No. 40 Class of 2015: “Dozier is a GREAT passer. Maybe the smoothest player in the class, so smooth that it’s sometimes hard to tell just how hard he is playing. How healthy is his knee (he had surgery to repair a torn ACL in September)? What position will be play and defend in college?”

PG Payton Pritchard, No. 34 Class of 2016: “Payton Pritchard is a tough, little dude, but I wonder how much his game can grow from here? Still, he hits shots and can get other guys the ball. That’s a necessary combo for a guard in any program.”

PF Horace Spencer, No. 73 Class of 2015: “Spencer’s athletic and he plays the game hard. You know he’s always going to rebound the ball, he’s going to protect the rim and he’s going to run the floor in transition. Look at those shoulders, he’s Thomas Robinson.”

SG Kyle Guy, Unranked Class of 2015: “I’m a fan of Kyle Guy. His body will improve and he has long arms and does so many things to help a team win games.”

SF Brandon Ingram, No. 25 Class of 2015: “Brandon Ingram is a stud. Scores the ball in so many different ways and really does a nice job using ball screens.”

C Kerry Blackshear, Unranked Class of 2015: “Blackshear’s got potential, but he’s got a way to go. He needs to add weight and strength to his frame. He doesn’t hold post position well and he seems off-balance too often. High hips and long legs give him a high center of gravity. Needs to grow into his body.”