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Steve Lavin

CBT’s Recruiting Roundup: Brandon Sampson to St. John’s, four-star could reclassify, New Zealand native visits three

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Each week, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, four-star 2015 guard Brandon Sampson commits to St. John’s, 2016 four-star guard could reclassify and New Zealand big man Tai Wynyard takes three visits this week.

Brandon Sampson is huge for St. John’s

When Louisiana native Brandon Sampson gave his pledge to head coach Steve Lavin and St. John’s this week it signified a major grab for a program that has recently struggled to win big recruiting battles. As the No. 40 overall prospect and a talented 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Sampson is the kind of guard who can come in and play with Rysheed Jordan once D’Angelo Harrison, Jamal Branch and Phil Greene run out of eligibility after this season.

It also signifies that Lavin can still win major recruiting battles. Since landing junior Chris Obekpa, only sophomore Rysheed Jordan has been an impact the last two classes, with the Red Storm really struggling for depth right now.

Now with Sampson and three-star guard Samir Doughty, St. John’s is off to a nice start in 2015 and they can still add some more pieces in the next few months that will see the floor next season.

Four-star 2016 guard Bruce Brown could reclassify

Adding intrigue to recruiting this spring could be the reclassification of 2016 guard Bruce Brown to the 2015 class. One of the better scoring guards in the country, Brown can get rolling getting baskets with only a few touches and would make for another good guard, along with Kobie Eubanks, who have reclassified to 2015.

The news of Brown potentially reclassifying was first reported by Scout.com‘s Evan Daniels and UConn could be in the picture right away. The No. 58 guard in the 2016 class is 6-foot-3 and also has offers from Boston College, UMass, Miami, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Indiana.

If Brown changes over to 2015, he would might not be the only member of his class to do so. There are rumors of others from the 2016 class looking to do the same like center Thon Maker or guard Jamal Murray. If some of those guys jump up a class, it would add a lot of high-end talent to college basketball next season.

International big man visits three schools

There’s been a lot of buzz about New Zealand native Tai Wynyard in the international basketball community the last 12 months and the Class of 2016 big man visited three schools within the last week. According to Scout.com‘s Evan Daniels, Wynyard visited Kentucky, Villanova and Texas this week.

The 6-foot-9, 230-pound big man is supposed to be rapidly improving and very physically mature for a junior. It will be interesting to see how this recruitment plays out and if Wynyard plays in the United States at all this spring or summer before his senior season.

Along with La Lumiere big man Isaac Humphries, Wynyard is another intriguing international big man looking to play college basketball in America.

CBT’s Recruiting Roundup: Issac Humphries’ American debut, UNC involved with 2016 center, Jamal Murray’s big start

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Isaac Humphries (Getty Images)


Each Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, the 2016 class is the main focus as big man Isaac Humphries is coming to America, a big man lands a North Carolina offer, and a Canadian guard is playing well.

Issac Humphries lands in America

Australian center Isaac Humphries made a splash at the U17 World Championships in Dubai this summer and he’s coming to the United States. A source told NBCSports.com that Humphries will arrive in the United States today to debut with La Lumiere on Dec. 21 at the City of Palms Classic.

The 7-foot Class of 2016 center should make a major impact for La Lumiere and is also attracting a lot of college attention. Arizona, California, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oregon and UCLA have all been involved in recruiting Humphries the source told NBCSports.com and Rivals as Humphries as the No. 26 overall player in the 2016 class.

Playing against American competition for the first time, we’ll have to see how Humphries fares and develops. He seems to welcome physical contact and is naturally big with active feet and hands, so his skill level should translate once he adapts to the speed of the American game. It will also factor in the type of competition he sees and how much he gets the ball and in what spots. His teammates will have to get comfortable with him as well.

But Humphries is one of the most exciting foreign big men to enter the high school basketball scene in some time and unlike Steven Adams, who was committed to Pitt when he went to Notre Dame Prep from New Zealand, Humphries has all of the nation’s elite college programs interested. This will be fun to track.

North Carolina gets involved with 2016 center

Whenever Roy Williams gets involved in a recruitment, you know things are getting serious. The North Carolina head coach watched a game of 2016 Florida center Tony Bradley with an assistant coach on Monday and called him later in the week and offered Bradley a scholarship, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Bradley is a 6-foot-10 center with scholarship offers from over 30 schools, according to Daniels’ story, but one from North Carolina always stands out and they’ll likely be major contenders along with Florida schools and Kansas. Other schools will certainly be involved as well, and Bradley is leaning towards deciding next fall or later.

Rivals rates Bradley as a four-star center and the No. 42 player in the 2016 class. Bradley broke out with a strong July live evaluation period and played well in Chicago the first week at adidas Unrivaled camp.

Jamal Murray is off to a big start

As a five-star guard and elite Class of 2016 prospect, Canadian guard Jamal Murray has a lot of expectations for the season. The 6-foot-3 guard went for 31 points in an Orangeville Prep win over Malik Newman and Jackson Callaway.

The No. 19 prospect in the 2016 class, according to Rivals, Murray is hitting tough pull-up jumpers and getting a lot of complicated baskets this high school season and looks like every bit of a five-star prospect. Murray mentioned to Rivals‘ Eric Bossi that Illinois, Louisville, Michigan and Michigan State have been involved, as well as many other schools.

He’ll be among a great crop of elite guards in 2016 to monitor in their junior seasons and one of the more intriguing long-term prospects because of his size and length as a point guard.

CBT’s Recruiting Roundup: Senior point guard, center emerging, Kobie Eubanks a hot name after opening up recruitment

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Each Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, senior point guard Traci Carter’s emergence from injury, senior center Yankuba Sima is emerging at center after moving from Spain and Kobie Eubanks is a hot name after parting ways with Baylor in November.

Traci Carter comes on strong

With a limited amount of guards left in the 2015 class, New Jersey native and senior point guard Traci Carter has generated a lot of recent interest from high-major programs. The 6-foot guard from Burlington Life Center Academy missed the spring and summer grassroots circuit in front of scouts and college coaches because of a torn meniscus and he’s finally getting a lot of looks this fall now that he’s healthy.

Cal, Florida State, Louisville, Manhattan, Memphis, Providence and St. John’s have all been involved, according to a report from Rivals.com‘s Eric Bossi. Since a lot of programs still need guards for next season, it’s easy to see why Carter would get a lot of hype.

Upon seeing him this fall, Rivals bumped Carter up to four-star status and he’s almost assuredly in the next set of 2015 national rankings. This will be an interesting recruitment to track, since it’s starting very late.

Yankuba Sima emerges as new senior center to watch

A native of Spain, Yankuba Sima is turning heads in the prep school ranks this fall as a 6-foot-11 center playing at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville. Sima has already put up some prolific defensive and rebound numbers with the Spanish national team in the U18 European Championships.

(Canarias Basketball Academy)

The senior led the event in rebounding at 12.1 per game and was second in blocks at 2.1 per game.

That kind of production and the ability to change the game inside has led to interest from Arizona, Auburn, Baylor, Louisville and Maryland, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

If Sima is intent on playing college basketball, he could immediately help a program because of his size and ability to rebound. His offense might take some time to develop, and that could prevent him from playing major minutes initially, but if he can defend, he’ll get playing time and would be a nice, late pickup for some of these teams that need another big body.

Kobie Eubanks a hot name in recruiting since parting ways with Baylor

Since opening up his recruitment in late November, 2015 shooting guard Kobie Eubanks has been a hot name, with many schools calling and asking about the high-scoring 6-foot-5 wing.

According to Evan Daniels from Scout.com, Boston College, Connecticut, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon and Providence have all expressed interest in the Elev-8 guard.

With a complete scoring package and an extra year to refine moves and add strength, Eubanks is the perfect spring recruit for a high-major program looking for a guard that can give some punch. At the very least, Eubanks should probably be able to come in and score off the bench immediately.