With three recruits having already made their verbal pledges, Tulsa head coach Frank Haith and his staff are off to a solid start when it comes to accounting for some key departures in 2016. Wednesday the Golden Hurricane landed their fourth commitment in the Class of 2016, as 6-foot-9 power forward Martins Igbanu announced that he’ll be joining the American Athletic Conference program.
Igbanu attends Covenant Christian Ministries Academy in Georgia, and he played his grassroots basketball for the Southern Stampede program. In Nike EYBL play this spring Igbanu averaged 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest, shooting nearly 59 percent from the field.
Igbanu joins guards Lawson Korita, Corey Henderson and Jabar Ray in Tulsa’s 2016 recruiting class to date, with Henderson and Ray being junior college products.
While Tulsa’s biggest losses after the 2015-16 season from a production standpoint will come on the perimeter (James Woodard, Shaquille Harrison and Rashad Ray), they also have some front court departures to account for. Rashad Smith, who was third on the team in scoring as a junior, will also be a senior this upcoming season and the same can be said for fellow front court contributors D’Andre Wright and Brandon Swannegan.
Adding Igbanu will help Tulsa as they look to account for those eventual losses. Of the front court players on the roster with eligibility remaining beyond 2015-16 current junior T.K. Edogi was the most productive last season (1.4 ppg), with Pat Birt joining the team this season and Rutgers transfer Junior Etou becoming eligible after he sits out the upcoming season.
Corey Henderson Jr. didn’t find the right fit the first time around in the recruiting process, as the sophomore opted to leave Wichita State this spring after spending his freshman season there. Now at Blinn College for a season, the 6-foot-2 native of Dallas opted to commit to Tulsa on Saturday, a source confirmed with NBCSports.com. He’ll join the program for the 2016-17 season and have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
During his freshman season with the Shockers, Henderson averaged 6.8 minutes per game and scored 1.9 points per contest. He fell out of the rotation late in the season and Henderson didn’t play in the final two regular season games for Wichita State.
A noted shooter out of high school, Henderson struggled to find his shot last season, hitting 29 percent of his shots from the field and 31 percent of his 3-point attempts.
After a successful freshman season at Robert Morris in which he averaged 15.1 points, 2.5 redbounds and 2.1 assists assists per game and was a unanimous choice for NEC Rookie of the Year, Marcquise Reed made the decision to leave Robert Morris. In the aftermath the 6-foot-3 guard became one of the more sought-after guards on the transfer “market,” with four schools ultimately doing enough to host Reed on an official visit.
Having already visited UMass, Tulsa and USC, Reed visited Clemson this weekend. And according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Reed expects to announce his decision on Monday with his relationship with the coaching staff being a key factor.
Reed will take Sunday to ponder his decision and will announce it sometime Monday via Twitter. He said there’s no favorite Saturday night and he’s wide open to the four schools on his list. He has been touch with coaches from the other schools and all four are still in the running. He will consider several factors in making his decision.
“Basically how I feel about the coaches, my relationship with the coaches,” Reed said. “How I feel about the players. And where I’m going to play, the style of play that fits me the best.”
Reed will have three seasons of eligibility after sitting out the 2015-16 season, and the season on the sidelines can be beneficial when it comes to getting acclimated to a new system. And each of the remaining four teams would benefit from adding Reed to the fold. Clemson has just one senior in its current backcourt rotation in Jordan Roper, but having Reed and Vanderbilt transfer Shelton Mitchell waiting in the wings would definitely make up for that departure.
As for UMass the Minutemen will lose both Jabarie Hinds and Tre Davis at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, and while Reed spent the majority of his time at RMU off the ball he has the ability to be a playmaker on the ball as well. Tulsa, which just missed out on an NCAA tournament berth, has a senior-laden backcourt that will need to make some additions with an eye towards 2016-17.
And while USC doesn’t have a senior in its backcourt, the Trojans can definitely use a guard who scores as efficiently as Reed did as a freshman. Reed can help any of these teams moving forward, beginning with practices during the 2015-16 campaign.