Back in September 2013 four-star guard JaQuori McLaughlin verbally committed to Oregon State as a high school sophomore, only to reopen his recruitment a few months later following the firing of then-head coach Craig Robinson. Two years later, McLaughlin has decided that Corvallis is the place for him after all, as on Friday he verbally committed to Wayne Tinkle’s program.
McLaughlin (Gig Harbor, Washington), who committed to Washington last November before reopening his recruitment in the spring, also considered Utah and Washington as options this time around.
The 6-foot-4 lefty can play either on or off the ball, which should mesh well with the guards Oregon State will have when he arrives on campus (Stephen Thompson Jr., Derrick Bruce, Kendal Manuel and Malcolm Duvivier among those players). And with his length and athleticism, McLaughlin could potentially have an impact for the Beavers defensively as well.
With Oregon State due to lose Gary Payton II, who was Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year last season, at the end of the 2015-16 campaign, adding McLaughlin is an important move for the program. McLaughlin is Oregon State’s second commitment in the Class of 2016, joining three-star power forward Ben Kone’.
The recruiting process has been an interesting one for four-star combo guard JaQuori McLaughlin, one of the top prospects on the west coast. The Washington native has committed to schools on two separate occasions, only to reopen his recruitment in both instances.
First there was his pledge to Oregon State in September 2013, with things changing there when the school parted ways with Craig Robinson. Last November he committed to staying in state to play for Lorenzo Romar at Washington, only to have second thoughts and open things back up in May. Thursday it was reported by Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune that McLaughlin is focusing on three schools, with two being Pac-12 programs.
The three schools are Oregon State, which has worked its way back into the mix, Utah and Wisconsin. McLaughlin, who visited Oregon State the first weekend of the month, took a visit to Utah last weekend and this weekend he’ll be visiting Wisconsin. According to the Salt Lake Tribune McLaughlin could make his college decision at some point this fall (late September or early October).
While Oregon State added some youth to its perimeter, most notably Stephen Thompson Jr., the Beavers will lose guards Gary Payton II and Langston Morris-Walker at the end of the 2015-16 season (and Malcolm Duvivier is entering his junior season). Utah will also lose multiple seniors from its backcourt at the end of the upcoming campaign, with Brandon Taylor and Dakarai Tucker being two of the team’s three scholarship seniors (small forward Jordan Loveridge being the other).
As for Wisconsin the Badgers may not have a scholarship senior in its perimeter rotation, but there is a need for another player for the future with Bronson Keonig and Zak Showalter both being juniors.
In late July it was reported that McLaughlin had trimmed his list to five, with Washington and Gonzaga joining Oregon State, Utah and Wisconsin.
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While Wisconsin hasn’t had the best fortune on the recruiting trail in the Class of 2016, as they’ve yet to land a commitment, head coach Bo Ryan and his staff are on the board in the Class of 2017. Wednesday evening in-state shooting guard Kobe King made his pledge to the Big Ten program, announcing the news by way of his Twitter account.
The 6-foot-3 La Crosse, Wisconsin product also held offers from programs such as Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Marquette, and he’d made unofficial visits to both Iowa State and Wisconsin before deciding that he’ll play his college basketball in Madison. King played for the Wisconsin Playground Warriors on the adidas Uprising circuit (16U) this spring/summer.
As a sophomore at La Crosse Central HS, King averaged 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
While Wisconsin doesn’t currently have a scholarship senior in its perimeter rotation they’ll have two during the 2016-17 season in Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter. That’s where King’s commitment comes into play, where he’d have the opportunity to help the Badgers account for those personnel losses when he arrives on campus in 2017.
Of course there’s also the head coaching situation to take into consideration, with Ryan’s thoughts on retirement changing multiple times during the summer and assistant Greg Gard being his desired successor. That situation is certainly worth monitoring as Wisconsin looks to put together recruiting classes for 2016 and beyond.
Video credit: Midwest Ballers