With the signing period less than a month out, there’s an eclectic collection of junior college players, high school prospects long on potential and little on production, and diamonds in the rough left unsigned. Only a dozen or so legitimate impact players are left. Cincinnati and Mississippi both did a good job this week in landing junior college transfers who should contribute next season, with the Bearcats landing a top frontcourt player, and Ole Miss catching two “second chance” high-major commits.
Cincinnati was one of only a few power conference programs that didn’t have a recruit committed for next year, so the addition of 6-8, 220 pound power forward Titus Rubles of Blinn JC (Texas) is crucial. That’s not to say the pledge was unexpected, as Rubles was long believed to be a lean to the Bearcats program. Junior college basketball scouting service JUCOJunction.com considered Rubles to be the No. 2 prospect in the land prior to the season starting, making it likely that Rubles will compete to start if all goes well when he hits campus.
Ole Miss also has two players with talent headed its way, and both already have backgrounds in major college basketball. 6-2 guard Marshall Henderson flashed a scoring edge as a freshman at Utah. He jetted for greener pastures after a promising first season in which he averaged double figures, to Texas Tech. Things didn’t work between Henderson and the Red Raiders, and he ended up at South Plains JC (Texas), where he’s continued his scoring streak.
Also, 6-8 power forward Jason Carter of Chipola JC (Fla.) cast his lot for the Rebels. He started off at Alabama, but ultimately left after a seldom-used freshman season. He’s had a solid season as a sophomore for the loaded squad at Chipola JC, but it’s hard to know where he stands for next season.
While Carter and Henderson’s first college decisions haven’t worked out, Mississippi is hoping that they’ve learned from their previous situations, and are ready to buy in to what is a solid recruiting class to build the team for the next two seasons.
Meanwhile, the pressure is somewhat off at Cincinnati. While they would still like to fit at least another scholarship player in the frontcourt, Rubles is as good as can be expected to handle that role at this stage in the recruiting cycle.
Kellon Hassenstab runs Hoopniks.com. Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.