There’s no shame in having no committed recruits at this stage in the recruiting cycle. There are several months for colleges to gain verbal commitments until the November signing period. Still, certain programs hit the ground running, and have the strategy of landing their priority recruits early. USC and Wisconsin are two such programs, as each locked up their third player, respectively, for their 2013 classes.
For USC, it’s been a flurry of three recent verbals since the live evaluation period at the end of July. Combo guards Kendal Harris of Texas and Kahlil Dukes of Connecticut have already cast their lots for the Trojans, and local wing forward Roschon Prince (pictured) of the powerful Long Beach Poly (Calif.) high school program also tossed his name into the hat. Dukes is an undersized scorer, and Harris and Prince both look to be top-100 players in the class.
There’s no apparent star for the Trojans on the way, but with a pair of top-100 players, depth and immediate assistance is on the way for a program that has been middling in recent years. Prince’s high school program perennially sends players into the D-1 ranks, and wouldn’t hurt to bolster the USC in the future. Harris also has the look of a future Pac-12 all-conference player if his development goes as expected.
Wisconsin has the type of track record that no one can argue with, and they certainly have the strategy of highly targeting recruits that fit their unique offense, geographic considerations, and Big Ten. Though they’ve had Bronson Koenig, an in-state top-100 combo guard, in the fray for a while, the Badgers have struck with two guards in recent days.
Minneapolis-native Riley Dearring and Jordan Hill, a Californian at prep school in New Hampshire, both committed to Wisconsin recently to join the class with Koenig. Given the relative skill sets of each player, Koenig looks to be a full-time point guard in Madison, while Hill can play either guard slot. As Dearring fills out his 6-5 frame, he looks to be an ideally suited shooting guard in the Big Ten. Neither Dearring or Hill are ranked in any top-100 list.
It’s true that Wisconsin rarely find itself at the top of recruiting class rankings, with that is unimportant given their success on the hardwood. Given the year-in, year-out winning of coach Bo Ryan, his judgment in landing these early recruits is presumed to be solid, until proven otherwise.