Florida State freshman wing Terance Mann had some fun during summer workouts over the weekend as video was posted of him doing a powerful dunk. But this wasn’t just any ordinary slam. The 6-foot-5 Mann caught an off-the-glass soccer-style pass and put home a left-handed dunk.
Each Monday and Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, Florida State’s big weekend, Texas A&M continues momentum and can Tom Crean and Indiana pull together a solid recruiting class?
Florida State basketball puts together a huge weekend
Florida State is fresh off of a national championship on the football field and many fans of college athletics wouldn’t associate the school with having a strong basketball program.
But Leonard Hamilton made major waves in the college basketball world over the weekend by landing two high-level wings in Georgia native Malik Beasley and in-state five-star wing Dwayne Bacon. When you couple those two with previous Florida State 2015 wing commit Terance Mann, the Seminoles have the makings of a class that competes with ACC juggernauts like Duke, North Carolina and Louisville.
Bacon, Beasley and Mann all do different things well and when you add a shooter like Xavier Rathan-Mayes to the equation, then the Seminoles have the makings of a fantastic dearth of wing talent for years to come.
Now, can the Seminoles keep the recruiting momentum going by adding an elite point guard or big man with this group in the next year or two? That remains to be seen, but recruits absolutely notice Florida State’s athletic department thriving and basketball should be a sport that is included in that equation.
But if Florida State wants to annually compete with the big boys of the ACC they’ll still need to add a high-level floor general to get those wings the ball and a post presence that can make Leonard Hamilton’s free-flowing offense tough to stop. The wings are a start, and give Florida State a lot of playmaking talent, but they need to keep going if they want to win championships on the hardwood.
Texas A&M continues to pull in talented players
Billy Kennedy and Texas A&M continued its Texas Titans-to-A&M pipeline over the weekend with the commitment of four-star small forward and perimeter shooting threat D.J. Hogg.
The addition of Hogg and Tyler Davis in the 2015 class goes along with Texas Titans guards Avery Johnson Jr. and Alex Robinson in the previous class. Simply put, this is one of the biggest grassroots-to-college pipelines we’ve seen in quite some time and other recruits are starting to notice the influx of talent as well.
Prized five-star guard Malik Newman — not a member of the Texas Titans, but from Mississippi — has scheduled his first official visit to Texas A&M, according to Courtney Cronin of the Clarion-Ledger, and the Aggies also remain in the mix for Titans wing and former Ohio State commit Mickey Mitchell.
Despite resurgent 2013-14 campaigns from in-state rivals Texas and SMU, the Aggies have built recruiting momentum in Texas, and elsewhere, using in-state connections and the hard work of assistant coaches Kyle Keller, Rick Stansbury and Amir Abdur-Rahim.
Texas A&M is already off to a great start in 2015 and more important commitments could be on the way.
Can Indiana put together a strong class?
Indiana and head coach Tom Crean aren’t in the mix with many elite five-star prospects in the 2015 class, but can the Hoosiers still piece together a good group?
That’s what Hoosier fans are hoping for and a big piece of that equation will come on Wednesday when four-star forward Juwan Morgan decides between Indiana and Vanderbilt.
Although Crean and his staff aren’t involved with many All-American candidates, in-part because Indiana’s high school prospects are a bit down in 2015, Crean has still done plenty of good things with under-the-radar prospects that he later develops.
During both his time at Marquette and Indiana, Crean has developed guys like Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo from under-recruited prospects into NBA lottery picks. That’s not to say Crean and Indiana will work that sort of magic with this 2015 class, but it goes to show that talent development is a big part of what Indiana can accomplish.
If Indiana ends up with Mokan teammates Morgan and Shake Milton, the Hoosiers are getting two players that helped lead that program to Peach Jam while each player had a strong spring and summer.
They might not be the All-Americans that Indiana fans are craving, but Crean has shown that he can still win a lot of games without those types of recruits.
Dwayne Bacon, a five-star small forward committed to Florida State. This was first reported by Evan Daniels of Scout.com. The commitment marks a big day for Leonard Hamilton, who landed a commitment from four-star shooting guard Malik Beasley earlier on Friday night.
“I feel like it’s a great fit for me and I’ll make an impact right away,” Bacon told Scout.com. “Just coach [Hamilton] being straight forward with me.”
Bacon, who is at Oak Hill Academy (Virginia) this year picked Florida State over Auburn, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, SMU, Tennessee, USC, USF and UNLV. The duo of Bacon and Beasley joins Terance Mann a four-star wing in the Seminoles’ Class of 2015. Mann committed to FSU back on Aug. 20.
The trio will provide the Seminoles with plenty of perimeter players who can attack the basket. Bacon was one of the top scorers this summer earning Player of the Week honors in CBT‘s July live period Week 1 superlatives. Rob Dauster was there at the Reebok Breakout Challenge in Philadelphia. He recapped Bacon’s performance:
There aren’t many players in the Class of 2015 that can get buckets the way that Dwayne Bacon can get buckets. The 6-foot-6, five-star wing capped off his week with a 43-point performance over a team that includes Arizona-commit Justin Simon.
The 6-foot-6 Bacon is listed as the No. 22 overall recruit by Rivals. Florida State has three top-100 recruits in the Class of 2015. Only two ACC programs have more top-100 recruits in 2015 — Louisville and Syracuse.
Malik Beasley, a four-star shooting guard in the Class of 2015, committed to Florida State on Friday night while visiting the Tallahassee campus. The 6-foot-4 Beasley announced his decision with a picture he posted to his Instagram page.
“I am truly blessed to say that I have committed to Florida State University,” the caption read.
Beasley told NBSports.com in July that he was looking for a program with, “A great head coach and a winning program. Someone who’s going to help me be successful in the future, and who’s going to [coach] me. Not say that I’m doing well if I had a bad game; let me know what I’m doing wrong, and let me know what I’m doing right so I can keep doing it.”
During the high school season, Beasley led St Francis School to a state title, averaging 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game as a junior. The scoring guard went on to participate in the LeBron James Skills Academy and the Nike Global Challenge. In the Nike EYBL, he was the Georgia Stars leading scorer at 19.6 points to go along with his 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
The Georgia native was listed as the No. 43 overall recruit by Rivals. He held offers from UConn, Georgia, Oregon, St. John’s, UCLA, VCU and Wake Forest. Beasley joins Terance Mann, another four-star wing, in the Seminoles’ Class of 2015. Both commits are rated in the Rivals top-100.
Leonard Hamilton’s incoming class features a pair of guards who can attack the rim and can defend multiple positions.
After being one of the schools to fall short in their quest to land Donovan Mitchell earlier this month, Florida State is on the board in the Class of 2015. 6-foot-5 shooting guard Terance Mann, who attends Tilton School in New Hampshire, announced his decision to verbally commit to Leonard Hamilton’s program via Twitter on Wednesday night.
Florida State beat out Arizona State, Boston College, Indiana, Marquette and Rhode Island for Mann’s pledge, with the four-star prospect cutting his list to those six schools in early August. Basketball runs in the family as well, with Mann’s mother entering her first season as the head coach at Rhode Island. Danyia La-Force played four years of college basketball at Georgetown as well, helping lead the Hoyas to a Big East title and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1993.
As for the program Mann has decided to join next season, he’ll be another talented option for a perimeter that won’t lack for options. Both Aaron Thomas and Montay Brandon will have eligibility remaining in 2015-16, and the same goes for Devon Bookert, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and junior college transfers Kedar Edwards and Dayshawn Watkins.
In addition to playing at Tilton, Mann played his grassroots basketball for the BABC program and averaged 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest in Nike EYBL play. Scouts have praised Mann for his ability to break teams down off the dribble, and he’s a solid creator and defender as well. Should he become a more consistent perimeter shooter, Mann will be an even tougher matchup for opponents.