Tevin Mack, a prized recruit in the Class of 2015, became available last month. But by Tuesday, he could be off the boards once again.
Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported on Thursday night that the four-star small forward will likely announce his college decision on Tuesday. He told Daniels he is down to three schools, however, he would not specifically name them. According to WLTX in Columbia, South Carolina — Mack’s hometown — Clemson, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, UCLA and West Virginia were among seven schools he was considering last week.
Mack committed to VCU back in November, one of two four-star commits in 2015 incoming class for Havoc. That all changed when Shaka Smart left for Texas early last month. He requested his release from his National Letter of Intent, as did Kenny Williams, a four-star shooting guard who later committed to North Carolina.
While the most important task for a new head coach is to make sure that the current players are taken care of, recruits who have committed to the prior staff are important as well. In some instances that can mean informing the player that they no longer fit in the plans, and in others the coach looks to convince those talented players to stay the course and remain committed.
That’s the task new VCU head coach Will Wade is faced with, as he’ll have to go through the process of re-recruiting players who signed with the prior staff. Thursday it was reported by Tim Pearrell of the Richmond Times-Dispatch that VCU signees Jordan Murphy and Kenny Williams have requested to be released from their National Letter of Intent (NLI), with the latter meeting with Wade on Thursday.
This news comes two days after it was reported by the Washington Post that four-star small forward Tevin Mack requested to be released from his NLI but no decision had been made by VCU at the time. In the case of Williams, a Top 100 recruit who held offers from programs such as North Carolina and Indiana, it was reported by Pearrell that the shooting guard is still willing to consider VCU despite receiving the release.
As for Murphy, the Texan is considering Oregon, UCLA, Gonzaga and Miami according to Ben Baby of the San Antonio Express-News. Murphy still has three official visits remaining (he only visited VCU and UNLV before committing), which is a positive for him when it comes to making a final decision regarding his college destination.
If there’s a positive for VCU from a recruiting standpoint it’s that the first of two evaluation periods this month begins Friday afternoon, with another coming during the final weekend of April. There will be opportunities to watch other players in the Class of 2015 that may be looking for offers and will also fit what Wade wants to do with the program as he looks to build upon what Shaka Smart was able to accomplish.
CBT’s Recruiting Roundup: Pair of South Carolina prospects and Skal Labissiere, Isaiah Briscoe set decision dates
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, a pair of standouts from South Carolina set announcement dates, and Skal Labissiere and Isaiah Briscoe to announce this week.
Perry Dozier sets an announcement
One of the best guards in the country — and best uncommitted players — is committing on the first day of the November signing period on Wednesday. Four-star guard Perry Dozier will decide between Georgetown, Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina, Rivals’ Eric Bossi confirmed..
The No. 34 player in the class, according to Rivals, hails from Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina and many view the Gamecocks as strong contenders along with Louisville for the 6-foot-6 guard who can run some point or play off the ball.
Dozier took official visits to all five programs, but Louisville was the last visit among his stops. South Carolina and head coach Frank Martin have made a hard push for Dozier to stay home and play alongside Tevin Mack. His commitment will be a major shakeup on signing day either way.
Tevin Mack will also decide this week
Speaking of Mack, the four-star guard and No. 77 prospect in the 2015 class will decide on Tuesday as he chooses between Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, UConn and VCU.
The 6-foot-6 scoring wing is also from Columbia, South Carolina, but attends Dreher High School. Mack, like Dozier, took all five official visits during the recruiting process and took the last visit to South Carolina. According to Rivals‘ Eric Bossi, Mack also took a visit to a South Carolina practice last week, as well, so the Gamecocks have some momentum here.
Mack isn’t a major difference-maker like Dozier could be almost immediately, but he’s still a really coveted piece who could be a valuable role player early on. Mack’s potential decision this week will be important as well.
Isaiah Briscoe and Skal Labissiere to decide on Thursday
As the No. 4 overall player in the 2015 class, and a prospect with some of the best upside, Labissiere will be an intriguing announcement for a number of reasons. For one, the 6-foot-11 native of Haiti was recently linked to a new prep school created by his legal guardian to play his senior season.
Baylor, Georgetown, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, and Tennessee are still involved in the recruitment, according to the ESPN release and there are more questions than answers surrounding the big man’s future. Will he qualify academically? Will Skal go and play professionally overseas for a year?
Meanwhile, Briscoe, the No. 9 overall player in the 2015 class, is down to UConn, Kentucky and St. John’s. Kentucky and St. John’s are the two leaders in the clubhouse for the nation’s best point guard prospect.
The 6-foot-3 New Jersey native is a major playmaker as a passer or a scorer and would be a major impact in a class that doesn’t have many guards.
If Kentucky is somehow able to land both Briscoe and Labissiere, then John Calipari would be off to a great start in another class and has more potential one-and-done NBA prospects.
It should be an exciting week on the recruiting trail with so many marquee players making choices.
The April Live recruiting period is in the books, and BallisLife has captured many of the highlights from the 2014 Pitt Jam Fest, one of the best grassroots events put on by the Hoop Group.
Headlining the action was We-R-1 small forward Derrick Jones, the No. 25 overall player in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. The 6-foot-7 Archbishop John Carroll (Pa.) star displayed his athleticism while he works on developing the rest of his game.
Other players who stood out were Kwe Parker, Tevin Mack, Brandon Childress, Danjel Puriefoy, Seventh Woods and Mustapha Heron, who is a Pitt commit in the Class of 2016, playing in front of the Panther fans.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. — When you talk about the Carolina Wolves, the first name that is going to be mentioned is Seventh Woods.
An electrifying athlete, Woods made waves last spring when a scintillating mixtape of his freshman season exploits went viral. He spent last summer playing in the U-16 World Championships with Team USA and shot up the Class of 2016 recruiting rankings, where Rivals currently ranks him No. 5 nationally.
But through three games at Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest, Woods has been an after thought on his own team as Tevin Mack has taken over. Mack is averaging 36.0 points in the three games, including a pair of 38 point performances on Saturday, making him by far the most productive scorer in the tournament.
“Best thing I do is shoot,” and Mack certainly showcased that skill in Pittsburgh. As a 6-foot-6 wing with a lengthy wingspan, Mack has the size to be able to take advantage of that shooting ability over smaller defenders. And while he’s more than just a spot-up shooter on the offensive end of the floor, part of the reason that he’s only ranked No. 97 in the Class of 2015 in Rivals top 150 is that he’s limited as an athlete and a ball-handler.
The good news?
Mack is aware of where his deficiencies lie. When asked what his goal is for this spring and summer, he said he wants to improving his “defense, ball-handling and getting more athletic.”
And if he does? “I’ll get my ranking up and show people I’m actually good.”
Georgia is considered the favorite to land Mack, as his family has a relationship with head coach Mark Fox from when his brother played for Fox at Nevada and Tevin has already made a couple of visits to the campus. But Mack, a native of Columbia, S.C., said that VCU recently extended an offer and that Clemson, Wake Forest, Southern Cal and South Carolina have shown interest in recent week.
“Stability in the program,” Mack said of what he’s looking for in a school. “The coaches that are recruiting me are going to be there the entire time. A winning program, but somewhere that I can make an impact.”
Mack shined, but Seventh Woods struggled: Woods did not have his most impressive performance in a pair of games on Saturday. He struggled with his perimeter stroke and committed a handful of unforced turnovers. His potential is evident to anyone that makes an effort to watch something as simple as layup lines, and Woods certainly has a knack for making some incredible plays on the defensive end of the floor. The problem? He seems to be trying to prove that he’s a point guard, facilitating offense and distributing the ball, which takes him out of what he does best: attacking the rim off the dribble. I’ll chalk this up as a bad day, so it will be interesting to see what kind of performance he has on Sunday.
Moustapha Heron shows out in front of Pitt fans: Heron is a beast, plain and simple. The 6-foot-5, 220 pound wing is an overpowering athlete that is strong enough to bully any wing that he will run into at the Pitt Jam Fest despite playing up an age group. Heron, the No. 19 recruit in the Class of 2016, showed off that physical prowess on Saturday, posting 27 points in a blow out win for his New Heights (NYC) over the very talented Team Thad. Panther fans would have a reason to get excited about Heron, who committed to Pitt last fall, if there wasn’t a concern that he will be reopening his recruitment soon. Barry “Slice” Rohrssen was the coach that recruited Heron, and Rohrssen left Jamie Dixon’s staff and accepted the same position with Kentucky last week.
Doral Moore’s post game is coming along: Like every lanky, athletic big man that comes through the high school ranks, Doral Moore has been an excellent shot blocker and finisher throughout his younger years. But the God-given ability to be seven-feet tall and able to dunk a basketball will only get a player so far if he can’t develop the rest of his game, and on Saturday, Moore showed off some of that development. He’s always had a soft touch on the perimeter, but Moore showed off a nice, right-handed jump hook as the Atlanta XPress advanced to Sunday’s quarterfinals. Given his length and athleticism, if Moore can perfect that shot, it can be unstoppable.
“Mostly my post-up game,” Moore said of what he’s been working the hardest on to develop. “I can shoot, but I have to get down and dirty sometimes. Finish strong.”
Moore is the highest-rated Class of 2015 prospect in Pittsburgh, ranking No. 16 on Rivals. He listed Illinois, Ohio State, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana and Louisville.
Derrick Jones is still learning how to play: Derrick Jones will never lose a dunk contest.
He’s the freakiest of freak athletes that you are going to come across. I’d give 5-to-1 odds that he’ll give himself a concussion by hitting his head on the rim at least once in his career, and the fact that he’s 6-foot-8 with long arms only makes him that much more impressive.
The issue is that the rest of his game is still developing. His ball-handling, his ability to shoot the ball, developing his slender frame. His ceiling is limitless, but he’s got a way to go before he reaches that ceiling. Until then, just don’t try to jump with him.