September 5, 2007

Weekend Update: First big one in the books

The first college football weekend is in the books, and the busy coast-to-coast slate of official basketball visitors is complete, too.

What did the action yield? Not a lot, really. Only a pair of programs picked up pledges from prospects.

This week's version of the Weekend Update takes a deeper look into the commitments that happened on Sunday.

Jones is going to Miami

Miami locked up its most prolific recruit since Frank Haith took the job nearly four years ago. Atlanta-area prospect Dequan Jones visited the ACC school over the weekend and decided he saw enough of Coral Gables to commit to the Hurricanes.

The athletic 6-foot-6 wing from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler High School is the highest rated recruit (No. 66) to commit to the Hurricanes since local product Brian Asbury (No. 65 in Class of 2005) signed with Miami.

Jones projects to be a more productive player because of his steady improvement and overall athletic ability. Jones is one of the best pure athletes in the nation.'s Jerry Meyer said Miami rebounded nicely with Jones after a miss on a key target earlier in the summer.

"After a tough miss on five-star forward Devin Ebanks, getting a talented forward like Dequan Jones is very big for the Miami program." Meyer said. "He is a blossoming talent who could mature into a top ACC player during his career at Miami."

Memphis secures another five-star

Another year, another recruiting coup for the Memphis Tigers. Puerto Rico native Angel Garcia, a five-star forward, chose for the Conference USA school on Sunday.

"Angel Garcia falls in the long line of Memphis players who are NBA talents. As far as when he is ready for the NBA, it depends a lot on how he develops physically in college. The skill set is certainly there," Meyer said. "Garcia's career at Memphis could range from a player who is full of potential but bolts to the NBA before he makes a significant impact for the Tigers or to a player who gains the physical strength quickly enough to be a dominant player on the college level."

Garcia, a 6-foot-10 forward, teamed with Purdue freshman E'Twaun Moore last season at East Chicago (Ind.) High School and won a state title. Garcia is back for his senior year at East Chicago and is looking for another championship.

Garcia is the second player of note from Puerto Rico to commit to Memphis. In 2005, Ricky Sanchez - a similar player to Garcia - pledged to the Tigers but never made it to campus. He entered the NBA Draft and was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round. Sanchez has bounced around several minor league teams since entering the NBA Draft.

News & Notes

• College coaches can return to the road Sept. 9 for in-home visits and evaluations at prospects' high schools. A number of players, including 2008 top prospect Greg Monroe, are setting up official visits after conducting in-home visits with college coaches.

• A couple of key matchups are materializing for the upcoming high school basketball season. The Prime Time Tour is one of the best stops of the year for the top national games. Event organizer Jeff Hewitson tells that some of the key games include a pairing of St. Benedict's and St. Anthony's on Feb. 8 at the Rutgers Athletic Center. St. Benedict's boasts a number of talented players, including Samardo Samuels. St. Anthony's has a deep squad led by Dexter Strickland. One night later in Trenton, N.J., Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln - featuring Lance Stephenson - will take on Monroe's Harvey (La.) Helen Cox squad. Another contest pits St. Patrick's (NJ) against Oak Hill Academy (Va.).

• The National Prep Showcase is Nov. 16-18 at UMass-Lowell (30 minutes north of Boston). The event marks the beginning of the high school basketball season. Several top prep school teams are expected to participate. Some of the teams in the field are Patterson (N.C.), Hargrave Military Academy (Va.), Findlay Prep (Nev.), Stoneridge (Calif.) and others. A couple other spots are still being finalized.


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