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July 6, 2004
Just A Minute With Justin Young
The best basketball prospects in country, over 500 players to be exact, have boarded planes that will take them to Atlanta, Indianapolis and New Jersey for the respective adidas, Nike and Reebok camps. College coaches will soon follow in hopes of gaining ground with their respective recruits. Some players have decided to beat the rush and verbally commit early. Here is a rundown of who made decisions and what players, including Eric Devendorf, could be next.
Gators add guards, who is next?
Florida nabbed a dandy of a backcourt when Jacksonville guards David Huertas (No. 44 rated player in 2005) and Derwin Kitchen (No. 89 rated player in 2005). The duo both boast four-star ratings from Rivals.com and provide Billy Donovan with solid perimeter scorers in his guard friendly offense.
Huertas has versatility similar to current Florida player Matt Walsh while Kitchen has a nice stroke from deep and loves to put the ball on the floor to the rim. Together, they should be a nice duo for the next four years.
Now the Gators are pushing hard for another Floridian, Walter Hodge. The 6-foot, 170-pound guard from Florida Air Academy has an offer from the SEC school.
Super guard Eric Devendorf, the No. 17 player in the nation, was down to Florida and Syracuse but with the recent developments in Gainesville, the 6-foot-3 Michigan native may be staying up north to play for Jim Boeheim. He'll officially announce this week at the Reebok ABCD camp.
Small ball lands recruit roll call
Marquette is still enjoying their run to the Final Four when it comes to recruiting and Tom Crean and his staff nabbed their biggest recruit since Steve Novak. Indiana point guard Dominic James, the No. 74 ranked player in the class of 2005, picked the Golden Eagles over Purdue. One of the reasons why James picked Marquette was the program's ability to develop players under 6-foot. James has all of the tools to be a high-major, instant-impact player. He was a key get as the school makes the transition from Conference USA to the Big East.
Chicago guard Jerel McNeal (6-foot-2, 175-pounds) gives James a nice helpmate on the perimeter. McNeal, who hails from Hillcrest High School, is a flat-out winner. He's spearheaded a solid Mean Streets team that has won on the AAU circuit for the last two years, including last year's 16 and under AAU championship.
Now Marquette is hoping for the top rising senior in Wisconsin to stay in-state. Wesley Matthews, Jr., a 6-foot-4, 195-pound shooting guard from Madison, is contemplating offers from Marquette, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin. He has not mentioned an announcement date but expect the three schools to battle it out in the next couple of weeks.
Elite picking the Cowboys
Oklahoma State went to the Final Four last season with few nationally-ranked recruits. As the class of 2005 rounds out, the Cowboys could have one of the most potent rosters in the nation thanks to the recent verbal commitments of Gerald Green and Terrel Harris.
The Texans crossed the Red River and give coach Eddie Sutton two of the most heralded recruits in some time. Green, a bouncy 6-foot-8 shooting guard, has a great touch from the wing and has flashes of potential pro material. Green is the No. 9 player in the class of 2005 and has a five-star rating from Rivals.com.
Harris, who is ranked No. 43 in the class of 2005 by Rivals.com, is a solid guard has a smoothness to his game. At 6-foot-4, he's capable of playing both guard spots. Defensively, he's improving and covers a lot of ground with a long wingspan.
Kansas City native Antonio Hansen is also committed to OSU and Cowboy fans are hoping Roderick Flemings keeps his soft verbal to the program. After starring at the NBA Players Association camp, he decided to see what else is out there. Both players will be at the adidas Superstar camp this week in Atlanta.
Two more Texans are thinking of leaving the state for their college days. Both Byron Eaton and Gary Flowers, both four-star players, are also considering a commitment to Oklahoma State. They have said they want to play together at the next level. Will they pull the trigger this month? They might.
In case you missed them
A number of schools picked up verbal commitments last week. Here is a look at some of the pick-ups.
Purdue missed out on James but they did land a potential sleeper in 6-foot-4 Chicago athlete Marcus Green. He's a jack of all trades and the first Boilermaker recruit for new coach Matt Painter.
Missouri stayed in-state for its first recruit in 2005. 6-foot-6 wing Matt Lawrence picked the Tigers over Illinois and Stanford. He'll be at the adidas Superstar camp this week.
San Diego State lured 6-foot-6 small forward Kyle Spain from the Bay Area to SoCal. Spain is a solid recruit for Steve Fisher. He's an athletic player that can play multiple positions.
Texas Tech picked up its fifth and possibly final recruit in 2005. Michael Prince, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound small forward is a jack of all trades player and should fit well in Bob Knight's system.
Rivals.com hits the recruiting trail
July isn't just a busy month for recruits and coaches. Rivals.com will be on the road for the entire month starting this week with coverage from all three All-American camps.
Tim Watts, Mark Reeves and Justin Young will be at the adidas Superstar camp in Atlanta. Jerry Meyer will scout the Nike All-American camp in Indianapolis while Young rounds out the week in New Jersey for the Reebok ABCD camp.
Stay logged onto Rivals.com for the most extensive recruiting coverage around.