The whirlwind race to land Emmanuel Negedu is over. Rivals.com is reporting that the 2008 PF has decided on Tennessee, choosing the Vols over Georgia Tech, Memphis and Indiana. It really comes as no surprise, the race seemingly had come down to Bruce Pearl vs. John Calipari.
So lots of stuff to get into…
Emmanuel Negedu, Memphis dunkasaurus session
Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008 ) is expected to make his decision this week. So far the quietest visits were Tennesee and Georgia Tech, but lots of writers chimed in on his Indiana and Memphis visits. The consensus from the outside looking in has been that Indiana did not impress him as much as they wanted but the Memphis visit went well. One highlight of the Tiger visit was Negedu showing off his dunkability:
After the practice was over, Negedu stepped on the court and demonstrated his jumping ability. I had heard a rumor that he could stand underneath the basket, jump up and touch his forehead on the rim. While I did not see him do this, I can say that I think it is very possible. Negedu, while wearing flip flops, showed off a variety of windmill and backwards dunks.
Okay, flip-flops? I am equally impressed and worried that he would slip and fall, probably tearing his ACL in a season ending collapse. I seriously hope the ‘flip-flops’ weren’t those flimsy shower slippers and maybe something with a buckle? I mean, windmill dunks in flip-flops…who are you, Evel Knievel? (for all you kids out there, Mr. Kneival was a daredevil motorscylist from way back in the day…)
Meanwhile, Adam Zagoria has spoken to Negedu’s prep schoool coach, who plays it close to the vest…but this should all be over this week.
John Henson and the national team
So it turns out John Henson (6’10”, SF/PF, 2009, UNC) wasn’t snubbed for the US basketball U-18 team:
One of the fastest-rising prospects in recent years, Henson was asked to compete for a spot on the national team but didn’t want to miss Nike’s LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron from July 5-9.
So Henson just decided to go a different way, NOT USA Basketball ignoring him.
image courtesy Scout.com
Doron Lamb’s ‘dream school’
Meanwhile, it looked like Doron Lamb (6’4″,SG,2010) a Duke, Maryland and Georgia Tech target, was favoring Louisville, but now he says there is no leader although Syracuse is his ‘dream school’. Looks like it will be tough to get him away from the Big East. Maybe, if that that’s true, Maryland has the best shot?
Our boy Alex Schwartz is the man when it comes to talking to some of the best prospects in the East. Check out this awesome interview with offensive stud Dante Taylor (6’8″, PF, 2009), who is a Maryland target. Although it seems like he’s gettin’ a lot of Big East love, Maryland needs an inside scorer in the worst way.
image courtesy Brewster Academy
Lute Olsen has really let loose on Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008 ), the biggest available player who’s visting Indiana, Memphis, Tennesee and Georgia Tech this week.
Lute has offered some statements that most coaches of his stature would never say about Negedu and why he was perfectly fine with giving the highly ranked prospect his LOI:
“It was not hard. There were some things that came out about his coachability – or his lack of coachability. It was a very easy release,” Olson said.
Negedu, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, asked out after meeting with Olson last month.
Arizona granted his release a couple of days later, allowing Negedu, rated the nation’s 40th-best player by Rivals.com, to play for another school in the 2008-09 season.
“I wanted him to have to sweat a little bit to understand that you make a commitment, you should be a person of your word. But in the end, there was no way in the world I would have had him here,” Olson said.
“Just some things had come out from all-star situations and such. The word was, you better hope you don’t have to deal with them.”
Negedu was interviewed by WREG-TV in Memphis in the airport and he was a lot more politically correct than Coach Olsen. He is careful not to tip his hand, but he says that he likes to bang in the paint and play an up tempo game. He also says he will likely make a decision sometime next week.
However, on a side note, Olsen addresses the rumor that Brandon Jennings, our #1 ranked player for 2008, had not qualified:
“He’s been admitted here. If there were anything, it would be from a test standpoint, but everything else is fine.”
C.J. Harris gets an offer from Wake Forest
C.J. Harris (6’2″, SG, 2009) has gotten an offer from hometown Wake Forest, according to Rivals.com. Harris is a good, solid player who plays a lot of PG during his AAU stints with the CP3 All-Stars.
Image courtesy Scout.com
Scout.com is reporting that Mfon Udofia (6’1″, PG, 2009) has several ACC schools on his list, including offers from Wake Forest and Virginia. However, it’s the offer from Georgia Tech that is leading at the moment:
“They consistently call and email. They stay on top of me and recruit me hard. At this point, Georgia Tech leads.”
Emmanuel Negedu visit to Tennessee
Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008 ) visited Tennesee on Tuesday, June 10.
Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008 ), the power forward being recruited by four schools which include Georgia Tech, is scheduled to take his official visit to the Hoosiers today.
Dominic Cheek (6’6″, SG, 2009 ) may be off the UNC radar, but he’s still on the Wake Forest prospect list, and he’s certainly interested in the Demon Deacons, according to this interview at Rivals.
Negedu sets up Indiana visit
Emmanuel Negedu ( 6’7″, PF, 2008 ), a Georgia Tech recruit has set up a visit at Indiana for June 3.
Scout.com is reporting that following his Indiana visit, Negedu will visit Georgia Tech on the 8th, Tennessee on the 10th and Memphis on the 12th.
Daniel Orton no longer considering ACC
According to several recent news reports like this one, Daniel Orton ( 6’10”, C, 2009 ), is no longer considering any ACC schools, with his list now consisting of Oklahoma, Ohio State, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and USC. Too bad for Maryland, who could have used Orton’s physical presence inside.
Amazingly, Brandon Knight ( 6’3″, SG, 2010 ) plays in the same backcourt as Kenny Boynton (6’2″, SG, 2009 ), and still has emerged as a spectacular player and lists several ACC schools that are interested, including Florida State, Georgia Tech and Clemson.
As expected, Tennessee is an option for Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008), the best available player now from the 2008 class, and it seems that one of the reasons being cited for his pulling out of his commitment to Arizona is the turnover in assistant coaches.
If that’s true, it would seem that Memphis might have the edge considering that Josh Pastner, the AZ assistant who recruited Negedu to the Wildcats is now with Memphis. Of course, Pastner is aware of this and has made overtures to convince Negedu to stay at Arizona, and often with these situations, the players do not follow the coaches as you might think.
Indiana Hoosiers site InsideTheHall.com has a good breakdown on Emmanuel Negedu’s (6’7″, PF, 2008 ) options and where he might end up. All of the schools would seem to offer a lot of immediate playing time, including Georgia Tech.
Wolfpack target Thomas Robinson
Special thanks to The Sports Idiot, who covers all things Pack, for the news that NC State is recruiting Thomas Robinson (6’7″, PF, 2009), out of Riverdale Baptist in Maryland and playing AAU ball for the Squash All Beefs. Robinson just arrived on the national recruiting scene and an offer from NC State is not known at this time, but he does have offers from Georgia and George Washington.
There are several ACC schools who are interested in Robinson in addition to the Pack, including Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
More on Emmanuel Negedu
When Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008 ) pulled out of his commitment to Arizona and opened it up for four new schools (including Georgia Tech), immediately Indiana and Tennessee seemed likely possibilities. Indiana has already shown interest, as has Memphis (who sees him as a replacement for Dorsey), so the Yellow Jackets will have to work hard to make their case.
Kenny Boynton Dribbling Drillmaster
Okay, so I asked my analyst buddy why he thinks Kenny Boynton will play PG in college, and he told me that Kenny can shoot like a scoring guard but his size and ballhandling would make him more effective at the point, like Jay Williams was at Duke. Then he sent me this video link to show that Boynton really can handle the ball:
So, basically, if Boynton goes to a college where he will play point, he could be devastating. Duke is pushing for Kenny hard, and it seems like the big stage in Durham would be attractive to a player of his caliber, but Miami is close to home and could offer Boynton the opportunity to run the show like Derrick Rose did for Memphis. Right now, with John Wall becoming the top PG but seemingly headed out of the ACC, Boynton is a very hot ACC prospect.