So the sudden trip to Bruce Pearl’s Tennessee program over the past week was more than just a last minute stop. Today Tobias Harris (PF, 6’8″, 2010) committed to Pearl and the Volunteers, giving Bruce a serious big man in the class.
NC State has not been shy about picking up early commitments in the past, and now they’ve landed Joseph Uchebo (C, 6’9″, 2012), a player originally from Nigeria and currently playing in North Carolina at Oak Ridge Military Academy. I don’t have much info on Uchebo, so I will have to drop by Oak Ridge and get some video, but he seems like a big post player that Lowe is probably looking to develop.
Photo courtesy Rivals.net
Meanwhile, as we mentioned yesterday, Tobias Harris (PF, 6’10”, 2010) made a surprise visit to Tennessee, here’s some Q&A with Harris. Vol fans apparently knew he was coming even though it was a surprise, as evidenced by the fact that they had time to paint the side of a giant rock with his name an jersey. However, I’d like to point out that since the player in the painting is facing ‘away’, they might just change the name on the jersey whenever a recruit visits:
Tobias Harris (PF, 6’8″, 2010) just finished an expected visit to Georgia Tech, and then followed up that visit with an unexpected visit to Tennessee. Bruce Pearl and Tennessee are proving that they are becoming one of the top programs in the country, and Harris’s upcoming announcement is still up in the air.
NC State is still high on the list for C.J. Leslie (SF, 6’8″, 2010), who is also highly considering Maryland, Florida, Kentucky, UConn, Georgetown and Tennessee. Oregon has also been mentioned. Although Leslie plays his high school ball in NC State’s back yard, he’s not on an imminent timetable like Harris at this point.
Saying ‘high on the list’ is possibly a misnomer, since Leslie has maintained no favorites at this time.
As for Leslie’s skills and game, I will have more in the near future, but from my perspective, he’s much more of a 3 than a 4, he can shoot from outside and plays facing the basket.
With the Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’7″, 2010) recruiting saga over and UNC the victor, ACC recruiting turns to the next big 2010 recruit that might play ball in the ACC and hasn’t committed. That would be Tobias Harris (PF, 6’8″, 2010), who is considering Maryland, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and West Virginia along with some other schools.
Barnes just completed a campus visit to Maryland, and he’ll visit Georgia Tech next. ACC fans won’t have to wait long to find out where Harris is going, he’s scheduled to announce on November 19th, although it likely won’t have the fanfare of Barnes.
Harris is a true post player who works hard in the paint, and would be able to get minutes in either the Big East or ACC.
You might be following the recruitment of Tobias Harris (PF, 6’7″, 2010), one of the ACC’s top recruits, and you might have see our recent Q&A with Harris and heard that a few ACC teams are still in the mix for him.
Syracuse is another school interested in Harris, and one of the most interesting aspects of his high school basketball career is his blogging on Syracuse.com, which means that the Orangemen definitely are keeping up with his career, and with his recent injury, he’s blogging about being sidelined and missing games:
The next morning i got MRI results stating that the ligaments in my ankle were torn. It was devestating news for me. But everything happens for a reason and what doesnt kill you makes you stronger. The doctor said I’ll probably miss six to eight weeks.
Special thanks to C.J. Watson of GrassRootsBallin’ and Premo Hoops recruiting for providing this interview with ACC target Tobias Harris (PF, 6’7″, 2010)
Tobias Harris Q&A
Contibuted By: C.J. Watson
Premo Hoops Recruiting
PHR: What schools have offered you a scholarship?
TH: Arizona, Baylor, UConn, Florida State, Indiana, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Miami, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse, Texas, Virginia, Wake Forest, WVU, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Notre Dame, Providence, USC and Georgetown.
PHR: What schools do you have on your list?
TH: I have a top 11 as of right now but this list could definitely change. Louisville, Marquette, UConn, Maryland, Virginia, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Georgetown, WVU and USC.
PHR: What are some of the deciding factors for you when picking a school?
TH: The coaching staff and academics along with me feeling comfortable with the area.
PHR: Can you talk a little bit about the recent school visits you have taken and things you liked about each one?
TH: I went to Louisville and really liked the program they have and coach Pitino is a great guy. They play in a tough conference so that is a plus also. Maryland, Virginia and Georgetown were all great schools with great coaching staffs and atmosphere as well.
PHR: How was your summer on the AAU circuit?
TH: My summer went well I thought I played well at the events and really impressed many people.
PHR: How was your experience at the RBK All-American camp?
TH: The RBK camp was probably one of my best experiences this summer. I thought I played really well in a camp where everyone is an elite player.
PHR: What parts of your game did you focus on improving the most this summer?
TH: My defense and speed.
PHR: What do you feel are the strengths to your game?
TH: My versatility and shooting along with finding ways to score.
PHR: What do you feel are the weakest parts in your game?
TH: I don’t call out a true weakness; I just call it something to improve on the most which is my defense which I am working on.
PHR: What were some of the deciding factors on you transferring to a new high school?
TH: I wanted to play better competition and to be pushed to the limit.
PHR: What goals have you set for your junior season?
TH: I want to win a state championship.
PHR: Who are the biggest role models in your life?
TH: My father and George Gervin.
PHR: If you’re not playing ball what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
TH: As weird as it sounds I love to sleep it’s like a hobby for me.
So, a lull in the action for the ACC over the past couple of weeks as several other conferences got some commitments, and now we’re right back into the fray.
Dominic Cheek at Rucker
Here’s some highlight video from Rucker Park of Dominic Cheek; the ragged basketball of this game isn’t something to brag about, but enjoy the clip:
Josh Smith gets interest from UNC
Duke has been recruiting big man Josh Smith(PF/C, 6’9″, 2010) for some time, battling west coast programs UCLA, Washington and Arizona, and some think UCLA is the current team to beat. Smith has a long list of potential colleges, including all of the aforementioned programs plus Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Gonzaga, Syracuse,Texas, UConn and Tennessee.
Well, add UNC to that list, according to Scout:
At this point, UNC’s interest seems to be in the beginning stages and the Tar Heels are just starting to form a relationship with the talented big man.
In a time where so many players of his height who come out of high school wanting to play the small forward spot, 2010’s Josh Smith is all big man, a shot blocker, presence and lane scorer, although in limited action I’ve seen him play mostly below the rim, getting timing rebounds and garbage buckets. Fans should not confuse him with the former high school phenom of the same height and same name who now resides in the NBA as a human catapult, although as a pure big man it will be interesting to see how the new high school phenom (Josh Smith 2.0?) develops.
A player who looked surprisingly good in a bad game at Rucker Park was Brandon Knight (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010), AAU teammate of Kenny Boynton(PG/SG, 6’2″ ,2009) and fellow Duke target. Alex has an interview with Mr. Knight, where he talks about his playing time for Team Breakdown, and where he reveals that he has offers from Wake Forest and Miami (scoop!):
NB: Who do you already have offers from?
BK: [There are] a [few] schools, I’m not sure, I’m thinking of Wake Forest, Miami, . . . Syracuse maybe. . . . That’s a [few]. I’m not sure; I don’t really talk to them like that. My dad really does the talking for me.
Brandon also talks about the possibility of going to college with Boynton.
Scott, Harris make visits to U of L
Durand Scott (SG,6’4″, 2009) and Tobias Harris (PF,6’8″, 2010) continue to make the rounds on their recruiting visits, with both visiting during the Louisville – Kentucky football game
As always, if you’re a college basketball fan who can’t get enough of this stuff, sign up for the email list.
We mentioned Cody Shuffler (SF/PF, 6’7″, 2009), a player with interest from NC State a few weeks ago, and now it seems Shuffler also has interest from Virginia Tech as well. A bevy of schools are recruiting Shuffler, including Davidson, Cornell, and West Virginia.
Shuffler apparently is high on Davidson’s list, and it would not be surprising to see him end up there.
The same article mentions that Mike Grace (PG, 6’0″, 2009), a high school teammate of Wake Forest commit C.J. Harris (SG,6’3″,2009) has received an offer from Penn.
Meanwhile, Tobias Harris (PF, 6’8″, 2010) recently visited Virginia with his family to see what the school has to offer:
“Coach Leitao and his coaching staff broke down Virginia’s offense and defense on film. Tobias had the opportunity to watch the team practice while coach Leitao was able to show how effective his offense works when done correctly. Coach Leitao stressed the importance of strong team, individual defense and positions on defense.
Harris reportedly also visited Maryland and Georgetown as well.