ACC Recruiting Roundup, Volume 2

August 17, 2008

Alex has an article on Wake Forest basketball commit Tony Chenault (PG/SG,6’1″,2010), where the scorer talks about his recent commitment to the Deacs:

“[It’s a] great school. They [are] known for producing great point guards like Chris Paul. They let their players play . . . [and are in] one of the best conferences in the country,” said Chenault as to why he picked Wake, an ACC power in the 21st century.

Thanks to Alex for the heads up on the future ACC player.

Derrick Favors cuts his list

Derrick Favors (PF, 6’10”, 2009) has cut his list to ten schools, and both Georgia Tech and NC State are still in the mix. Popular opinion seems to be that GT is still the leader, but Favors has not publicly said that.

Dexter Strickland Dunks Away Critics

The Adidas Nations camp takes current high school prospects and pairs them with an “NBA Mentor” during the camp. Not sure if Dexter Strickland, who played the camp after a somewhat light summer schedule was paired with former Carolina players Antwan Jamison or Raymond Felton (both of whom are repped by Adidas), but he was able to answer some of his critics with the camp highlight dunk. To be fair to Dexter, the critics are foolish in this case; Dexter is getting knocked because he chose to rest after an injury, did not play a heavy summer schedule and since he was MIA from the big time events, his stock supposedly slipped. That is laughable and hurts the credibility of a ranking system that pulls that stunt. It’s an old GM joke about a scout who’s favorite player is always the last player they saw.

Anyway, here’s a pretty good rundown of the Adidas event.

Kyrie Irving has ACC interest

You might have heard about Kyrie Irving (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2010), and you might have known that he plays for the same high school team as Dexter Strickland, and maybe you even knew that he had a whole bunch of interest from the Big East. But you probably didn’t know that he also has interest from Maryland, Virginia Tech and UNC.

Irving is officially on our ACC watch list.

Dominic Cheek’s List

Dominic Cheek is expected to announce a preliminary college list in September, and Wake Forest appears to be right in the mix.


Tony Chenault commits to Wake Forest

August 5, 2008

Well, just a few days ago we posted some great video of Tony Chenault (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2010) and today he’s the newest Wake Forest commit:

Tony Chenault broke some hometown hearts today when he announced his intentions to play basketball at Wake Forest.
Chenault, a 6-2, 170-pound guard, will be a junior this season at Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia and plans to arrive at Wake Forest in time for the 2010-11 season.

This is a very good player who we will see a lot of in the ACC. A big time scorer and a versatile combo guard.

As always, if you like this kind of info, sign up for the email list.


Tony Chenault video; Lance Stephenson rumors

July 24, 2008

Some video of Tony Chenault (PG, 6’1″, 2010), a Wake Forest recruit:

Chenault has Wake on his list of options and seems to like the Deacons at this point.

The Lance Stephenson Saga: St. John’s Edition

At one time, way back in the day, hearing that a top recruit was considering St. John’s was just another day in college basketball. Now, it seems unlikely, so when a story….er, rumor…surfaced that Lance Stephenson, a player who already has as many detractors as fans, was suddenly thinking of playing closer to home, people started wondering what was up. It seems the story, expounded and debunked by Adam Zagoria, was that a position would be given to Lance’s high school coach if he played for St. John’s.

Lance Stephenson Dime Magazine

The saga of Lance Stephenson has officially put Lance into the category of ‘more packaging than player’ as a high schooler. A few weeks ago, Lance made news when he was cut from the USA basketball U-18 roster. When Brandon Jennings decided to try his luck playing in Italy instead of Arizona, people immediately started talking about Lance doing the same. Bear in mind that almost none of these things which have gotten so much attention were Lance playing well, or even at all in the case of the USA Basketball roster.

FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman has been a critic of Stephenson in the past and wrote this about Lance’s recruitment:

How about the fact that Kansas’ Bill Self was the only high-major coach in the gym watching Stephenson.

That’s right. Self and his good buddy, Norm Roberts of St. John’s, are basically the only ones actively recruiting Stephenson.

In short, Lance has become famous in the recruiting world for being famous. He’s a very good player, but he’s not – at this point in his career – even the best player in the class of 2009. This is not to say he doesn’t have promise and star potential, but at this point, the media machine around Lance is more interested in “Lance the Personality” instead of “Lance the Basketball Player”. Here is the blunt truth: right now, the NBA isn’t any higher on the Lance Stephenson Show than Bob McKillop was. In other words, Lance needs to play a lot stronger to secure a place in the first round. Right now, we are not talking lottery. We are talking maybe first round. This isn’t to bring Lance down, but it’s time to stop talking about Lance going the Brandon Jennings route until Lance proves himself a lot more.

John Henson

While Lance has been getting press for things other than basketball, UNC commit John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) has been getting press for playing the game well. Here is an interview with the future Tar Heel, in which he expounds on his game and why he chose UNC:

What do you contribute your high level of play and improved stock to?
“I think it’s just a combination of my hard work and being in the right situation to perform and show my skills against the best players.”

Right now it seems like there are three players in the running for the #1 ranking: Henson, Favors and John Wall. Of course, there is still a year left before the final rankings (which are worth about 8 cents American) are published, but Henson has not just played well, he’s been absolutely phenomenal, against Renardo Sidney (PF, 6’9″, 2009) and Derrick Favors(PF, 6’10”, 2009). The most interesting thing about Henson is that even though he’s playing against the best power forwards in the country, he’s most likely a wing in the NBA.

Ryan Harrow, suddenly popular

Think the phone stops ringing when a player commits? Not always, especially when that player is a relative unknown and hasn’t signed a LOI. Ryan Harrow was contacted by several schools after he committed to the NC State Wolfpack:

“I’m going to State,” he said. “That’s my school.”

Since his commitment to State, several schools, including Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, have called.

“But I’m going to State,” he said. “I like Coach [Sidney] Lowe and the atmosphere there a lot.

In high school football, players commit and de-commit all the time, which makes the recruiting process almost silly by comparison to basketball. But with more de-commitments happening in the b-ball world, it’s small wonder that players keep listening to offers even after they make their decision. Although players can change their minds until they sign their LOI, players committing early cause problems for colleges, who take the scholarships off the board once they get a player’s verbal agreement. Maryland coach Gary Williams would have rather spent his scholarships elsewhere rather than have a player hold onto it for months and then bail to another school. There probably needs to be limits as to how early a player can commit, and most college coaches agree.

Ra’Sean Dickey to leave Georgia Tech

Some news that slightly affects recruiting for Georgia Tech: fresh on the heels of getting the commit from Mfon Udofia, fifth year senior Ra’Sean Dickey has decided to leave school and pursue his pro career overseas. I remember watching Dickey play in rural Marlboro county, SC, at a time when he was being looked at by schools like UNC, not far from where Charlotte Bobcats PG Raymond Felton played high school ball. Ra’Sean’s potential took a detour due to injuries, so hopefully he can find success playing pro ball elsewhere.