The college basketball season is set to kick off in about a month and the commits have started to roll in for numerous programs around the Big Ten. Over the last few days Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue have all brought in new commits while many other targets have been making visits to all the programs within the conference. Also, in shocking news (not really), the NCAA made another waiver decision that goes against countless other waiver decisions they've made in the past.
The most touted of the three recent commits would likely be 6'7 small forward Kameron Chatman. The Oregon native is rated as a four star recruit per Rivals and is listed as the 29th best recruit for 2014. Outside of Michigan, Chatman had also been considering Arizona, USC and Oregon. Chatman is considered to be an effective rebounder and has a solid mid-range game that would be an asset to the Wolverines. Even more so when realize Chatman is capable of playing the 2, 3 or 4 if need be.
Last night didn't start off too well for the Boilermakers as small forward Ronnie Harrell had announced his commitment to Creighton over several other schools, including Purdue. The night managed to be saved later on though when center Jacquil Taylor committed to the Boilermakers. The '6'9 center out of Massachusetts chose the Boilermakers over several schools, including Maryland and Providence, and was a key get for Matt Painter. Depending on the success of sophomore A.J. Hammons, the seven footer could very well go pro after this season or next. Taking that into consideration, Taylor will at the very least be a major security blanket for the Boilers if Hammons forgoes any eligibility to enter the draft.
While Taylor will hopefully grow an inch or two, he does have a large 7'2 wingspan and some solid size. He believes he can fill a role in the vein of JaJuan Johnson and looking at his frame and what he's done at the prep level it wouldn't surprise me. Taylor has shown that he can be an effective scorer but he's definitely a bit too thin for the collegiate game and will likely need to bulk up a bit like Johnson did at Purdue.
New Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino finally got his first commit in three star power forward Josh Martin. Martin is from Washington and also held offers from numerous schools including Florida State, Gonzaga, UCLA and Washington. Martin is an athletic 6'8 forward that, depending on if he grows anymore or not, could play either the 3 or the 4 at the collegiate level. He's a bit raw in his skill set, but his frame and athleticism should help him overcome any fundamental issues and he could make some noise for the Gophers down the road.
The NCAA has decided to deny Ahmad Starks hardship waiver and now the Oregon State transfer will have to sit out for a season before he is eligible to play for Illinois. Starks put in a hardship waiver as he was transferring to a school closer to his grandmother who helped raise him, but the NCAA rejected it. I know it seems like everyone has a reason to transfer and try to maintain their eligibility, but if the NCAA is going to come in and reject players claims and then go and approve others for the exact same reason...it just makes no sense. Personally the hardship waiver either needs to be removed entirely or they need to set a strict standard and enforce it consistently. This of course may become an issue for Illinois as they now will likely be oversigned for next season unless something changes before then. Starks could have been a valuable asset this season as he'd bring some senior leadership to the Illini and also brings a strong outside presence to the court.
- College Basketball Talk previews the Hoosiers in their top 25 countdown
- Inside the Hall's player previews soldier on with Troy Williams
- UM Hoops takes a look at Jordan Morgan heading into his senior year in Ann Arbor
- Matt Painter is extremely high on the early Boilermaker practices
- Black Shoe Diaries takes a look at the recruiting board for the Nittany Lions
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