Now that the initial blast of June 15 has subsided, BT Powerhouse presents Recruiting Round-up. This special edition features some of the most sought-after prospects, the subsequent recruiting wars, player profiles, and video highlights of a very interactive spring.
The Iowa Hawkeyes were the most active this week with 12 contacts/offers. Indiana was second with 10, and Illinois rounded out the top three with eight. Rutgers didn't make any offers on June 15, but two days later offered 4-Star shooting guard Luis Figueroa. Nebraska and Minnesota each made same offer to Hasahn French.
Schools like Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa chose a more aggressive approach because they have the scholarship numbers to play with, while schools like Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and Minnesota took a "wait and see" attitude because they have limited scholarships.
Iowa and Nebraska are the only two schools with a verbal commit. Connor McCaffery, a 4-Star small forward from Iowa City committed last August. That name sounds familiar. The Cornhuskers received a commit from Aguek Arop last summer. That name doesn't sound familiar. He is a 2-Star from Omaha, NE.
In all, there were 68 contacts/offers to 41 prospects, including five 5-Stars, 13 4-Stars, four 3-Stars, and 19 players not yet rated by the 247Sports Composite. Presently, 151 players are ranked and more will be continuously added as time goes on.
Here's the complete recap of this week's activity:
2017 Player Contacts/Offers Breakdown:
Michigan State: Blake Harris, Gary Trent Jr, Ontario Burnett (0 Commits, 6 Spots, 6 Open Offers)
Wisconsin: Anthony Longpre, Blake Harris, Jordan Poole (0 Commits, 5 Spots, 0 Open Offers)
Indiana: Hamidou Diallo, Michael Porter Jr, Jose Alvarado, Blake Harris, Xavier Tillman, Matt Coleman, Goanar Mar, Brian Bowen, Justin Smith, Nicholas Richards (0 Commits, 6 Spots, 19 Open Offers)
Purdue: Zach Kent, Xavier Tillman, Kyle Young, Kaleb Wesson (0 Commits, 5 Spots, 11 Open Offers)
Iowa: Christian Negron, Luke Garza, Daniel Gafford, Michael Porter Jr, Jordan Poole, Jared Ridder, Justin Smith, Goanar Mar, Theo John, Matt Beachler, Kaleb Wesson, Gary Trent Jr. (1 Commit, 4 Spots, 7 Open Offers)
Maryland: Zach Kent, Matt Turner, Luis Hurtado, Eric Ayala, Myles Douglas, Blake Harris, Hamidou Diallo (0 Commits, 5 Spots, 10 Open Offers)
Illinois: Javon Pickett, Justin Roberts, Justin Smith, Jordan Poole, McKinley Wright, Christian Negron, Jeremiah Tilmon, Charles Payton (0 Commits, 8 Spots, 12 Open Offers)
Northwestern: Xavier Tillman, Tomas Murphy, Jared Ridder, Justin Smith, Goanar Mar (0 Commits, 4 Spots, 4 Open Offers)
Penn State: Quade Green, Matt Turner (0 Commits, 4 Spots, 7 Open Offers)
Ohio State: Melo Eggleston, Matt Coleman, Terrell Turner, Kaleb Wesson (0 Commits, 1 Spot, 4 Open Offers)
Rutgers: Luis Figueroa (0 Commits, 5 Spots, 5 Open Offers)
Nebraska: Hasahn French (1 Commit, 3 Spots, 7 Open Offers)
Minnesota: Hasahn French, Nathan Reuvers (0 Commits, 3 Spots, 6 Open Offers)
Michigan: Brian Bowen, Trae Young, Justin Mazzulla, Greg Floyd Jr, Xavier Tillman (0 Commits, 2 Spots, 0 Open Offers)
The Most Sought-After Recruits
4-Star Xavier Tillman is a 6-8/230 power forward ranked 82 nationally. He attends Forest Hills Central HS in Grand Rapids, MI. He plays AAU ball for the Michigan Mustangs averaging 24.3 PPG. He is a BEAST that can run the floor and finish. He has solid upper-body strength and keeps improving his leaping ability. He has received 12 offers, including Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, and Michigan. He is favoring Michigan and Purdue.
3-Star Blake Harris is a 6-3/185 point guard ranked 97 nationally. He attends Carlisle School in Virginia, but hails from Chapel Hill, NC. He plays AAU ball for the Juice All-Stars. The youngster has explosive quickness and solid ball-handling skills with good floor vision. He has received over 20 offers, including Wisconsin, Michigan State, Maryland, and Indiana. He is favoring North Carolina.
4-Star Justin Smith is a 6-7/185 power forward ranked 50 nationally. He attends Stevenson HS in Lincolnshire, IL. His team won the Class 4A IHSA State Title with a 30-3 record. He averaged 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds as a sophomore. A smooth operator, Smith can finish with authority or stroke from the perimeter. He plays AAU ball for Mac Irvin Fire. He has received eight offers, including Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, and Illinois. He is favoring Illinois and Northwestern.
N/R Jordan Poole is a 6-4/180 combo guard. He attends King HS in Milwaukee, WI. He plays AAU ball for Playground Elite and averages 16.6 PPG and is an 80 percent free throw shooter. There is plenty of bounce to his game and he displays the perfect jump shot. He has received six offers, including Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. He is favoring Wisconsin.
Four Intriguing Recruiting Wars
1. Nebraska and Minnesota for Hasahn French
French is a 6-6/205 small forward from Middletown, NY, and attends Commonwealth Academy in Springfield, MA. He plays AAU ball for Team Scan. This youngster has a high motor with tons of athleticism. He plays with aggression and loves to attack the rim. French has a strong build and stays active on the offensive glass. He has a high ceiling and it appears that he is just beginning to tap his full potential.
He has received six offers, including Nebraska and Minnesota whom both offered June 16. The Cornhuskers will have have four players on the depth chart in 2017 and French would make five. He still could provide valuable minutes. Although Minnesota received verbal commits from Ahmad Gilbert and Jordan Murphy (2015), French would be a nice fit for their rotation, especially with his strength and energy. It's a toss-up.
2. Illinois and Iowa for Christian Negron
Negron is long and lean at 6-6/195 and he possesses great speed in the open floor. Something Iowa has been lacking. This 3-Star ranks 107 nationally and attends Larkin HS in Chicago, IL. He averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds as a sophomore. He can finish at the rim and has a decent perimeter game. He is versatile enough to play the two, three or four slots, but he is listed as a power forward.
Fran McCaffery has been scouting players who can play multiple position. Negron fits that description. However, give the edge to Illinois and John Groce because Negron is a Blue and Orange lifer. When the Fighting Ilini offered, he was excited and said that it is his "dream school." Wherever he goes, he won't disappoint because he has a great attitude and work-ethic. Give the edge to Illinois.
3. Ohio State and Purdue for Kaleb Wesson
The 6-9/260 Wesson is a tremendous athlete who played both football and basketball for Westerville South in Westerville, OH. However, the next two years Wesson has decided to concentrate on basketball. He is a big bodied power forward who likes to post on the low block. He has great hands and feet for his size and is a strong rebounder. Wesson plays AAU ball for All-Ohio Red. South lost in the OHSAA D-I state finals. In a semifinal win over Garfield Heights, he scored 17 points with 11 rebounds and four blocks. Due to his size, he needs to work on his conditioning. Football shape and basketball shape are two different animals.
Purdue will have five scholarships available in 2017 and not much depth at the four and five positions. Wesson would be a nice complement to Miles Bridges (2016). Ohio State has one scholarship available and 2017 prospect Gary Trent Jr. may grab it. However, a lot can happen between now and then. Wesson's father Keith played for the Buckeyes during the mid-80s. Give the advantage to the Buckeyes.
4. Michigan and Michigan State for Brian Bowen
Might as well save the best for last. No need for an uproar. I know Michigan didn't offer, but they probably will during the evaluation period in July. And this recruiting battle promises to be very interesting. Brian Bowen is a 5-Star stud muffin ranked 12 in the nation. Bowen has received 18 offers, including Indiana, Iowa, UNLV, and Kansas.
He is talented on both ends of the floor. The 6-6/175 small forward averaged 20 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists per game and Arthur Hills HS (Saginaw, MI) finished runner-up in the Michigan Class A state tournament. He has a great feel for the game with a high basketball IQ. He plays under control and shoots well from the perimeter despite falling away.
It doesn't matter which perennial program he chooses because Bowen will become an instant starter. Tom Izzo has more wiggle room than John Beilein in terms of available scholarships for 2017. Michigan State will have six and Michigan two. Regardless of the outcome, Bowen will be a welcome addition to the Big Ten. Advantage Wolverines.
Big Ten, Big Offers, Big Names, Big News
Check out these new "Boys of Summer" snippets, hot off the grill.
Myles Douglas is a 4-Star offered by Maryland. The 6-6/190 small forward is ranked 63 in the nation. He attends Friends School of Baltimore (MD) where he averaged 19.0 PPG. and shot 71 percent from the foul line. The kid plays hard at both ends of the floor.
Nebraska offered Goanar Mar on June 9 and Northwestern reached out June 15. The 6-7/190 power forward is ranked 89 in the nation and hails from Plymouth, MN. He attends DeLa Salle HS where his team finished 26-4. He plays AAU ball for D1 Minnesota.
Another Minnesota native from St. Paul, Gary Trent Jr's stock has continued to rise this spring. The 4-Star received offers from Iowa, Oregon, and Duke on June 16. He has also received offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, and Kansas. The 6-5 shooting guard is ranked 76 nationally. He talked about his recruiting and Ohio State.
Point guard Quade Green made an unofficial visit to Maryland June 16. He has received offers from Penn State, Michigan State, and Maryland. He is 5-10 and plays high school ball for Neuman-Goretti in Philadelphia, PA, and AAU ball for WE-R1.
Theo John as been drawing attention from several Big Ten schools. Iowa offered June 15, Nebraska April 30, and Minnesota March 16. Wisconsin has yet to offer, but is showing a growing interest. In fact, the power forward from Champlin Park HS has made two unofficial visits to the Badgers. He is a great defender and tallied 29 blocks during the EYBL spring session.
Iowa offered Luke Garza June 15. Kids say the darnedest things. The youngster called Fran McCaffery "Legendary." Garza is a 6-8 power forward from the D.C. area. The big man spent most of the spring on the sidelines with a foot injury. He attends Maret School and plays for Mid-Atlantic Select on the AAU circuit. McCaffery is seeking power forwards. The Legendary coach also offered Negron, Wesson, and John the same day.
Northwestern is the second Big Ten school to offer Tomas Murphy, the other being Maryland. This 6-9 kid is a 4-Star small forward from Wakefield, RI. He is ranked 54 in the nation, 11 at his position, and 1 in Rhode Island. He plays AAU ball for New England Playaz and averages 6.6 points and 4 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game.
The remaining days of June on the NCAA Recruiting Calendar are the Quiet Period where there is no face-to-face contact with the student-athlete and/or his parents. Coaches may not watch recruits play or visit their high school. However, coaches may write, text or telephone the recruit and/or his parents.
Next on the recruiting timeline is the Evaluation Period July 8-12, July 15-19, and July 22-26. The coach may watch the player compete, visit his high school, write, text or telephone the student-athlete and/or his parents. However, there is no face-to-face contact with the recruit and/or his parents off the college campus.
And so, there you have it. Hopefully, your school will land the B1G fish. Just think, your team has about two years to reel him in.
Follow Tim Langevin on Twitter@Sports Rockers