With two weekends down, previously unknown prospects have begun separating themselves from the pack and drawing power five offers. As the buzz of the circuits barrels towards a deafening pitch, dim, squeaky gyms turn into who is who hangouts for big time college coaches.
For the remaining uncommitted 2017 recruits, the clock is ticking. May 17th is just around the corner, and the final stragglers are receiving hail mail throws from programs looking to ascend the college ranks.
Let’s take a look at this week’s recruiting headlines.
-Cole Swider Trims His List
Perhaps one of the biggest stock risers on the AAU circuit thus far, forward Cole Swider has narrowed his long list to just eight. While Big Ten hopefuls Purdue and Rutgers failed to make the cut, Michigan and Indiana remain. They are joined by Syracuse, Villanova, Miami, Creighton, Xavier and Providence.
Swider plays for BABC in the Nike EYBL circuit and has really turned heads through two sessions. So far, the wing is averaging 20.6 points and 6 rebounds and was named to the EYBL Hampton Second Team following the competition’s opening weekend. His encore performance was capped with an All-Indianapolis Honorable Mention, alongside top 2018 recruit Marvin Bagley III. In between sessions the 6’8” scorer was named the Rhode Island Player of the Year. Not a bad week.
Swider has a wide array of lethal moves at his disposal and can score with ease from all three levels. His versatility is most evident from his listings. Verbal Commits has Swider listed at shooting guard, whereas Scout lists power forward. After about a minute of watching his tape, it’s easy to see why. When Swider isn’t draining from deep with his deadly stroke, his is rising high and throwing down at the rim. Cole Swider is primed to see his three-star ranking keep moving up.
-Marcus Zegarowski Has the Big Ten’s Attention
Like Swider, guard Marcus Zegarowski has also taken advantage of the AAU spotlight to improve his stock. While his interest is growing around the country, it has particularly drawn the attention of the Big Ten. Just this week, Zegarowski has picked up offers from Rutgers, Minnesota and Penn State. In addition to the trio of Big Ten programs, the 6’2” point guard also received an offer from Pitt… all in the past week.
Marcus Zegarowski certainly has the pedigree of a great guard. The younger brother of Bulls guard Michael Carter-Williams, Zegarowski has always possessed a tough, floor general mentality.
“My strong points I think are taking care of the ball and getting everyone involved. I love playing defense,” Zegarowski told Hoop Dreams Magazine back in 2012.
Also on the EYBL circuit, Zegarowski is the point guard for Expressions Elite. Following his impressive performance in Indy, he joined Swider on the All-Indianapolis Honorable Mention team. Zegarowski is a hard-nosed, offensive conductor. He has a knack for attacking the rim and has impressed with a strong outside shoot throughout the circuit thus far. Just a two-star as of now, expect that number to jump.
-Brian Bowen Watch
Michigan State’s recruiting efforts for five-star forward Brian Bowen appear to have taken another hit this week. The DePaul Blue Demons, dark horse players in the Bowen race, have upped the ante for the McDonald’s All-American. On Tuesday, the Blue Demons added high school coach Shane Heirman to their coaching staff. Heirman was previously the head coach at La Lumiere School, none other than Brian Bowen’s soon to be alma mater.
247Sports certainly took notice. After what appeared to be a three-way race between MSU, Arizona, and Creighton, the site’s crystal ball predictions now list DePaul with the second-best odds to land Bowen.
After Miles Bridges announced he would return for his sophomore season, many believed Bowen was lost. Heirman’s hiring may just be the final nail in the coffin.
Despite all the roadblocks, however, the Spartans do still hold a narrow margin on the predictions. Considering his litany of connections to Michigan State, it stands to reason they are still very much in contention for Bowen’s services. Fortunately, fans won’t have to wait too much longer to find out. Bowen has until May 17th to make his decision.
Check back next week for more Big Ten recruiting headlines.