1. Arizona Wildcats
|Parker Jackson-Cartwright||5'-9"||PG||Loyola (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Craig Victor||6'-7"||PF||Findlay Prep (NV)||HS||Signed|
|Stanley Johnson||6'-7"||SF||Mater Dei (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Kadeem Allen||6'-3"||SG||Hutchinson (KS)||JC||Signed|
|Dusan Ristic||6'-11"||C||Sunrise Christian (KS)||HS||Signed|
It’s safe to say at this point that coach Sean Miller has effectively locked down elite West Coast recruiting during his tenure in Tucson. Very rarely have the Wildcats not come through with an elite prospect that they are trying to land in their backyard, as of late. For the 2014 season, Arizona inked three top-100 high school prospects, as well as a top-25 junior college recruit.
Among the most consistently effective players nationally, Stanley Johnson has excelled in every setting. The standout wing forward has earned his reputation from the USA Basketball youth national teams to winning state championships at Mater Dei, and stops in between. Johnson is a strong, bullish wing player that is a legitimate inside-outside threat. Johnson has strong intangibles and leadership qualities, and has the potential to be a defensive ace, as Arizona has some solid firepower already on the roster, from past elite recruiting classes. His cohort in the front court, Craig Victor, is one of the top enforcers and aggressive power forwards nationally. A New Orleans-native, Victor finished out high school at Findlay Prep, where Brandon Ashley and Nick Johnson previously played. Victor doesn’t have developed offensive skills, but he can bang inside and rebound at a high-level.
Slight point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright is one of the best passing, cerebral lead guards for his size in the nation. He is extremely thin, though, and is physically underdeveloped. Jackson-Cartwright is a heady point guard, but had off the court problems as a senior in high school. Academic problems did not allow him to finish out his senior year at Loyola (CA), as he had to transfer to Sierra Canyon. JUCO standout Kadeem Allen should provide shooting guard firepower. Allen was a junior college All-American as a freshman, and followed up with a record breaking sophomore season. For Arizona to add a junior college transfer, there’s reason to believe he’ll be given the opportunity to play right away.
2. Stanford Cardinal
|Reid Travis||6'-7"||PF||De La Salle (MN)||HS||Signed|
|Michael Humphrey||6'-10"||C||Sunnyslope (AZ)||HS||Signed|
|Dorian Pickens||6'-4"||SG||Cave Creek (AZ)||HS||Signed|
|Robert Cartwright||6'-1"||PG||Flintridge Prep (CA)||HS||Signed|
To borrow a baseball metaphor, Stanford knocked it out of the park with this recruiting class. All four members of the group will provide an immediate talent infusion and add depth to the Stanford roster, as each signee was a top-100 player nationally.
The top dog is Reid Travis, a bullish power forward with a knack for scoring, rebounding and finishing through contact. Travis is a savvy player that showed at numerous stops on the AAU circuit that he was effective against players taller than himself, through his mental game and physical talents. Travis should dynamite, especially considering that he’ll eventually be paired with Michael Humphrey, who may actually have a higher upside that Travis. That’s high praise, as Travis was selected to the McDonald’s All-American game. Humphrey was among the top risers from the summer, as he showed himself to be a fluid big man with a consistent motor. He’s a versatile athlete that is on a steady upward trajectory. Amazingly, both Humphrey and Travis played quarterback as high school football players.
The frontcourt may draw the most headlines, but the backcourt also has the potential to be very good. Dorian Pickens is a tremendous shooting off guard that has developed the rest of his game as high school went on. Pickens is a strong all-around guard prospect. Heady point guard Robert Cartwright may not be physically imposing, but he has a good burst and really puts his teammates in a position to make plays. Cartwright took second chair to none of the highly-touted lead guards he played against on the summer circuit, which is a trait that should serve him well going forward in the Pac-12.
3. UCLA Bruins
|Kevon Looney||6'-8"||PF||Hamilton (WI)||HS||Signed|
|Thomas Welsh||7'-0"||C||Loyola (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Jonah Bolden||6'-8"||PF||Brewster Academy (NH)||HS||Signed|
|Gyorgy Goloman||6'-10"||C||Sagemont (FL)||HS||Signed|
Two McDonald’s All-Americans signed in a first recruiting class is a tremendous haul by any measure, but the metrics in play at UCLA are those that caused former coach Ben Howland to depart after a terrific final win-loss count. New coach Steve Alford rebuilt the Bruins’ interior in this class, as he has a great base of young talent to build from in this group.
Very few would have given UCLA a legitimate shot to land inside-outside top-10 forward Kevon Looney. They did just that, though, as a has a potential future star on their hands. Looney has been a horse on the high school level, one that is an alpha dog inside, with the ability to step to the mid-range and hit shots. Looney is active and physical, among the very best national prospects at his position.
Alongside of Looney is another McDonald’s All-American pick in Thomas Welsh. He came along strong just prior to his senior season, and had a tremendous senior season. With good size and a high skill level, Welsh has been a standout pivot in high school. An outstanding student, Welsh may not have the stuff to be an immediate impact player, but is an important addition for the future.
The two other inside signees have international roots. Hungarian Gyorgy Goloman and Australian Jonah Bolden also both inked. Bolden is considered most likely to have the first cracked at playing time, due to his versatility and ability to hit mid-range shots. Goloman is also skilled for his size.
4. USC Trojans
|Jordan McLaughlin||6'-1"||PG||Etiwanda (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Malik Price-Martin||6'-9"||PF||Northeast (FL)||HS||Signed|
|Malik Marquetti||6'-5"||SF||Millikan (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Jabari Craig||6'-11"||C||Fishburne Military (VA)||HS||Signed|
|Elijah Stewart||6'-5"||SG||Westchester (CA)||HS||Signed|
It isn’t quite Dunk City west just yet, but coach Andy Enfield’s first recruiting class as the head coach at USC is a fair ns enough effort. With a poor 2013-2014 season, presumably plenty of playing time and roster slots are available to this incoming quartet, though it isn’t clear than any of the signees outside of point guard Jordan McLaughlin will be ready to take on D-1 opponents.
The aforementioned McLaughlin was an important get in SoCal, and helps the coach staff build credibility going forward. He played for one of the top coaches in California in high school, and can legitimately be considered one of the top-10 point guard recruits nationally. McLaughlin is a well-rounded lead guard, as he is savvy within the half-court and can also push the pace in transition. McLaughlin is well-suited to be a multi-year starter for USC.
The other three recruits are intriguing, but far from finished prospects. Wing Malik Marquetti was virtually unknown going into his senior season of high school, which is rare in talent-rich southern California. Marquetti quickly made a name for himself during his senior season, and USC snatched him up before his recruitment got full blown. Big men Malik Price-Martin and Jabari Craig both have solid Pac-12 size. Price-Martin is a thin, face-up forward while Craig is a very athletic center from Canada. Price-Martin’s skill level could get him on the floor, while fans of the Trojans have to be excited about Craig’s upside.
5. Arizona State Sun Devils
|Kodi Justice||6'-4"||SG||Dobson (AZ)||HS||Signed|
|Connor MacDougall||6'-8"||PF||Corona Del Sol (AZ)||HS||Signed|
|Tra Holder||6'-2"||PG||Brentwood (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Gerry Blakes||6'-4"||SG||San Bernadino Valley (CA)||JC||Signed|
|Savon Goodman||6'-6"||PF||Indian Hills (IA)||JC||Signed|
|Roosevelt Scott||6'-4"||SG||Indian Hills (IA)||JC||Signed|
|Willie Atwood||6'-7"||PF||Connors State (OK)||JC||Signed|
With expected departure to the NBA by standout point guard Jahii Carson, Arizona State loaded up with backcourt recruits. This group of six players will replenish Arizona State’s roster next season, but doesn’t contain an obvious standout.
In all, four recruits signed to play in the backcourt. Pure point guard Tra Holder is likely the highest-rated signee, among the guard contingent. He came on strong over the spring and summer and can be effective in minimizing mistakes if he plays early on for the Sun Devils. Fellow incoming freshman Kodi Justice is more of a scorer than Holder, as Justice’s game is predicated on hitting shots at distance. An in-state signee, Justice can get hot and be a solid 3-point threat.
Gerry Blakes and Roosevelt Scott may compete for many of the same minutes at off-guard. Blakes is perhaps better on the offensive end of the floor, while Scott is a better defender. Both are 6′-4″, and could end up in a dog fight for minutes.
In the post, in-state big man Connor MacDougall was a strong addition. He is a solid presence in the paint, and isn’t afraid to mix it up. MacDougall is physically strong, and can finish and rebound near the hoop. While he is a bit undersized to play center at Arizona State, if other talent develops he won’t have to. Center Octavius Ellis has already been exposed to the Division-1 level, as he started at Cincinnati as a freshman. The Memphis-native had a solid sophomore season at Trinity Valley as he played to his strengths by scoring within the paint and grabbing rebounds.
6. Colorado Buffaloes
|Dominique Collier||6'-2"||PG||Denver East (CO)||HS||Signed|
|Tory Miller||6'-8"||PF||New Hampton (NH)||HS||Signed|
With a relative stable roster situation, Colorado was able to fill holes with this two man recruiting class. Point guard was a priority in the 2014 recruiting cycle, and Colorado had a rare luxury of two in-state top-100 prospects at that position, signing one of the two.
Lead guard Dominique Collier had heavy Pac-12 interest, but the Buffaloes were able to keep him in-state. Collier showed his leadership abilities and ball-handling skills on the grassroots circuit, and is more effective in that regard then when he hunts for outside shots. Collier will need to add weight and strength but clearly can be a very good addition for Colorado, as both a pass-first player, and a defender. His fellow signee is his KC Run GMC grassroots teammate, power forward Tory Miller. A big-bodied inside prospect, Miller steadily improved over the last several seasons and began to utilize his weight and frame well. Miller’s width and strength can add depth inside for Colorado.
7. Utah Utes
|Brekkott Chapman||6'-8"||PF||Roy (UT)||HS||Signed|
|Kyle Kuzma||6'-9"||PF||Rise Academy (MI)||HS||Signed|
|Isaiah Wright||6'-2"||PG||Borah (ID)||HS||Signed|
|Chris Reyes||6'-7"||PF||Citrus College (CA)||JC||Signed|
In a rebuilding effort that culminated in a winning season during the 2013-2014 year, the Utah Utes are on the right track under coach Larry Krystkowiak. Given a strong return core of players, the Utah staff was able to forgo the junior college ranks and land three high school prospects that can help.
In-state forward Brekkott Chapman was arguably the state’s top prospect (though BYU-bound guard T.J. Haws is dynamite), and a “must get” for the coaching staff. He’s an inside-outside face up big man that has competed with the nation’s top prospects favorably on the grassroots circuit. Chapman has the potential to be an outstanding player at Utah.
While Utah’s backyard isn’t exactly stacked with prospects, they did land the top player in Utah in Chapman and arguably the top player in Idaho in lead guard Isaiah Wright. His senior season didn’t go as planned, as he missed two months with a broken wrist. When he’s in form, he’s a skilled point guard with enough athleticism to compete in the Pac-12. Wright can be a good player at Utah. The X-factor in this class may be long wing Kyle Kuzma. He signed and enrolled, as counted as a redshirt. With a year on campus, Kuzma may be able to build enough strength to compete for time next year. The Michigan-native grew late in high school and is more a perimeter player than interior presence right now.
8. Washington Huskies
|Donaven Dorsey||6'-7"||SF||Timberline (WA)||HS||Signed|
|Quevyn Winters||6'-5"||SF||Indian Hills (IA)||JC||Signed|
|Tristan Etienne||6'-10"||C||Mouat (British Columbia)||HS||Signed|
Washington adds some roster flexibility with some length and long-term potential players in this class, along with a D-1 proven signee.
Junior college wing Quevyn Winters started college at Duquesne, and had a solid freshman season in a part-time starting role, as an almost double-digit scorer. The Washington roster doesn’t have obvious returning scoring talent on it, and Winters figures to battle to be an option as a wing scorer. Winters had a good sophomore season for a junior college juggernaut at Indian Hills CC, and could battle to start.
The two local talents are more long-term plays. Long and thin wing forward Donaven Dorsey is an intriguing prospect and in-state standout. He’s an over-sized wing player that can be a mis-match going forward, as some considered him a candidate for a top-100 national ranking. He’s a bit raw, but can be a lengthy Pac-12 shooting guard in the future if he continues to improve. Dorsey is more ready to play than thin center Tristan Etienne, from British Columbia. Etienne is athletic and moves well, but is thin and will need to add strength before making an impact as a high-major big man. Etienne is a good shot-block right now. It’s fair to be the staff will be giving Dorsey and Etienne a few years to acclimate to their system, as both have considerable upside.
9. Oregon Ducks
|Casey Benson||6'-2"||PG||Corona Del Sol (AZ)||HS||Signed|
|Michael Chandler||6'-10"||C||NW Florida State (FL)||JC||Signed|
|Ray Kasongo||6'-9"||PF||Phase 1 (AZ)||HS||Signed|
|Dwayne Benjamin||6'-6"||SG||Mt. San Jacinto (CA)||JC||Signed|
|JaQuan Lyle||6'-5"||SG||Huntington Prep (WV)||HS||Signed|
Oregon has been most notable in the past several years for highly-regarded transfers, but they nabbed a pair of high school prospects and junior college players, respectively, in this class.
Michael Chandler is perhaps the most intriguing name in the group. At one time, Chandler was considered a top-25 prospect nationally in the 2011 class, and previously made commitments to Louisville, Xavier and Central Florida before taking the junior college route. The 6′-10″ center did not impress statistically as a sophomore at NW Florida State, but will be reunited with former teammate Elgin Cook at Oregon. Another junior college addition, Dwayne Benjamin is a high-flying athlete that is best in transition and finishing over people. He didn’t impress with his long-range shooting as a sophomore, but can be plugged in the lineup in several positions, so he brings versatility to the roster.
Two Arizona preps complete the class, big man Ray Kasongo and guard Casey Benson. Kasongo has an enviable frame, with tremendous size and strength. A native Canadian, Kasongo finished high school at Phase 1 Academy after stops at other high schools. He has nothing but upside at this stage. Benson is unlikely to see much time off the bat, with somewhat of a logjam expected to return to the backcourt. He is a skilled lead guard that is reportedly an outstanding student. Benson will be given time to improve his strength and athleticism before he sees major minutes at Oregon.
10. California Golden Bears
|Kinglsey Okoroh||7'-1"||C||Westwind Prep (AZ)||HS||Signed|
|Brandon Chauca||5'-10"||PG||22 Feet Academy (KY)||HS||Signed|
California continues to be formidable, year in and year out. They don’t typically make huge waves on the recruiting trail but certainly coach Mike Montgomery’s track record speaks for itself.
Two newcomers are set to hit campus in Berkeley next year. Washington-native Ahmaad Rorie showed himself as a winner and multi-talented point guard on the grassroots circuit. He transferred to Florida powerhouse Montverde Academy to polish out his game as a senior under top notch high school head coach Kevin Boyle. Rorie is joined by center Idrissa Diallo. He was out with injury during the evaluation periods last year and may be a steal for Cal. Diallo is a tremendous run and jump athlete with high upside. He is perhaps under the radar, and can end up being a great frontcourt addition to the Golden Bears, if he develops.
11. Oregon State Beavers
|Gary Payton II||6'-2"||PG||Salt Lake (UT)||JC||Signed|
|Chai Baker||6'-3"||SG||Malone (FL)||HS||Signed|
|Cameron Oliver||6'-7"||PF||Grant (CA)||HS||Signed|
Despite the attention coach Craig Robinson has garnered from being President Barack Obama’s brother-in-law, that notoriety hasn’t led to much measurable success on either the hardwood or the recruiting trail. Three players signed to Oregon State during the early signing period, including two Florida high schoolers and a legacy lead guard.
Center Isaiah Manderson will bring impressive size to Oregon State, as the big man has a 250-pound frame, yet still moves fairly well. He can be a scorer in the paint, and help with rebounding. Manderson may be a sleeper pick-up for the Beavers. His fellow Sunshine State signee, Chai Baker, is in the scoring guard mold, and can hit 3-pointers. Baker figures to see time at shooting guard at some point at Oregon State.
Some of the brightest times in Beavers basketball history where when Gary Payton (The Glove) starred at point guard. The Beavers hope to rekindle that success at some point, and signed Gary Payton II (The Mitten), as well. Payton II had two fair seasons at Salt Lake CC, though there aren’t obvious indications that he’s a Pac-12 level player. Payton II isn’t a scorer, but can defend and rebounds well for his position.
12. Washington State Cougars
|Trevor Dunbar||5'-10"||PG||St. Ignatius (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Aaron Cheatum||6'-7"||PF||East Los Angeles (CA)||JC||Signed|
|Jackie Davis||6'-3"||PG||Rolling Hills Prep (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Nyaires 'Ny' Redding||6'-2"||PG||Westwind Prep (AZ)||Prep||Signed|
Quite frankly, the program at Washington State is struggling, and this class is unlikely to change that trend. While landing elite recruits in Pullman has never been an easy task, coach Ken Bone hasn’t gotten recruiting going the way that will turn the program yet in his tenure.
Two recruits are headed to Washington State, and in-state point guard and a junior college transfer. Tramaine Isabell was originally expected to go to prep school and hit campus in 2015. Roster flexibility will allow Isabell to hit campus a year early. He played for one of the traditional powers in Washington high school basketball, and did have a solid senior season. Isabell hasn’t shown high-level athleticism, but is a pure point guard. His counterpart in the class, Jermaine Morgan, is a Chicago-native that originally inked to Colorado State out of high school. He showed the ability to score near the basket and rebound as a sophomore in junior college.