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Oklahoma keeps in-state talent home, twice; Commitment notes

The Oklahoma Sooners struck with two of the premier in-state players in their state on Thursday, landing a key commitment from the 2013 and 2014 classes. Point guard Jordan Woodard of Edmond Memorial (OK) popped for the Sooners in the 2013 class, while home schooled 2014 center Jacob Hammond also ended his recruitment early.

Both Woodard and Hammond earned national rankings in the recently released overall and position breakdowns on Hoopniks.com. Woodard made the cut nationally in his class, coming it at No. 146 overall in the 2013 class rankings. Hammond was not among the top 100 for the 2014 class, but was ranked as the No. 19 center nationally in the class.

Hammond has plenty of time to develop, and is a great start for the 2014 class with his potential at 6-10. He’ll need to add size and skills over the next two seasons, but always seems to play hard when he’s on the floor.

On the other hand, the 6-1 Woodard is a pure point guard solution for the Sooners going forward. While Oklahoma signed three guards in the 2013 class, none of the trio is a pure point guard. Buddy HieldJelon Hornbeak, and Isaiah Cousins all excelled off the ball in high school.

Woodard reportedly picked the Sooners after considering the Stanford Cardinal and Memphis Tigers, and though he can score, he is a strong passer and all-around player. If one of the freshmen demonstrates enough lead guard skills, likely Hornbeak, Woodard can be brought along slowly. If not, he could be a heavy contributor as a freshman. Assuming that’s the case, Woodard will need to prepare his frame physically for college.

Notes from college basketball’s recruiting trail

  • ESPN analyst and former college basketball coach Fran Fraschilla absolutely raved about the Nebraska Cornhuskers third pledge in the 2013 class, New Zealand point guard Tai Webster. With a bevy of international experience, and strong supporters among those that have actually seen him play, Webster sounds like a complete steal for the new coaching staff in Lincoln. Wings Nathan Hawkins and Nick Fuller already committed to Nebraska.
  • While he probably wasn’t best suited for the BCS level in college, Dayshawn Watkins still ranks as a steal for UAB. After playing extremely well for a talented Arkansas Wings team over the summer, Watkins could be a very solid point guard going forward for the Blazers. A point guard that can drive, dish and score when needed, Watkins is a drink stirring straw for UAB. While UAB got some bad news with JC forward Jarvis Williams re-opened his recruitment, there’s still time to make up for that loss.
  • St. Mary’s snagged a third pledge for 2013 in the reported pledge of Australian, with 6-9 forward Dane Pineau committing. While Hoopniks.com hasn’t seen Pineau in action, the other two future Gaels are outstanding, guard Cullen Neal and wing Calvin Hermanson. Given St. Mary’s success with Aussie natives in the past, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Pineau excel in the WCC.
  • Forward Zach Coleman committed to the Missouri Tigers during the spring, but re-opened his recruitment early in the week. After seeing Coleman in action, it didn’t seem as if he would be a great fit for Missouri, so the parting of ways could work out for both sides. Coleman is the third decommit for Missouri in the 2013 class, as Tyrek Coger and Ishmail Wainwright were also previously pledged. The Tigers do still have point guards locked up for 2013 and 2014 in Travis Jorgenson and Anton Beard, respectively.
  • Other commits that have been reported elsewhere include Amar Stukes (LaSalle), Nick Griffin (George Washington), Tim Myles (New Mexico), Nick Billingsley (Nebraska-Omaha), Tyree Bynum (Texas Southern), Trevis Wyche (St. Peter’s), Terrence O’ Donohue (College of Charleston), Lane Severyn and Logan Doyle (South Dakota State), Brandan Stith (East Carolina), Jordan Neff (Florida Gulf Coast), and Elijah Wilson (Coastal Carolina).

About K.J. Hassenstab

K.J. Hassenstab is the publisher of the College Basketball Newcomers Guide book and Hoopniks.com. He founded Hoopniks.com in 2009, and has contributed to SlamOnline, Dime Magazine's HighSchoolHoop.com, and NBCSports.com, along with other publications in the past. Hassenstab has covered grassroots, high school and basketball recruiting for over a decade. Follow on Twitter, @Hoopniks.

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