Depending on which service you prefer, as many as a half-dozen Top 100 prospects came off the board in what was an eventful weekend of official visits held mostly in conjunction with early season college football games. It’s an interesting time of the year on the college basketball recruiting trail, as many schools have been able to land their primary targets at key positions, leading others to seek second options.
The biggest pledge to pop off over the weekend undoubtedly belonged to the Michigan State Spartans, as head coach Tom Izzo and his staff landed a key pure point guard in Cassius Winston, an in-state prospect from U-D Jesuit (MI). The Spartans have endured whispers regarding not getting it done with key prospects they’ve targeted in recent years, but the addition of Winston leads in to the possibility of the Spartans accumulating an absolutely blockbuster ’16 haul.
Winston joining fellow top 50 recruits Nick Ward (post) and Josh Langford (power wing) forms a tremendous trio for the Spartans, and adds to their currently very stocked roster (see below depth chart). Winston heavily addresses an area of need at point guard going forward, with only Lourawls Nairn seemingly ahead of him on the depth chart as a point guard.
Next up for Michigan State is top 15 wing Miles Bridges, a tough and athletic combo forward like few others in the 2015 class. He recently narrowed his list to Michigan State, Kentucky and Indiana, and certainly playing alongside a distributor like Winston will be appealing.
Michigan State Scholarship Grid
|Point Guards||Lourawls Nairn (Jr)||Lourawls Nairn (Sr)||Cassius Winston (Jr)||Cassius Winston (Sr)|
|Cassius Winston (Fr)||Cassius Winston (So)|
|Wings||Eron Harris (Sr)||Kyle Ahrens (Jr)||Kyle Ahrens (Sr)||Josh Langford (Sr)|
|Alvin Ellis (Sr)||Matt McQuiad (Jr)||Matt McQuiad (Sr)||Miles Bridges (Sr)|
|Kyle Ahrens (So)||Josh Langford (So)||Josh Langford (Jr)|
|Matt McQuiad (So)||Miles Bridges (So)||Miles Bridges (Jr)|
|Josh Langford (Fr)|
|Miles Bridges (Fr)|
|Posts||Gavin Schilling (Sr)||Kenny Goins (Jr)||Kenny Goins (Sr)||Nick Ward (Sr)|
|Ben Carter (Sr)||Nick Ward (So)||Nick Ward (Jr)||Jaren Jackson (Jr)|
|Kenny Goins (So)||Jaren Jackson (Fr)||Jaren Jackson (So)||Thomas Kithier (So)|
|Nick Ward (Fr)||Thomas Kithier (Fr)|
Michigan State wasn’t the only Big Ten school to get it done, though, as both Indiana (shooting guard Curtis Jones) and Penn State (Lamar Stevens) each landed top 100 prospects of their own.
Jones has the ability to help at both guard slots, and picked the Hoosiers over Georgetown, Oklahoma State and California. With Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell set to jump to the NBA and James Blackmon Jr. also harboring NBA aspirations, Jones provides a nifty insurance policy.
Stevens represents the continuation of a mini-pipeline from Philly powerhouse Roman Catholic (PA) to State College. He joins two of his teammates, Tony Carr and Nazeer Bostick in what is shaping up as a fine class for head coach Pat Chambers. A 6′-6″ wing forward, Stevens has the stuff to be a multi-year starter in the Big Ten as he develops.
Another potential multi-year starter is bound for Pittsburgh. With James Robinson set to leave campus this season, the Panthers will be auditioning a host of players to fill out the lead guard slot in the start lineup. Don’t be surprised if 6′-3″ guard Justice Kithcart ends up filling that role after pledging over the weekend. The Virginia Episcopal School (VA) standout is well-versed with playing with high-level talent, and looks to be a solid addition.
Likewise, promising shooting guard Myles Powell address a significant area of need at Seton Hall. Legitimately one of the top shooters in the Northeast, the South Kent (CT) product has the range to lengthen defenses out to the perimeter and can heat up in the little time. Seton Hall needs some talent to get over the hump and keep head coach Kevin Willard in good graces, and the addition of Powell is some great news on that front.
Good news also came for VCU, as a top 100 talent on the wing De’Riante Jenkins agreed to join new head coach Will Wade’s outfit at VCU. The Florida native drew rave reviews over the summer and has the length and athleticism to really excel on the wing in the Atlantic 10. Though times are different with former head coach Shaka Smart at Texas, Jenkins shows that VCU will continue to recruit at a high level with Wade at the helm.
Size is always at a premium and Missouri (Mitchell Smith) and Georgia Tech (Romello White) both added some height to their respective rosters with weekend pledges. Smith joins a team that lacks big men but will need time to adapt to high-major physicality, as he’s currently listed just a shade over 200 pounds. Still, he’s a promising addition from Van Buren (AR). A one-time Tennessee pledge, White has reportedly also swapped out attending IMG Academy (FL) for a premier Peach State powerhouse in Wheeler (GA) to finish out high school. He’s a legitimate top 100 talent who can wage war at power forward in the ACC going forward.