Every Sunday night, the Weekly Recruiting Beat summarizes the top news of the week in college basketball recruiting. The Weekly Recruiting Beat contains a wrap-up of the relevant news over the last week, commentary and context. As always, if you have additional information, or there was something missed, please submit a news tip!
North Carolina Hits Heartland Again For 2012 Tokoto
While at Kansas, coach Roy Williams frequently dipped into the middle of the United States to bolster the Jayhawks’ roster with blue chip players. Recent experience at North Carolina may have soured Williams on California (see Larry Drew, and the Wear twins), or he may just be back on familiar ground in the heartland, as two of top 2012 players in the middle of the country have now committed to join the Tar Heels roster in 2012.
Iowa lead guard Marcus Paige came on board for North Carolina earlier in the year, and whispers indicated that it was only a matter of time before Wisconsin wing forward JP Tokoto joined him as a pledge. That materialized on Thursday, and Tokoto declared for North Carolina, over the home state school, Wisconsin.
Tokoto has been highly ranked in the class of 2012 for quite awhile. He received some negative reviews regarding his performance at the loaded NBAPA Camp last year, but has been shooting up the charts again with strong play this season. While it’s too early to place heavy expectations on Tokoto, his game does have some similar facets to last year’s heartland recruit, Harrison Barnes. Having Tokoto and Paige in the fray is an outstanding start to North Carolina’s 2012 recruiting efforts.
Quick Notes from the Recruiting Beat
- While at Northern Colorado, coach Tad Boyle mined some overlooked in-state players to turn around the Bears program. He is building the Colorado Buffaloes program with in-state talent, as the top two players in the class of 2012 in Colorado pledged this week. 6′-8″power forward Wesley Gordon of Sierra (CO) and 6′-9″ Josh Scott of Lewis-Palmer (CO) both popped over the last several days. Gordon is a physical inside player that can block shots, while Scott is a slender player with great all-around skills. It’s early, but Boyle has proven to be a solid hire in Boulder, both on the court and the recruiting trail.
- It would be hard to have expected, when 6′-8″ forward Braeden Anderson was released from his letter of intent to DePaul, that he would have intense high-major interest. But that’s exactly what has occurred for the native Canadian, as Anderson now claims offers from Kansas, Arizona, and Oklahoma with heavy interest from Kentucky.
- Two JUCO prospects made high-major pledges this week. Late last week, 6′-5″ combo guard De’End Parker (a definite candidate for next season’s all name team) made a pledge to California. That didn’t last long, as Parker reconsidered within a week’s time, and is now committed to UCLA. He’s the second JUCO guard to head to Westwood in as many years. West Virginia also added the sixth member of its 2011 recruiting class, in 6′-8″ power forward Dominique Rutledge. He’s a native of Newark, NJ, that is redshirting at West Texas JC this year.
- Though they lost out on Parker, California fans at least have 6′-8″ combo forward Christian Behrens to look forward to. He’ll join the roster next year, and is said to be a versatile forward that can help in a variety of ways.
- One of the more intriguing players remaining in the class of 2011 is Todd Mayo, a 6′-4″ shooting guard and the younger brother of O.J. Mayo. According to NBE Basketball, the younger Mayo tripped to Marquette, and claims them as a leader for his college services, with Baylor, Central Florida and Oklahoma State also on the short list. This will certainly be a recruitment to stay tuned to.
- Wake Forest may have added a sleeper for 2012, in Codi Miller-McIntyre. He’s reportedly an athletic point guard, and was an all-state pick from First Assembly (NC).
- Ismaila Dauda, a 6′-9″ center from Grandview Prep (FL) was expected to be a member of the 2011 class at Miami, but will delay entry until 2012, according to the Palm Beach Post. Dauda is searching for a prep school as he has exhausted his Florida high school basketball eligibility, but still needs to put in some work in the classroom prior to joining the Hurricanes roster. The prep school destination for Dauda is unknown at this time.
- Big men are in short supply at the this stage in the recruiting cycle, and Lekan Ajayi, a 6′-11″ center from Quality Education Academy (NC) is one of the better prospects available. ZagsBlog reports that Ajayi is making official trips to Seton Hall and Tennessee, with Florida State, Loyola Marymount and Miami also in the mix.
- 6′-2″ guard Mike Cheatham of City College (MD) made the call to Marshall.
- When 6′-5″ 2012 guard Shawn Smith pledged to Central Florida, it was considered a huge score. Smith is a Top 50 player in the class of 2012, and had heavy ACC and SEC interest. Smith is now back on the board, and should be the subject of an intense recruitment.
- Two in-state combo guards are set to join the California college ranks next season. Diminutive Chris Anderson, a 5′-9″ guard from Canyon (CA) popped for San Diego, while Aaron Wright of Cerritos (CA) is headed to UC-Irvine.
- Wright State added a shooting guard in Jason Cuffee.
- Two Westwind Prep (AZ) players made official trips this weekend. 6′-10″ center Keanu Post trekked to Washington State, while 5′-6″ point guard Kiwi Gardner made the trip to Providence.
Join the Hoopniks message board! Please register, and join what should be a great addition to the site. Find Hoopniks on Facebook, follow Hoopniks on Twitter, or Submit a News Tip. D-1 boys player prospects should submit a player profile.
Video of the Week