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Weekly Recruiting Beat (4-18-11) – College Basketball Recruiting News & Notes

Missouri Mystery Relocates to Nation’s Capital; Tar Heels Go Big

It’s safe to say that few outside of Missouri’s borders knew of Otto Porter, a 6′-8″ forward, prior to last season. Porter eschewed the grassroots basketball circuit, and was easily the best kept secret in the nation. Porter was expected to stay close to home, with Missouri the favorites for his services, and Georgetown and Kansas trailing.

Those handicapping Porter’s recruitment knew that either the Hoyas or Jayhawks wanted Porter’s services, and Georgetown struck with the departure of Mike Anderson from Missouri to Arkansas. Porter pledged for the Hoyas at the start of the signing period, and immediately becomes the 2011 recruit most likely to play in Georgetown’s class. Porter is an unknown no longer, as he’ll play in the nation’s capital in college.

Likewise, North Carolina made headlines in grabbing defensive-oriented big man Desmond Hubert. After a battle with Maryland for Hubert, the Tar Heels struck as Hubert elected to go to Chapel Hill. Hubert isn’t likely to see much playing time next season, especially with the return to campus by Harrison Barnes that was announced today. For the long term, Hubert could be a nice defensive presence in the ACC.

Quick Notes from the Recruiting Beat

  • Both our signing day update, and our signing week notes contain tons of signings and commitments of 2011 players, especially JUCOs, and a few 2012 and 2013 pledges are sprinkled in as well.
  • Seton Hall also made waves last week, and they were able to land thick California big man Kevin Johnson. The Pirates weren’t widely known to be players for one of the few remaining post players in the 2011 class still unsigned.
  • 6′-8″ DeAndre Daniels of IMG Academy (FL), a former Texas commit, took an official trip to Duke.
  • Rutgers shooting guard signee Mike Taylor will prep, according to Rivals. The article states he is still committed to Scarlet Knights. Additionally, Rutgers reportedly hosted prep point guard Eli Carter over the weekend, a sought after 2011 prospect.
  • Arizona State added depth to go around top notch point guard Jahii Carson in the span of a weekend. JUCO point guard Chris Colvin, a former Iowa State player, Liberty transfer Evan Gordon, and 6′-8″ forward Jonathan Gilling of Denmark are elected to play for the Sun Devils over the last 48 hours.
  • Mississippi State has struck in the 2012 class, adding 6′-2″ shooting guard Craig Sword, a Top 100 prospect from Alabama. Sword is one of the elite shooting guards in the 2012 class, so he’s a huge grab for the Bulldogs. He’s also the teammate of late 2011 signee at Mississippi State, Roquez Johnson.
  • New coach Larry Shyatt is putting in work reassembling the Wyoming program, and has signed 6′-8″ post Tyrone Marshall of George Washington (CO). The Cowboys are looking to add additional help as well.
  • Former Dayton signees LaDonate Henton and Percy Gibson, and Providence signee Markus Crider all got their releases are looking to land at high-major programs.
  • Fresh off their final four appearance, VCU has landed Teddy Okereafor, a 6′-3″ point guard from Christchurch (VA). He received some solid reviews at the Boo Williams tournament last weekend.
  • 6′-8″ power forward Montray Clemons is the sixth pledge in DePaul‘s 2011 class. The Evelyn Mack (NC) big man made the call to join the Blue Demons’ rebuilding effort over the weekend.
  • Canadian native Ty Nurse, a 6′-1″ point guard Midland College (TX) is headed to Texas Tech, the third JUCO player that new coach Billy Gillespie has landed in a week’s time.
  • Tennessee continues to fill out its remaining roster spots with some of the better available players. They landed Oklahoma wing forward Josh Richardson over the weekend, the second new Volunteer in a week.
  • South Carolina added a JUCO point guard with three years of eligibility in Brenton Williams of Santa Fe JC (FL).
  • One of the best nicknames in the 2011 class is Jonathan “Sponge” Holton. The 6′-8″ power forward signed a letter of intent to play at Rhode Island, a very nice score for the Rams.
  • 6′-9″ center Joseph Uchebo was granted a release from his letter of intent from NC State. Expect him to be heavily recruited as he is perhaps the best big man left in the 2011 class in the country.
  • After the departure of the coaching staff at UNLV, touted 6′-3″ 2013 guard Nigel Williams-Goss has decommitted from the Running Rebels.
  • Miami’s sole early period signee, Bishop Daniels, has also asked for his release from his letter of intent. Rutgers and Tennessee as said to possible locations, if he gets released.
  • Oklahoma State got their big man, in 6′-11″ Philip Jurick of Chattanooga State (TN). Jurick nearly averaged a triple-double this season, and redshirted as a freshman at Tennessee.
  • Iowa transfer Cully Payne has ended up at Loyola (IL).

Grassroots Tournament Champions

  • Real Deal in the Rock: Memphis YOMCA
  • Battle for the Arch: Kansas City 76ers
  • Pitt Jam Fest: Team Takeover
  • Double Pump Spring Tournament: Houston Defenders
  • H-Town Classic: Houston Hoops
  • Big D Tournament: Texas Pro and Houston Hoopstars
  • Hall of Fame New England Championships: New Heights

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About Kellon Hassenstab

Kellon 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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