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Weekly Recruiting Beat (4-3-11) – College Basketball Recruiting News & Notes

McLemore Makes It Kansas

For the longest time, Kansas and Missouri have been in a heated race for the college services of 6′-5″ shooting guard Ben McLemore. The Top 50 talent is a native of St. Louis, who started his senior season at Oak Hill Academy (VA), after his high school in St. Louis closed its doors. After playing much of the season at Oak Hill, McLemore parted ways from the school and ended up at Christian Life (TX).

Any drama that would have been present in McLemore decision was probably removed, though, when Mike Anderson bolted from Missouri to Arkansas, leaving the Tigers coachless at the time of McLemore’s commitment. It was no surprise, then, that McLemore declared to Kansas tonight after an all-star game in Chicago. The pledge to Kansas was all but a forgone conclusion, but still an outstanding grab for the Jayhawks which lacked a Top 50 2011 player.

McLemore’s addition to the class at Kansas joins included point guard Naadir Tharpe in the 2011 efforts of coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks are also still solidly in the hunt for Top 50 wing forward DeAndre Daniels.

Quick Notes from the Recruiting Beat

  • Pittsburgh got a surprise addition when 6′-8″ Khem Birch re-classified earlier in the season and joined the 2011 class. Subsequently, Birch made the McDonald’s All America game and is expected to be an immediate impact player, even in the rugged Big East. Birch’s addition to the class takes off some of the sting of 6′-7″ forward Jaylen Bond, who signed with Pittsburgh in the early signing period. Bond announced this week that he will attend prep school and re-open his recruitment. Bond is a 17 year old senior at Plymouth-Whitemarsh (PA), and originally picked Pittsburgh over Temple and West Virginia.
  • 6′-4″ SG Kevin Ware has obtained his release from Tennessee and should be a huge commodity for every high-major east of the Mississippi that needs a quality wing guard. Conversely, it’s been reported that PF signee Julian Royal will honor his Georgia Tech letter of intent to the new coaching staff.
  • Various sources are reporting that 2012 PF Richard Peters, a Canadian at Westwind Prep (AZ) has re-opened his recruitment, after the dismissal of coach Jeff Capel at Oklahoma. Apparently 2011 signee Robert Goff, a JC PF, is sticking to his intention to be a Sooner.
  • North Carolina added Hoggard (NC) point guard Stilman White to its 2011 class. White is expected to play for a year, and go on a two year church mission. White will back-up Kendall Marshall next season.
  • The ACC is getting busy in the 2012 class, with several schools on the board with more than one pledge. Virginia got into that act this week, landing sharpshooting small forward Evan Nolte, a 6′-8″ prospect from Milton (GA).
  • 6′-1″ guard Jordan Nelson, considered by some to be the best pure shooter in the 2011 class in Illinois, pledged to Evansville.
  • Haines City (FL) shooting guard Dominique Williams committed to Charleston Southern, according to Source Hoops.
  • 5′-7″ Marcel Smith of Melvindale (MI) made a pledge to join Houston Baptist as they become a full-fledged D-1 program.
  • 6′-1″ combo guard Brandon Bos, a Canadian at Kiski Prep (PA) will join the roster at South Dakota next year.
  • Penn has landed three recruits for the class of 2011 in a short period of time. The most notable of the haul is 6′-7″ Henry Brooks of Miller Grove (GA), a nice prospect who interestingly picked the Quakers over other high-major offers. The two other prospects are from across the pond, teammates at Barking Abbey (Essex, England), Keelan Cairns and Simeon Esprit.
  • Drexel added 6′-6″ wing Damion Lee of St. Thomas More (CT). Lee is originally a native of Baltimore, MD.
  • Brad Winton of JucoRecruiting.com is reporting that Irvine Valley CC (CA) wing Joe Eberhard committed to Sacramento State.
  • Eric Bossi of Rivals.com broke the commitments of two KC-area natives. Tyler Rambo, a forward who is now at Christian Life (TX) popped for Murray State, while sharpshooter Tyler Kalinsoki called it for Davidson.
  • Wheeler (GA) 6′-4″ guard Chris Longoria pledged to Binghamton, according to On the Radar Hoops.
  • High scoring shooting guard Bryan Smith of Midwood (NY) will stay local and play at Fordham. Smith is perhaps best known for a 68 point scoring outburst earlier in the season.
  • Texas Tech’s new head coach Billy Gillespie has already struck on the recruiting trail. He landed two high-major prospects, JUCO teammates Kader Tapsoba, 6′-10″ sophomore, and Jaron Nash, 6′-8″ freshman of Tyler JC (TX). Both were entertaining major college interest prior to pledging for the Red Raiders.
  • Best friends 6′-5″ SG Chavaughn Lewis and PG/SG TJ Curry will be attending college together, at Marist. Lewis of St. Mary’s (NY) is considered the better prospect of the two, though Curry comes from the talented Christ the King (NY) program.

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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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