Hoops Roundup: Anthony Bennett nearing a decision; recruiting news
Heralded forward Anthony Bennett is between two programs: UNLV and Oregon
Anthony January, the No. 63 recruit, will reclassify as a member of the 2013 class
Tony Trocha is making a splash; SMU is beginning to recruit beneath Larry Brown
For those that aren't yet familiar with Troy (Mich.) High's James Young, it's time to get acquainted. The 6-6 southpaw shooting guard has been one of the biggest stories of the spring, exploding onto the national scene behind his strong play with AAU squad The Family. While his rebounding remains a work in progress, his shooting and court vision are already polished. He is currently the No. 9 prospect in the class of 2013 and holds offers to Michigan State, Ohio State and Providence, with Kansas and Kentucky also expressing interest.
Young isn't the only player making a splash this spring, though. Here are some storylines to monitor as mid-May approaches.
With the All-Star circuit all but at an end, it's somewhat surprising that many 2012 prospects remain unsigned. Five-stars Anthony Bennett and Devonta Pollard and four-stars Amile Jefferson, Christopher Obekpa, Anthony January, Torian Graham and Savon Goodman are still on the market, but they're finally beginning to show movement.
Bennett, the nation's No. 7 recruit, has narrowed his list to two: UNLV and Oregon. The 6-7 combo forward out of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep eliminated Kentucky and Florida from consideration last week, making the hometown Runnin' Rebels the immediate favorite. Nothing is official, but expect an announcement sometime before the end of next week.
In addition to Bennett, Oregon is in dogged pursuit of Obekpa, a 6-9 shot-blocker out of Centerrreach (N.Y.) Our Savior New American. After initially planning a visit in April, Obekpa is expected to travel to Eugene sometime next week. He's also considering Cincinnati, UConn, St. John's, DePaul and Providence, with no timetable set for a decision.
Pollard and Jefferson have kept their leanings intensely private over the last few months, and that doesn't seem like it will change anytime soon. But the 6-7 Pollard's situation seems to be clearing up. Missouri is out of scholarships following the signing of Tulsa transfer Jordan Clarkson, and Georgetown appears to be out of the running now that its primary connection to Pollard, assistant Robert Kirby, has left for a similar post at LSU. That leaves Alabama and Texas as the two most likely choices -- though don't be surprised if Pollard elects not to sign a letter of intent.
Finally, January, Rivals' No. 63 prospect, has announced that he will head to prep school and reclassify in the class of 2013. Sources behind the scenes indicate that Goodman could make an identical decision, though nothing has been finalized to date.
Tony Trocha is a four-star prospect ranked No. 59 in the class of 2013. He's a 6-10 forward from Colombia and recently relocated to Houston (Texas) St. Thomas during the winter. Blessed with plenty of raw potential, Trocha was expected to be heavily targeted during the grassroots circuit this summer.
That could all be changing. Trocha just took the SATs and will likely enroll as a member of the class of 2012.
After originally being touted as a Perry Jones-type player, Trocha is now being scouted as a Nicolas Batum-type small forward. He has a 7-foot-5 wingspan and good agility, and is considering LSU, Texas A&M, Kentucky, UCLA, Oregon, Ohio State and Providence.
Three-star power forward Tory Miller made effective use of his spring. The 6-8 prospect from Lee's Summit (Mo.) West recently landed an offer from Minnesota to go with his offers from Arkansas, Creighton and Nebraska in previous weeks.
UConn and Georgetown each signed big men Wednesday. The Huskies added Leon Tolksdorf, a face-up power forward from Germany, while the Hoyas inked Bradley Hayes, a 6-11 standout from Jacksonville. Tolksdorf is reported to be a good shooter and played 14 minutes a game for the Alba Berlin club team. Hayes is a slender big with impressive athleticism.
On the mid-major level, Missouri State added a nice piece on Tuesday. Michael Thompson, a 6-5 shooter out of Spring (Texas) Klein Collins, signed with the Bears after taking an official visit.
After originally signing to play at Rice, Houston (Texas) St. Thomas point guard Chase Brogna is back on the market. A two-star prospect, Brogna is a heady player who can shoot, has outstanding grades and would be an ideal fit for a mid-major program.
Last week, Croatian shooting guard Mislah Brzoja took a visit to Kentucky. However, that visit has yet to produce and offer, and Brzoja could be making a decision soon. He previously visited Dayton and is also considering Providence, Utah and Marquette.
SMU is trying to make an impact under new hire Larry Brown, and it hosted a pair of four-star 2013 big men over the weekend. High school and summer league teammates Karviar Shepherd and Jordan Mickey were both on campus and are seriously considering the Mustangs along with several Big 12 and SEC suitors. Brown and Co. are also zeroing in on five-star shooting guard Keith Frazier as a major 2013 target.
Forward Payton Henson is generating some buzz in the state of Arkansas. A 6-8 four man with three-point range, he has standing offers from Missouri State and Arkansas State. But others are beginning to show interest. Among them: Belmont, Tulsa, Yale, Wichita State, TCU, Ole Miss, Oral Roberts, Nebraska and Utah State.
A new program has entered the competition for 2014 five-star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. A member of the 6-4 sophomore's inner circle reached out to Rivals.com to indicate that Washington is now in the running for the athletic Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep floor general. Kentucky, Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, SMU, TCU, Virginia, North Texas, Kansas, Baylor and Texas are among other schools in early-stage consideration.
For more recruiting coverage, visit Rivals.com basketball recruiting hub.
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