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April 16, 2004It's been a busy week around the recruiting nation. In this version of Just A Minute with Justin Young, we take a look at the goings-on. Several players are close to picking a program, while a number faxed over their letters-of-intent. RivalsHoops.com has been hot on the recruiting trail, scouting the nation's top players.
Got the Grade, Makin' Changes
Cliff Clinkscales learned that he had made the qualifying grade earlier in the week. That was the good news.
Two days later, two of his top schools picked up guards. Cincinnati landed junior college floor general Jihad Muhammad and Maryland will get 6-foot-3 point guard Sterling Ledbetter from nearby Allegany Junior College. That's the bad news.
Now, schools such as Florida, Baylor, DePaul and Texas A&M-Corpus Christie are in. The Gators will be in Ocala to talk to Clinkscales on Friday. The Brooklyn native said he might make an official visit to Baylor later in the month, too. With his grades meeting the requirements, he's looking to end his recruitment fairly soon.
Big Weekend For Illinois
Calvin Brock will make an official visit to the Big Ten program this weekend. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard had a phenomenal senior campaign at Simeon High School. Expect a verbal commitment and signature to occur either on the trip or soon after.
Brock will be joined by elite junior Luke Zeller, the No. 16 player in the class of 2005. This will be the first of five likely official trips. RivalsHoops.com's Shay Wildeboor reported earlier in the week that Zeller will visit Notre Dame next weekend.
Kevin Rogers (left), a left handed, 6-foot-8, 220-pound power forward from South Oak Cliff High School in Texas, blew up at the Boo Williams Invitational. Arizona, Kansas, and UConn have offered scholarships, but expect that list to double, triple or even quadruple in the next year. High majors love his size and power inside.
Richard Semrau, a 6-foot-9, 200-pound class of 2006 forward from Rocky River, Ohio, went to Las Vegas last weekend with hopes of playing well in his first major exposure tournament. He arrived home to offers from Boston College, Indiana and UCLA. The sweet shooting Semrau will suit up for Blessed INJ this weekend in Washington D.C. for the Capital Invitational.
Ralph Mims has set a press conference for April 30 to announce his college decision. The Brunswick, Maine, combo guard has had a decorated career in the Northeast state, finishing on a high note by scoring 46 points in the state championship. Florida State or Providence are the finalists.
New Miami head coach Frank Hiath will be in Seattle on Monday to talk to 2004 Hurricane signee Chester Giles, the No. 62 player on the Rivals150. When Perry Clark was terminated, so were the chances of Giles playing in Coral Gables. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound center/power forward told us he hasn't heard from Miami since the change and would like to be released from his letter-of-intent. Arizona, Kansas and Washington could be in the market for a big man; the Jayhawks recently lost big man David Padgett, who will transfer.
AAU Team Watch
Don't be surprised to see the loaded Houston Hoops rebound from their early exit from the Las Vegas Easter Classic this weekend at Hal Pastner's Spring Showcase. With ranked players Fendi Onobun, David Devezin, Jermichael Finley, Rashad Woods, Jeremy Barr and Nic Wise on the roster, there is no lack of star power. Don't be surprised to see Martellus Bennett join the list. He's looking at a variety of schools for both basketball and football, with Arizona and Miami looking like the early leaders. He and Onobun are high school teammates.
Woods and Onobun are two of the top athletes in the nation and aren't afraid to prove it. Devezin is a heady guard who can get to the rim with very little trouble and knows how and when to find his talented teammates. He'll need to develop a jump shot before he's considered a true high major talent. Wise is a fine shooter, and like Devezin, is quick. Barr is a physical specimen with the biggest feet we've seen in high school (size 22) and hands that swallow the ball.
Who's on First?
Rivals.com's No. 1 player in the land, Dwight Howard, announced what he's been planning all along: he'll be in the NBA next year. Now the debate begins on where he goes in the draft. With UConn's Emeka Okafor ending his collegiate career with a national championship and three years of proven basketball, many believe the Texas big man will be taken first overall in the draft.
Yet, the argument can be made surrounding Howard's potential and blank slate. NBA superstars like Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant have bypassed college and dominated in the league. What direction will Howard go? Make your case Inside the Paint, the premium message board here at RivalsHoops.com. Talk amongst yourselves.
The Ink Has Dried
With recruits sending in their letters of intent, here is a quick run down of where the players are headed: Tyrus Thomas (LSU), Davis Nwankwo (Vanderbilt), Alex Metcalfe (Vanderbilt), Lyndale Burleson (Nevada), Tank Beavers (Memphis), Troy Mathis (Clemson), Terrell Everett (Oklahoma) and J'Son Stamper (Minnesota).
RivalsHoops.com will be on the road again for more extensive coverage from the AAU circuit. We will be in Las Vegas for the Pump N Run tournament and the Spring Showcase. Jerry Meyer, Mark Reeves and Tim Watts will be in Southern Nevada covering both events. Justin Young will be in Washington D.C. for Charlie Weber's Capital Invitational. Stay tuned to for updates, pictures, news and notes from the road. We will be represented in full force for the loaded Kingwood Classic on April 23-25.