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October 22, 2008

Weekly Wrap: Caught up in the madness

POLL: Your pick for commitment of the week | Big 12 teams make moves in rankings

Here is a quick note to the class of 2010 and beyond: Midnight Madness will get you. It has this year for a number of undecided hoops prospects.

After last weekend's official start to the season, a number of schools landed important commitments. And with that, a number of new schools debut in the top 20 team recruiting rankings.

We look back at the latest commitments from around the country in the Weekly Wrap-up.

BIG 12 TEAMS MAKE MOVES IN TEAM RANKINGS

When Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy center Andrew Fitzgerald committed to Oklahoma, the Sooners climbed back into the team rankings.

The 6-foot-9, 245-pound center from Baltimore brings Oklahoma to No. 17 in the team rankings. Coach Jeff Capel and his staff have four Rivals150 players locked up in the senior class. Fitzgerald, a four-star prospect, is a big man with a strong post game. He'll be leaned on early in Norman.

Duncanville (Texas) point guard Reger Dowell is hoping the third time is indeed the charm. Once committed to Alabama and Arizona, the Rivals150 senior ended his recruitment for the last time, he says, and committed to Oklahoma State. Dowell visited the Big 12 school for Midnight Madness.

With Dowell now on board, Oklahoma State moves up one spot to No. 18.

Houston (Texas) Jones power forward Ray Turner visited Texas A&M for the season tip-off festivities and left College Station a committed man. The Rivals150 forward decided on the spot that he was ready to be a part of the Texas A&M program.

Turner is the fourth player in the top 150 to commit to the Big 12 school in the 2009 class. His addition vaults the Aggies into the top 20.

HIGH-MAJORS MAKE BIG ADDITIONS

COMMITMENT OF THE WEEK
There was no bigger commitment last week than Elijah Johnson, the No. 27- ranked player in the country, to Kansas. The Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne product visited Kansas for Late Night, the team's version of Midnight Madness, and ended his recruitment before the weekend ended.

Johnson, one of the top five point guards in the nation, joins five-star forward Thomas Robinson in Kansas's 2009 recruiting class. The two are future starters for coach Bill Self, and both should help immediately.

With Johnson now on board, Kansas debuts at No. 4 in the team rankings for the class of 2009.

"We've been high on Kansas for a while," Johnson's father, Marcus, told JayhawkSlant.com the day of his son's commitment. "He's taken an interest in them. Elijah has been interested in them since the third grade. I think it's a two-way road. They like us as much as we like them."

Kansas fans will certainly like Johnson when he arrives in town. He's one of the most athletic and electric point guards in the nation.

Baylor broke even this week, gaining a commitment from Givon Crump, a Rivals150 senior from Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy, and losing Jamison Sterns, a 2010 pledge.

Crump, a 6-7, sweet-shooting wing, gives Baylor three players ranked in the Rivals150.

The Bears lost Sterns, a longtime class of 2010 commitment from Duncanville (Texas). Sterns visited Oklahoma State last weekend with teammates Roger Franklin and Reger Dowell, who are both committed to the Cowboys.

Houston (Texas) Jones power forward Ray Turner visited Texas A&M for the season tip-off festivities, and the Rivals150 forward decided on the spot that he was ready to be a part of the Aggies' program. Turner is the fourth player in the top 150 to commit to the Big 12 school for 2009.

Syracuse was quick to lock up its 2007 recruiting class, which was third in the nation, by locking up guys like Donte Greene and Jonny Flynn early. The Orange is looking to do the same thing in 2010. The Big East school landed a pair of prospects in a week's time.

Despite being out with an injury in the preseason, C.J. Fair has been a hot prospect from the class of 2010. The Orange hosted the 6-7 forward from Baltimore and landed a commitment from him after his visit to New York.

A day later it was learned that Baye Moussa Kieta, a 6-10 center from Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, is headed to Syracuse, too.

Also committed to the program is Dion Waiters, a five-star guard from Philadelphia. Syracuse now has three players committed for its 2010 class.

South Medford (Ore.) wing E.J. Singler is the latest in-state star to commit to Oregon. The 6-5, two-sport star is the younger brother of Duke sophomore Kyle Singler.

Alabama secured commitments from a pair of junior college players, giving the Tide more experience in their lineup next season.

Chris Hines, a 6-8 combo forward from Belleville (Ill.) Southwestern Illinois Community College, and Charvez Davis, a 6-3 guard from Niceville (Fla.) Okaloosa-Walton Community College, both committed to Alabama last week.

Kawhi Leonard, one of the most versatile wings in the country, committed to San Diego State on Tuesday night, according to sources close to the situation. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound prospect from Riverside (Calif.) Martin Luther King is the fourth player in an impressive class for the Aztecs.

Nevada has traditionally done a fine job of recruiting sleepers and developing them into very productive players at the college level and beyond. Paramount (Calif.) forward Devonte Elliott, a 6-9 senior, could be next. Elliott is one of the top sleepers nationally and ended his recruitment early by picking the Wolf Pack.

MORE FROM AROUND THE NATION

George Mason went for two players in a week's time. The big score is Johnny Williams, a 6-7 forward from Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian. The three-star big man picked the Patriots over interest from Oklahoma State and Boston College.

Guard Luke Hancock of Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy also committed to the CAA school last week. The 6-5 Hancock gives the Patriots a weapon on the wing.

St. Joseph's secured a big commitment from Linden (N.J.) big man David Bruce. The 6-9 center joins an impressive class for coach Phil Martelli and his staff.

Tulane went to the junior college ranks to secure a commitment from Aaron Holmes. The former Florida State and South Florida player is now at Gainesville (Fla.) Santa Fe Community College. The 6-4 guard will be a major upgrade for Tulane next year in the backcourt.

Dartaye Ruffin, a 6-8 forward from Stoughton (Mass.), is headed to Drexel.

Salt Lake (Utah) Community College forward Nate Bendall, a 6-8, 245-pound post player, will return to Utah State. He played for the Aggies before serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hugh Mingo, an athletic and talented guard from Levelland (Texas) South Plains College, is headed to Louisiana-Monroe. He committed to the Sun Belt school out of high school.

Pensacola (Fla.) High School forward Terrance Beasley has committed to Florida International.

Beasley's high school teammate Erin Straughn, a 6-6 wing, has committed to East Carolina.

Big man Lukas Poderis of New Port Richey (Fla.) Ridgewood has committed to East Tennessee State.

Radford landed a couple of players over the past week. Shooting guard Evan Faulkner of Sandy Hook (Ky.) Elliot County and Tommy Spagnolo of West Jefferson (N.C.) Ashe County both committed to the program.

Jelani Johnson, a 6-4 guard from Aurora (Ill.) Waubonsie Valley, has committed to Western Illinois.

Stone Mountain (Ga.) senior Kinley Branch has committed to George Washington.

Montana State landed forward Jeff Budinich from Kentlake (Wash.) High School on Tuesday.

Austin (Texas) Lake Travis forward Jordan Jahr has committed to Air Force.

Navy has landed Alex Newsome out of Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy.

Conrad Krutwig of Algonquin (Ill.) Jacobs has committed to South Dakota State.



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