ASU hoops recruiting quietly gaining momentum

On Sunday night, the Sun Devils received an early verbal from 2016 small forward Brendan Bailey. The American Fork (Utah) High standout is a four-star prospect and ranked No. 66 overall in the class. By securing a pledge from Bailey, coach Herb Sendek and Arizona State quietly continue to gain traction on the recruiting front.

Brendan Bailey is considered one of the top shooters in his class and has great size for his position. He currently stands 6-foot-7, but is still growing according to some reports, so he could arrive to Tempe even a few inches taller.

Many of Sendek’s detractors have been critical of his recruiting efforts in the past – and even Sendek himself has admitted to making recruiting miscues during his tenure at ASU. Despite being able to corral high-school phenoms like James Harden and Jahii Carson, Sendek has not been able to attract elite talent to Tempe on a consistent basis.

However, Arizona State’s recruiting fortunes may slowly be changing.

It began with the 2014 class, which was highlighted by four highly touted JUCO prospects and three players from the high school ranks.

Two of those high-schoolers – Tra Holder and Connor MacDougall – were rated as four-star prospects by Scout.com. Holder, who has been a spot starter as a freshman this season, finished as the No. 100 prospect in the class.

Over the summer Sendek and his staff were able to acquire a pledge from 2015 small forward Dominic Green, another four-star recruit. Green, the No. 75 prospect in his class, entered the summer circuit as a virtual unknown, but finished as a high-major prospect. Arizona State pounced on the hot commodity before other schools were able to get involved in his recruiting.

Only a few weeks later, Sendek struck gold again with local product Markus Howard, a 2017 point guard from Gilbert Perry High. The lighting-quick lead guard is a four-star prospect and widely regarded as a program-changing type of player. Currently ranked No. 44 overall by Scout.com, don’t be surprised to see that ranking improve over the next few years.

As early verbal commits, it will be awhile before Bailey and Howard can sign their letter of intent. However, both players seem to be solid in their commitment to the Sun Devils.

With Bailey’s recent pledge, the Sun Devils have now procured commitments from (five) four-star prospects in the last two years. Regardless of how recruiting success is measured, that’s an impressive haul for Arizona State.

Sendek and his staff hope to continue this recent string of success by closing out the current recruiting cycle on a high note.

Arizona State is actively pursuing another four-star prospect, Tyler Dorsey, a 2015 combo guard. The Sun Devils are on the short list of finalists for the dynamic 6-foot-4 guard, who is expected to make a decision sometime in the spring. Landing Dorsey would be a major coup for Arizona State.

Regardless of Dorsey’s decision, the recruiting seems to be trending in the right direction for the Sun Devil program, even if they are flying under-the-radar.


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