ASU top 2017 targets in action as AAU season ends

Arizona State spent a lot of time making their presence felt in front of top recruiting targets during the final big AAU weekend of the year.

LAS VEGAS -- Led by Bobby Hurley, the Arizona State coaching staff has been on a recruiting roll in the last year. 

For the first time this century the Sun Devils signed three four-star prospects in a recruiting class in 2016. They already have another four-star recruit in the fold in 2017, Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon point guard Remy Martin

ASU will likely sign at least three prospects total in the 2017 class, with a desire to add a wing and a post to the Martin commitment. 

The entire Sun Devil staff spent the final weekend of the July evaluation period here at no fewer than four high profile AAU events that converge on the city in gyms scattered across the city. 

Here's a look at the recruitments of the prospects they watched carefully and have already extended a scholarship offer to, most of whom spoke with in person as they played their final AAU weekend.

A four-star recruit whom ASU offered a scholarship to earlier this summer, Garrison Brooks is a true post player at 6-foot-9. Playing for Team Carroll, Brooks was extremely productive, averaging 17.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in five games at the adidas Summer Championships. 

"I think I got seven offers this past month including Arizona State, so it's been good," Brooks said. "I talk to coach (Rashon) Burno a lot and also coach (Bobby) Hurley. I've been talking with them probably every three days. They have been saying they like my game, how it's kind of inside-out. They like how I play high school ball and how I play hard."

Brooks said he'll have a Top-7 released by September and ASU will make the cut. He said he is confident he'll take official visits to see ASU, Georgia and Texas A&M. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt are also in serious contention. 

"I'm trying to set the ASU one up for the Texas Tech game," he said. "Playing time, development and being around the right group of guys. I need to be around guys that fit me. I don't like playing with just anyone. I have problem leaving the South if that's what I think is best for me."

A four-star Scout100 recruit ranked No. 63 overall in the 2017 class, Kimani Lawrence played for an absolutely loaded Expressions Elite team, which was probably one more ball handler away from being among the best overall teams on the summer circuit. 

Playing at the Fab 48, Lawrence is one of four Top-100 level prospects on his team. The Sun Devils have also offered a scholarship to teammate and fellow Scout100 recruit Jermaine Samuels but the New Hampton (N.H.) star Lawrence is the recruit they seemingly have more of a shot at. 

"They're in the Pac-12 which is a good league and they've had a lot of great guards," Lawrence said. "Arizona State had James Harden. The coach there, Bobby Hurley, we talk often. He tells me about himself and the program. He's answering whatever questions I have about it. They're at our games a lot now."

Lawrence, 6-foot-6 and 185 pounds, has an eclectic list of suitors from coast to coast. ASU and USC are involved in the West, along with Creighton, Texas and Xavier across the middle of the country and the typical East Coast suitors. 

"I plan on taking some unofficials and then cut my list down in August," Lawrence. "Cut to a Top-5. I'm really not sure yet on what that's going to look like but will be thinking about it a lot more after July."

A face up power forward who is sturdily built and yet a good shooter from range, Sebastian Much caught ASU's attention earlier this year and he's enamored with the program.

"I love them to be honest," Much said. "I think they're all great guys. Coach Hurley has a great story. He's been through a lot and knows basketball and I think it would be great playing for him honestly. They say they like the way I play, that I pass well and they like that and I can shoot it. It's something a lot of guys my size don't have and it would be an advantage they think."

A San Jose, Archbishop Mitty standout, the 6-foot-7 Much said he has 15 scholarship offers, incluidng ASU, Utah and Washington State at the top level. 

"It's going really well," he said. "I'm trying to see where it goes for the rest of July and try to make my decision after all of this. ASU and Utah are the two schools I know I'll visit unofficially in August."

Much averaged 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in six games with Dream Vision at the adidas Summer Championships. He's a usually reliable 3-point shooter who struggled until late in the tournament.

A 6-foot-6 wing from Sequoyah High School in Canton, Georgia, Jordan Usher will tell you quite plainly that Arizona State is the front-runner to land his college commitment. 

"Arizona State is obviously my favorite," Usher said in between games Thursday. "It's a place I could really flourish, come in, get minutes as a freshman and I'm just really comfortable with the staff. I've just never been on campus. If I go there and like it a lot, we'll see (about a commitment). I've never been to Arizona. That's what I talk to them about. They tell me it's fun, a great place, a good college environment." 

Ole Miss, Nebraska and USC are other high major offers for Usher. He's planning to also officially visit USC, with both trips likely to take place in September unless he trips to ASU in August for its Elite Camp the weekend of August 12.

"None of my top schools are from the South, really," he said. "I just have a good relationship with some of the schools in the West recruiting me so that's where I'm probably going to end up."

Usher was the most productive player on an Atlanta Celtics squad that isn't as talented this year as it has been at other times historically. He averaged 17.8 points and 8.5 rebounds.

Less than a full day after his AAU career ended, Los Angeles Middlebrooks Academy four-star forward Tyler Bey tweeted out his Top-6 cut list, which consists of ASU, Colorado, New Mexico, Fresno State, San Diego State and Wyoming. 

Arizona State extended a scholarship offer in early June and Bey is regularly in contact with the Sun Devils. He plays for the adidas-affiliated Las Vegas Knicks. 

"They're just telling me how good I'm doing and just basics," Bey said of ASU. "They're up there, in my top schools, yeah."

Bey is planning to visit ASU in August or September. He told us several days before putting out a Top-6 that he had a tentative Top-5 of ASU, Colorado, Iowa, San Diego State and Wyoming. Iowa hasn't offered a scholarship yet, Bey said, but is actively recruiting him and whether it offers will determine where it becomes viable. 

"I'll probably make a Fall decision," Bey said, "Take some visits and go from there." 

Bey was one of the top rebounders at the adidas Summer Championships, with an 11.3 average and he also scored 17 points.

On this list of top ASU targets, Alex O'Connell is the only one who wasn't playing here during the week and was instead at the AAU Nationals in Orlando. Even so, he's clearly been a top ASU target for months now, after he was offered a scholarship by Hurley in the spring. 

O'Connell, a 6-foot-6 wing from Milton High School in Georgia, has shot up the recruiting rankings and been one of the hottest national prospects in recent months. 

The Sun Devils were in earlier than some others and O'Connell said he's forged a strong bond with Hurley, but there's no official visit set as yet. He said he does want to visit Tempe. 

20-plus high major schools have now offered O'Connell including Auburn, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Texas A&M. 

O'Connell has family connections to Duke but no offer from the Blue Devils as yet. 


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