Daily Double in Texas
It was a big weekend for commitments hailing from the state of Texas. Good friends Phil Forte and Marcus Smart made their pledge to Oklahoma State while Danrad Knowles and Danuel House made their pledge to Houston. While it was pretty much known that Forte and Smart really wanted to play together in college, House and Knowles was a little less of a certainty.
For Forte, he had long felt Oklahoma State was the place for him, but he wanted to bring Smart with him. While on the visit they both decided Stillwater was right for them.
When asked if he would have committed had Smart not gotten the same feeling as him, Forte said, "That's a good question, Marcus and I had other different schools who were recruiting us, so I don't know. The two schools that fit both of us well were Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. We really considered this decision and it was a tough decision, but we wanted to play together and had that gut feeling about Oklahoma State."
For Knowles and House, it proved to be about staying close to home. In House's case that means his hometown of Houston, and for Knowles that means his adoptive town, as he is a native of the Bahamas.
Both Houston and Oklahoma State now have a go to duo of recruits in 2012. Oklahoma State has the winners from the Dallas area who have been racking up victories together since the third grade, and Houston has the athletically talented hometown kids who are looking to turn a program around.
Overall both schools did very well to land the package deals, and going forward it could prove to be something that means a lot of success for each program.
Cards get important piece
This recruiting season isn't the best year to be in need of a point guard. Relatively speaking nationally the class doesn't stack up to some in the past, but there are some solid options in this available and one of them is Terry Rozier.
Needing a guard who can be versatile, get up and down the floor, and one who can handle the point guard duties, Louisville looked to Rozier, and landed him even before an official visit came.
Rozier is someone who should thrive in an up and down system which Louisville employs, and also is a prospect who has been coming on as of late. He was a virtual unknown as a sophomore, and now as a senior he is headed to the Big East Conference. While not the biggest name in the class, Rozier is someone who fills a significant need for the Cardinals.
Other key pledges
While the two duos from Texas and Rozier might have been the most notable and talked about pledges, some key under the radar commitments also took place this weekend.
St. Joseph's got a huge commitment from Isaiah Miles. The Baltimore native is a solid power forward who more than held his own against some of the nation's best. As Coach Phil Martelli works to bring the Hawks back to the top of the Atlantic 10, Miles is a piece to the puzzle that will help him get some wins.
USC scored a commitment from out of nowhere with Strahinja Gavrilovic. Gavrilovic just got into the United States, but had a connection to the Trojans through former player Nikola Vucevic. Not much is known about Gavrilovic, but USC did their homework and made sure to jump in and get his commitment before any other school could get involved.
Also Illinois got their point guard in Michael Orris. Orris, who originally committed to Creighton over Illinois, is a true floor general who had a very strong summer with Illinois Old School. Not the best athlete or the most naturally talented, Orris just knows how to play and will fit well with what Bruce Weber wants in a point guard to lead his team.