Notebook: Huskers looking for paydirt

In our weekly Notebook feature, the national team explores creative and broad topics from the grassroots hoops realm.

Can Nebraska capitalize on big year?

One thing that's interesting to me is how Nebraska will capitalize on its first NCAA Tournament appearance in over a decade. Nebraska has never been able to be a consistent basketball contender, but with new facilities, head coach Tim Miles, a talented staff and some momentum, they look on the verge of a very solid recruiting class, if they can close on some top targets in the coming months.

One of the biggest keys for Nebraska is going to be point guard Glynn Watson (pictured above). In a class that severely lacks top point guard options, Watson is one of the best left available and the Huskers will have him on campus at the end of the month, and Nebraska is seen as either a leader or co-leader in his recruitment. A commitment from Watson would be huge, and would give the Huskers the type of floor general they need to be consistent in the Big Ten.

Another key target is Nebraska legacy Ed Morrow. The undersized, but athletic and tough power forward was born in Nebraska and both of his parents attended the school. Already he has visited unofficially and will make an official in September as well. Like Watson, Morrow would be a big recruiting win for Nebraska, and one they haven't gotten a lot of in recent years.

Overall, Miles and his staff are working hard to keep the momentum going from a strong season, now it is going to be interesting to see if they can close on their top targets.

— Brian Snow

Missouri & Gill Caesar re-slotted in 2014 rankings

With Teki Gill Caesar’s move to the 2014 class, a few things needed to be updated this week.

First we moved Gill Caesar into the 2014 top 100. Gill Caesar was slotted as the No. 13 shooting guard and the No. 52 overall prospect in the class.

To go with slotting, Gill Caesar, Missouri’s 2014 recruiting class needed to be re-slotted in the team rankings as well.

With the addition of Gill Caesar, who committed to the Tigers last week, Missouri now has a trio of top 100 prospects in their 2014 recruiting class.

The 6-foot-5 guard joins Jakeenan Gant, who ranks No. 60, and Namon Wright, who No. 73 overall, as well as three-star recruits D’Angello Allen and Tramaine Isabell to make up their five-man class.

With three players ranked from 50 to 75, plus a pair of three-star prospects, Missouri’s class ranks No. 19 overall in the 2014 recruiting class rankings.

— Evan Daniels

Trio of Northwest prospects blow up late

In every recruiting class there are going to be high major prospects who fly under the radar. Some of the time it's going to happen because the kids are in an area where they just haven't been seen by enough scouts and coaches, whereas other times kids will develop into Top 100 prospects later than their peers.

The Northwest is an obvious area for players to fall under the radar given the fact that they're viewed much less frequently than a player in California, for example. However, in the case of three future Top 100 prospects, they flew under the radar not because they weren't seen, but due to the fact that they are true late bloomers.

Matisse Thybulle, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound small forward from Bellevue (Wash.) Eastside Catholic, showed up to the EYBL circuit in the spring with no scholarship offers.

Thybulle likely will play his college ball in the West

The 2015 prospect was clearly a good prospect and garnered high major interest immediately, but the offers took a couple months to accumulate. Finally, by July, Thybulle had become so good that high major programs had no choice but to offer. Gonzaga, Washington, Oregon, Arizona State, California and Washington State are all on his offer list, but this is expected to be a Huskies vs. Zags battle at the end of the day.

Thybulle's teammate with NW Xpress was Drew Eubanks, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound 2015 center from Troutdale (Ore.) Reynolds. Eubanks, who grew up a baseball player, barely played in the spring. By July, he was productive enough where his coaches had a hard time sitting him. The rising senior worked hard on his game and played so well in the evaluation period that offers came in from schools such as Oregon State and Arizona State, with Washington, Gonzaga and California giving him close looks.

Another prospect who barely played on his AAU squad of NW Panthers in the spring, Dominic Green, had a coming out party in July. The 6-foot-6, 175-pound 2015 small forward from Renton (Wash.) Hazen wasn't completely unknown - he won MVP of his league during his junior year - but was physically immature and wasn't ready to compete at a high level of AAU without added strength. As he got stronger, more confident and skilled, his game did the talking. Arizona State quickly offered and Green committed before others could get seriously involved.

Thybulle, Eubanks and Green are all legitimate high major prospects that have the chance to be very successful at the next level with standard progression. The fact that they're late bloomers and peaking at the right time only makes you feel better about their futures.

— Josh Gershon

Stone rolling uphill

To put it mildly, Diamond Stone did not enjoy a consistent summer. He performed in bizarrely subpar fashion at the Reebok Breakout Classic during the first leg of the July open period, failing to reinforce his claim as the nation's top senior prospect.

Stone performed better in later team environments, but clearly he already had exacted some damage to his reputation.

But while he may not retain his hold on that top spot heading into fall — we'll release new rankings on Thursday — Stone has addressed any lingering doubts during his recent play with USA Basketball.

Granted, the American 17-under squad has been utterly, eval-crushingly, dominant at times in Dubai. They most recently defeated Japan 122-38, with no player spending more than 22 minutes on the court.

Still, just compared with his fellow elite teammates, Stone has been outstanding. He has fashioned himself into a double-double machine, going for 14 points and 11 rebounds (plus six blocks) in his 22 minutes versus his foes from the Land of the Rising Sun.

He appears to have regained his offensive confidence and continues to benefit from a streamlined physique and quicker vertical leap off the floor. Stone's place among the country's (and, evidently, world's) best players remains secure.

— Rob Harrington

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

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