Notebook: Comanche’s Climb

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

Comanche making substantial progress

Chance Comanche (pictured above) has been a nationally known name in basketball recruiting since he arrived at Playa Del Rey (Calif.) St. Bernard as a freshman in the fall of 2011.

Just an extremely physically immature lanky post, Comanche was way more prospect than player but looked like a kid who could ultimately be a high level recruit.

Once Comanche leveled out at 6-foot-11 and started to slowly gain strength, you could see his skill set improve as well. By his sophomore year at Los Angeles View Park, he was becoming a good shooter from the high post, a nice passer and developing better footwork around the basket.

Comanche made another step forward as a junior, before signing with Arizona this fall. Now a senior at Beverly Hills, the four-star prospect is having his best season yet.

Comanche's footwork has really improved and he's able to consistently finish with both hands in the paint. He can step out and shoot, rebounds well, is finishing with contact better and protecting the rim.

While he still needs to get a lot stronger before making the kind of college impact he's eventually capable of, this is a kid moving in the right direction as a prospect and has a high ceiling which can be reached if he keeps progressing the way he has been over his high school career.

— Josh Gershon

Team Rankings Get Tweaks

Although there haven’t been a great deal of commitments since the New Year began, there have been four big commitments that impact the 2015 class rankings.

The most recent is Tyler Dorsey’s pledge to Oregon. With Dorsey, who committed on February 2nd, on board the Ducks now have three four-star prospects and checked into the updated rankings at No. 25 overall.

Dorsey’s big senior year has Duck fans excited for his potential

Indiana native JaQuan Lyle committed to Ohio State just a few days before Dorsey made his choice. Lyle’s commitment gives Thad Matta a five-man recruiting class. Four of the five are ranked in Scout’s 2015 top 100. Lyle is the highest at No. 41 overall. His pledge bumped the Buckeyes up to the No. 6 spot in the class rankings.

Early in January, Carlton Bragg, a McDonald’s All-American, made his college choice. He selected Kansas and became their first pledge of the 2015 class. The commitment bumped Kansas into the top 25 at No. 20 overall.

The other top tier recruit that decided in early January was Antonio Blakeney. Blakeney joined AAU teammate and five-star recruit Ben Simmons at LSU. With a pair of five-star prospects, LSU moved all the way up to No. 7 in the updated rankings.

For the full 2015 updated Top 25 Class Rankings: CLICK HERE

— Evan Daniels

UCLA makes offer

The UCLA Bruins appear to be gearing up for the loss of star freshman forward Kevon Looney. On Monday night, the Bruins offered three-star power forward Alex Olesinski.

UCLA’s quest for a big man has led it to Olesinski

Olesinski is a native of the state of New Mexico, and is now prepping at La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere.

Olesinski is having a very solid senior season and shows the ability to hit shots from deep as well as finish in the mid-range. He is a kid who needs time in the weight room, but has some potential. To this point Boston College and Arizona State were considered the two leaders, now it will be interesting to see how the offer from UCLA has changed that.

— Brian Snow

Contenders & Pretenders for Giles?

No. 1 junior Harry Giles cut his list down to eight schools this week: Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Ohio State and UNLV.

A list of eight finalists doesn’t necessarily tell us much about his ultimate destination, but don’t be confused by the eight — there’s a clear top tier that’s followed by a few dark horses.

Giles recently took over the top spot in the junior class

Many within North Carolina believe that Giles ultimately will pick from among the three in-state programs on his list, with Wake Forest having the proximity edge (and a commitment from Giles pal Brandon Childress) and Duke and UNC both recruiting him largely on the basis of program pedigree.

That said, Kentucky looms as a potentially serious factor. Giles has made clear his appreciation for the Wildcats’ one-and-done model, and if anyone can invade a state like N.C. and extract its top player, it’s John Calipari.

That said, then, the other four schools aren’t getting much buzz from local observers. Perhaps Giles will pick from among the other four, but in doing so he’d be shocking the grassroots community. Credit to Kansas, Syracuse, Ohio State and UNLV for hanging in, however, as there’s certainly no harm in trying.

— Rob Harrington

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

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