News and Notes
Oklahoma State appears to have a commitment from Coast To Coast point guard Julian Richardson. The Miami (FL) Monsignor Pace guard made a visit to Eddie Sutton's program last weekend. The Cowboys made a serious push to land Richardson once they learned that Bryan Hopkins had committed to Southern Methodist.
Which brings us to our next point.
Despite last week's public comment from Hopkins that his commitment to SMU was solid, Hopkins has since reneged. The stir about Hopkins actually rolled through basketball offices over the weekend as schools never wavered in their recruitment of Hopkins and continued to turn the heat up. Now, Hopkins says he's considering Texas and SMU.
But, according to our sources close to the situation, Texas is now the team to beat and could wind up with a commitment from Hopkins as early as Tuesday. Texas had been recruiting Hopkins and power forward Brad Buckman exclusively since July.
Southern Methodist did a tremendous job in recruiting Hopkins and kind of put a charge into the college basketball scene when they pulled off last week's commitment coup. Then, the bad news came. Hopkins was still listening to various schools, namely Texas, and it became clear over the weekend that the chance existed he could be re-opening his recruitment.
Down in Raleigh, the Wolfpack will play host to Burlington (NC) Williams center Adam Simons this weekend. His visit starts Thursday and will be in town for the Pack's football game. Simons has a nice pedigree. His father is the head coach at Elon. His stepmother is the women's basketball head coach at Duke.
The word out of the Sooner State is that Kelvin Sampson's team could be on the verge of landing a commitment from Top 25 swingman Kelenna Azubuike. This one actually comes out of nowhere since Kelenna hasn't begun taking his official visits yet, which only fuels the speculation that Oklahoma will be the choice. We'll know the outcome of this one later in the week.
In other Coast To Coast news, Arkansas apparently had two CTC forwards on campus last weekend. Rashard Sullivan and Brandon Tobias both made visits to Fayetteville. We also incorrectly reported that Jonathan Modica was on his official visit but that was inaccurate. Modica was indeed at Arkansas but it was an unofficial trip. Modica is making his official visit during Midnight Madness.
Robert Hite visited Miami-FL last weekend though he hasn't committed, Hite conceded that Miami was in the lead for his services at this point. But, and it's a big but, he hasn't visited any other schools yet so he has little to compare the Hurricanes to.
The Memphis Tigers hosted Alex Carmona on a visit last weekend and don't be surprised if the Tigers wrap this one up by the end of the week. John Calipari has considered ties to Carmona and Puerto Rico for that matter from his days at UMass.
Duke now has five commitments, the maximum allowable under NCAA rules. However, there is room in Durham for Shavlik Randolph but it comes at a price for one prospect. Should Randolph select the Blue Devils, Lee Melchionni would pay his own way for a year at Duke, thus allowing the Blue Devils to effectively circumvent the ridiculous "5/8" rule and legally bring in six recruits next season.
We once wrote about combo guard Curtis Cross from Cincinatti and his quest for a junior college. Well, Cross is enrolled at Allegany JC in Cumberland, Md. He'll spend two years there and when he's ready to come out, Virginia Tech will have the upper hand in his recruitment.
With all of the point guards committing in recent weeks hasn't it been a little quiet on the Elijah Ingram and Jarrett Jack fronts? Sure it has. Jack is down to Michigan State and Georgia Tech. Ingram, though he hasn't said it publicly, is said to be a strong St. John's lean.
Speaking of quiet, soon Jason Fraser is going to begin his official visit tour. We offer this for speculation. Jay Wright has hit the daily double with New Yorkers Allen Ray and Curtis Sumpter. Remember when Fraser and Sumpter said they always wanted to attend the same school? Well, that remains a possibility especially since Fraser really has the hots for Wright who coached Hofstra to back-to-back America East titles the last two seasons. Don't sleep on the Wildcats here as they attempt to pull off a super class with a Big Apple flavor.