Weekly Notes

One Top 50 prospect from the senior class removed his name from the list of best available prospects. Is Demar Derozan really committed to USC and what's shaking with junior Kevin Jones? All this and more in our weekly reflection on the recruiting scene.

NATIONAL (Dave Telep)

On Monday,'s 33rd ranked prospect Alex Legion, was released from his letter of intent with Michigan. By Wednesday, the 6-foot-4 Legion had already set up official visits with Kentucky and Connecticut. Kansas and Michigan scrambled to remain in the mix for his services.

By getting himself out of his letter of intent, Legion added his name to a short list of available Top 50 talent. He joined Patrick Patterson (No. 11), Anthony McClain (41) and Jai Lucas (46).

While Patterson appears no closer than he was last week to a decision and ready to wait it out until mid-May, Lucas returned home from a weekend visit to Florida. As expected, no new news followed his arrival in his home of Bellaire, Tex.

At this stage, Lucas and Patterson seem more content than rushed and really they hold all the cards. As the best available players, elite colleges have been put in the uncomfortable position of working off a player's timetable.

As swiftly as Legion's addition to the list of top availables occurred, a mid-week subtraction came at the hands of Cincinnati. The Bearcats, under the cover of a mid-week visit, slipped McClain into town and wouldn't allow him to leave without committing.

According to Trevor Brown, one of the best high school coaches in the country when it comes to nurturing along young big men, the National Christian product is now property of the Bearcats.

So, after cranking up the number of available Top 50 players to 4 to begin the week, we end the same period with just 3.

The weekend is unlikely to yield another pledge – unless UK locks down Legion – as most of the schools will dispatch coaches to either Houston or Pittsburgh – the locales of the major traveling team events on tap the next few days.

WEST COAST (Greg Hicks)

The Demar DeRozan recruiting saga may not be quite done yet after all. The 6-foot-6 junior small forward from Compton High in Compton, Calif., told's Jeff Goodman last week that he had committed to USC. However, DeRozan's high school coach, Tony Thomas, told the Los Angeles Times yesterday that DeRozan has not given a verbal commitment to USC.

The spring is always a time when college coaches are scrambling trying to fill roster spots that open up unexpectedly and this year is no different. One player that has drawn a lot of attention in the last couple weeks is Luis Barraza, a 6-foot-3 senior shooting guard from Trevor Browne High in Phoenix, Ariz. Barraza was very impressive at the recent Las Vegas Easter Classic, knocking down shots from deep and showing an ability to create his own shot.

Michael Harthun, a 6-foot-3 junior point guard from South Medford High in Medford, Ore., is one of the top point guards in the West Coast class of 2008. Harthun had a terrific junior season and a number of Pac-10 programs have been expressing interest. We received word recently from Harthun's club coach, Glenn Johannes, that Harthun has been offered a scholarship by Oregon State. Pepperdine, Washington State and Montana have also offered the talented guard.

EAST COAST (Mike Sullivan)

While coaching changes bogged down many basketball programs during the spring recruiting season, junior Kevin Jones of Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, N.Y., continues to work on his list of schools. Jones, considered one of the better players in the Northeast, had received some national attention when it was reported by that he had landed a scholarship offer from Kentucky.

As most fans know, Kentucky has replaced Tubby Smith with Billy Gillispie. And its obvious Gillispie has his list of future targets as well. Whether Jones is on that list remains to be seen. But Kevin's brother Gerard gave us an update on his younger sibling's recruiting process. "He hasn't closed the door on anyone," Gerard said. "He's still wide open."

There are already a pile of schools that have offered Jones, including the schools in the New York area. And there is a national flavor to his list as well with offers from UNLV, Indiana, Louisville, and Kentucky. "There are many offers," Gerard said.

"Kevin has taken unofficial visits to UMASS, Syracuse, Connecticut, Seton Hall, St. Joe's, and Rutgers," Gerard said. "They are all being considered. Kevin may not go to as many tournaments (this spring and summer) to work on his individual skills," Gerard said.

Reporter Brian Towey of's high school New York website reported that Zamal Dixon is receiving heavy recruiting interest late in his process. Dixon was a big part of the Boys & Girls playoff run, a run that helped the Kangaroos to the final against Lincoln High School. Lincoln won the title again this season.

But Dixon had a terrific senior year. The 6-foot-1 guard took an official visit to the University of Houston. He made the trip to Houston directly from New Orleans. He previously had visited Tulane officially as well. Nixon told the high school New York website: "I've visited Fairfield, Wichita State, Tulane, and Houston. Wichita State isn't in the picture anymore, because the coaching staff went to Texas A&M. It's pretty much going to come down to Fairfield, Tulane, and Houston. I'm pretty much set with those schools."

Over the next few years Taran Buie will be evaluated by many college basketball programs. And some pretty big AAU events are on hand for Buie to show his skills. It was recently that Buie led the Albany City Rocks to the 15 and under title at the Boo Williams AAU event held in the state of Virginia. "He was great," said Albany City Rocks program director Jim Hart. "He scored 29 points in the championship game to help us win it."

Buie, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound guard from Bishop Maginn High School in Albany, New York, is finishing up his freshman year. He is a member of the 2010 class. "He is very athletic," said Hart. "And he can explode to the basket. He's going to be a high division one player on the college level."

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