HSBN: McDonald's Snubs; UM Gets Youngsters

This weeks notebook covers a variety of topics like the McDonald's snubs, Miami's pick up of two youngster, Oregon State's recent success and Tristan Thompson's first game in a Findlay uniform.

USC Gets Another One and Done


You have to give USC credit. Over the past few years they've been able to secure a big time talent in each class.

In 2007 it was O.J. Mayo that Tim Floyd reeled in. Last year it was top 10 prospect DeMar DeRozan. Now the Trojans have one of the nation's top talents in Renardo Sidney, planning to attend USC.

The 6-foot-9, 260-pound big man has had quite a high school career. Since eighth grade he's been known as a big time player, but at times has let his weight slow him down. But there's not questioning his talent and ability.

For a guy his size he can do things that many simply can't. He's mobile, has a number of go-to moves on the block and can face up defenders. Sidney is ranked No. 5 overall and No. 2 on the power forward list.

So in three years, that's three top 10 prospects for Floyd and the Trojans. That's getting it done on the recruiting trail.

With the addition of Sidney, the Trojans 2009 class now has three top 100 prospects. Sidney joins four-star prospect and high school teammate Solomon Hill and four-star talent Noel Johnson. They also have three-star Derrick Williams in the fold.

Thompson Gets First Taste


The top junior in the country, Tristan Thompson, got a small taste of what it's like to play at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep.

Over the weekend in Dallas (Tex.), Findlay took on God's Academy. While fellow Longhorn, Avery Bradley, was the big performer in this one, Thompson scored his first minutes as a Pilot.

In just four minutes of action, Thompson grabbed a rebound and blocked a shot. The Pilots went on to a 74-51 win.

"He's got room to get better that's what is scary," Findlay assistant Todd Simon said recently about Findlay's new acquisition. "Can't wait to work with him more and more."

The Pilots take on Impact Prep Basketball Academy on Friday. Then they'll begin preparing for the National High School Invitational, which runs from April 3-5 in Bethesda (Md.) at Georgetown Prep.

Oregon State Having Success On and Off The Court


For the second week in a row Craig Robinson has picked up an Australian prospect.

Last week it was Angus Brandt, of Lake Forest (Ill.) Academy and this week they scored his AAU teammate Rhys Murphy, of Lee (Maine) Academy.

In just his first year on the job Robinson is already turning the Beavers' program around. His brother-in-law was a major hit this past year and is now the Commander and Chief, and now Robinson is upping his stock in his respective industry.

A year after not getting a win in conference, Oregon State has a chance to finish .500 in the league and have already tallied seven Pac-10 wins with three regular season games to play.

Off the court on the recruiting trail, Robinson is getting it done too. To go with the pick up of four-star Brandt and three-star Murphy, the Beavers have top 100 prospect Roberto Nelson, as well as Joe Burton and Jared Cunningham in the fold for the 2009 class.

McDonald's Game…Who Has Beef?

Every year there are a few guys that have arguments to be included in the McDonald's All-American game. Other than a guy like John Wall, who is the best point guard in the class, but apparently wasn't eligible, there's a few guys that had strong cases.

Of the 24 prospects invited to participate, 19 of them are ranked within Scout.com's top 24, with three not on the voting ballot. The only two prospects on the ballot within Scout.com's top 24 not invited were Tyler Honeycutt and Thomas Robinson.

Honeycutt, a UCLA signee, is a guy that improved immensely over the course of his high school career and the 6-foot-8, 190-pound closed his high school career with a big final summer circuit and a strong senior season.

Much like Honeycutt, Robinson, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound big man, made a move during his final spring and summer. Going from a virtually unheard of prospect in April to a perennial top 25 prospect by most rating services.

Both guys did enough to put themselves in the McDonald's conversation. But neither made it. There are a handful of other guys like Elijah Johnson, Mouphtauo Yarou, Durand Scott and Lorenzo Brown that made cases, but Honeycutt and Robinson have the biggest bones to pick.

Miami Goes Young

The Miami Hurricanes went two-for-two with foreign big men this past weekend.

Word leaked out on Monday that Frank Haith received verbal commitments from Yvan Ngirabakunzi, a sophomore at Piney Woods (Miss.) High, and freshman Ismaila Dauda, of Miami (Fla.) Center of Life Academy.

Ngirabakunzi, a 6-foot-9 combo forward, is apparently a terrific shooter. He averaged 13 points and seven rebounds a game this year for Piney Woods.

Dauda is more of a true low post big man, that stands 6-foot-10. According to Center of Life Academy coach Bernard Wright, Dauda went for 10 points and five rebounds per game this year.


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