Notebook: Down Under Wonder

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

Humphries opens eyes

While most of the eyeballs in this country were focused on Team USA during the FIBA U-17 World Championships, the player I was most intrigued with was Isaac Humphries out of Australia.

Humphries will soon be in this country at La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere, and Humphries opened eyes not only from people in the high school community, but of the NBA Scouts out there as well.

Humphries is said to be a legit 6-foot-11 and moves better than most would think given his body type. He blocks shots with sheer size and has tremendous hands along with a solid scoring touch. That combination makes Humphries one of the more intriguing prospects who will enter the class of 2016.

Recruiting wise, Humphries says that he intends to go to college in the United States. Schools from all over such as Arizona, Kansas, Indiana, Notre Dame, New Mexico, and a whole host of others have already reached out to Humphries, who is just now beginning to take a look at things on the recruiting trail.

What direction his recruitment goes in is completely unknown right now, but there is no doubt he will be highly sought after given his play in Dubai.

— Brian Snow

Breaking down Baylor commit

As we reported on Monday, Baylor scored a commitment from 6-foot-5, 175-pound Salt Lake City (Utah) Olympus combo guard Jake Lindsey.

The 2015 prospect is a versatile player that Scott Drew will be able to use in multiple ways, on and off the ball.

The son of Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey - who played for Baylor - it's no surprise that Jake knows how to play.

While Lindsey isn't a great athlete and will probably be better suited to defend the two or three at the next level, offensively he has a high basketball IQ and is a talented passer who does a good job making his teammates better, so he's capable of running the point.

Lindsey isn't explosive but uses his handle and feel to elude defenders and create for others. He's a capable shooter, especially from three and is more efficient off the catch, although it's a bit of a set shot. He also has a floater in his arsenal.

Due to his ability to score along with the talent to run an offense, Lindsey will be able to play both point guard and on the wing in college.

Lindsey is a smart player who usually doesn't try to do a ton on the court that he's not capable of. He's not necessarily an extremely high upside guy, but he does have a good floor and is a safe bet to be an effective college player and someone who helps his team win.

— Josh Gershon

No. 1 junior to set up visits

With the rigors of July travel, USA Basketball and Elite 24, Jayson Tatum, a standout at St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade, hasn’t been able to take any college visits lately.

But Tatum would like to change that in the near future.

Tatum's summer reinforced his status as the top dog

“I’m looking to visit Arizona, Duke, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio State,” Tatum told following the Elite 24 game last Saturday. “Basically all the schools I haven’t visited yet.”

“As soon as I get back I’m going to talk about when I’m going to take visits,” he added.

Tatum,’s top ranked player in the 2016 class, has yet to set up any dates for those trips.

Among the other schools involved with Tatum’s recruitment are Kentucky, Illinois, St. Louis, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan State, Missouri, Memphis, N.C. State and UCLA.

— Evan Daniels

Towers not leaning, and definitely not committing

What's up with the Class of 2015 centers? Likely the greatest strength of the widely maligned senior class, the nation's best centers generally have not been forthcoming with their college decisions.

Two primary reasons explain why: 1) They hold extraordinary value to college coaches generally; 2) They're relatively more gifted than players at other positions in this class.

At least at the top. Only two of our top 10 centers have committed — No. 5 center Chase Jeter (Duke), and No. 7 Tyler Davis (Texas A&M) — a contrast from the other positions. Five of the top 10 point guards and top 10 power forwards have issued pledges, and already six of the top 10 shooting guards and small forwards have announced their choices.

Small sample size caveats obviously apply, but let's face it: The guys at the top tend to be the difference makers in college basketball. With eight of the top 10 post anchors still on the open market, we're guaranteed a wild fall (and perhaps spring).

The nature of the recruitments adds further intrigue. There's a great deal of overlap involving those at the top, as Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Connecticut are among those drawing consideration from multiple players in that elite range.

Should be fun … except for those that strike out.

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

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