THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER
It's almost two weeks into the April recruiting season and several of the Big East teams have signed players for the up coming season.
Locally Rutgers has signed 6'4" Canadian All Star Antwi Atuahene. This athletic point from Henry Carr High School is quick on quick and should be able to be a significant contributor during his first semester on campus. His AAU coach, Bo Russell, compares him favorably to Gary Payton. Those are big shoes to fill and only time will tell if the assessment is true or hype.
In other Henry Carr news, Theo Davis a rising junior will allegedly transfer to none other than St. Patrick's high school of Elizabeth. Davis is rated as the best junior in Canada.
In other Rutgers news an informed source told me that an assistant coach visited Sanford, Delaware, junior forward, Joe Dyson, last week. I was also informed that Rutgers has a lot of interest in a junior insider from Southern Jersey. My source would not confirm the individual for me but putting the pieces together, I assume he plays the power forward for St. Augustine High School.
Rutgers is still in the hunt for Mookie Watkins and there has been no new information about that situation. Rutgers has also sent assistants to several areas checking on insiders for the 2003-2004. The staff is allegedly in contact with several players from Eastern Europe, as well as, Junior College and prep school centers. Byron Joynes of Oak Hill Academy was on campus this weekend and if things work out with the visit expect another signature on the dotted line.
Two of the best foreign centers are getting lots of Big Time looks this spring. Darius Silinkis a seven-foot Lithuanian is allegedly fully eligible and has traveled to the USA to try and find a team to play for this fall. The other center is 7'1" Canadian transplant, Ivan Chiriave. This highly publicized banger plays for St. Thomas Aquinas, Toronto, Canada.
Back to the Big East, Seton Hall has signed Manni Messy. This African by way of Canada spent his final high school season at St. Benedict's but was unable to compete due to a leg injury. Last year he signed on with Fordham but was academically ineligible. This combination forward is a player and will be a good addition for Coach Orr and the Pirates. He had expressed interest in attending Rutgers but there were no scholarships available for his position.
The Red Storm continued in their quest for inside help. In the early period Mike Jarvis had signed insiders from New York, Minnesota and the Far West and this time he went into the Great State of Texas. The Storm locked up fifth year combo forward Tyler Jones from Cleveland Heritage Christian. This high school has two other insiders that have signed on with major D I powers this year.
The Johnnies roster for next year has six returnees and one red shirt, Showtime Hill. With the defection of backup point, Tristan Smith, swingman Tim Doyle and small forward, Eric King, the Johnnies will have to rebuild their perimeter. The only experienced scholarship guard on the squad is Elijah Ingram. The inside returnees are seniors Kyle Cuffe, Mohamed Diakite, Curt Johnson, Grady Reynolds and Willie Shaw.
Down in Miami there have been coming and going on the roster. When Leonard Harden left Junior College, his spot on the roster was given to Anthony King of Durham Southern, North Carolina. King had some ACC looks but decided to take his 6'8" frame to sunny Miami. He averaged 20 points per game and 13 rebounds this year.
New Virginia Tech coach, Seth Greenberg, immediately used his Florida connection to bring in Zabian Dowdell. Dowdell is a 6'2" combination guard that had been recruited by Greenberg while he was at Southern Florida.
Connecticut continues to look to fill out its roster and had another Australian visit. Ryan Thompson a 6'7" combination forward from Australia was allegedly on the Storrs campus this past week. Ryan played at Western Nebraska Community College this year.
Word out of Pittsburgh is that Mark Mc Carroll a rising fourth year junior may not return for this year. Should this occur, his roster position will most likely be given to a backup point guard.
Finally, former Oregon State guard and Rutgers recruit Floyd North has decided to finish out his last two years at University of San Diego. Look for this guy to make a run at a career in major league baseball.
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC