September 2016 AAC Hoops Recruiting Roundup

Patrick breaks down the current state of AAC Hoops recruiting in his September roundup.

Official visit season is in full swing, and with official visits come commitments. The American Athletic Conference had a strong September, with 12 commits. Every team but Memphis (which suffered class attrition this month) has at least one commit, and every team but Memphis and SMU has at least two commits. Sixty-six members of the Scout top 100 have made their college choices already, 20 of which came in September. Additionally, 18 of Scout’s 24 unranked four-stars have committed (updated 9/30 12:30 p.m). Here’s where the AAC stands with commits, recent offers and some upcoming visits.


Tulsa: six commits

Older commits: Germantown (Tenn.) three-star point guard Darrell Brown Jr., Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy wing Lawson Korita, Garden City CC (Kan.) shooting guard Jabar Ray, Blinn College (Texas) wing Corey Henderson Jr.,

September roundup: Tulsa didn’t slow down, adding two more commits in a span of four days. Marietta (Ga.) Covenant Christian power forward Martins Igbanu committed on Sept. 16 after visiting Tulsa earlier in the month. Cincinnati, Georgia State, Iowa State, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Yale, Princeton, South Florida, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State were among his other offers. Tulsa then landed a commitment from South Kent (Conn.) three-star wing Travis Atson (above) at the end of his official.

Commit spotlight: Travis Atson. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound wing is a scorer first and position-versatile. He saw his stock climb at the Nike Peach Jam, where he averaged 15 points per game and got to the foul line nearly six times per game for the PSA Cardinals. Atson chose the Golden Hurricane over USCB and DePaul but also had offers from Memphis, St. Bonaventure, Boston University, Fordham, Duquesne and Iona.

Other 2016 offers/targets: Tulsa can’t land everyone. Brewster Academy (N.H.) shooting guard C.J. Keyser committed to Wichita State shortly after getting a Tulsa offer. Snellville (Ga.) Shiloh wing Josh Okogie had Tulsa in his top four but has not scheduled a visit. Junior college standout power forward Arlando Cook (Connors State College, Okla.) committed to Nevada. Tulsa would do well to land another big man to pair with Igbanu. Four names I think Tulsa will continue to monitor are College of Southern Idaho power forward Eugene Artison, Red Oak (Texas) forward/center Adrean Johnson, Victory Rock Prep (Fla.) center Gorjok Gak and Dothan (Ala.) power forward Kevin Morris. All have offers and Morris will officially visit on Oct. 2, per Hoopseen.com’s Corey Evans. Tulsa has space for two more, and two of the four big men would be a great finish.


Connecticut: three commits

Older commits: Woodstock Academy (Conn.) three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra, Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert (No. 38 overall in top 100 and above), Tampa Preparatory (Fla.) five-star power forward Juwan Durham (No. 27 overall).

September roundup: Connecticut did not add any commits in September.

Other 2016 offers/targets: Wenyen Gabriel remains a big target for the Huskies. They visited Scout’s 10th-ranked overall player last week and will host him for an official visit on Oct. 2. Connecticut saw two targets commit elsewhere: Trenton (N.J.) Central wing Myles Powell and Philadelphia Friends Central small forward DeAndre Hunter committed to Seton Hall and Virginia, respectively. Both are four-star prospects. Lastly, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei hybrid forward Vance Jackson Jr. took an official to Connecticut on Sept. 25. Jackson’s former high school teammate is Huskies small forward Daniel Hamilton. Jackson and a wing would round out the class nicely.


UCF: three commits

Older commits: None.

September roundup: The Knights went from zero to three commits in 17 days. University School of Jackson (Tenn.) three-star small forward Clayton Hughes (above) popped on Sept. 10. Columbia City (Ind.) three-star hybrid forward Brachen Hazen followed on Sept. 23. Four days later, Richmond (Va.) John Marshall combo guard Jeremy Sheppard committed.

Commit spotlight: Brachen Hazen. He’s a tweener forward at 6-7 and 195 pounds, but can play the three or the four well. He’s a pick-and-pop type with a solid mid-range jumper but also is tough in the paint, grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game this spring and summer for the Spiece Indy Heat. Hazen took his official in early September and picked the Knights over Maryland, Creighton, Clemson, Richmond, Bradley, St. Joe’s, Utah State, Illinois State, Valparaiso and Ball State.

2016 offers/targets: With big men Staphon Blair and Shaheed Davis in their final season, a true post player would be a nice finish to the class. The top target looks to be Montverde Academy (Fla.) center Bruno Fernando, who was recently elevated to a four-star and into the top 100 (No. 100). He took an official the same weekend as Hughes and Hazen. UCF just offered Sagemont (Fla.) power forward Nik Popovic too, so he’s a likely backup option. He’s not a post player, but Delray Beach (Fla.) Elev8 Sports Institute wing A.J. Wilson has been a target for while too.


USF: three commits (update Sept. 30 2:45 p.m.)

Older commits: Tallahassee (Fla.) The Rock School combo forward Troy Baxter (above and below) and Orlando (Fla.) West Oaks Academy point guard Andres Feliz

September roundup: South Florida landed Brewster Academy (N.H.) three-star wing Malik Fitts on Sept. 29 following an official visit. A California native, Fitts is a big-bodied wing at 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds. He's a dependable shooter (which the Bulls needed in this class) but also explosive in transition and can get to the rim. Fitts was originally a class of 2015 recruit from La Verne (Calif.) Damien, but opted to reclassify to 2016 and go to Brewster. SNYtv's Adam Zagoria said he also considered Bradley, New Mexico and Washington State.

Other 2016 offers/targets: The Bulls targeted Tampa Catholic (Fla.) point guard Thomas Dziagwa, who took an official to the school but committed to Oklahoma State following an official there. His high-level shooting ability would have been valuable, even with Fitts.


Cincinnati: two commits

Older commits: Burlington (N.J.) Life Center Academy three-star power forward Nysier Brooks (above) and Wilmington (Ohio) four-star wing Jarron Cumberland (No. 77 overall).

September roundup: Cincinnati did not add any commits in September.

Other 2016 offers/targets: A couple backcourt options committed elsewhere. Richmond (Va.) George Wythe point guard Maliek White was a big target and would have been a perfect fit for Cincinnati, but he committed to Providence. Williamsburg Christian Academy (Va.) combo guard Xavier Green committed to Old Dominion. The backcourt is the area of need for the Bearcats now. Two names to monitor are Manahssett (N.Y.) St. Mary’s point guard Devonte Green (below) and Hutchinson C.C. (Kan.) wing Bashir Ahmed. Green is San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green’s brother.


East Carolina: two commits

Older commits: Beacon (N.Y.) John F. Kennedy wing Elijah Hughes (above)

September roundup: East Carolina struck after three quiet months when Little Rock (Ark.) Southwest Christian point guard Shawn Williams committed on Sept. 11, a few days after his official visit to the school. The 6-foot-1 Williams chose the Pirates over Arizona State, Rhode Island, Tulsa, Louisiana Tech, TCU and Louisiana-Monroe. He’s a scorer first, but sometimes is a bit too trigger-happy and a volume scorer. He averaged 13.3 points per game for the Memphis Magic on the adidas Gauntlet, but took more shots (162) than he scored points (160).

Other 2016 offers/targets: The class needs a big man or two. The Pirates are involved with Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook power forward Isaiah Whaley, although another offered player, Millwood (Va.) power forward J.J. Matthews, committed to Towson. Other than Whaley, there aren’t a lot of other offers out there.


Houston: two commits

Older commits: Round Rock (Texas) McNeil shooting guard Armoni Brooks (above)

September roundup: Houston added some needed size when Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa C.C. center Valentine Sangoyomi committed on Sept. 9. A native of Nigeria, Sangoyomi held offers from Kansas State, Mississippi State, Rhode Island and Middle Tennessee State. The 6-foot-10, 265-pound bruiser averaged 5.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season. He committed Sept. 9, a few days after his official visit.

Other 2016 offers/targets: It’s still mostly quiet for the Cougars. One offered player went elsewhere: Dacula (Ga.) wing Kevon Tucker committed to Wofford. Here are some of the same names I listed as possibilities last month: Reserve (La.) East Saint John wing Troy Green, Reserve (La.) Riverside Academy wing Malik Crowfield, Klein Forest (Texas) power forward DeAndre Williams, Campti (La.) power forward Adrio Bailey.


Temple: two commits

Older commits: Rochester (N.Y.) Bishop Kearney four-star combo guard Quinton Rose (above)

September roundup: Temple got more backcourt help when Hyattsville (Md.) Friendship Academy point guard Alani Moore committed Sept. 13. He had a top four of Temple, Seton Hall, Massachusetts and Georgia Tech but committed to the Owls after visiting again the week after his Temple official visit in late August.

Other 2016 offers/targets: Getting some big men is the priority now, and Temple is in the running for two good ones: Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony four-star power forward Taurean Thompson (No. 90 overall and above) and Putnam Science Academy (Conn.) four-star center Sedee Keita both have visited Temple unofficially. Keita kept the Owls in his top six. They missed on one when Harrells Christian Academy (N.C.) power forward Quate McKinzie committed to Buffalo. Danish forward/center Marinus Mouboe is also a possibility.


Tulane: two commits

Older commits: Reno (Nev.) International Prep power forward Maxwell Starwood (former 2015 signee).

September roundup: Tulane snapped a long commit-less streak by landing Reedley (Calif.) Immanuel three-star point guard Colin Slater on Sept. 12. Slater is a New Orleans native who averaged 20.8 points and 4.8 assists for Immanuel during his junior season. He’s 6-foot and 175 pounds and also held offers from Fresno State, UCSB, Hawaii, Pacific, Tulsa, Nevada, Brown, Lehigh and Cal Poly.

Other 2016 offers/targets: Tulane gained another spot when 2015 signee Kipper Nichols was granted his release. Nichols was a talented wing from Ohio and hurts the team’s depth on the perimeter. A perimeter player is a need, even if Nichols had stayed. Two longtime targets, New Orleans McDonogh 35 four-star point guard DeJon Jarreau (No. 67 overall and above) and teammate Bryson Gresham, cut Tulane in August but committed to Massachusetts on Sept. 28. A couple wing players to watch are Lancaster (Texas) wing Jacolby Pemberton and Reserve (La.) East Saint John’s wing Troy Green.


SMU: one commit

Older commits: Oklahoma City Southeast point guard Dashawn McDowell (above)

September roundup: SMU did not land and commits after McDowell committed Sept. 4.

Other 2016 offers/targets (update Sept. 30 3:00 p.m.): Things got stranger for SMU, with a lot of names coming off the board and a couple new ones coming on to it. Lena (La.) Northwood three-star center Mike Layssard Jr. was set to officially visit Oct. 2-4, but committed to Rhode Island on a visit. A couple other notable names came off the board: Little Rock (Ark.) Southwest Christian power forward Eric Curry (No. 98 overall, Minnesota. SMU canceled his visit), Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler power forward Romello White (No. 83, Georgia Tech). And all that was before the NCAA slapped SMU with scholarship reductions and a postseason ban. The Mustangs were going to host Taurean Thompson for an official Oct. 2, but that has been postponed. Four-star Australian power forward Harry Froling told PonyStampede he’d like to visit at some point. With the sanctions still fresh, SMU's recruiting focus is uncertain.


Memphis: zero commits

Older commits: none

September roundup: College of Southern Idaho wing Ar’mond Davis committed on Sept. 5, but strangely backed out of his pledge just five days later. Two weeks later, he committed to Alabama after an official visit.

2016 offers/targets: Davis was a nice addition for Memphis, but it was short-lived. Fortunately, the Tigers are still in on a lot of talented players. Arlington (Tenn.) Bolton four-star point guard and major target Jaylen Fisher (No. 81 overall, above and below) officially visited Sept. 24. Four-star (79th overall) Starkville (Miss.) combo guard Tyson Carter visited Sept. 18. Chicago Morgan Park four-star point guard Charlie Moore (No. 62 overall) will visit Oct. 2. One offered player went elsewhere: Four-star Milwaukee (Wisc.) Washington point guard Tejon Lucas committed to Illinois. Despite a seven-man 2015 class, Memphis has space for five players in 2016.


Pony Stampede Top Stories