USA TODAY

March 2016 AAC Basketball Recruiting Recap

The late signing period opens in exactly two weeks, and most American Conference teams are still looking to fill a spot in their 2016 class. Two teams are reevaluating their fall signees and starting over after making coaching changes. Two other AAC teams have already landed a commitment for 2017. Here’s a look at the February and March recruiting activity around AAC basketball.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Signees:

Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy three-star wing Lawson Korita

Blinn College (Texas) wing Corey Henderson

Marietta (Ga.) Covenant Christian power forward Martins Igbanu

South Kent (Conn.) three-star wing Travis Atson

Verbal commitments: 

2016 College of Southern Idaho wing Eugene Artison committed Dec. 13).

2016 Australian Institute of Sport center Will Magnay (committed Jan. 28).

2016 Abbeville (S.C.) guard Joseph Battle (committed February 26).

2016 Kilgore College (Texas) wingJaleel Wheeler (committed March 24).

Recent activity: Artison, a Seattle, Wash. native and originally a Scout three-star out of high school, redshirted his only season at Fresno State (2014-15) and will have three years of eligibility left. Battle was named Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball, both for South Carolina, and won a state title his senior season. Wheeler is originally from New Jersey and will have two years of eligibility left. He averaged 22.3 points per game and shot 40 percent from three-point territory. If all four committed players sign, Tulsa is at the 13-scholarship limit barring further attrition. In addition to the potential eight new players, forward Junior Etou will be eligible after sitting out 2014-15 after his transfer from Rutgers. He will have two years remaining.

SMU Mustangs

Signees:

Oklahoma City Southeast three-star point guard Dashawn McDowell

Australian Institute of Sport three-star point guard Tom Wilson

Verbal commitments:

2016 Australian Institute of Sport four-star power forward Harry Froling (committed Jan. 25)

2016 Daytona Beach (Fla.) DME Academy four-star center Ted Kapita (committed Feb. 19)

Recent activity: Froling was named to the World Team for the April 9 Nike Hoops Summit. Kapita was originally a top-50 player in the 2015 class and a former Arkansas signee. SMU is still looking for another big man and possibly another point guard to finish the class. Montverde Prep (Fla.) four-star center Bruno Fernando (No. 100 overall) is the top target. SMU offered Allegheny College (Md.) point guard Jonathan Mulmore last week. Georgetown, Seton Hall, Delaware and Western Kentucky are among his other offers. He is originally from New Orleans and reportedly visited Georgetown earlier this month. SMU also offered Ranger College (Texas) guard Kris Clyburn on March 31. He also has offers from SMU, Detroit, Boise State, Toledo and Utah State and will have three years left.

Connecticut Huskies

Signees:

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)

Tampa Preparatory (Fla.) five-star power forward Juwan Durham (No. 27 overall)

Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep four-star wing Vance Jackson (No. 63 overall)

Verbal commitments:

2017 Miami Senior four-star center Zach Brown (No. 30 overall, committed Jan. 20).

Recent activity: With the transfer of Sam Cassell Jr., the Huskies have two more spots and just extended a offers to a trio of 2016 players: the Brewster Academy (N.H.) duo of four-star center Taurean Thompson (No. 90 overall) and three-star wing Alpha Diallo, plus Eastern Florida College guard C.J. Jackson. Gilbert played in Wednesday's McDonald's All-America game.

Central Florida Knights

Signees:

University School of Jackson (Tenn.) three-star small forward Clayton Hughes

Columbia City (Ind.) three-star hybrid forward Brachen Hazen

Richmond (Va.) John Marshall combo guard Jeremy Sheppard

Verbal commitments: None.

Recent activity: The Knights hired former Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins as head coach on March 22. None of the three signees has said they will ask for their release or said they will definitely stay. Dawkins met with Hughes and Hazen after an introductory presser, per the Orlando Sentinel. Dawkins hired former USC assistant coach Kevin Norris as his lead assistant at UCF. Norris is known for his strong ties to the Washington, D.C/Baltimore area. The Knights are currently at 13 scholarships.

South Florida Bulls

Signees:

Oldsmar Christian (Fla.) combo forward Troy Baxter

Orlando (Fla.) West Oaks Academy point guard Andres Feliz

Brewster Academy (N.H.) three-star wing Malik Fitts

Verbal commitments: None.

Recent activity: Redshirt sophomore point guard and former Maryland top-50 recruit Roddy Peters was dismissed on Wednesday. The Bulls are at 13 scholarships. Feliz was among 12 players chosen for the Nike Hoop Summit’s World Team.

Temple Owls

Signees:

Rochester (N.Y.) Bishop Kearney four-star combo guard Quinton Rose

Hyattsville (Md.) DeMantha Catholic three-star point guard Alani Moore

Jackson (Miss.) Callaway C Damion Moore

Verbal commitments: None.

Recent activity: The Owls have two spots left for 2016. Head coach Fran Dunphy watched Scotland (Pa.) big man Cheickna Dembele earlier this week. Danish forward Marinus Mouboe drew a lot of attention from Temple over the summer and is still available.

Tulane Green Wave

Signees:

Reno (Nev.) International Prep power forward Maxwell Starwood

Reedley (Calif.) Immanuel three-star point guard Colin Slater

San Diego Mission Bay three-star point guard Justin Moore

Verbal commitments: None.

Recent activity: Tulane hired former NBA head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. to the same position on March 28. None of the three signees has stated an intention to ask for a release or stay. Tulane lost one of its best players from last season when sophomore forward Dylan Osetkowski announced he will transfer earlier in March. The Green Wave has two spots for 2016.

East Carolina Pirates

Signees:

Beacon (N.Y.) John F. Kennedy wing Elijah Hughes

Little Rock (Ark.) Southwest Christian point guard Shawn Williams

Verbal commitments:

2016 Westlake (Ga.) wing Raquan Wilkins (committed March 29)

Recent activity: Three players will transfer from the program: junior guard Charles Foster, sophomore point guard Lance Tejada and sophomore wing Grant Bryant. Wilkins is a state title winner and also won the 2015 EYBL Peach Jam on the Georgia Stars. The Pirates still have three spots left.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Signees:

Burlington (N.J.) Life Center Academy three-star power forward Nysier Brooks

Wilmington (Ohio) four-star wing Jarron Cumberland (No. 77 overall)

Verbal commitments: None.

Recent activity: After nearly taking the UNLV job, Mick Cronin opted to remain the head coach at Cincinnati. The Bearcats have three spots left. In addition to their two signees, center Kyle Washington will be eligible next year after transferring from N.C. State and sitting out 2015-16.

Memphis Tigers

Signees:

Southwest Tennessee C.C. forward Jimario Rivers

Chicago Morgan Park Academy four-star point guard Charlie Moore (No. 65 overall)

Verbal commitments:

2017 Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview guard Khalil Garland (committed March 1)

Recent activity: Once again, Memphis has been hit hard with transfers. Freshman guards Dante Scott and Randall Broddie, plus junior guard Avery Woodson, all are leaving the program. Broddie was a four-star signee in 2015 and Woodson was the team’s only player to shoot above 35 percent on three-pointers. Memphis’ roster shows only eight scholarship players for 2016-17.

Houston Cougars

Signees:

Round Rock (Texas) McNeil shooting guard Armoni Brooks

Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa C.C. center Valentine Sangoyomi

Verbal commitments: None.

Recent activity: St. Stephens Episcopal (Texas) five-star center Jarrett Allen is still considering Houston and he’s the dream land for the Cougars. Houston offered Ranger College (Texas) guard Kris Clyburn, joining SMU as his two AAC offers. North Idaho College guard Braian Angola-Rodas, who was named the national junior college player of the week in November and has a Houston offer, is still available. Houston’s roster shows it has room for all three if it wants them.


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