Stanford Hoops Recruits: 2002 & 2003

It's been a slow and puzzling summer for Stanford fans to follow the current hoops recruiting effort. Targets are more nationally spread out, and the usual filters of grades and talent make the picture even more unclear. Here is a living list of some of the more relevant players, for both 2002 and the emerging 2003 class.

(all recruits below are rising seniors, projected as Class of 2002, unless otherwise noted. Favorite schools are indicated in bold.)

The Elites

Name Position Height Weight Home City High School AAU Team Top Schools
Shavlik Randolph PF/C 6'10" 210 Raleigh, NC Broughton Raleigh Heat Duke, UNC, NCSt,
KU, Florida, Stanford
Shelden Williams PF 6'9" 230 Midwest City, OK Tulsa Victory
Athletes First Duke, UNC, Ill, KU
OK, UK, $C, Mich,
Torin Francis PF 6'9" 220 Marion, MA Tabor Academy BABC UNC, Duke, UVA,
ND, Wake, GT, BC,
MD, UConn, Gtown,
FL - no more Stanford?
Kelenna Azubuike SG/SF 6'6" 197 Tulsa, OK Tulsa Victory
Prep Stars
UNC, Ill, Duke, KU,
OK, Stanford

By "elite," I am talking about the recruits generally ranked and considered as top 25 players. Player ratings move up and down, and there are some gurus who will put so-and-so much higher or lower than the rest of the pack. The ratings themselves are not as important as the general buckets I'm trying to construct. Move Francis down or Bookout (below) up if it floats your boat. The important take-home lesson is that among the so-called elite recruits, Stanford is in a role of pretty serious underdog. In the cases of Shelden Williams and Torin Francis, Stanford is fading and fading fast. You might go so far as to say that the Card is out of the game with these two. Williams may be out because Stanford can't pursue him and his 19 ACT (translates to a sub-1000 SAT). Francis has gotten heavy pressure from UNC this summer, but wants to visit his final group of schools before he decides. As is often the problem at this time of year with an East Coast kid, local or regional unofficial visits are more prevalent. Indeed, Francis has moved away from Stanford and other West Coast schools. I say these two are goners, unless they somehow get to the Farm for some sort of visit soon.

Shavlik Randolph is still very careful to say that Stanford is an important school to him, and he is scheduling a visit at the end of this summer. That visit will be crucial to Monty's chances, so we just have to wait and see. That all being said, the Carolina trio of schools have been longtime favorites for Shav, and still are heavy leaders today. Stanford would be a serious upset.

Kelenna Azubuike has the most optimistic outlook for Stanford of this group, by far. He's an academically oriented kid with a tight, religious family. He's taking his time in evaluating his options, though continually in the context of the NBA. I do not at all believe that he will bolt to the NBA straight from high school, but this could be (along with Shav) the first kid Stanford could really look hard to bring in that could be gonzo after just one year. That aside, this is the one recruit of this bunch where Stanford is actually gaining traction. I believe that Stanford and Kelenna are coming closer together, and Stanford is not in a position significantly trailing other favored schools. (Note that Azubuike has jumped from Athletes First to Prep Stars International)

Top 100s

Name Position Height Weight Home City High School AAU Team Top Schools
Kevin Bookout PF 6'8" 255 Stroud, OK Stroud HS Athletes First OK, OK St, Tenn,
, Ill,
KU, Stanford
Curtis Withers PF 6'7" 210 Charlotte, NC West Charlotte Charlotte Aces/
New Orleans Jazz
Char, Clem, NC St,
Tenn, $C, MD,
Christopher Hunter C 6'11" 210 Gary, IN West Side Bloomington
IU, Pur, UNC, MD,
Mich, Ill, UCLA
no more Stanford?
Rick Cornett PF/C 6'8" 217 Homewood, IL Homewood
Illinois Warriors ND, $C, Ill, KSU,
Mich, Iowa, Wis,
Marq, AZ, Stanford
Bryant Markson PF/SF 6'7" 190 Monrovia, CA Monrovia High Rockfish
(out w/ ACL)
AZ, KU, $C, kal,
ND, Utah, ASU,
Cameron Bennerman SG 6'4" 195 Greensboro, NC Hargrave
Team Carolina Hall, UK, Tenn, UVA,
NC St, Xav, Stanford
Ted Skuchas C 6'11" 230 Germantown, PA Fort Washington Sam Rines Wake, UVA, ND, GT,
Nova, kal, Umass,
Vandy, PSU, Penn,

This group is meant to include the recruits in the next tier, considered top 100 by some people. Similar to the outlook in the prior group, there are several of these recruits where Stanford is fading into the background. Kevin Bookout may be a track guy, or go pro with baseball, or maybe play multiple sports at a school. On top of that, Stanford isn't at or near the top with him. Ricky Cornett has been public in recent weeks with his narrowed list of schools, with Stanford on the outside looking in. What differentiates his situation from that of Bookout, Williams or Francis is that he wants to take 5 visits and is yet to determine who will get that 5th trip. If Stanford can get that final visit, he's back in play. Barring that, the staff will move on. Chris Hunter is a recognizable name as another nationally recruited big man, but I think the interest from both sides has faded. Bryant Markson is a big unknown, since the staff hasn't been able to continue any evaluation this summer (ACL injury). I believe Markson is out of play in the near term, though could come into focus if healthy and producing his senior year. Still, unlikely. Curtis Withers is likely not a high priority right yet, but could become more viable if he can finish strong this summer and play well his senior year. Stanford has decent traction here. Cameron Bennerman is a talented shooting guard with a good head on his shoulders and an aim to study in a computer-enabled field. I think Stanford again has enough traction to make a serious move should their evaluation reach the point of an offer.

Ted Skuchas is the dark horse in this group, buoyed by his #55 national ranking by His dream school has been Duke, and he got a recruiting letter from them his freshman year. But Duke will not be knocking on his door with what they have going in this class. His list is long and relatively open, genuinely including Stanford and Ivies like Penn (3.5 GPA, 1140 SAT). He's likely to squeeze a visit in when he hits the Big Time and Best of Summer tourneys out West. A true center is important to Stanford right now, and the pickings look slim if you scan the above two tables and my estimates of Stanford's chances. Thus, this aspiring CS major is a serious possibility, especially as the recruiting game plays out in the fall. He'll take his time.

Big Men to Watch

Name Position Height Weight Home City High School AAU Team Top Schools
Bernard Coté PF 6'9" 220 Montreal, Quebec St. Lambert/
Grass Roots
GT, ND, KU, Mich St,
Ill, Mich, Vandy, Bama,
Miss St, Stanford
Onye Ibekwe PF 6'6"   Los Angeles, CA Crenshaw H-Squad $C, OR, OR St, Iowa,
Kevin Field PF/C 6'10" 270 Tacoma, WA Wilson High Emerald City
Gonz, Wash, OR, Utah,
OR St, TX, ND, $C,
WSU, Stanford
Kelly Orchard PF/C 6'10" 210 Bountiful, UT Bountiful High Oakland Slam
N Jam
Utah, BYU, KU, OR,
kal, TX, Boise St,
Jason Chappell PF/C 6'9" 220 Worcester, MA Worcester
Wake, OR, Rich, BU,
David, Manh, Stanford
Brandon Bowman SF/PF 6'7" 190 Los Angeles, CA L.A.Westchester Sports Express NM, UVA, Mary,Tulsa,
G'town, $C, ASU, KU,
Kevin Steenberge C 6'10"   Clarksville, MD River Hill Baltimore Select GT, $C, UVA, St Joes,
Deane Lake C 6'10"   Stephens City, VA Sherando Panhandle

This group may not make top 100 lists, but big men are just inherently valued today. These guys project very differently according to varying recruiting gurus and coaches. In other words, pay attention to them. The Stanford staff is quite familiar with the West Coast guys: Kevin Field, Kelly Orchard, Onye Ibekwe and Brandon Bowman. Field has to significantly improve his play, while Orchard is risky to get through Old Union. On the other hand, you have a kid who would absolutely fly through admissions in Jason Chappell (3.75 GPA, 28 ACT). He has grown a lot, which makes him somewhat of an unknown. The Stanford staff knows him though, and is watching. You may remember that they looked at Jason's older brother John. Jason is a better player, with range and solid low post skills. His father, Len Chappell, played for Wake and then the NBA. One to watch.

Ibekwe is raw and developing, and would be very high on Stanford if they decide to step up their interest. I don't have have a good feel for Bowman, but know that Stanford is still looking at him. Kevin Steenberge and Deane Lake are lesser known East Coast bigs who have strong grades (1470 SAT for Lake!), but more to prove on the court. Remember the late emergence of Rob Little last summer as you think about these kids.

Guards/Wings to Watch

Name Position Height Weight Home City High School AAU Team Top Schools
Timothy Drisdom PG/SG 6'2" 190 Downey, CA Calvary Chapel L.A. Rockfish Utah, $C, Miami,
John Winchester SG 6'2" 170 Bayonne, NJ
(now Durham, NC)
Mt. Zion Academy Tim Thomas
Playaz' Gold
Mich St, Hall, Wake,
Tenn, Mary, GT, Mass,
Cincy, Clem, Rut, SJU,
Brandon Lincoln SG 6'5" 185 Portland, OR Jefferson Inner City
UCLA, Zona, UNC,
OR, Stanford
Chet Stachitas SG/SF 6'4" 180 St. Augustine, FL Allen Nease Atlanta Celtics Ivies, ND, UK, Hall,
NC St, Stanford
Dan Grunfeld SF/SG 6'5" 190 Fox Point, WI Nicolett Friends of
Hoop - Black
WI, OH St, IU, Tenn,
UVA, Ivies, Stanford
Brandon Rohe SG 6'2" 185 Capistrano, CA Rancho Santa
Pump N Run OR, OR St, Gonz, Utah,
$C, UCLA, Stanford
Andre Iguodale SF/SG 6'6" 185 Springfield, IL Lanphier Illinois Warriors Zona, BC, Ark, Mary,
Brandon Worthy PG/SG 6'1" 175 San Jose, CA Archbishop Mitty Next Level kal, Temple, UConn,
Gtown, Syr, Cincy,
Mark Pratt SG/SF 6'4"   Modesto, CA Modesto Christian EBO/EA Sports Utah, Santa Clara,
St. Mary's, UOP
Josh Davis PG/SG 6'5"   Sacramento, CA Elk Grove ??? kal, UCLA, Stanford
Zach Martin SG/SF 6'5" 200 Medford, NJ Shawnee ??? Ivies, Tenn, UMass,

This is a deep list, but contains several players with a lot to prove for Stanford to move on them. That subset includes the Brandons (Lincoln, Bowman and Rohe) and Josh Davis. The hurdle for John Winchester and Andre Iguodale is Old Union, with a 910 PSAT and 19 ACT, respectively. If they made marked improvements in those scores, their on-court abilities would merit Monty's attention. Low probabilities, though. Chet Stachitas and Zach Martin are two dark horses you may not know, but have strong grades and Stanford's attention.

Tim Drisdom is the most noteworthy at this moment in time, as he was reported widely this past week to have committed to Utah. The Utes and Rick Majerus are heavy favorites, but Tim made a big point yesterday to dispel the notion that he has committed. If he continues to hold out for his decision, Stanford is one of a few schools with real traction. Next best "to watch" player is Dan Grunfeld, son of former Milwaukee Buck great Ernie Grunfeld. Dan isn't known as a very athletic player, but he's a scorer who has really come on this summer. His pinnacle performance to date might be the opener of the Adidas Big Time in Vegas, where he exploded for 45 of his team's 86 points. Stanford is the leader and would almost assuredly wrap him up if they pull the trigger.

Verbals Elsewhere - players "lost"

Name Position Height Weight Home City High School AAU Team Verbal Commitment
JJ Redick SG 6'4" 185 Roanoke, VA Cave Springs Raleigh Heat Duke
Michael Thompson C 6'11" 255 New Lenox, IL Providence
Illinois Warriors Duke
Matt Walsh SG/SF 6'6" 165 Germantown, PA Fort Washington Raleight Heat Florida
Rashad McCants SF 6'4" 195 New Hampton, NH New Hampton
Charlotte Royals UNC
Lester Abram SG/SF 6'5" 185 Pontiac, MI Pontiac Northern The Family Michigan
Daniel Horton SG 6'3" 185 Cedar Hill, TX Cedar Hill High Texas Blue Chips Michigan
Sean Mallon PF 6'7" 200 Spokane, WA Ferris Brewster Heights
Richard Midgely PG 6'1" 170 Modesto, CA Modesto
EBO/EA Sports kal
Melvin Buckley SG 6'6" 190 South Holland, IL Thornwood Illinois Fire Purdue
Brandon Cameron PG 6'0" 190 Gary, IN Westside HS Bloomington Red Penn State
Josh Rhodes PF 6'6" 235 Santa Cruz, CA Santa Cruz High West Valley Iowa
Donnie McGrath PG/SG 6'2" 180 Westchester, NY John F Kennedy New York Ravens Providence

Not much to say about these kids, other than to wax nostalgically at "what could have been." Losing Redick ultra-early was a shock to the system, but maybe not surprising given that he has grown up a big time Duke fan. He is almost assuredly the best shooter in this entire class, and would have made Stanford's 2002 class a tremendous success all by his lonesome. These recruits were light and heavy Stanford targets, ranging across the spectrum. Sean Mallon is someone without much fanfare, but a significant target who verballed to the Zags abruptly enough to surprise the staff. Note that we haven't hit November yet, so all of these commitments are merely verbal, without any legally binding constraints. Decommits are rare, and not worth probing, but I'll just say that Stanford hasn't necessarily given up on this entire list quite yet.

Class of 2003 - rising juniors

Name Position Height Weight Home City High School AAU Team Top Schools
David Padgett C 6'11"   Reno, NV Reno HS Pump N Run Zona, Duke, UCLA,
Stanford, everbody
Harrison Schaen PF 6'8" 190 Santa Ana, CA Mater Dei Belmont Shore
(done for summer)
$C, UCLA, kal,
Duke, Stanford
Ndudi Ebi PF/C 6'9" 195 Houston, TX Westbury Christian Houston Hoops Duke, UCLA,
Ekene Ibekwe PF/SF 6'9"   Carson, CA Carson H-Squad UNC, UK, $C,
UCLA, Stanford
Omar Wilkes SG 6'2"   Los Angeles, CA Loyola Pump N Run UCLA, UNC, UK,
Duke, Zona, Stanford
Richard Cobbs SG/SF 6'5" 190 Moreno Valley Canyon Springs Inland ???, Stanford

It's tough for Cardinalmaniacs™ to get excited about underclassmen yet to start their junior year in high school, but you should. At least, this year you should. The Stanford staff sure is focused on them. The unique challenge for Stanford lies in the fact that grades are early, and SATs are non-existent for most of these kids. PSATs - maybe. At any rate, the staff has a good bead on some high level hard targets, thankfully including some major West Coast talents. David Padgett is a nationally elite recruit who made a big splash last summer after his freshman year. The West Coast elite programs plus Duke are in the radar early for this Reno center, but expect the Kentucky's of the world to be in there as well. Harrison Schaen is a similar player, though considered just a little less of an elite "lock." Still, this is a kid who is very seriously academic and enterprising kid who has run his own web design business. He has "Stanford" written all over him, and indeed has been vocal about his desire to come to the Farm. A couple of other elite big men include Ekene Ibekwe (younger brother of Onye) and Ndudi Ebi. Both are elite top 40 players with national interest. Ebi is probably going to be the next big real tussle between Stanford and Duke. Given Stanford's great position with these kids, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Monty could get two of the four. If you forecast that, it makes you think about what in the way of big men you bring in for the 2002 class. Tricky stuff. Very tricky.

I have less of a grasp of the guards and wings in this class, but two are Omar Wilkes and Richard Cobbs. Wilkes' father, Jamaal, played for UCLA, and that has the Bruins along with UNC as his early favorites. If you ever read reports on Wilkes by Tracy Pierson on PrepWestHoops or BRO, you'll get rave reviews. Speaks to no end about his on-court IQ.

This class is talent rich regionally and nationally, and will be critically important to the base and future of Stanford basketball. I'll try to share what I learn when I can, but am always open and appreciative of insights, tidbits or relationships others are willing to share with me (regarding any recruit in any class). I can and will keep information absolutely anonymous and/or confidential. You can reach me by email at

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