Monday, September 28, 2009
12 @ 12: Weekend randomness
Whoa, what a weekend for recruiting news. That is the focus of today’s 12 @ 12.
1. Kyrie Irving will announce very soon (if he hasn’t already) that he will be a Duke Blue Devil. In fact, I’ve had several people tell me that he committed to Coach K during his visit to the ACC. Word as of Monday morning is that Irving could still visit Texas A&M. Regardless, the multiple sources that I’ve talked to say Irving to Duke is a done deal. That isn’t a shocker at all. The only thing surprising that he took just one official visit. I thought he’d visit more places first. Ten seconds into talking to Irving in Orlando for TheDevilsDen.com this summer, I knew that he’d be going to Duke. I covered Duke basketball recruiting for two years for Rivals.com and every single player that committed to Duke all said the right things the right way. Irving said all of the right things regarding the Blue Devils.
2. Harrison Barnes has also said all of the right things in the right way regarding Duke (and all of the other schools for that matter). But like Irving, from the first time I talked to Barnes, he just screamed Duke. He told the National Hoops Report about his official visit tour on Thursday. All signs point to him a November decision. He will take his visits as planned and then go from there. If I were to pick a dark horse, I like Oklahoma in this one.
3. With Irving likely headed to Duke, the 94.8 million Kentucky fans on the Internet now all want to know who is the next target to commit to John Calipari. My guess? How about Josh Selby? Evan Daniels of Scout.com broke the news on Sunday night that the Baltimore native trimmed his list to six schools over the weekend. Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, Miami, Indiana and Baylor have made the cut. The family hasn’t set up a visit yet with any of the finalists. Translation: things will probably get crazy before they become calmer with Selby. He’s probably going to sign in the spring, too. Patience grasshoppers. All 94.8 million of you.
4. Also cutting his list this weekend was New Yorker Tobias Harris (pictured above). Harris is down to seven schools and Maryland, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky and Syracuse have made the cut. If I had to pick the front-runners in this one, it would be Syracuse, Maryland, Georgia Tech and West Virginia (and in that order) going into October. He visited Syracuse over the weekend. Gut says the ‘Cuse are sitting the prettiest, too. If he pops for the Orange, that is a scary, scary class.
5. The big omission on Selby and Harris’s respective lists is Connecticut. And the Husky nation was a little disturbed to say the least. But they shouldn’t. UConn happen to have two of the best high school players on the planet on campus this weekend. Florida guard Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond visited the Storrs campus. Rivals.com ranks both players tops in their respective classes. Where was Michael Gilchrist?!? Connecticut fans shouldn’t fret. I’ve been pretty open in my belief that UConn will fight until the end with Miami for Knight.
6. With a lot of big-timers cutting their lists, Scout.com caught up with Jelan Kendrick and tried to get a peek into his recruitment. The only real revelation is that the 6-foot-6 point forward likes to do yoga.
7. Portland, Oregon forward Terrence Jones is now down to seven schools, according to Scout.com. Still not sure which direction he goes in but something tells me he stays in Pac-10 country.
8. The Nike Team Florida workout was this weekend and the .com recruiting world was there for it. (Rivals, Prep Stars, Scout, ESPN and others were there to cover it.)
9. I’ll be in Florida this coming weekend for the adidas Superstar Showcase at Lynn University. Basketball in Boca Raton? Yeah, sign me up.
10. Here is a commitment that you probably looked past but shouldn’t have: Jonathan Arledge to George Mason. The 6-foot-8 power forward from the D.C. area was described to me as a Thomas Robinson like player. If so, then the CAA has an all-conference player coming to the league next year.
11. If you recruit bad apples, the bruises usually come to the surface. Point in case – Binghamton. Wow, what a debacle. In a week’s time, the team lost five key players a month and a half before the season starts.
12. This is a basketball blog. But it is football season. And I like football. And you like reading this blog. We all win. Here are 12 thoughts from the weekend on the gridiron.
A. Minutes after Mark Sanchez was about to be the topic of conversation for the week at ESPN, Brett Favre slung the ball 50 yards for a game-winning score. He just won’t go away.
B. Really enjoyed this tweet from Daniel Jeremiah, former NFL scout: “Did Jack Youngblood get as much credit for playing with a broken leg as (Tim) Tebow is getting for playing with a cold?”
C. As impressive as Favre’s last second heave-ho pass was, Greg Lewis’s catch and dragging of the feet was amazing.
D. As impressive as Favre’s last second heave-ho pass was, Carson Palmer’s last second touchdown to Andre Caldwell was more important. The Bengals beat the Steelers because of that. Yes, the Bengals.
E. The Detroit Lions finally won a game. And everyone at Ford Field should have received a free Ford Focus. The fans have suffered enough.
F. The Baltimore Ravens are deadly now that they have some offense. When do Ravens fans start booking hotels in Miami?
G. I’m not sure who had the worst uniform weekend? New York Jets, the Seattle Seahawks or the Oregon Ducks.
H. Football in the rain – much more fun to watch it then play in it.
I. Who is the Heisman leader right now? I’m sticking with Colt McCoy of Texas.
J. Who is the early NFL MVP leader right now? I still really like Drew Brees here but after watching Peyton Manning on Sunday night dismantle the Arizona Cardinals, it is hard not to politic for him to win another trophy this early in the year.
K. Want to have fun with some numbers? 3-0. 16 points allowed all season. Want to guess who those stats belong to? How about the Denver Broncos? Incredible.
L. The Dallas Cowboys play the Carolina Panthers tonight. And we, the football world, will learn at least two things: 1. Dallas has a brand new stadium. And Jesus walked on water there. 2. Jake Delhomme will throw an interception. Or eight.