Basketball Basketball Recruiting Round-Up

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The first live period of July 2012 is in the books.  Coaching staffs from around the county spent several days on the road (or plane) to travel from gym to gym to view players who they hope will fill voids in their future lineup.  The Iowa State staff was present at several of the top events in the county, including the Next Level Invitational, Hoop Group Elite Camps, Adidas Invitational and Nike Global Challenge among others.  Needless to say the staff likely saw dozens upon dozens of future college stars and to list all of them would take a while, so we’ll just go ahead and hit the highlights below.

Fred Hoiberg attended the Nike Global Challenge in Washington D.C. which featured multiple Top 100 recruits, the likely targets while watching: 2013 PF Kyle Washington and 2014 PG Kevin Zabo.  Other players that Iowa State has been mentioned with include 2013’s Shane Rector, Isaiah Watkins and Denzell Taylor.

With the head coach designated out east and the earlier report from Chris Williams, it may be that the staff is setting it’s sights on Kyle Washington as a big man for the class of 2013 which still features 4 open scholarships at the moment.  The Cyclones won’t be alone though, several other high-major coaches were in attendance throughout the event including Minnesota’s Tubby Smith and Notre Dame’s Mike Brey that will also be vying for Washington.  The latest on Washington from Adam Zagoria is that he plans to make trips to Louisville, Baylor and Florida in August before cutting his list down, he also told Josh Paulin that he will commit before his high school basketball season begins.  Washington has already made visits to Iowa State, Minnesota and Notre Dame.

Another big man on the Cyclones radar is Zach Hanson of Pierre, SD who played with the Dakota Schoolers at the Next Level Invitational.  Hanson received some rave reviews during the live period on his passing skills as well as footwork. One such comment from NY2LA Sports, “Hanson is very skilled for his size and moves well.”  Head coaches from Wisconsin, Nebraska and Marquette among others watched Hanson who is picking up steam in his recruitment and will likely see more high-major offers come his way this summer.

An interesting development on the search for bigs in the 2013 class was a new offer extended to 6’8″ Jordan Mickey of Texas.  Mickey is a unanimous top 50 recruit and has several high major offers already including Baylor, Kansas, Louisville, Missouri and Texas among many more.  Mickey does appear to have a favorite, Kentucky, who has yet to offer but given the recent stories you have to believe that if given the opportunity Mickey would be a Wildcat.  Likely a long shot, but the staff has apparently thrown their hat into the ring on this one.

Other 2013’s that performed well this weekend include Hassan Martin, Martez Walker and Byron Zeigler.  Martin was described as having above average length and good defensive instincts, ESPN’s Reggie Rankin said Martin “played well hit the glass and finished around the rim and on the break,” he “liked the length, athletic and finishing ability” and “has very good upside.” According to sources of a Rhode Island basketball insider, Martin’s leaders include Rhode Island, Creighton and Iowa State.

Martez Walker had 30 points during Saturday afternoon’s game for his REACH Legends AAU squad, eventually losing out in the semifinals of the 17U gold bracket at the Adidas Invitational.

Zeigler had the eye of the coaching staff Friday afternoon, who is now listed as 6’7″ and who is “Athletic and has improved his skill and feel for the game” according to Reggie Rankin.

Iowa State’s two commits, Monte Morris and Matt Thomas, also shined this past weekend with members of the staff watching.  Morris was described as a scoring point guard with great court awareness while balancing scoring with setting up teammates by ESPN scouts, going as far to say Morris “has a chance to be an all-Big 12 player in the future.”  Morris was also aggressive on the offensive boards too, showing he wasn’t afraid to get down low and bang it out with the big men.  Morris and the Michigan Mustangs AAU won their pool, but lost in the second round of tournament play to Hassan Martin and New Heights at the Adidas Invitational.

Thomas had games of 27 points and 21 points in pool play for the Wisconsin Playmakers who also went on to win their pool at the Next Level Invitational.  Thomas continued to perform well on Sunday, scoring 35 points and 23 points for the Playmakers who eventually lost 68-66 in overtime in their semifinal match-up.  Once again many in attendance raved about Thomas’ shooting, especially after hitting a 25-footer during the Playmakers’ comeback in the quarterfinals.

A host of underclassmen received rave reviews this weekend as well, for the 2014 class: Shavar Newkirk, Reid Travis, Jared Terrell, Abdul-Malik Abu, Isaiah Whitehead and Rashad Vaughn.  Newkirk showed his skills as a true point guard, described as running the show and getting teammates open looks.  He was named to the Hoop Group Elite Underclassmen All-Star game, ESPN’s Dave Telep chose Newkirk as one of the top 3 out of the underclassmen all-stars.

Reid Travis had a tremendous weekend, with CBS Sport’s Jeff Borzello saying Travis could be a Top 100 prospect in the 2014 class.  Travis was described as being very strong, beast on the boards, great hands and was showing a developing mid-range game while scoring 26, 22 and 19 in games at the Adidas Invitational.

Terrell and Abu and the Expressions AAU team were at the Reebok Challenge and Showdown Series, Terrell described by NBE Sports as one of the top performers out of 2014’s at camp who can both get to the rim and finish while also having a quality shot.  Abu received praise for his work ethic and always playing at a fast-pace, sprinting off of screens and creating space for himself for strong finishes on the offensive end.

Whitehead was watched by Iowa State, West Virginia and Rutgers Thursday morning with at least Iowa State and Texas sticking around for the afternoon, St. John’s was another school that watched Whitehead Thursday and Friday.  Whitehead was named one of the top 20 overall players at the Hoop Group’s Elite camp as well as Most Outstanding Player.

Vaughn was also named one of the top 20 players at the Hoop Group’s Elite camp as well with Iowa State likely keeping an eye on him too.

The 2015’s received praise as well, with a new offer on the table for the class too.  Jarvis Johnson, Henry Ellenson and Alex Illikainen all had solid performances throughout the weekend.  Minnesota assistant coaches were often in attendance for their games at the Next Level Invitational.  But, the biggest story out of the 2015 class for the first live period came from the Adidas Invitational where 6’5″ wing Tyler Williams claimed his first offer from the Cyclones while playing with the Urban DFW Elite AAU squad.  Williams was clutch in a 65-62 overtime win for the team over Spiece Indy Heat on Saturday.  While 2015’s aren’t often discussed, several scouts that have seen Williams indicate he could very well be Top 100 talent in the class given his current skill set.

That wraps up the first live period of July, two more to go with the next coming up July 18-21 with events such as the Nike EYBL Peach Jam Final, Under Armour Summer Jam, Best Buy Summer Classic, Hoop Group Summer Class and Hoop Group Jam Fest among others.  Be sure to follow Recruit Lists on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with the latest on Iowa State’s basketball recruiting.


Cyclone Fanatic