College Basketball Recruiting Updates: Statuses of the Top Unsigned 2013 Prospects

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Rank

Name

Pos.

High School

1

Jabari Parker

SF

Simeon (Chicago, IL)

Schools Considering:
 

Expected Time of Commitment: November 2012; before his senior hoops season

Lowdown: Although the Parker camp has been very tight-lipped about his recruitment, I can say this with certainty: Duke and Michigan State will be tough to beat. The Simeon senior has forged close-knit relationships with Coach K and Coach Izzo, and according to multiple sources I’ve spoken with, Parker will end up at one of these two schools. Another insider told me point blank “don’t sleep on Stanford,” as Parker has developed a similarly strong relationship with Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins. For those curious, BYU makes the list because of Parker’s Mormon roots. Although the Cougars are comfortably behind Duke, Michigan State and even Stanford, they’re not a long-shot by any stretch because of Parker’s strong faith.

Jabari has yet to officially pare down his list, although the Chicago native did confirm on Twitter earlier this week that the ten schools identified above are the only ten he’s now considering. If you’ll notice on the tweet, Michigan State is the only school not capitalized, which could be a major clue (just kidding, that means nothing; although you won’t believe the number of folks who put stock into minutia like that).  There are conflicting reports out on the web, some saying Duke is in the lead, others claiming Michigan State has recently jumped out in front. None of this is true based upon a conversation I had with someone directly associated with Parker’s AAU team: Mac Irvin Fire. He hasn’t even begun the process of stacking up schools against one another and weighing the pros and cons. You won’t hear a verbal admission from Parker between now and November, when Parker is supposed to announce his decision, but Duke and Michigan State are in a dead heat at this stage in his recruitment.  

2

Julius Randle

PF

Prestonwood Christian (Plano, TX)

Schools Considering:

Expected Time of Commitment: Spring 2013; after his senior hoops season

Lowdown: Of these five top recruits, the future of Prestonwood bulwark Julius Randle remains the most unclear. Reports and clues pertaining to Randle’s top schools are mixed. ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep recently wrote that Kentucky, NC State and Duke top Randle’s list, a report that has since been refuted by Randle and his inner circle. A different insider I spoke with, meanwhile, is hearing that Kentucky, Kansas and Duke headline Randle’s list. The two common threads from both sources were Kentucky and Duke, which is an especially good sign for the Blue Devils, who at one point were a long-shot for Randle’s services. Kansas was at one point the frontrunner in this race, but I’m told the loss of Danny Manning on the coaching staff (he’s since moved on to become the head coach at Tulsa) significantly hurts the Jayhawks’ chances in this one.

We know this for sure regarding Randle: this is a race between bluebloods, NC State and Ohio State. There are no sleepers or dark-horses in this recruitment. Although the list of schools outlined above shows a quartet of Big XII schools plus a fifth soon-to-be Big XII school (TCU), Busting Brackets has learned that the Texas product is unlikely to stay in-state or play anywhere in the Big XII. A North Carolina source says the school, like Kentucky, Duke and NC State, feels particularly good about its chances in landing Randle. UNC has made Randle a priority in the class of 2013, and current Tar Heels pledges Nate Britt and Isaiah Hicks (2013) have both been in Randle’s ear about completing a stellar class. With a pantheon of great college bigs to show for since Roy Williams came aboard in 2003 (though the collective success of these bigs in the NBA thus far has been quite unimpressive), UNC is a viable player in this recruitment as well. One source acknowledged the race for Randle could become the most hotly contested recruiting battle in the history of the Triangle (at least as far as recruitments involving all three schools go). With Kentucky, Kansas and Ohio State in-play as well, the winner of this fierce recruiting war will have certainly earned it.

For now, I’m hearing awfully good vibes about Duke, which is the school that’s made up the most ground since Danny Manning left Kansas and the Jayhawks fell off the leader-board. Randle’s relationship with fellow Texan and Blue Devils pledge Matt Jones (class of 2013 shooting guard) is a big boon in Duke’s favor. So too is the full-court press Jeff Capel is putting on Randle. All schools involved in this recruitment are comfortable with their positions though, many believing themselves to be the favorites.

3

Andrew Harrison

PG

Travis (Richmond, TX)

Schools Considering:
 

Expected Time of Commitment: September 2012

Lowdown: Parker and Randle are deservedly the top two prospects in next year’s class, but there’s no better value in the class of 2013 than the package deal of Andrew and Aaron Harrison. The Texas twins (if you haven’t noticed already, this class is rife with Texas talent) have both narrowed down their list to four schools: Kentucky, Baylor, Maryland and Villanova. This late in the recruitment, Baylor and Villanova, once legitimate players for the Harrisons, are on the list at this point for show. I’ve been told by someone close to the Harrisons that the brothers wanted a longer list than two to add excitement and suspense to the decision process and to pay homage to two schools which have recruited them for several years (Baylor and Villanova have both recruited the twins since the end of their freshman seasons). The chase for Harrison is ultimately a two-school race between Kentucky and Maryland.

Maryland, the surprise of the two frontrunners in the recruitment, has already received a verbal from fellow Texan Shaquille Cleare(class of 2013 center). Andrew Harrison has expressed in the past a desire to team up with the big man out of Houston. I’ve also been told by a source that the atmosphere at College Park particularly stuck out to and intrigued the Harrison twins, who visited the campus last month. Another source told me bluntly that the Harrison twins will end up at Kentucky when they make their announcement official in the late summer or early fall. The tradition and lineage at UK combined with Coach Cal’s recent history with recruits and the success those recruits have had on draft night, the source says, ultimately has won them over. Says the source: “it’s just a formality at this point.”

The siblings will be the first two top-five recruits to come off the board, as they recently bumped up their announcement time from their birthday (in October) to September. Locking up the Harrison twins before the decisions come from Parker and Randle would be a huge coup for Kentucky, which stands a decent chance at striking out on each of the top-two prospects. Per a Kentucky insider, and I paraphrase: Coach Cal wants to lock up these given how wide open the recruitments of Parker and Randle are. They’re no sure thing.

4

Aaron Harrison

SG

Travis (Richmond, TX)

Schools Considering:
 

Expected Time of Commitment: September 2012

Lowdown: The good news about the recruitment of shooting guard extraordinaire Aaron Harrison is that if you can win over his brother Andrew, you win Aaron as a bonus prize. The two twins are a tag-team package and will be deciding from four schools when they pledge their commitments in September. Kentucky and Maryland are the favorites.

5

Aaron Gordon

PF

Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA)

Schools Considering:

Expected Time of Commitment: Spring 2013; after his senior hoops season

Lowdown: Unlike the frenzied recruitments of Parker and Randle, the recruitment of Aaron Gordon is quite toned down, almost too low-key for a player of his stature. Some of the big names are involved in this chase as well—Kentucky and Kansas, which each made his final top-five—but by all indications, Gordon, unlike the four recruits rated above him, is keen on choosing a school that offers comfort and proximity over a glitzy school like UK or KU. Barring an unforeseen change, the west coast star is going to stay on the left coast for his college ball as well. Arizona and Oregon are very much in-play, but Gordon right now is Washington’s to lose. This is not much of a secret, as Gordon has publicly dubbed the Huskies the favorite because of his relationship with the coaches. Since he began pursuing the San Jose native, Lorenzo Romar has been a steadying influence on the recruit as he works his way up the high school ranks. Explains one insider with knowledge of this recruitment: “Aaron Gordon to Washington is the closest things to a lock of any top-10 unsigned recruit.”

The one obstacle working against Washington is that Gordon won’t decide until his senior season is over, which gives rival recruiters ample time to make up ground and make their pitch. With the NCAA’s new unlimited phone calls and texting policy in place for players having completed their sophomore years, expected other schools on Gordon’s list to nag him over the coming months. Since Gordon won’t be making his announcement official until the spring, a strong season from Kentucky, Kansas or Arizona, a commitment by a friend, teammate or top-tier player to one of the schools on his list or a change along the way (coach fired, player transfers, a school faces NCAA sanctions) could sway Gordon’s decision.

The next nine months will be the longest nine in the coaching career of Lorenzo Romar, who is strikingly close to pulling off the biggest recruiting coup in Huskies basketball history. But can he close the door? Nine months is an awfully long time for something to go wrong. You better believe Washington is hoping Gordon, as did the Harrison twins, has a sudden urge to bump up his recruiting time. The longer this drags out, the more U-Dub has to sweat it out.

 

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Topics: Aaron Gordon, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Arizona, Baylor, Brothers, Byu, Class Of 2013, Commitment, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Harrisons, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Prospects, Recruiting, Recruitment, Signing, Stanford, Status, TCU, Texas, Twins, Updated, Villanova, Washington

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