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Ben Howland’s latest five-star headlines flurry of weekend commitments

Was there ever any doubt that Ben Howland was going to be able to get players to Starkville?

Over the weekend, Howland landed a commitment from five-star point guard Nick Weatherspoon, a top 30 prospect in the Class of 2017, during a visit to campus this weekend.

Nick is the younger brother of Quinndary, a sophomore shooting guard for the Bulldogs that outplayed top ten recruit Malik Newman this past season. Newman eventually transferred out of the program while Weatherspoon is poised to be a potential all-SEC player this season.

“He’s an ultra-aggressive guard who plays in constant attack mode,” Scott Phillips,’s recruiting analyst, said of Nick. “A gifted scorer with a lethal pull-up game, Weatherspoon will have to reign in his wild streaks, but he’s a difference-maker who should come in and contribute right away.”

Weatherspoon is Howland’s first commitment in 2017 and the second five-star player that he has pulled into Starkville; Newman was the other. For 2016, Howland brought in a recruiting class that includes six four-star prospects.


  • VCU picked up their point guard of the future as four-star guard Lavar Betts committed to Will Wade and the Rams. Betts is the perfect fit for Wade’s half-court havoc style. He’s fast, he’s athletic, he’s aggressive and he’s talented. He’s VCU’s first commitment in the class.
  • Iowa picked up a pair of commitments on Saturday. Big man Luka Garza, a top 100 prospect, was the first to pledge while Jack Nunge pledged later in the day. Both players will help bolster Fran McCaffery’s front court.
  • Tad Boyle also landed a pair of small forwards on official visits. Tyler Bey, a four-star prospect from California, and D’Shawn Schwartz, a four-star recruit from Colorado, both committed to Colorado on Saturday.
  • Providence reached into the Mid-Atlantic and landed a commitment from top 100 big man Nate Watson.
  • Minnesota picked up a commitment from a top 100 point guard in Isaiah Washington. A New York City native, Washington, who is the first commitment in the 2017 class for the Gophers, has long had a relationship with Gopher assistant Kimani Young.
  • Kansas State landed their first commitment in 2017 as Mike McGuirl, a sharpshooter from Connecticut, picked the Wildcats over a handful of Atlantic 10 and mid-major programs.