CBT’s Recruiting Roundup: UConn and Arizona land 2015 big men, 2015 commitments flying off the board
Each Monday and Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, UConn lands a local big guy with its eyes on another, Arizona makes its next move and commitments are flying off-the-board in the 2015 top 100 rankings.
UConn lands Enoch with eyes now focused on another elite big man
Defending champion UConn nabbed one of its primary targets over the weekend with the commitment of local big man Steve Enoch, a four-star Class of 2015 prospect. Although Enoch is a developing talent, and the Huskies don’t have a senior big man on the roster, the main focus for UConn will remain top-five center Diamond Stone.
Next season Enoch will join a front court that should include junior Phillip Nolan, sophomores Amida Brimah and Kentan Facey and freshman Rakeem Lubin but landing Stone is still the focal point of Kevin Ollie’s 2015 recruiting efforts.
Stone has already placed UConn in his top five along with Duke, Maryland, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin and they’re in good position to make a major move in the front court in this class if they can secure both Enoch and Stone.
Also keep in mind that the much-talked-about “package deal” between Stone and elite scoring guard Malik Newman could also happen at UConn as head coach Kevin Ollie had an in-home visit with the Mississippi guard last week.
Newman has yet to set a top five, but UConn is believed to be the only school with a chance at securing commitments from both Stone and Newman at this point since Stone’s list doesn’t include any other schools targeting Newman.
Arizona gets a big commitment in 2015 to set up its last push
Arizona and head coach Sean Miller added a four-star center to the 2015 class on Sunday as Chance Comanche committed during an official visit to go along with three five-star perimeter threats in Justin Simon, Allonzo Trier and Ray Smith.
Comanche’s commitment is nice for Arizona because it gives them a talented and developing big man in the stable of recruits while also allowing them the luxury of going all-out for five-star big men Ivan Rabb, Carlton Bragg and Stephen Zimmerman.
Zimmerman has an official visit set on November 11th and Arizona is also in the final five for Bragg and in the running for Rabb.
The beauty of Arizona recruiting those three big men, in particular, is that they would all work fine playing in the same rotation, or at the same time, as Comanche.
Bragg is more suited for the power forward spot while Comanche can man the middle and Rabb and Zimmerman shared the court together for the Oakland Soldiers in the EYBL, so they shouldn’t take an issue in having Comanche on the same team.
With Miller securing four great commitments in the 2015 class -- and in the process, competing for the No. 1 class in the nation -- he can now go all-in on the final centerpiece to complete the class.
Commitments are flying off-the-board in 2015
With more commitments to top 100 players over the weekend, there are only 37 players left in the top 100 of Rivals’ Class of 2015 rankings.
But here’s the catch: 14 of the top 20 are still available as many of the blueblood college basketball programs continue to fight for the best of the best.
It’s setting up for some intriguing recruiting battles in the upcoming weeks as the November signing period approaches and it means that official visits and in-home visits become that much more important.
We’ll also start to see new players pop up on the high-major recruiting radar in the next few weeks as schools hit open gyms this fall and look for back-up plans for the targets they had that have committed elsewhere.
Either way, 67 of the top 100 off-the-board -- with numerous other quality commitments as well in the high-major ranks -- means that programs are targeting groups of players and making fast moves to try to secure commitments and move on.
I can’t recall seeing this many quality players committed this early in quite some time and more will likely follow soon.