One of the nation’s top frontcourt players in the class of 2015, Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler center Daniel Giddens, trimmed his list of schools to six in February, but his recruitment has remained relatively quiet since then.
The list of suitors still in the running to land Giddens is an impressive one that spans across the country. There’s a PAC-12 power in Arizona, a Big 12 power in Kansas, two Big Ten schools in Indiana and Ohio State and two SEC programs in Georgia and Florida.
The Buckeyes have been pegged as a potential favorite by many, but Giddens wasn’t tipping his hand over the weekend at the fourth Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) session in Minneapolis.
“Right now I’m just trying to get better and get to Peach Jam,” he told reporters.
Giddens, the No. 30 prospect nationally according to the 247Composite, will indeed play in the Peach Jam in July as his E1T1 program qualified for Nike’s premier summer event by finishing with an 11-5 mark in EYBL play.
Indiana’s recruitment of class of 2015 Gonzaga Prep (D.C.) point guard Bryant Crawford began shortly after Kenny Johnson was hired in early May of 2012 and despite Johnson’s recent departure for Louisville, the Hoosiers remain in the picture for Crawford.
At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Crawford is considered one of the better pure point guards nationally in the class. He’s accumulated a solid list of scholarship offers that includes Connecticut, Georgetown, IU and Maryland, among others.
Wake Forest, North Carolina State and West Virginia are also involved in his recruitment.
In October, Crawford told Inside the Hall that Indiana was “one of the top schools” in his recruitment. Over the weekend at the fourth Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) session in Minneapolis, the rising senior said he’s still very interested in Indiana.
Top prospects reclassifying in order to accelerate a path to the NBA has become more common in recent years.
Just in the class of 2013 alone, both Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) and Noah Vonleh (Indiana) moved from the class of 2014, spent a season in college and are now ticketed for the NBA draft lottery.
Led by new commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA is eyeing a change to the age limit for the draft with the hopes of having a minimum age of 20 in place before the 2016 draft. That could mean that the class of 2015 would be the final group of incoming college basketball freshmen with the ability to spend just one season in college and then depart for the NBA.
Discussion of the rule change has led to corresponding chatter regarding class of 2016 prospects looking to move to 2015.
Thon Maker, a consensus top three player in the 2016 class who plays at the Carlisle School in Virginia, has been a name mentioned as a possibility to reclassify.
Last weekend at the adidas Gauntlet in Fishers, Maker’s guardian, Edward Smith, was asked to address the potential for a move to 2015 for the native of the Sudan.
FISHERS, Ind. — Lawrence Central guard Kyle Guy is one of just two class of 2016 prospects on his Indiana Elite squad that is playing this spring and summer on the adidas Gauntlet circuit, a new grassroots league featuring some of the nation’s top talent.
Guy, a 6-foot-2 guard, could have taken a larger role on a different team, but the move to Indiana Elite had a purpose: He wanted to play against the best competition possible.
“It helps a lot because the schedule I play in high school is relentless, and then the teams we play out here and who I play with, it helps tremendously,” he said last weekend at the Best Choice Fieldhouse. “I just want the college coaches to know I can play against anybody.”
College coaches in Indiana have known about Guy for a while now.
As a freshman at Lawrence Central, Guy averaged 13.5 points per game. That number grew to close to 15 per game in his sophomore season as the Bears finished 11-8, falling to eventual class 4A state champion Indianapolis Tech in one of the state’s toughest sectionals.
At the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis, he averaged 16.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and had an effective field goal percentage of 65.6.
Indiana, Indiana State and Purdue extended early scholarship offers, but his recruitment is beginning to take off with interest coming from a variety of conferences across the country.
While his older brother, Thon, has already become a household name among those who follow college basketball recruiting, Matur Maker is proving that he’s more than capable of making a name for himself.
Thon Maker has the attention of the nation’s top programs and is already being pegged as a potential No. 1 overall pick when he becomes eligible for the NBA draft.
The younger Maker, a class of 2017 prospect, is beginning to emerge as a major prospect in his own right.
Both Makers, who attend the Carlisle School in Virginia, came to the United States from Australia with coach Edward Smith, the guardian for both players. Originally from the Sudan, the family moved to Australia when Thon was six. Smith said the family now goes back and forth between Australia and South Sudan since it became a new nation in 2011.
“Thon came to live with me when he was 13. I had run an academy in Sydney,” Smith explained last weekend at the adidas Gauntlet. “He came and lived with me. Ever since then, I’ve been his guardian and I brought him over here (to the United States). And after we had him over here and he did so well in school, his parents decided to send his younger brother to join the process.”
Matur, who is 6-foot-10, played well over the weekend in Fishers, averaging 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds for Team Loaded Virginia, which finished the second adidas Gauntlet stop with a 3-2 record.
Interest in Matur has picked up recently as Indiana was the first school to offer a scholarship to the rising sophomore earlier this month.
Monday was a busy day for visitors on Indiana’s campus as the staff hosted three visitors who were in the state for the adidas Gauntlet in Fishers and a fourth visitor from just outside Fort Wayne who got his first up close look at IU basketball.
Brachen Hazen, a 6-foot-7 class of 2016 forward from Columbia City, made the three hour drive south to Bloomington with his parents after the Hoosiers recently expressed interest.
As a sophomore at Columbia City, Hazen averaged close to 12 points and eight rebounds per game, but has flown under the radar in part because he missed his freshman season due to a back injury.
“It was just awesome,” Hazen told Inside the Hall of the Indiana visit. “That was my first time ever being down there. It was just really fun. We enjoyed it.”
FISHERS, Ind. — Class of 2016 Christ Presbyterian Academy (Tenn.) wing Braxton Blackwell has already amassed 15 scholarship offers, but his recruitment is less than a month from taking on a significant change.
That’s because college coaches will be able to communicate directly with Blackwell for the first time beginning at 12:00 a.m. on June 15. At the adidas Gauntlet at Best Choice Fieldhouse over the weekend, the 6-foot-8 rising junior said his classmates at school have already started to discuss which school will reach out first.
“I’m still wondering who is going to be the first to call,” he said. “Some kids at my school made a little bet to see who is going to be the first to call.”
So who is the getting the most buzz?