Saturday, February 25, 2017

Five-star PG Trae Young commits to Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- One of the top high school basketball prospects in the country is staying home.
Five-star point guard Trae Young, also the No. 15 overall recruit in the nation, announced Thursday his commitment to Oklahoma.
 
The Norman, Oklahoma, native picked the Sooners over Kansas and Oklahoma State. He considered Kentucky as well.
 
"This is home," Young said during a ceremony before a packed auditorium at Norman North High School. "This has always been home for me."
 
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Young is averaging 43.1 points, five assists and five rebounds a game. His commitment figures to be a game-changer for an Oklahoma basketball program that has struggled in the wake of losing Buddy Hield, last year's Wooden Award winner. Hield propelled the Sooners to the Final Four last season before the New Orleans Pelicans selected him with the sixth overall pick in the NBA draft.
 
This season, without Hield, the Sooners are last in the Big 12 standings, with an overall record of just 9-16. Compounding the slide, senior point guard Jordan Woodard suffered a season-ending knee injury over the weekend.
 
"This team has been having a lot of struggling moments," Young said. "But they've shown lots of good signs, too. They're very young. Kam McGusty, Kristian Doolittle, two of the top freshmen in the country. ... I can't wait to play with those guys."
 
Scout's Take: ESPN 100 PG Trae Young picks Sooners

Landing Young, especially over the powerhouse Jayhawks, is Lon Kruger's most notable recruiting victory since becoming Oklahoma's coach in 2011. Young said his connection with Kruger was a major factor in his decision.
 
"His playing style really fits well," Young said. "He lets his guards play the way I want to play. He's going to give me a lot of freedom, but also teach me the game and expand my knowledge of the game."
 
Along with becoming a potential impact player for Kruger, Young is arguably the Sooners' most high-profile commitment since signing future NBA All-Star Blake Griffin almost a decade ago.
Like Young, Griffin was an Oklahoma City-area, five-star prospect. He catapulted the Sooners to the Elite Eight in 2009 en route to becoming the player of the year and the No. 1 overall pick of the Los Angeles Clippers.
 
Young said he was a ball boy for Oklahoma while Griffin was starring for the Sooners. He said looking up to Hield and Griffin "played a little bit of a role" in his decision to stay home as well.
 
"Shows that guys can come to [Oklahoma]," Young said, "and do the same thing they can at other schools."

Friday, February 10, 2017

Georgia Tech enters fray for four-star Jordan Tucker

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Jordan Tucker
Four-star wing Jordan Tucker has been highly recruited prospect for a couple years now with high-major programs all over the country coming after him. In late December, he told Rivals.com he was down to Indiana and Villanova, and hoped to have a decision soon.
It’s now early in February and he’s yet to decide between the two schools. In the meantime, Georgia Tech and Oregon jumped into the mix and are now under consideration by the sharp-shooting wing in the 2017 class. He’s been on Georgia Tech’s campus multiple times lately for unofficial visits.

IN HIS OWN WORDS
We caught up with Tucker following Wheeler’s overtime loss to Pebblebrook on Friday afternoon for an update on where he stands and why Georgia Tech and Oregon are now in the mix.
Indiana and Villanova: “It’s been pretty quiet with them lately because they already know where they stand. They are just waiting on me for a decision. They stay in touch, but there is not much for them to preach to me because I’ve already heard their pitch.”
Georgia Tech: “They’re coming hard. Jose [Alvarado], I played with him last summer and he calls me every day. He really wants me to go there with him. We really like each other and we play well together.”
Oregon: “I just like the fast-paced program they are. They get up and down and score a lot of points. They’ve been on me since the summer, but they backed off because they thought I was going to Syracuse, but they jumped back in recently.”

WHAT'S NEXT

Tucker had planned on announcing his decision Friday during the ESPNU broadcast of his game against Pebblebrook, but he just wasn’t ready to make a decision at the time. He says he is getting close and will likely announce a decision after his high school season ends.

RIVALS REACTION

At this point, it still feels like Indiana and Villanova are the two leaders of the pack. They each had him on campus already for official visits and he’s very comfortable with what they have to offer. With his move to the Atlanta area to play his senior season at Wheeler High School, Georgia Tech has used that as a way to wiggle their way into the mix, along with having Alvarado in his ear. If any school can pry him away from Indiana and Villanova, Georgia Tech appears to be in the best position to do so.