"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Crean recruiting in New Jersey

Tom Crean was sitting courtside with Tom Izzo last night as St. Patricks's, one of New Jersey's best high school teams, took the floor. Why was TC there?

"presumably evaluating St. Patrick's junior forward Quintrell Thomas and sophomore guard Dexter Strickland"
Quintrell Thomas is a 6'7" junior power forward for St. Patrick's. Thomas is rated one of the top 10 juniors in the state of New Jersey -- along with another 2008 target, PG Jordan Theodore of Paterson Catholic.

Dexter Strickland is a 6'3" sophomore guard for St. Patrick's -- check out this fantastic link complete with a video interview. Here is a recent video of St. Patrick's taking on NYC's public league champ Lincoln. Strickland is #15 for St Patricks and Thomas is #13 -- in the white uniforms.

Later this week we'll run through the list of kids that Crean appears to be targeting for the 2008 and 2009 freshmen classes.

Notable freelance writer Ray Floriani, who is based in New Jersey, spoke with St.Pat's coach Kevin Boyle who confirmed Marquette, among others, is recruiting Dexter Strickland and Quintrell Thomas.

Strickland is a 6'3 sophomore guard whom Boyle expects ,"to be the best perimeter player in the state next year". Thomas, a junior, is a solid big man who can battle underneath and move out to hit the fifteen footer. He's a three or four at the next level and his skills away from the basket will serve him well.

Strickland is a talent who happened to be largely overshadowed by the outstanding Villanova-bound Corey Fisher this season. Both Strickland and Thomas are being widely recruited per Boyle.

Another intriguing prospect whom Crean and others are watching is 6'6 Paris Bennett. He's a sophomore forward who battled mono this season. Boyle said a number of schools are involved and Bennett will be heard from significantly next year.

Among other coaches on hand last night were Bobby Gonzalez, Paul Hewitt, Fred Hill, John Dunne (St.Peter's) and Jay Wright.

Per Adam Zagoria's informative blog:
  • Quintrell Thomas has offers from Rutgers, USF and VCU. Boyle expects UF and MU to offer soon.
  • Strickland does not have any current offers on the table right now, though MU, UCLA, UNC and Georgia Tech have seen him play recently.
  • Despite battling mono, Bennett already has offers from Villanova and Rutgers.

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