"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

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Recruiting update: Shumpert, Ben-Eze, Mookie and more

OK, we're currently in the middle of a frenzied open recruiting period highlighted by a series of in-home and official visits much of which is noted by Calhoun4Six here on Scout. After the open period passes, maybe we'll get some idea of where the dominoes will fall. In the meantime, here's where things stand with MU on the recruiting front:

6'4" combo guard Iman Shumpert from Oak Park is down to MU, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. MU's in-home visit with Shumpert is today, Thursday.

The Chicago Sun-Times rolled out this great article about Shumpert today
-- just in time for TC's visit. Its really a terrific article -- Shumpert is a smart, pragmatic kid. Here is what he has to say about MU:
On Marquette: "Marquette, coach (Tom) Crean, they have no football team, so it's all basketball. The fans, everybody down there is crazy for basketball. Coach Crean, I mean, is crazy about basketball. He'll talk basketball 24/7. The conversations I have with coach Crean are never even about recruiting or me coming there. He speaks to me as if I'm already there. He talks basketball. He talks drills. He talks, 'What are you working on right now? What are you doing? You're laying around right now? You might as well twirl a ball.' He's just crazy like that. Sometimes he's joking, but other times he's just telling me, 'Like every day try and do something to better yourself.' He's just a player's coach. I hear nothing but good things out of them. They say his yelling at practice was pretty bad, but I think (Oak Park coach) Al (Allen) could compete with him on the yelling.

Shumpert visits UNC this weekend and Georgia Tech at the end of the month. Shumpert will be at Marquette Madness next month for his official visit -- that's great timing IMHO. He'll be joined there by MU commit Nick Williams and 6'7" SF Jared Swopshire (Bradenton, FL).

Frank Ben-Eze, a 6'11" C from Arlington, VA via Nigeria took his official visit to MU recently when the team held their open practice at The Al. It looks like UVA, VaTech, WVU, Harvard and maybe Maryland are recruiting the big fella. An erroneous Internet report had Ben-Eze committing to Harvard prior to his MU visit; that report was discredited soon after. You'd have to expect that MU has or will complete an in-home with Ben-Eze this week.

6'6" SF Mookie Jones of Peekskill, NY has MU in his final seven. Jones has not yet taken any official visits and is going through through a series of in-home visits. MU will make it to the Hudson Valley on September 20 to talk with Mookie and his family. MU, Rutgers, Syracuse, St Johns, DePaul, Kansas and Michigan remain in the mix. Mookie Magic would be a hit in Milwaukee. This report from today's Lawrence Journal-World reconfirms Jones final seven, and updates on Tyshawn Taylor (below).

6'7" SF Lance Goulbourne of NJ will visit MU this weekend -- just in time to see Tom and Joani Crean lead the way for Al's run. Cool. Goulbourne's top suitors are MU, Vandy and Virginia. ND is trying to get in.

6'7" PF Josh Crittle from Chicago. Crittle has favored MU for some time and should have an official visit scheduled soon. Oregon, SIU, IU and KSU are also recruiting the big fella. Is there room for Crittle if Ben-Eze commits? What about Mbakwe's status? Crittle is an interesting case.

6'8" SF Renaldo Woolridge (North Hollywood, CA) has a MU in his top five (MU, Gtown, Tennessee, USC and Illinois). Longshot, I say.

Point guard Tyshawn Taylor (Jersey City, NJ) might visit MU on the weekend of September 22. KU is also heavily involved with Taylor -- and was blown away by the Jayhawks' interest several weeks back. That was reconfirmed by today's Journal-World.
"The in-home visit with Kansas was a huge success,” Taylor told Rivals.com. “I don’t know when I'm going to officially visit, but it's going to happen. Kansas is definitely an option for me, and one that I’m going to seriously consider.”
While Ben-Eze appears to be the priority, MU is also after a few other bigs. 6'11" center Garrett Stutz (Kansas City, MO) and 6'11" big man Maurice Sutton (Upper Marlboro, MD) have each listed MU as a leader. Stutz' emergence is really interesting.

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