By Marcus Shockley

Chris Walker (6’8″, SF/PF, 2013) isn’t a household name yet, even in recruiting circles. That will probably change in the very near future, as the current 2011 class moves on and the ever-present need for big men in the college ranks means that Chris and his fellow 2013 recruits will be even more highly sought after targets. That doesn’t mean college coaches aren’t aware of him; he’s already garnered a bevy of D1 offers and has extensive interest from major programs across the country.

Chris is mobile, a shot blocker, quick to the rim, with hops and athleticism. But he can also shoot, which makes him the type of player who can be dangerous at any level. In this installment of 7 Questions, we caught up with Chris and got the latest on his thoughts on his future college choice, and what he’s working in his game. Chris currently has several offers on the table from quite a few schools.

Note: this chat was over Twitter’s messaging system, so we were limited to how much space we could put in each message. I’ve edited this slightly in some places to reflect the entire conversation without Twitter’s abbreviation.

1. What’s your school list, and who’s offered that you are looking at?

Florida State (offer)
Alabama offer
Ohio State
Georgia Tech
Tennessee (offer)
UCF (offer)

2. Do you have a timetable for a decision?

I’ll make a decision pretty soon or this summer [and] if I don’t by then I know my junior year!!

3. What parts of your game do you feel are the strongest?

Strongest part is me being able to dominate in transition and me being
able to take a big man out and blow past and finish, [getting an] “And 1”

4. What parts of your game are you currently working on?

I’m workin on: my foot work, my jump shot, my range, my handles, my jumping ability, my
speed, post moves, outside moves […] Gotta get right before this summer

5. Do you see yourself as a pure post player, and what position would you like to
play in college? PF, or something else?

Naw, I’m a combo forward a 3 [and] 4 in college, I don’t know yet, depends on how my body develops.

6. Do you have a favorite player who’s game you like?

High School: Love Quincy Miller’s [because] we play alike game and Austin Rivers’ game
College: Perry Jones [because] we play alike [and] Terrance [Jones] from Kentucky
NBA: Lebron, Kevin Durant

7. If you could tell people one thing they don’t know about [you], what would it be?

I would tell them I’m the youngtruth, and I’m [going to be] one and done, and I work harder than the average human being, and I am [one of] the best in [the class of] 2013.

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By Alex Kline

Raleigh (N.C.) rising sophomore Rodney Purvis was one of just four 2013 prospects to be invited to this year’s NBA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, but the fifteen year-old showed he’s got plenty of game for his age.

The 6-3, 185-pounder finished twelfth overall in scoring average at the event at 11.5 points per contest; besting the next-closest person in his class by over 70 spots. He continued his run in Orlando. Arguably the best guard in the class of 2013, Purvis was outstanding in leading his team to the U15 Gold championship. Rodney had a team high 23 points in the semifinal win over the Texas Titans, going 11/16 at the line, including 8/10 in the fourth quarter as CP3 mounted a major comeback. Purvis is athletic, handles the rock, passes well, shoots it from deep, attacks the basket, and plays hard. There is not much on the court that Purvis cannot do.

While it’s still extremely early in his recruitment, Purvis is already picking up verbal scholarship offers. “Georgia Tech was the most recent school to offer me,” he said. “I’ve been offered by Xavier, Baylor, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina Central, Virginia Commonwealth, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.” Purvis went to Virginia Tech for an unofficial visit about a month ago and has been so caught up with AAU that he has not had time for anything else.

This Fall, Purvis will be playing at Upper Room Christian Academy. Rodney has quite a few visits lined up. He says he will “definitely visit Duke and Carolina this Fall but I haven’t set a date yet.” Already scheduled are trips to “Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Florida, and Alabama” for football games.

The sky is the limit for the 2013 prospect who has already became a star. Look for him to keep his solid reputation and comparison to Washington Wizards star John Wall.


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The scramble for 2010 big men is finally getting some resolution.

The latest big to pick a school is Terrence Jones, who first held a press conference and announced for Washington, then changed his mind and ultimately chose Kentucky.

Jones, a 6’8″ scorer who was also being wooed by Kansas and Oklahoma, stretched out his recruitment to the chagrin of coaches and fans of the respective schools. Jones joins an excellent recruiting class at Kentucky, which is coming in to replace the mass exodus of star players who took Kentucky deep into the NCAA tournament this season.

This also seems to indicate that UNC may be the leader for Kadeem Jack, another big man who is being recruited by Kentucky and UNC.

In the Twitter age, recruits now often communicate virtually, and Tony Wroten, the 6’4″ PG from the class of 2011, has decided to update recruiters and fans of his list of schools using the new platform:

Tony lists his top five (in Twitter-speak) as Kentucky, Washington, Connecticut, Villanova and Syracuse (in that order).

The Jump Manual

A shout out to for sending us this interview with Kadeem Jack, the 6’9″ post player that has suddenly shown up on several teams’ radar due to the lack of post players still remaining in the 2010 class.

Most notably, Kadeem talks about UNC and his recent options there. He mentions the specific coaches that he’s talked to at UNC and Kentucky, as well as his feelings regarding the schools that were recruiting him previously, which include Miami and Arizona:

Kadeem Jack update

Kadeem Jack Video

Kadeem certainly is giving the fans of the schools he’s considering a lot of great reasons to like him. He talks about trying to do intangible things like working hard, putting full effort on the court, and getting better. With so many top schools interested in him, it’s great to see that he’s grounded and comes across as a young man who understands how to put his best foot forward at all times.

This article originally appeared on

Image from

Kentucky has landed another much needed big man in Elroy Vargas, a 6’11” post player who is transferring from Florida after his freshman season.

Kentucky is one of two top-tier programs (UNC is the other) that are in a mad scramble for big men. While Vargas was considered a Kentucky lean, it still puts more pressure on UNC to close some deals with one of the few remaining big men in the 2010 class.

Vargas’ time at Florida wasn’t exactly spectacular, but it’s important to remember that in reality, most players don’t arrive on campus and play lights out from day one. While that alone doesn’t mean Vargas will find more success at UK, it does mean fans shouldn’t judge a player too early, especially in the college game.

The Jump Manual

No other collegiate sport has changed as drastically in the past twenty years as Division I college basketball.

Image from ESPN

Top players in college basketball now rarely last four years, and any player with serious NBA prospects is almost guaranteed to leave school early. This means that for coaches of elite programs, bringing in a monster recruiting class usually only buys you a single year, maybe two, of those players being on your roster. With almost half of Kentucky’s 2009-10 roster being built with one-and-done players, they are looking to fill in with talent in way they can, and right now that means bringing in 2010 big men.

There aren’t a ton of top 2010 prospects even available at this point, and Kentucky has a major competitor for these big men in North Carolina, who lost sophomore power forward Ed Davis to the NBA draft and then suddenly lost two more power forwards when the Wear twins transferred. Now UK and UNC are scrambling to look at any and all big man prospects still available.

Unfortunately, there is another factor for these players, which is that in most cases, these players weren’t seriously being recruited by either school until the past few weeks. Considering that all of these big men already had offers from multiple schools, they might take the new interest from elite schools as being somewhat “late to the party”.

Both coaches, John Calipari for Kentucky and Roy Williams for North Carolina, are hoping that the allure of playing for a top, nationally recognized team will appeal to these big men, and also, if a player is a mature, balanced person, may understand that neither school had roster spots until recently.

Of course, there are schools that were already recruiting these players, and they also are going to continue to make a hard push to land players they’ve been courting before the “Big Boys” came along.

A quick look at some of the players now thrust into the national recruiting spotlight:

Kadeem Jack, a 6’9″ center from New York

Papa Samba Ndao, a 6’8″ PF/C who plays for Monteverde Academy in Florida and was at one time committed to Boston College.

Kevin Noreen, a 6’10” big man who also was released from his Boston College commitment

Marcus Thornton, a 6’7″ power forward who originally committed to Clemson but was released when coach Oliver Purnell left for DePaul.

In addition to incoming freshman, there are two transfer players looking for a new home:

Justin Knox a 6’9″ senior transfer from Alabama

Elroy Vargas, a 6’9″ sophomore transfer from Florida.

The Jump Manual

Marquis Teague almost committed to Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals last year.


At one point, Teague had made up his mind and was going to play for Pitino, giving the Cardinal fans something to cheer about after a season of enduring non-stop chatter from their hated rivals in Kentucky blue, and after having to watch Calipari lose five star players and then immediatly start loading up his roster with the likes of Brandon Knight.

But, Teague did not commit. He kept his options open.

And, he kept listening to John Calipari, the head coach of Kentucky, as Calipari continued to try and woo the top PG in the 2011 class.

Teague, a 6’1″ point guard from Indianapolis, is the younger brother of former Wake Forest star and current NBA rookie Jeff Teague. The Demon Deacons were out of contention for younger brother Marquis early on, but it seemed it was Louisville’s race to lose at one point.

As the word leaked out today that Teague would be announcing his decision, he officially was down to a list of five schools: Cinncinati, Purdue, Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana.

But the inside thinking was that it was a two horse race between Louisville and Kentucky, and the fact that Teague hadn’t already committed led many to believe it was actually the Wildcats in the driver seat.

A rumor even emerged yesterday that Lebron James had called Teague, and that Teague had told him that it would be Kentucky. However, Teague’s father said that was completely untrue, and according to Jody Demling, Teague responded, “I wish Lebron had called me. That would have been cool.”

“It’s has been really close. I also had Cincinnati in there. People don’t know I liked them a lot. Coach (Mick) Cronin and I are really close. It’s been real tough. It’s tough to tell coach Pitino no.”

Even though, on the surface, this looks like “just another recruiting win” for Kentucky and Calipari, it’s a real war blast from UK to Louisville. Jeff’s father, Shawn, played for Rick Pitino during the coach’s stint at Boston University, so the ties run deep.

Games aren’t necessarily won with recruit signings, but this is still a major blow to a Louisville program that probably thought it had Teague locked up.

In an unsurprising development, Brandon Knight (SG, 6’3″, 2010) has decided to play his college basketball in Kentucky. Knight should see a lot of immediate playing time in the vacuum of John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, but only time will tell if he’ll be able to run the point as effectively as he plays the off guard.

Kentucky also landed a top player from the 2011 class in Michael Gilchrist (SF, 6’6″, 2011), but it’s unclear at this point if he and Knight will ever play together.