T.J. Warren is known for being a prolific scorer and is currently being recruited by several top college programs, including NC State, Florida, North Carolina and Georgetown. In this conversation with T.J., we get his thoughts on each of the four schools on his list, as well as what he thinks he will need to do to succeed at the next level.
North Carolina landed a commitment from Marcus Paige (PG, 6’1″, 2012), giving them their first recruit from the class. The commitment from Paige gives UNC a solid ballhandler and a pure point guard who is quick and agile. He has an ability to beat his man on the dribble and get into the lane easily, although, he looks to pass to an interior big man or shoot a double clutch layup once he’s done that.
Paige does not appear to be a high flyer, although he can dunk, but he is a solid player who turned down offers from Kansas, Clemson, Virginia and Michigan, among others.
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.
Desmond Hubert exemplifies the meaning of a defensive presence. The 6-foot-9 big man frequently had double doubles during his high school games and even triple doubles at times. He blocks shots and is excellent on the boards. The improvement in his offensive game has paid off and turned him into a very notable player in the class of 2011. The rising senior is modest and is not trying to become a star. He takes the quiet path and does the dirty work at a small known school in New Jersey called New Egypt High School.
At New Egypt, Desmond has made the school known in the Garden State and has become a standout there. During the spring and summer, he runs with the New Jersey Playaz; one of the best squads in the country. Whether he rebounds and throws an outlet pass to Myles Davis ’11 who hits a three or throws down a thunderous dunk of his own, you cannot stop the athleticism of Hubert.
Colleges have taken notice, as well! He has a list compiled of “Pittsburgh, Villanova, Ohio State, UConn, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, Maryland and Wake Forest.” It is a safe bet that Hubert will most likely land in the Big East or ACC, but don’t rule out the Buckeyes. Despite no offers from Duke or North Carolina yet, Desmond is confident that a good summer will propel him to that possibility.
Recently, he took an unofficial visit to another Big East school. Hubert visited Georgetown unofficially and enjoyed it. They have been a school that is on and off the list. Think about it for a minute; Hubert is a defensive presence and would fit in a slower paced offense. Georgetown is a team that comes to mind as they run a Princeton style offense. Either way, Hubert acknowledges that he will have a top five sometime in August and Villanova, as well as Pittsburgh will be in it. He could certainly be a great replacement for Nova’s Taylor King who recently left the team. Desmond hopes to commit before the season is over.
Either way you look at it, Desmond Hubert’s a threat. He can do a lot and his potential is sky high. Give it a few years and his name will be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. For now, he’ll just stick to rejecting opponents and their shots as he walks on with his swagger and his smile.
Two developments for UNC target Justin Knox seem to position him as a likely post player for the Tar Heels.
Justin Knox, a 6’9″ center who graduated in three years from Alabama, is transferring and eligible to play one more year. Since he’s already graduated, he will be able to play next season.
Knox’s original choice was to play at UAB, but the stipulations of his transfer prohibited the move. Despite an appeal, he won’t be able to attend UAB.
After Knox took a visit to UNC last weekend, he stated that he had offers from several schools, according to InsideCarolina:
After the visit, North Carolina has emerged as the leader for Knox’s services over Georgia Tech, South Alabama, Georgia State and Southern Miss. The Tuscaloosa, Ala. native has confirmed scholarship offers from all five schools.
Knox then went on to state that as of now, North Carolina is “leading the pack”.
The Tar Heels are hoping to bring in a couple of post players for next season to replace the sudden losses of David and Travis Wear, who decided to transfer following the 2009-10 season.
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.