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November 14, 2012
It's the first day of college basketball's early signing period. For the next week, many of the nation's top players will be signing their letters of intent to play college basketball. We'll keep a running update of some of the days news and notes as well as links to signing day stories from across the network.
Huge commitment for UC Irvine
Earlier this week we previewed the remaining uncommitted members of the Rivals150. When it came time to write about massive center Mamadou Ndiaye we noted that his recruitment had been awfully quiet and that he was likely to stay near his host family.
Sure enough, the 7-foot-5 four-star center from San Diego (Calif.) Brethren Christian by way of Senegal ended up staying close. Wednesday afternoon, sources confirmed that Ndiaye has committed to Russell Turner and UC Irvine.
A former coach with the Golden State Warriors, there's little doubt that Turner's involvement with various international outreach programs like basketball without borders helped to land Ndiaye.
No matter how one looks at it, though, the addition of Ndiaye is a major coup for the Anteaters.
No change of plans for Randle
Had he wanted to, Julius Randle could have turned signing day upside down. Instead, the No. 2 player in the country is sticking with his plan to sign late.
The 6-foot-9 power forward from Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian confirmed via text message on Wednesday that he would not be signing early and will continue to take his time with a decision.
Capable of playing as a bruising power player on the low box or attacking defenders on the perimeter, Randle is still entertaining the same group of schools. Kentucky, Florida and Oklahoma all received fall visits while dates for winter trips to N.C. State, Kansas and Texas should be finalized sooner than later.
There has been plenty of speculation that the Longhorns and Gators have taken control of Randle's recruitment. But so far the senior has refused to even hint at a leader.
Indian Hills has five sign
The first day of the signing period was a huge day for Barret Peery and the Indian Hills basketball program. One of the nation's top junior college programs in the country, Indian Hills had five of their players ink with division one programs. Four of them, are headed to high major programs.
Headlining the group of Indian Hills signees are four-star prospects Jameel McKay and Jelan Kendrick. Headed to Marquette, McKay is an athletic and active forward whose motor never stops running. He's a big time rebounder and will be a great fit in Milwaukee. Kendrick has already seen things not work out at Ole Miss and Memphis but the 6-foot-6 sophomore will get a fresh start next year at UNLV. He's got great size and can play all over the perimeter.
Iowa State got signatures from three-star teammates Dustin Hogue and Richard Amardi. Hogue is an athletic wing while Armardi should add size and help on the glass. Rounding out the group signing from Indian Hills is wing Trinson White who will be headed back to his hometown to play at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Colorado class is official
Since arriving at Colorado, head coach Tad Boyle has taken the Buffaloes recruiting to new heights.
This year, the Buffs set out to add help and athleticism on the wing and a guy who can rebound and that's exactly what they've done. They also fit in the first signing day name change that we can recall seeing in quite some time.
Already today Colorado has received signed LOI's from Rivals150 guard Jaron Hopkins along with three-star wing Tre'Shaun Fletcher (formerly Lexing) and three-star combo forward Dustin Thomas.
BuffStampede.com's William Whelan has been all over the coverage of the Colorado class.
Click here for all the Buffs coverage you could ever want
Impressive recruiting debut by Jones at LSU
Don't look now, but LSU has emerged as a major threat to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail. Well, that's always been the case on the football field but under the direction of new coach Johnny Jones they are now a major threat on the basketball trail as well.
All Jones has done for his first signing day effort is lock up the nation's sixth ranked class. LSU Basketball's twitter feed announced that all three high schoolers who have committed to the Tigers -- five-star Jarell Martin and four-stars Jordan Mickey and Tim Quarterman -- have signed their LOI's and are in the books for the Tigers. Look for the signings of junior college prospects John Odoh and Deng Deng to be announced shortly as well.
Decision time for Roberson?
Fans of Kansas, Syracuse and Villanova have been patiently waiting to hear from Tyler Roberson. The 6-foot-8 forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic who ranks No. 32 nationally in the 2013 Rivals150 and has been expected to make an announcement sometime this week, he's just not set a time.
Now it looks like things are all set and Roberson should make an announcement on Friday. His decision could have a big impact on the national recruiting rankings. If he picks Villanova Jay Wright's haul (which already includes four-stars Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart) will move from just outside the Top 30 into at least the Top 20. If he picks Syracuse, the Orange would move from their current spot of No. 22 into the top 15. Should he pick Kansas, the Jayhawks will only tighten their grip on the No. 2 spot.
Latest buzz is indicating that Roberson is most likely to stay out East, but there's no shortage of conflicting information floating around on this one.
Florida all set with dynamic duo
For the past couple of summers, top ten prospects Chris Walker and Kasey Hill have caused mayhem on the grassroots circuit. Next the 6-foot-9 Walker and 6-foot-1 Hill will be taking their high flying acts to Florida.
The five-stars rank No.8 and No.9 nationally and provide enough firepower to give Billy Donovan and the Gators a top five class. Hill has already made things official this morning by sending in his paperwork. Walker will sign his letter of intent during a 3pm ceremony at his school.
Flames sign shooter
It's not only about the big boys on signing day. Take for instance the case of Liberty. Head coach Dale Layer's club didn't sign a big class, but they are very excited about the one guy that they did sign. After signing seven prospects in 2012, shooting guard Ryan Kemrite is the lone Flames signee for 2013. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard from the Houston area who has been home schooled, Kemrite is a big time shooter with deep range. A smart player and good passer, Kemrite has the size and range on his shot to make a nice impact at Liberty.
Purdue lands No. 26 class
It almost feels like Purdue's class has been finalized forever. Four-stars Kendall Stephens and Bryson Scott along with three-star wing Basil Smotherman have each been committed to play for the Boilermakers for quite some and they were finally able to sign today.
After landing a class heavy on big men in 2012, head coach Matt Painter is enthused about this group.
"With the class before this one having three bigs, we needed to add some depth in our backcourt," Painter said. "With the signings of Bryson Scott, Basil Smotherman and Kendall Stephens, I think we've been able to land three very good players. They'll not only help us improve our guard play, but they'll give us more options in the backcourt."
Brian Neubert of Goldandblack.com put together a nice package that includes highlights of all three of the Boilers signees.
Click here for Neubert's piece on the Purdue class
Louisville's No. 8 class official
Louisville Cardinal fans from all across the country can officially celebrate. All four of the Cardinals recruits have signed their letter of intent paperwork. Headlined by junior college All-American Chris Jones (more on him and his teammates is below), the class features a nice mix of inside and outside.
Point guard Terry Rozier was a top 100 player in the class of 2012 who has kept his commitment. The six-footer is off to a monstrous start during his prep school year at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Academy. A teammate of Rozier's at Hargrave, four-star wing Anton Gill is a tough baseline to baseline scorer and fine athlete. Finally, four-star big man Akoy Agau is one of the best prospect's to emerge out of the state of Nebraska in quite some time. CardinalSports.com's Howie Lindsey put together a nice breakdown of the Louisville commitments.
Click here for Lindsey's story on the Louisville class
Northwest Florida trio makes it official
Head coach Steve Forbes and Northwest Florida came up just short of a NJCAA national title last year falling in the title game to South Plains College. But, Forbes' bunch figures to be back in the mix again this year and they're going to be led by the nation's top junior college point guard Chris Jones.
A four-star prospect who initially signed with Tennessee out of high school, the 5-foot-10 floor general signed with Rick Pitino's Louisville program this morning.
Jones wasn't the only Northwest Florida player to sign this morning. Lamin Fulton is headed to Albany and Marvin Williams has now signed with Louisiana-Monroe.
Michigan's No. 11 class will be official by Friday
Wolverine fans across the country are as excited as they have been about the Michigan hoops program in quite some time. John Beilein has assembled a very talented squad for 2012-13 and there is plenty of help on the way.
6-foot-6 wing Zakarie Irvin is the Wolverines highest ranked commitment from the class of 2013 at No. 34 nationally. The rangy shooter and athlete is also the first to officially sign after he completed his paperwork this morning.
Four-star point guard Derrick Walton is a talented in-state floor general who can really lead a team. He'll ink his letter of intent during a ceremony at his high school on Friday afternoon.
Four-star Ohio big man Mark Donnal will make things official during a 3pm signing at his school later today.
Brewster Prep will have four sign early
Anybody who has been paying attention to what head coach Jason Smith has been doing up at Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Prep is aware that he's built the program into a national power. This year, four Brewster players will be signing early.
Smith checked in with Rivals.com this morning to let us know that four-star big man Kyle Washington has officially inked with N.C. State. Also inking this morning was North Carolina native John Edwards. The 6-foot-6 wing is headed to New Hampshire.
According to Smith, his other two early decision makers will sign tomorrow and both Ron Patterson and Elijah Macon were members of the 2012 Rivals150. A former Indiana signee, the 6-foot-3 Patterson is a tough shooting guard who will ink with Syracuse. A burly four-star power forward, Macon is sticking with his original commitment to West Virginia and will make it official for a second time on Thursday.
South Carolina all set to ink three
Frank Martin and his staff have been hard at work building their recruiting class at South Carolina. Their number one target was athletic four-star wing Sindarius Thornwell and they convinced him to stick around and play for his home state school in a major recruiting win. In addition to Thornwell the Gamecocks have landed bruising three-star big man Desmond Ringer and three-star shooting guard Justin McKie who is the son of one of the school's all-time best players, B.J. McKie. Gamecock Central's Glen Elrod put together a nice piece on how the class came together.
Click here for Elrod's story on Gamecock Central
Barber will ink with N.C. State tonight
Jacey Zembal from The Wolfpacker.com (Click here for more from TheWolfpacker.com) checks in to let us now that five-star point guard Anthony Barber will be signing his letter of intent today. The 6-foot-2 speedster from Hampton (Va.) High is expected to sign his letter of intent sometime between 5 and 5:30 eastern time. The Wolfpack class currently sits at No. 16 but will be making a move up once four-star center BeeJay Anya officially picks them as expected on Friday.
Breaking down Indiana's signing day
There's not enough good things we can say about the class that Indiana has put together. Headlined by five-star Noah Vonleh, Tom Crean's class checks in at No. 3 nationally during the early signing period.
Jeff Rabjons and Mike Pegram of Peegs.com will be all the over coverage as six future Hoosiers sign their letter of intents. The duo got together to break down what Hoosier fans can expect on national signing day.
Click here for more from Peegs.com
Arlington Seguin trio will sign
Arlington (Texas) Seguin High school will host a signing day ceremony at 3pm central this afternoon. Head coach Robert Thigpen's program will be sending three players off to division one programs. Headlining the group is Rivals150 swingman Brandon Parrish who will sign with TCU. Athletic three-star combo forward Greg Wesley is going with North Texas while forward Kimani Jackson will ink with Louisiana-Lafayette.
Mass signing at powerful Findlay Prep
Out at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, five seniors are expected to sign their letters of intent at 11 am pacific time and they are all headed to high major programs. Stanford Robinson will sign with Indiana, Nigel Williams-Goss will sign with Washington, Christian Wood will sign with UNLV, Benas Griciunas will sign with Auburn and Fallou Ndoye will make it official with Mississippi State.
Findlay Prep does have a sixth player committed with a high major program. However, four-star shooting guard Allerik Freeman is not expected to sign with UCLA today. He wants his family to be able to see him sign and they were unable to make it for the first signing day. Edward Lewis of Bruin Sports Report has a full update on Freeman.
Click here for Lewis' story on BruinSportsReport.com
Baylor bound wing to make it official
Ishmail Wainright will be signing his national letter of intent with Baylor at 3:45pm eastern today. The 6-foot-5 small forward from Kansas City has spent his junior and senior seasons at Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian and is among the nation's top defenders. Ranked No. 52 in the nation, Wainright is part of a Baylor class that ranks No. 12 nationally. Future teammate Dominic Woodson will sign his letter on Thursday during a ceremony at Huntington (W.V.) Prep.
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