As it relates to the hiring portion of the job description for college coaches, it’s one thing to load talent and quite another to fill a need, but changing the program’s perception according to the type of potential prospects is the ultimate flexibility.
With the NCAA basketball early signing period ending on Wednesday, we’ve focused on the top signings up to this point for the class of 2023.
Isaiah Collier to the University of Southern California
The perception in Los Angeles is that Andy Enfield’s strength lies in developing four-stretch players like Onyeka Okongwu, now with the Atlanta Hawks, and Evan and Isaiah Mobley, both with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But on Wednesday, Collier, arguably the best player in the class of 2023, upgraded the Trojans’ backcourt next season in one fell swoop. He led Collier Wheeler (Marietta, GA) to two state titles in three years, dominated the Nike EYBL this past summer (19 points, 6.5 assists), and then capped things off with back-to-back MVP designations at Steph Curry Camp and Under Armor Elite 24. Collier’s presence puts the Trojans in serious contention for their first Pac-12 Championship title since 2009.
Freddie Dillion to Tennessee
How Dillion has managed to remain underrated after consistently dominating the competition over the past two years is mind-boggling, but Rick Barnes has reeled in a star point guard to ignite his offense. At 6’4″, Dilione is an effective three-level scorer with great sense, speed and control, a relentless drive and elite athleticism. This past summer in the Adidas Championships, Dilione averaged 19 points, four assists and five rebounds for Team Loaded (NC) He was equally dominant during his high school season, tallying 24 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists at Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, NC) and maintained his dominance early in the season.
Xavier Booker to Michigan State
At 6’11”, Booker handles the ball like a bouncer, has an effective strike from the perimeter, controls the paint and has impeccable timing as an edge protector; All attributes that have earned him the nickname “The Rhinoceros”. Booker upgraded Tom Izzo’s class from strong to special, scoring third overall in the SI Basketball All-American Team rankings. His presence has Spartan fans thinking of the Final Four in Phoenix in 2024.
Ron Holland to Texas
Chris Bird protected his home turf and was ranked #1 in the state and a consensus Top 10 prospect nationally last week. It was the Longhorns’ first commitment in 2023, but with the Beard losing several players to graduate and, most likely, the NBA next season, Holland could be the most important. At 6’7″, Holland is almost a no-brainer with the ability to play and defend multiple positions and always tends to play the right basketball. This aspect of his game could help attract other top players, like great combo guard AJ Johnson, who is thinking highly of the Longhorns.
Joss gives birth to Wisconsin
Don’t let the various national rankings fool you, Yalden is one of the best players in the country after a dominant summer in the Nike EYBL. The massive, 6’8″ forward notched up 15 points and eight rebounds with the City Rocks (NY) despite playing alongside Simeon Wilcher, one of the best guards in the country. Yalden is adept at out-maneuvering opponents and using his wide frame to create space and finish off traffic. Expect traffic. To feel its impact from day one in Madison, Wisconsin.
Simeon Wilshere to North Carolina
When JJ Jackson dropped out of North Carolina Last summer, then reclassified and committed to USC, Hubert Davis was taking a hit for “losing” such an outstanding recruit. It was as if the fans had forgotten that Davis reeled at one of the best guards in the country in Wilshere. At 6’4″, Wilcher is an effective long-range sniper with elite athleticism and playmaking ability. The Tar Heels will need Wilcher’s firepower with potential exhaustion in his upper backcourt after this season.
Cody Williams to Colorado
When Williams committed to the Buffs over Arizona, LSU, USC, LMU and Santa Clara last week, it sent a message throughout the recruiting world that Tad Boyle It was a formidable enemy in space. Not since Chauncey Billups in the ’90s has a more significant recruit pledged allegiance to the Buffs. Williams is the highest-ranked recruit in program history.
From Marvel Allen to Georgetown
Georgetown is 26-63 in the Big East since John Thompson III departed and Patrick Ewing took over, bringing his bench rapidly nearing boiling point. However, Ewing was able to land one of the best guards in the class of 2023 in Allen, a major building block for a prospect that could change the course of the program.
Giselle James to Cincinnati
Even with his playing reputation in the March, Bearcats coach Wes Miller has struggled with his inability to source top-tier talent. Miller took over at Cincinnati this past April after a decade as head coach at UNC Greensboro, and while, at this point in the year, James isn’t a top-10 prospect that fans want, he’s proven to be a top-10 prospect. upper class class. James is the son of former NFL running back Edgerrin James and had a dominating performance in the Nike EYBL this past summer. His addition is huge to Miller’s perception as a recruiter heading into a sophomore year.
Leiden Blocker to Arkansas
The Razorbacks will need to reload their backcourt next season if, but more likely when, Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black Bolt make the NBA game, making Blocker a must-have for Eric Musselman. The 6’2″ point guard has dominated this summer for Brad Beal Elite (Mo.), averaging 16.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals a game in the Nike EYBL. Last season, he managed a 4-to-1 ratio 1 assist to a rotation for Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Air, Kansas) in the NIBC, the toughest high school league in the country His addition to Fayetteville means Musselman won’t miss a chance at the hottest position on the floor.
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