NCAA Basketball Recruiting: The Top Prospects in JUCO Tourney
Here are the top-10 recruits for next season who will be playing in National JUCO Championships in Hutchinson, Kansas, this week.
1. Marshall Henderson, South Plains
COMMIT: Ole Miss
2. Fabyon Harris, Southern Idaho
COMMIT: Texas A&M
3. Luke Cothran, Southern Idaho
4. Orlando Sanchez, Monroe
COMMIT: St. John's (NY)
5. Nick Wiggins, Wabash Valley
COMMIT: Wichita State
6. Trency Jackson, NW Florida State
COMMIT: Texas Tech
7. Brandon Spearman, Indian Hills
8. Jameel McKay, Indian Hills
9. Colin Borchert, East Mississippi
COMMIT: Mississippi State
10. Rafriel Guthrie, Southern Idaho
Chris Jones and Yannick Moreira would be on this list if it appeared they were going to sign with a four-year school for next season.
Now check out a region-by-region breakdown on the top JUCO prospects in Hutchinson, Kansas, this week.'
District One: College of Southern Idaho 30-3
As usual, College of Southern Idaho is a national power and is considered to be a favorite to win the JUCO national championship. Here are some of their guys you may be seeing in the Big Dance next year.
Fabyon Harris (5'11", soph., G, Chicago): Fabyon has completely made up for the loss that CSI had last year with Pierre Jackson going on to star at Baylor. Similar to Jackson, Harris is an undersized point guard with amazing quickness and the ability to score the basketball.He originally committed to DePaul out of high school, but switched to Houston in order to escape from a few recent tragedies in his life. After failing to qualify academically, Harris headed to CSI, where he has taken over the star role from Jackson. Tennessee, Texas A&M and Ole Miss are among the teams who have offered for next year.
COMMIT: Texas A&M
Luke Cothron (6'8", frosh, F, Huntsville, Ala.): Cothran was a high-major recruit coming out of high school who already has failed to stick with three Division I commitments (Auburn, UMass, New Orleans) due to academics, homesickness and eligibility. After a strong season at CSI, major schools like Kansas, Memphis and UNLV have begun to show interest again.
Rafriel Guthrie (6'2", soph., G, Washington, DC): Guthrie is a Washington, DC, product who will look to improve his Division I stock this week. Montana, Morgan State, San Francisco and Towson are among the programs who are interested in him.
Patrick Swilling Jr. (6'2", soph., G, New Orleans, La.): Swilling, the son of the former NFL star, is a transfer from St. Joseph's where he played a limited role as a freshman. Mid-to-high majors have been showing interest including Hawaii, UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State, with bigger schools rumored to have interest as well.
Gerson Santo (6'9", soph., F, Valencia, Brazil): Santo is a long and athletic Brazilian product who has proven to have a great deal of upside. Colorado State and Middle Tennessee State are rumored to have interest.
COMMIT: Colorado State
Paul Bunch (6'11", soph., C, Chicago): Bunch is not a major contributor for this CSI team, but provides a role off the bench. His size makes him a Division I prospect. Schools like Kent State are interested.
District Two: Eastern Oklahoma State 30-3
Eastern Oklahoma State had a great year, finishing 30-3, winning District Two in the NJCAA and boasting a few Division I-level player.
Marcus Tarrance (6'5", F, soph., Memphis, Tenn.): Tarrance, the team's leading scorer, will be headed to the MEAC next year to play for South Carolina State. The Memphis product should make an immediate impact.
COMMIT: South Carolina State
Billy Rowland (6'6", F, soph., Clinton, Md.): Rowland is the team's second-leading scorer who has garnered Division I interest in recent months. Iona and Maryland-Eastern Shore have expressed interest, according to Rivals.com.
COMMIT: South Carolina State
District Three: Monroe College (New York) 30-4
Monroe College fields a strong JUCO program in New York City and has been the best team in the Northeast this season. They have several players who will be in Division I uniforms next year, including the high-profile Orlando Sanchez.
Orlando Sanchez (6'9", F, soph., Nagua, Dominican Republic): Orlando is an extremely intriguing and athletic recruit. He is known for his incredible rebounding skills and his passion for the game. High majors such as Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's and Texas A&M already have offered. He will be one of the hottest players to watch on JUCO recruiting scene.
COMMIT: St. John's (NY)
Davon Marshall (5'11", G, soph., Niagara Falls, N.Y.): Davon Marshall is the leading scorer and one of the best shooters in the country at any level. He will be lighting it up for the Liberty Flames next season. He committed there last month.
Drimir Ferguson (5'9", G, soph., Bronx, N.Y.): Drimir is a tiny but quick point guard from the Bronx. Back in October, he chose to go away to N.C. Central rather than stay close to home at St. Francis in New York.
COMMIT: N.C. Central
Marco Borgeault (6'6", G, soph., St. Malo, France: Marco is a sharpshooter who played a year at highly-esteemed Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts. MAAC schools like Fairfield and Iona are recruiting him.
COMMIT: St. John's (NY)
Anthony Banks (6'7", F, soph., Roanoke, Va.): Banks is a physical post player who can step out and make a jump shot, He is being recruited by mid-major programs like Ohio and Radford.
District Four: Three Rivers CC (Missouri) 21-12
At 21-12, Three Rivers is one of the Cinderella teams in the 2012 NJCAA National Championships and doesn't really have much firepower in terms of Division I recruits.
Tarius Johnson (6'4", F, soph., Jackson, Tenn.): At 20 points per game, Jackson is one of the leading scorers in NCJAA Division I basketball. He had a few scholarship offers out of Liberty Tech High School in Tennessee. He is undersized, though, for his position, and has not received much attention despite his good numbers.
COMMIT: Eastern Kentucky
District Five: South Plains College (Texas) 32-0
The only undefeated team left, South Plains College has been dominant and enters the tournament as the No. 1 team in the country and the favorite to win it all. Much of the reason why is Utah transfer Marshall Henderson.
Marshall Henderson (6'2", soph., G, Hurst, Texas): Henderson was a very good player during his freshman year at the University of Utah, but transferred after his first season stating non-basketball reasons. After a redshirt year at Texas Tech, he transferred again, this time to JUCO power South Plains, to avoid having to sit out another season. This season, Henderson has arguably been the best JUCO player in the country, averaging 19.3 points per game. He signed with Ole Miss last week.
COMMIT: Ole Miss
Yannick Moriera (6'10", frosh, F, Luanda, Angola): Moriera is only a freshman and will most likely hang around at South Plains for another year to sharpen his skills. But he will undoubtedly be one of the hottest JUCO prospects next year. The Angolan youngster played in the 2010 Hoops Summit game for the World team against players like Kyrie Irving and Harrison Barnes, representing some of the top amateur talent from throughout the world. He is a tremendous talent with NBA potential if he keep improving.
Stanton Kidd (6'7", soph., G/F, Baltimore, Md.): Kidd is a big wing player from Baltimore, who has been one of the key players for South Plains this year. He should make an immediate impact at N.C. Central, where he has signed to play next season.
COMMIT: N.C. Central
Tymell Murphy (6'5", soph., G/F, Brooklyn, N.Y.): Murphy is another big wing player for South Plains who has begun to garner some scholarship interest. Cal Poly, St. Peter's and Stephen F. Austin are supposed to have interest.
COMMIT: Florida International
Greg Gainey (6'5", soph., F, Dayton, Ohio): Gainey is an undersized forward who committed to Texas-Arlington before the start of the season.
COMMIT: UT Arlington
District Six: Seward County CC (Kansas) 28-6
Kansas is one of the biggest states when it comes to JUCO athletics, and this year it was Seward County CC that came out victorious in Region Six. Deverell Biggs was much of the reason why.
Deverell Biggs (6'0", G, soph., Omaha, Neb.): Biggs, a point guard, led the team with 15.5 ppg. Hometown Creighton and Eastern Illinois are among the teams who have supposedly shown interest, but a good performance this week could help him gain some other offers.
Daveon Boardingham (6'7", F, soph., Newark, N.J.): Boardingham, who attended Shabazz High School in Newark, is in his second season with Seward County and will be looking to pick up some Division I offers.
COMMIT: Southern Miss
District Seven: Columbia State CC (Tennessee) 21-6
Coumbia State just barely got into the tournament after winning District Seven. Despite not being nationally ranked, they do have a player with Division I talent in Kendall Jennings
Kendall Jennings (6'7", F, soph., Huntsville, Ala.): Jennings is an athletic wing player who was recruited and offered by schools like South Alabama and UAB out of high school. There is no word as to who is recruiting him at Columbia State. But after averaging more than 18 ppg in the 10 games he's played, it may be safe to say that many of those offers are not going away.
District Eight: Northwest Florida State 29-1
Along with Monroe, Southern Idaho and South Plains, Northwest Florida State is considered a favorite to take home the NJCAA Division I championship. Ranked No. 2 in the polls, Northwest Florida State had a fantastic year with tons of scholarship talent.
Chris Jones (5'10", G, frosh, Memphis, Tenn.): Jones, a Top 100 recruit who had committed to Tennessee before academic issues forced him to go JUCO, is widely considered to be the top player in the JUCO ranks this year. Being only a freshman, there is a strong possibility that Jones will stay another year in JUCO to work on his game and get his degree. But averaging 18 ppg for the No. 2 team in the country makes him a 4-star recruit on Rivals.com who will get interest from just about all of the big schools.
Trency Jackson (6'2", frosh, Jackson, Miss.): Jackson may not be quite as productive a scorer as Chris Jones, but due to his added size he is viewed as just as good a prospect at the next level. Jackson committed to USC out of high school, but ended up at Southern Miss., where he left after his freshman year. He now has offers from several major programs like Colorado, Cincinnati, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Virginia Tech. Pittsburgh has shown possibly the most interest as the Panthers try to fill the void that will be left by Ashton Gibbs.
COMMIT: Texas Tech
Rod Rucker (6'5", G, soph., Elberton, Ga.): Rucker is the team's second-leading scorer,who is a tremendously gifted athlete from the wing position. He recently visited Loyola (IllinoisL) of the Horizon League, which appears to be the favorite. Other schools like UALR, East Tennessee State, UAB and Western Kentucky are interested in his services as well.
Neiko Hunter (6'7", F, soph., Eutaw, Ala.): Hunter was a decent recruit coming out of high school who had offers from Georgia State and Southern Miss before opting to go the JUCO route. He is now being recruited by similar-level schools such as Middle Tennessee State, UL-Lafayette, South Alabama, Jacksonville and Southern Miss.
COMMIT: Middle Tennessee State
Demetrius Moore (6'8", F, soph., Paxton, Fla.): Moore is an athletic post with a lot of upside who committed to Louisiana Tech over Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Troy in September.
COMMIT: Louisiana Tech
Chad Donley (6'1", G, soph., Baker, Fla.): Donley is another role player ho committed to a Division I program before the start of the season. Donley is headed to Liberty, which he chose over an offer from UL-Monroe.
District Nine: Otero JC (Colorado) 29-4
Otero had a very successful season, finishing as the No.19-ranked team in the country at 29-4, despite not having the elite talent that a lot of teams had. Oscar Garcia, who is a role player on this team, is the one player who has committed to a Division I program for next year.
Oscar Garcia (6'7", C, soph., El Paso, Texas): Garcia, despite averaging only 7.42 ppg (sixth on the team) committed last week to play for Lipscomb University.
District 10: Spartanburg Methodist (South Carolina) 28-5
Spartanburg Methodist is another program not expected to do all that much this week in Hutchinson, Kansas, but led by Mario Pendarvis, it could possibly surprise some people.
Mario Pendarvis (6'6", F, soph., Summerville, S.C.): Pendarvis is an athletic wing player who averages about 14 ppg. He is starting to gain Division I momentum.
District 11: Indian Hills CC (Iowa) 30-3
Indians Hills CC, the seventh-ranked JUCO team in the country, is ready to play the spoiler role. A few players from this squad will be playing for big-time colleges next year.
Jameel McKay (6'8", F, frosh, Milwaukee, Wis.): McKay is an elite-level JUCO prospect who is expected to sign with a major program after just one year in the JUCO ranks. The Milwaukee product has received offers from Arkansas, Iowa State and Memphis, with Marquette and Oklahoma also in the running. Other teams also may express interest.
Brandon Spearman (6'4", G, soph., Chicago): Spearman was a big recruit who had a succesful freshman year at Dayton, but departed after Brian Gregory left for Georgia Tech. Instead of sitting out a year at a major program, Spearman opted for a year of JUCO, where he has once again become a high-major recruit. Penn State and TCU are considered to be the favorites after offering, but Iowa, Pittsburgh and Texas A&M are among schools in on him as well.
D.J. Bennett (6'8", C, soph., Orland Hills, Ill.): Bennett is a big guy who has been gaining some steam of late, with interest from Arkansas, Wichita State, Charlotte, San Jose State, Western Kentucky and others.
District 12: Wallace State CC (Alabama) 19-15
Wallace State's record barely warrants its appearance in Hutchinson, Kansas, but it has an interesting recruit.
Jamal Curry (6'9", F, soph., Charleston, S.C.): Curry spent two seasons at Radford before transferring because of limited playing time. He has recently surfaced at Wallace State, where his size makes him an intriguing Division I prospect.
District 13 and 14: Gordon College (Georgia) and Navarro College (Texas)
Gordon College had a successful season in the Georgia region of the JUCO ranks this season, while Navarro College did as well in the New Mexico and Western Texas region.
Unfortunately, neither team has any college prospects that stand out for me at the moment.
District 15: East Mississippi CC 23-4
At 23-4, East Mississippi took home the District 15 championship and will be representing the region in Hutchinson, Kansas. Unlike some of the other schools that previously were mentioned in this slideshow, East Mississippi has some prospects worth checking out.
Colin Borchert (6'8", F, soph., Phoenix, Ariz.): Borchert was a high-level recruit in 2009, with offers from schools such as Kentucky, USC, Nebraska, UNLV and Cal. Instead, he opted for the JUCO route, and now, three years later, is in a position to sign another scholarship with a big-level school. Borchert will look to improve his stock after already receiving interest from Baylor, Cincinnati, Fresno State., UAB, Memphis and Gonzaga, among others.
COMMIT: Mississippi State
Milaun Brown (6'6", F, soph., Gunnison, Mich.): Brown is an interesting prospect who has emerged as a possible Division I recruit this season. He has recieved interest from Stephen F. Austin and Mississippi Valley State.
COMMIT: Louisiana Monroe
District 16: Wabash Valley College (Illinois) 25-8
Despite finishing with eight losses, Wabash Valley College has nearly as much talent as any team in the country. Led by Nick Wiggins, Wabash Valley could make a splash in Hutchinson, Kansas, this week. Here are some key players.
Nick Wiggins (6'6", G, soph., Tallahassee, Fla.):Wiggins is a transfer from fellow JUCO power Vincennes. At Wabash Valley he has developed into a potential major recruit, averaging 17.3 ppg. The big wing has offers from Wichita State and Oregon State, but will probably end up with someone bigger, as Oregon, Baylor, Kansas State, Penn State and Florida State are all interested as well. Wiggins is the son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, and the brother of the No. 1 prospect of the 2014 high school class, Andrew Wiggins.
Commit: Wichita State
Jonathan Octeus (6'4", G, frosh, Miramar, Fla.): Octeus has emerged as the second-best scorer on this Wabash team at 12.3 ppg and will most likely stick around for his sophomore season. Expect Octeus to start getting looks next year from mid-major to major schools.
Donovan Johnson (6'6", F, soph., Shelbyville, Ky.): Johnson is a versatile wing player who will try to improve his recruiting stock this week. Eastern Illinois is one school that has expressed interest in him.
Monty Wilson (6'4", G, soph., Decatur, Ill.): Wilson, despite only playing the second half of the season, has emerged as a legitimate mid-major recruit at the guard position. Central Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Georgia State, Louisiana Tech and Utah State are among the teams that are interested.
Michael Samuels (6'10", C, soph., Bushkill, Pa.): Samuels became the first player in this Wabash Valley CC class to commit to a Division I school when he committed to Indiana State in January. While only averaging 4.8 ppgr, Samuels has good size in the post.He also had interest from Georgia State, Temple and Illinois State.