Steve Masiello continued to move the Manhattan rebuilding process forward last week with the signings of three recruits.
During the early signing period, Chris Thomas (Denver, Colo./Chipola College), Carlton Allen (Ewing, N.J./Life Center Academy) and Tyler Wilson (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes) signed National Letters of Intent for Manhattan College.
Thomas is the star of this class. A former five-star recruit, Thomas initially committed to Xavier but then decommitted from the Musketeers in September. In high school, he was ranked the No. 1 shooting guard in his class by Rivals.com and was an ESPN Super 60 recruit.
According to Rivals, Thomas also had scholarship offers from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Memphis and Tennessee.
However, there are some questions surrounding Thomas and if he will ever play in a Jasper uniform. He played at four different high schools when he was younger, and his recent decommittment from Xavier shows that there is no guarantee that he will stick around.
But if he does play for Manhattan next year, he could help replace senior George Beamon, who led the MAAC in scoring last year. Beamon has proven to be an indispensable part of the Jaspers' rotation. In the last two seasons, the Jaspers are 0-3 with an average margin of defeat of 26.7 points. To think about how Manhattan will fare without Beamon next year is a little scary.
Thomas is a pure scorer who could replace Beamon on the wing and fill the hole that the MAAC's best scorer will leave.
Allen will add depth to the frontcourt next season, while Wilson will likely spend a lot of time on the bench during his first season
A 6'9" center, Allen is a two-star recruit on ESPN.com and was receiving interest from high-caliber schools, such as Virginia Commonwealth, Auburn and Penn State. Scout.com ranked him the No. 29 center in the Class of 2013.
Next year, the Jaspers will have one of the best frontcourts in the MAAC with Rhamel Brown, Emmy Andujar and Maryland transfer Ashton Pankey. The addition of Allen will add depth and a much-needed big body to Manhattan's rotation.
Wilson could play a larger role as Manhattan's point guard in the future, but next year he would be playing behind returnees Mike Alvarado, Rashawn Stores and CJ Jones. Last season, Wilson averaged 12 points and seven assists per game as Cardinal Hayes advanced to the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA semifinals.
In other recruiting news, Pope John XXIII High School senior Jermaine Lawrence attended Manhattan's game against Hofstra on November 21. Lawrence is ranked the No. 19 recruit in the country and had tweeted a few weeks ago that he narrowed his list down to UNLV, St. John's, Syracuse and Cincinnati.