How Soon-to-Be Teammates from 2014 College Basketball Recruiting Class Will Mesh
College Basketball’s early signing period is a little more than a month away.
From November 13 to November 20, coaches will be looking to formalize the verbal commitments that they have already received on the recruiting trail.
Along with seeing where some of the best high school players will be going to college, here is a look at how soon-to-be teammates from the 2014 recruiting class will mesh when they take the court together.
Recruit ranking information provided by 2014 ESPN 100
Arizona: Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Craig Victor
Victor, the No. 29 player in the ESPN 100, is a versatile combo forward who uses his strength to play bigger than his actual size (6’7” 205 lbs.).
Jackson-Cartwright, the No. 12 point guard in the ESPN 100, does not need to score a truck-load of points to impact the Wildcats’ future success. His selfless, pass-first approach to his floor leader role will help U of A take full advantage of their talented roster.
Victor and PJC’s immediate roles will be greatly influenced by which Wildcats move on to the Association after the 2013-14 season.
Whether they are in Miller's starting five or coming off the bench, these two overachievers are ready to play significant parts in Arizona's bright future.
UNLV: Goodluck Okonoboh and Dwayne Morgan
Okonoboh (No. 4 center in the ESPN 100) and Morgan (No. 9 power forward in the ESPN 100) may create one of the most forceful front-line duos in the 2014 recruiting class.
Both of these young bigs are explosive leapers who will block or alter a ton of shots.
They will form a ruthless, back-line defensive barrier that will make life miserable for the Rebels’ future opponents.
Illinois: Leron Black and Quentin Snider
Former Louisville commit Quentin Snider, the No. 7 PG in the ESPN 100 is a perfect fit to run the show at Illinois.
He is an incredible initiator who can distribute or score equally well.
After senior point guard Tracy Abrams departs, Snider will be ready to step in from Day 1.
Leron Black, the No. 36 player in the ESPN 100, is a tough and energetic combo forward. He loves to run the floor, fill the lanes and finish above the rim on the break.
Black is a perfect counterpart to Snider, who has a penchant for pushing the ball and creating scoring opportunities in transition.
Kentucky: Karl Towns and Tyler Ulis
Kentucky’s John Calipari is far from being done signing elite-level talent from the Class of 2014.
Every great scorer needs a good set-up man. That’s why these two are a match made in hoops heaven.
Towns is a state-of-the-art star who has the skills of a small forward and the length (7’1” 235 lbs.) of a dominating center.
Because he can step out and consistently knock down shots from beyond the arc, he may not function as a post player on next year’s Wildcats' team.
Ulis is a fast-moving facilitator who will be ready to dispense dimes like crazy. He will feed Towns regardless of where he lines up.
VCU: Terry Larrier and Mike Gilmore
Virginia Commonwealth's head coach Shaka Smart has done it again.
Most of the time, Smart employs 3-guards when throwing the Rams diamond press on their opponents.
Larrier and Gilmore's athleticism and length could add a completely different dimension to VCU's full-court pressure.
Larrier, the No. 10 SF in the nation, is long and explosive. His ESPN scouting report (Insider subscription required) says that he is a “classic ‘run and jump’ athlete.”
Gilmore, the No. 19 PF in the nation, has a great motor and he will use his agility to be a dangerous part of the Rams’ vaunted full-court press.
Can you imagine a 6'9" "madman" (person challenging the in-bounds pass)?
I cannot wait to see these two added into the mix!
Georgetown: Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak
Copeland, the No. 8 power forward in the country, is a multi-talented, perimeter-oriented player whose strength is facing the basket and breaking down defenders.
If JT3 wants to go big, Copeland has the skills to slide over to the small forward.
Peak, the No. 15 small forward in ESPN 100, is a strong, athletic wing who can overpower opponents on either end of the floor.
Because JT3’s strategy creates position flexibility, watch for these two emerging stars to fill a variety of roles after they arrive on campus.
Seton Hall: Isaiah Whitehead and Angel Delgado
Whitehead, No. 20 in the ESPN 100, is a dynamic, backcourt scorer who can pull up and knock down three’s or take it strong into the paint and put the ball in the hole in traffic.
ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein described Delgado as “the pre-eminent rebounder in all of high school basketball.” His tireless work ethic makes him a nightmare on the glass at both ends of the court.
At this stage of the recruiting cycle, Whitehead and Delgado may be the most impressive inside-outside combination in the Class of 2014.
Maryland: Romelo Trimble and Dion Wiley
While both are designated as shooting guards in the ESPN 100, Trimble has the ball-handling and passing skills to slide over to run the point.
Wiley is one of the best pure shooters in the class of 2014. He creates and finds his own scoring opportunities all over the court.
Even with the other talent that head coach Mark Turgeon has brought in, this pair of local prospects will help the Terrapins as they make their transition to the Big Ten next season.
Ohio State: D'Angelo Russell, Keita Bates-Diop and Jae'Sean Tate
Ohio State’s Thad Matta and his staff have scored big again on the recruiting trail.
They have commitments from a gifted group of incoming players who will keep the Buckeyes competing for Big Ten titles for years to come.
D'Angelo Russell is the No. 1 shooting guard in the 2014 recruiting class. He not only can score at will, but he may transition to become a dynamic scoring floor leader of the future.
Keita Bates-Diop, the No. 22 player in the country, is a versatile small forward that can do damage from the perimeter or in the post.
Jae'Sean Tate is one of the hardest-playing high schoolers in the nation. His high level of grit and determination will be contagious to the rest of the OSU roster.
As good as OSU has been under Matta over the last nine years, this group could form the nucleus for a serious run at an NCAA championship.
North Carolina: Joel Berry, Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson
North Carolina’s Roy Williams has secured the most impressive perimeter trio in the Class of 2014.
His three five-star signees will help the Tar Heels become one of the most potent offensive teams in the country.
Just as important, these three prospects are tough defenders who will also help establish the Tar Heels on the other end of the court.
Justin Jackson, the No. 8 player in the ESPN 100, is a lethal jump shooter who can connect from both long and mid-range.
Theo Pinson, the No. 4 small forward in the nation, is not only a capable scorer, but will also make an impact with his passing and defensive skills.
Joel Berry, the No. 3 point guard in the 2014 class, can expertly fill whatever role is needed. He is that good and that versatile.