September 28, 2007

Fastbreak Friday: Busy season





The last weekend of September is incredibly busy for official visits.


The college basketball recruiting world has seen a number of major commitments over the past six days. Could we see even more Monday morning?


Rivals.com looks at the weekend's action in the latest version of Fastbreak Friday.



ACC



Virginia Tech is playing host to North Carolina on the gridiron this weekend. While the game doesn't excite too many, the news that Seth Greenberg and his staff have a number of top players on campus certainly does.


Three of the Hokies' top targets from the class of 2008 will be in Blacksburg. Floridians Evan Ravenel, a power forward, and Shaquille Johnson, a combo guard, will be joined by New Jersey guard Tyshawn Taylor for an official visit. Recent commitment Victor Davila, a bruising big man from North Carolina, also will be in town.


The class of 2009 is well-represented, as in-state targets Donte Hill and Ben Boggs will make an appearance, along with Ryan Kelly from North Carolina.


Greenberg and his staff are staying aggressive on the recruiting front deep into the 2010 class. A trio of impressive prospects will see the campus sites, as North Carolina forward Jarrell Eddie will be joined by big man Joshua Hairston and guard Markel Starks from the D.C. area.


Georgia Tech is hoping the bad luck on the recruiting front ends soon. The Yellow Jackets saw one of the top targets on their board - Sylven Landesberg - choose conference foe Virginia on Thursday. This weekend could be different. The top target, Iman Shumpert, will make a return trip to Atlanta. The Chicago native visited North Carolina recently and will trip to Marquette before making his final decision.


Also on campus is Atlanta-area prospect Ralph Sampson III, a 6-foot-10 center. The Yellow Jackets offered the four-star big man in June and have aggressively recruited him since.


Virginia, winners of the Landesberg sweepstakes Thursday, potentially could strike again this weekend as under-the-radar center Assane Sene makes his third trip to Charlottesville. Sene, a 7-footer from Senegal via South Kent (Conn.), also could visit Connecticut in the near future.



Big East



One of the best college football games in the country will happen Friday night when USF plays host to West Virginia in a big-time Big East matchup. In town to see the game and the Tampa campus are North Carolina natives Damier Pitts and Kenny Gabriel.


Marquette has two key visitors in for the weekend. California wing Renaldo Woolridge and Mookie Jones of Peekskill, N.Y., are looking at Tom Crean's program.


Seton Hall is taking advantage of its talent-rich surroundings. Tyreke Evans, one of the elite scorers in the class of 2008, recently took a visit to the New Jersey school. This weekend, it will be Lance Stephenson, a 6-5 prospect from Brooklyn who is one of the best guards in the nation.


Louisville is hosting four-star, class of 2009 forward Stephen Van Treese from Indianapolis. He visited Indiana and Purdue last week.



Big Ten



Northwestern is the next stop on the Midwestern tour for sleeper big man Garrett Stutz, a 7-footer who has been a hot name this fall among the high-majors. Bill Carmody and his staff have been active during the visit season, particularly with big men.


Illinois will play host to highly coveted junior college prospect Mario Little, a Chicago native who is familiar with the Illini from his high school days.


Iowa has a number of underclassmen on campus for a big weekend. Class of 2009 prospects Bobby Capobianco of Ohio, Ritchie Edwards of Florida, Brennan Cougill of Iowa and Jacob Jenkins of Kentucky will be joined by class of 2010 prospects Russell Byrd of Indiana and Harrison Barnes of Iowa.


Lewis Jackson will make a return to Purdue's campus; he already has committed to the Boilermakers. He'll be joined by class of 2009 prospect Jeff Robinson on the visit.


Detroit's Dashonte Riley, one of the top centers in the class of 2009, will be at Ohio State this weekend.



Big 12



It is a sleeper weekend in the Big 12 this week, as a number of under-the-radar prospects make their way to a handful of conference schools.


Kansas gets a crack at New Jersey big man Quintrell Thomas. Missouri is playing host to Baltimore native Kim English, a 6-6 wing. Texas has New Mexico forward Jeff Taylor on campus, and Georgia forward Toby Veal is making his way to Colorado.



Pac-10



The Rivals.com football game of the week is in Eugene, Ore., as the Ducks play host to California. Ernie Kent and his staff are hoping the atmosphere pays off in their quest for Chicago native Josh Crittle, who will make his first trip to the Pacific Northwest school.


Oregon State has North Carolina guard Chris Turner in for an official visit.


Stanford is pulling out all of the stops and getting its 2008 recruiting class on campus at the same time. Pledges Jarrett Mann, Jeremy Green and Miles Plumlee will be in Palo Alto. So will top target John Brandenburg, who will make his second trip to Stanford. He's down to the Cardinal and Virginia. Mason Plumlee, the younger brother of Miles, also will be in town. He's a Rivals100 junior.


Arizona is bringing in commitment Brandon Jennings for his official visit. There is a good chance a small crowd will be waiting for him in the open gym.



SEC



For the second consecutive week, there is a lot of action on the basketball recruiting front for Arkansas. Two class of 2008 prospects have visits scheduled to Fayetteville, Rivals150 prospects Terrence Henry and Courtney Fortson.


Vanderbilt has to be feeling good after securing a pledge from Steve Tchiengang in the middle of the week. This weekend, the Commodores potentially could strike again with New Jersey forward Lance Goulbourne, who will be in Nashville for his official visit.


Darius Morrow, an under-the-radar center from Georgia, is headed to South Carolina to get a better feel for Columbia.


Georgia gets a shot at in-state sleeper DeMario Mayfield, a 6-4 combo guard from the class of 2009.



Mid-majors



New Mexico is hosting a trio of its commitments - Nate Garth, Will Brown and Isaiah Rusher - as well as class of 2009 sleeper Ray Turner, a Houston product.


Nevada has one of its most important prospects in for an official visit in Washington's Mark McLaughlin.


St. Louis will play host to Kyle Kuric, a guard out of Evansville, Ind.


Sharp-shooter Chris Fouch is taking a trip to Hofstra.


Dallas-Fort Worth guard Chris Babb and San Antonio- area wing Cameron Moore are scheduled to visit Tulsa.


New England native Andrew Van Nest is visiting Penn.


Georgia wing Gideon Gamble is seeing Winthrop.


Nashville-area native Keith Ramsey, a 6-8 prospect from Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) JC, is returning home to see Middle Tennessee State.


Santa Clara has two important prospects on campus in Chad Adams and Xavier Blount, said their AAU coach, Ross Romero.


New Jersey forward Ryan Brooks is taking an official visit to Rhode Island.


Class of 2009 guard Chase Dunn out of Nashville will unofficially visit Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


Former USC big man Jeremy Barr now is at San Jacinto Junior College in Texas. This weekend, he will visit Louisiana-Lafayette.


West Coast sleeper Damian Lillard will see what San Diego has to offer.


Princeton is playing host to wing Patrick Saunders.


Ohio forward Damian Eargle will make the trek to UNC Greensboro.

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