Montrezl Harrell, Devonta Pollard could cause late recruiting shakeup
Though college basketball recruiting is amid its dead period, that doesn't mean prospects are taking any time off. Plenty of top players continue to stand out, and many should see increased attention once visits and evaluations start again on May 27. Here's a look at the latest headlines in high school and AAU hoops.
One of the more pleasant surprises this spring has been the development of four-star power forward
Madison Prep coach Jeff Jones indicated that Martin's work in the weight room has boosted his stock.
"This spring has been great," Jones said. "He's put on some great muscle weight. He's been working with a great strength coach here in Baton Rouge, Gayle Hatch, who used to be the United States Olympic weightlifting coach."
Not only has Martin gotten stronger, but he's also learned to use that power to play more dominantly on the interior.
"He's playing with more power and more as a versatile power forward," said Jones. "He's a lot like Terrence Jones at Kentucky. Last summer he was more on the perimeter, but now he's got a lot more power and efficiency around the basket."
Martin's schedule won't slow down soon. He is expected to attend the Pangos All-American Camp in Long Beach, Calif., the Adidas Nations in Chicago, the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Va., and the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago all in June. He's unlikely to take any school visits during the month, though he has indicated that Oklahoma State, Louisville, LSU and Alabama are among his frontrunners.
"[LSU has] turned the heat up and have been making him a priority since coach [Johnny] Jones took the job," said Jeff Jones. "They've done a great job of recruiting him and making themselves relevant."
With Alabama, it's been all about the consistency of coach Anthony Grant.
"Alabama and Anthony Grant have also done a great job of recruiting Jarell," said Jones. "They've probably been the most consistent and have been in to see him as much as possible."
Martin is in no rush to make a decision. Look for him to cut his list to five in July before announcing sometime next year.
"It will be the spring," said Jones. "We aren't going to have time to do very many visits over the summer if we can at all. It's a big decision, and while I'm going to help mentor him, it's his decision and I want him to be able to make the best informed decision he can make. The only way to do that is make visits to schools."
It's hard to blame Virginia Tech for wanting to keep
But the sudden availability of such a touted player has sparked a feeding frenzy of attention. Kentucky, Alabama, LSU and Florida are among the plethora of schools now courting the 6-foot-7 power forward.
After spending his senior season at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Academy, however, only one school has been able to lock down an official visit: Louisville. Rick Pitino's Cardinals look like the definite team to beat.
There are several factors working in the Cardinals' favor. First, assistant Kevin Keatts was the head coach at Hargrave before he accepted a job at Louisville last summer. Second, the Cardinals play a style that fits Harrell perfectly -- and the player and his family hope to make a decision quickly.
Time is also on Pitino's side. Harrell will visit Louisville on May 31 and will head to Colorado Springs, Colo., to try out for USA Basketball's U18 team shortly thereafter. There's not much time to squeeze additional visits in between.
Porterville (Miss.) Kemper County small forward
As has been the case for some time now, Pollard's inner circle has not released any updates on his recruitment. There hasn't been any information leaked from schools still in contention, and all indications are that Pollard's process is stagnant: even
As reported earlier, Alabama and Texas remain the favorites. Missouri, Georgetown and LSU are slightly behind.
As summer approaches, one of the more interesting stories is the recruitment of Houston (Texas) St. Thomas Episcopal's
Trocha has the core academics to make the move, requiring just a qualifying SAT score. He took the test at the beginning of May, and his scores are expected back next week. If Trocha attains a qualifying score, look for his recruitment to move quickly -- but not in a typical fashion.
Currently, Trocha remains in his native country of Colombia. He'll have a very limited window to take official visits in the U.S.; he'll have to head back to Colombia for his duties with the national team. But schools haven't been hesitant to reach out. Kentucky, UCLA, Oregon, Providence and Ohio State are among programs that have expressed interest.
• Whether 2013 four-star point guard
• Tulsa snuck a visit from New Orleans (La.) O.P. Walker point guard
• Dallas-based Urban DFW Elite will be in New Orleans for an upcoming tournament. Once they're done playing, at least two star players are expected to make a side trip to Baton Rouge to check out LSU. Class of 2013 four-star prospects
• A native New Yorker and a former member of the class of 2011,
• One of the more skilled and physical prospects in the class of 2013 is Elkhart (Ind.) Memorial combo guard
• He may not attract the headlines of some of his Spiece Indy Heat Elite teammates, but Bowling Green (Ohio) High power forward