Posted: 2:31 a.m. Saturday, May 4, 2013
Finally some basketball recruiting! Equal opportunity here at STS...
First a specific, concrete 'nugget' and then a vague one still in flux. Donte Grantham is in Tigertown with his mom on an official visit. This is shocking. He was supposedly going to re-classify (go to prep school and come out in 2014), and he still may, but here he is in Clemson. Brownell's staff is getting after it!
Here is the situation--he is a 6'6-7 200 pound small forward who was the 2013 player of the year in West Virginia. West Virginia does not have great competition for basketball and isn't highly thought of so he flew under the radar and West Virginia only ended up offering him very late.
However, that has all very quickly changed after he had a stellar, standout performance for the DC Assault in the Philly Jam Fest a couple of weekends ago. He was a match-up nightmare because he is long and plays more like a big around the basket (which is what he has to do for his team in WV since he is the tallest player). He also has a good mid-range game and can knock down some perimeter shots. If he stayed another year playing in a prep school many think he will be a top 100 player and bigger schools will be after him. This is why his showing up in Clemson is huge--and this would be a serious loss for West Virginia who seem to have fowled up this recruitment (couldn't resist). If we can snag him now this will be a major recruiting coup for Brad Brownell. That loss in the NCAA tourney still stings (the Orange Bowl doesn't exist) so I would love to steal him away. The end of the signing period is May 15th, which is fast approaching.
Sidy Djitte is supposedly going to commit this weekend I am hearing (could still change but that is the plan as of my writing). He has a handler (who happens to be associated with a famous synonym for the word ledge in Clemson basketball history--lets see if you guys can crack that one!! Didn't think we would have word games now did you??) and as I have said before it is down to Clemson, Cincinnati and Memphis. Having a handler is not uncommon these days for a lot of players coming internationally to play high school basketball in the states. But both of those programs still have the remnants of machines implemented by past coaches who have ginormous skeletons in their closets.
It is unclear who will be playing ball here in the end though. Djitte isn't near top 25-50 player material but bigs and especially centers are often inflated in value, especially this late in the game and with so few really great big men in this class. I must be vague here for reasons that I hope are obvious.
At one point in his recruitment it did seem like he was set on Clemson but then interest came late from these other programs. He seemed to enjoy his official visit and time spent with Djambo but quite frankly, I'm not sure Djitte's personal feelings are going to play much into the final decision. Certainly Coach Wineicki's ability to develop centers is working in our favor, along with the chance to get immediate playing time. Djitte would automatically start in our 2-deep and would be another important foundational piece for Brownell. Lots of upside and potential here.
All is quiet on the PG/SG (6'4) Allerik Freeman front. He is the second highest rated uncommitted prospect left in college basketball right now (the first is the number one player in the country) and he recently de-committed from the UCLA Bruins. He would be an instant impact type recruit that every major program would like to take but most teams are full at this point. His final three were UCLA, Kansas and Villanova before he ultimately picked the Bruins. He is mostly known as a shooting guard but wants to play the point which certainly makes him attractive for our coaching staff. But at this point it sounds like a lot of wishful thinking. We haven't been tied to him in any meaningful way to date. Could change but I don't see that happening in time for a May 15th deadline.