First-year DePaul basketball coach Dave Leitao has wasted no
time in showing that he can recruit. The Blue Demons recently received
commitments from three fine prospects, giving them five in all.
Wesley Green, Marcus Heard and Lorenzo Thompson have joined
Tyler Smith and Sammy Mejia in promising to sign with DePaul. All plan to do
so during the Nov. 13-20 early signing week.
Green, a 6-9, 260-pound center from Eustis (FL) High School,
announced for DePaul after visiting the school. He had visited Marquette two
weeks earlier. He also took official trips to Florida State, Indiana and
Strangely, he tried to commit to Florida State, only to have
Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton basically say thanks, but no thanks.
Hamilton was more interested in landing 6-10 Diego Romero of Lon Morris
Junior College, and Romero ultimately committed to FSU.
Green averaged 18.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists as
Heard picked DePaul over Boston College, which also offered
a scholarship. He is a 6-6 small forward/power forward from Springfield (IL)
Southeast. Alabama-Birmingham, Oklahoma, Nevada-Las Vegas, Xavier and
Wyoming were among others showing interest.
Thompson is a 6-7, 230-pound power forward at Chicago (IL)
Crane Tech. He averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds as a junior. Thompson
chose the Blue Demons over Illinois and Michigan State, both of which also
made offers. Cincinnati, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Syracuse and
Wyoming had shown interest.
Conference USA schools now have 33 hoops commitments. DePaul
leads the way, while Tulane, Louisville and Houston have four apiece.
Memphis, Marquette and Cincinnati have three apiece. Alabama-Birmingham and
Southern Mississippi are still without commitments.
ECU eyes guards
A couple of guards have East Carolina near the top of their
Ray George, a 6-4 combination guard from Decatur (GA)
Christian Academy, includes the Pirates in his first five along with Miami,
Memphis, Georgia and Cincinnati. He has taken an official visit to Georgia.
A big-time scorer, George handles the ball very well. Some
coaches believe he handles it well enough to play point guard at the
Division I level. Clemson, Florida State, Rutgers, Florida and St. John’s
are others chasing him.
East Carolina reportedly is the leader for George, and it
appears that he is the No. 1 backcourt priority for Bill Herrion and his
staff at this time.
George’s strength is driving the ball to the basket. He
finishes well and pulls up for the medium-range jump shot. His three-point
shot needs improvement.
He has said he wants to take all five of his visits and sign
early. Cramming in the rest of the trips in two and a half weeks may be a
Another slasher looking hard at the Pirates is 6-3 Jamaal
Dixon of Braintree (MA) Thayer Academy, where he is a teammate of
Maryland-bound Michael Jones, a 6-4 swing player.
Pittsburgh has gone after Dixon hard and will get a visit.
Richmond, UNC-Wilmington, South Alabama, Massachusetts, Princeton, William
and Mary and Rice are others he is considering, as well as East Carolina.
Rice and William and Mary are the only schools to offer so
Dixon, like George, must work on his outside jumper. He gets
most of his points in transition and on drives. He is a fine student,
carrying a 3.0 grade-point average and an SAT score of 1,100.
Here is the complete list of C-USA hoops commitments as we
CHARLOTTE — Martin Iti, 6-11 center, Durham (NC) Mount
Zion Christian Academy; Marcus Bennett, 6-3 wing guard/point guard,
Schoolcraft Junior College.
CINCINNATI — Nick Williams, 6-3 wing guard, Chipola Junior
College; Robert Whaley, 6-10 center, Barton County (KS) Junior College;
Mike Pilgrim, 6-7 power forward, Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy.
DePAUL — Sammy Mejia, 6-5 wing guard/point guard, Cornwall
on Hudson (NY) Storm King; Tyler Smith, 6-2 wing guard, Colora (MD) West
Nottingham Academy; Wesley Green, 6-9 center, Eustis (FL) High School;
Marcus Heard, 6-6 small forward/power forward, Springfield (IL) Southeast;
Lorenzo Thompson, 6-7 power forward, Chicago (IL) Crane Tech.
EAST CAROLINA — Keith Foster, 6-9 power forward/center,
Winston-Salem (NC) Reynolds.
HOUSTON — Lanny Smith, 6-3 point guard, Missouri City (TX)
Hightower; Parker Pinkalla, 6-4 wing guard, Houston (TX) Strake Jesuit
College Prep School; Andrew Francis, 6-7 small forward, Houston (TX) Elsik;
Darrius Brannon, 6-9 power forward, Baytown (TX) Lee College.
LOUISVILLE — Brandon Jenkins, 6-2 point guard/wing guard,
Detroit (MI) Southeastern; Nouha Diakite, 6-10 power forward, Barton
County Junior College; James Lang, 6-10 center, Birmingham (AL) Central
Parkway; Nate Daniels, 6-8 small forward/wing guard, Broward Junior
MARQUETTE — James Matthews, 6-7 power forward, Detroit
(MI) Denby; Dameon Mason, 6-5 small forward/wing guard, Aurora (IL) West;
Brandon Bell, 5-11 point guard, Detroit (MI) Southwestern.
MEMPHIS — Kendrick Perkins, 6-11 center, Beaumont (TX)
Ozen; Sean Banks, 6-7 small forward, Oradell (NJ) Bergen; Michael Ford,
6-8 small forward, Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame.
SOUTH FLORIDA — Ricardo Freeman, 6-3 point guard, Seward
County Community College; Konimba Diarra, 6-10 center, Centereach (NY) Our
Savior New America.
ST. LOUIS — Darren Clarke, 6-1 wing guard, Minnetonka (MN)
TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY — Blake Adams, 6-5 wing guard,
Houston (TX) Nimitz.
TULANE — Chris Moore, 6-4 wing guard, Pittsfield (ME)
Central Institute; Troy Aaron, 6-0 point guard, Lake Charles (LA) St.
Louis; Vincent Camper, 6-3 point guard, Oxford (MS) High School; Dan
Fitzgerald, 6-8 small forward/power forward, Mendota Heights (MN) St.