Summer and Autumn Recruiting
We landed the 10th best recruiting class last year. Those schools ahead of us were Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Michigan State, Oregon, Kansas, Virginia, Duke, and UCLA. We'd like to do even better this year.
We will have 6 scholarships to fill unless we pick up a transfer player. We order the basic editions of the Southeast and the National Reports. We also make plans to attend the Indy Elite Camp and the Memphis Hoop Summit.
Looking over the list of transfers, we decide to pass since we feel there’s a good chance of picking up better players and would prefer to get players we are likely to have for 4 years.
I’m excited by the number of high-ranking recruits who become interested in Memphis. Now if we can just land some of them. Again we will employ whatever methods needed and do whatever it takes to get them to commit to us, but first we need to try to determine which of them may be most likely to be influenced by our inducements. We focus on family finances. But then factoring in who is most likely to be willing to take what we offer and who will be turned off by what we offer becomes pretty much a guessing game. Determining integrity (and the lack of it) is elusive. This year many of the top-ranked recruits come from families who are well off so we may have to gain their interest in more traditional ways and save our “offers” for some a bit lower in the rankings.
Towards the end of August, we decide to try to solidify interest with some key recruits by hopefully making them an offer they could not resist (number in parentheses is that player's national ranking and number of +'s indicates level of interest in our program):
PG Joel English (#5)—family lower middle class—$10K cash offered but he's not interested, +++ dropped to ++ (he eventually signed with Mich St)
SF Greg Brooks (#8)—family lower middle class—$10K cash offered, he found it tempting offer and indicated it will factor into his decision—he was already +++ but we're not in his top 10 and still are not after the offer.
SG Michael Walcutt (#3)—family upper middle class—$10K cash offered, he also found it to be a tempting offer and said it will factor into his decision—already +++ but we weren't in his top 10 but became 8th on his top 10 list after the offer (he eventually signed with Mich St)
C Ryan Welch (#4)—family middle class—$10K cashoffered, he was not interested, +++ dropped to ++ (he eventually signed with Stanford)
SG A.J. Hahn (#12)—family poor--—$10K cash offered, he said it was a tempting offer and that it will factor into his decision— we went from ++ to +++ after the offer, but not still were not in his top 10 (he eventually signed with Syracuse)
PF Scotty Jackson (#2)—family upper middle class--$10K cash, he said it was a tempting offer and that it will factor into his decision—we were already + but we moved up to ++ after the offer, but still were not in his top 10 (he eventually signed with Mich St)
Our scholarship offers on 9/5:
SG Walcutt, #3—we were 8th on his top 10 list at that point (he signed with Mich St)
PG Mckie, #6—we were 3rd on his top 10 list at that point (he signed with Kentucky—but we had moved up to 2nd on his top 10—damn!--close but no cigar)
PF Jackson, #2, we weren't listed on his top 10 list (he signed with Mich St)
SG Hahn, #12, we weren't listed on his top 10 list (he signed with Syracuse)
SF Brooks, #8, we weren't on his top 10 list—VERBAL to MEMPHIS on 9/11 (hooray)
PG Smiley, #7—we weren't on his top 10 list at that point (he signed with UCLA, but we were 5th on his top 10 when he made his decision)
Bribe offered on 9/18:
PG Brennan Best (#16)—family poor)--$10K cashoffered--he said it was a tempting offer and that it would factor into his decision— ++ went to +++, but we still were not in his top 10 (he eventually signed with Mich St)
Our Scholarship offers on 9/18:
PF Akins (#1), 2.1 GPA)—we were #1 on his top 10 list—VERBAL to MEMPHIS on 10/9
SG Farmer (#21, 2.3 GPA)—we were #1 on his top 10 list—VERBAL to MEMPHIS on 9/18
PF Kirklin (#13)--we were #7 on his top 10 list (he signed with Arkansas)
PG Best (#16)—we weren't on his top 10 list (he signed with Mich St)
Our scholarship offers on 9/25:
PG Jerian Sarchet (#27)—we weren't on his top 10 list (he signed with Duke)
PF Angelo Craft (#34)—we were 2nd on his top 10 list—VERBAL to MEMPHIS on 9/25
C Larry Ress (#38)--$5K offer to hang with school celebrity, he found it to be a tempting offer and said it will factor into his decision—already +++ but we were not in top 10 and still not after the offer (he eventually signed with Stanford)
Our Scholarship offer on 10/2:
C Ress (#38)—we were not on his top 10 list (he signed with Stanford)
Michigan State and Stanford simply blitzed our recruiting efforts. Therefore we opened our sites to looking at highly rated JC players at this point.
PG Jared Keady (#48)--$2K for Entertainment System--he found the offer tempting and said it would factor into his decision--we were already +++ but not in his top 10 but moved up to #7 in his top 10 after the offer.
Scholarship offers on 10/9:
SG Hunter (#32)—we were 3rd on his top 10 list—VERBAL to MEMPHIS on 11/20
PG Keady (#48)—we were 7th on his top 10 list—VERBAL to MEMPHIS on 11/6
Summary of Scholarship Acceptances after summer and autumn recruiting:
PG Jared Keady, 6-3 JC So, Orange, VA, 2.5 GPA. 14.3 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.6 rpg, 3.2 spg, 0.6 bpg. A very good scorer with a very nice outside shot; great passer and ball handler; outstanding defender; good at stealing the ball. Ranked #47, Overall Rating: A. We will be buying him a $2,000 entertainment center after he arrives.
PF Angelo Craft, 6-8 HS Sr, Lebanon, TN, 2.9 GPA. 18.6 ppg, 1.6 apg, 6.6 rpg, 1.5 spg, 2.5 bpg. Great scorer resulting from outstanding inside shooting; strong rebounder and passer; very athletic; could work harder; has had some attitude and discipline problems. Had a decent showing at the Indy Elite Camp and in the Top 5 at the Memphis Hoop Summit. Ranked #38, Overall rating: A.
SG Dennis Farmer, 6-4 HS Sr, Prairie Grove, AR, 2.3 GPA. 21.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, 4.0 rpg, 3.4 spg, 0.7 bpg. Another risky selection due to his 2.3 GPA which calls into question his ability to meet the minimum SAT score. Excellent scorer with very strong inside and outside shots; great defender; sharp passer and a strong ball handler; extremely good athleticism; a hard worker who doesn’t cause problems; doesn’t have problems with injuries. A Top 10 player in the Indy Elite Camp. Ranked #18, Overall rating: A.
PF Kevin Akins, 6-6 HS Sr, St. Johnsbury, VT, 2.1 GPA. 27.8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 21.2 rpg, 7.3 spg, 3.8 bpg. This guy is a beast...just look at this stats! But do you see the risk also? Yes, he’s sporting a 2.1 GPA, so he’s likely not to make the minimum SAT score...but it was a risk worth taking. Outstanding inside shot and excellent outside shot which creates phenomenal scoring; he absolutely OWNS the boards; a shut-down defender with a nose for the ball with hands that make him an A+ shot blocker and ball stealer; offensively a great passer; a hard worker who doesn’t cause problems. Was in Top 5 at the Indy Elite Camp. Ranked #1, Overall rating: A.
SF Greg Brooks, 6-7 HS Sr, Tenafly, NJ, 3.1 GPA. 27.6 ppg, 2.8 apg, 9.0 rpg, 5.3 spg, 1.2 bpg. The top SF in the recruit pool. An outstanding scorer with a sweet outside shot and strong shooter inside as well; Excellent defender and rebounder; great at stealing the ball and a very strong shot blocker also; excellent passer; a hard worker. Was in the top 25 at the Indy Elite Camp. Ranked #8, Overall rating: A. We need to funnel $10,000 his way when he gets here.
SG Austin Hunter, 6-1 JC So, Harvey, ND, 2.5 GPA. 17.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 8.1 rpg, 2.3 spg, 1.7 bpg. A big scorer who is a very good outside shooter; excellent passer and very good ball handling skills; excellent rebounder; strong defender; a hard worker who doesn’t have many problems with injuries. Ranked #32, Overall rating: A.
7 offers of $10K/player--5 found it tempting--1 signed with us.
1 offer of $5K--he found it tempting but didn't sign with us.
1 offer of $2K--he found it tempitng and signed with us.
5 offers to players ranked 1-10, one accepted scholarship
2 offers to players ranked 11-20, none accepted scholarship
1 offer to player ranked 31-40, none accepted scholarship
1 offer to player ranked 41-40, one accepted scholarship
Scholarship Offer Summary:
6 offered to players ranked 1-10, 2 accepted scholarships
2 offered to players ranked 11-20, 1 accepted scholarship
2 offered to players ranked 21-30, none accepted scholarship
3 offered to players ranked 31-40, 2 accepted scholarships
1 offered to player ranked 41-50, 1 accepted scholarship