Top Five Unsigned Seniors
Words. Jason Jordan
Will they sign during the Early Signing Period (which runs through Nov. 18) or keep us in suspense another five months and sign in the spring? Here’s a look at the top five unsigned seniors and what they will likely do.
1. Harrison Barnes (Ames High, Iowa), 6-6, SF
We can all recite the schools on Barnes’ list by now — North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Iowa State, UCLA and Oklahoma — but come Friday we won’t have to. Barnes, HighSchoolHoop’s top prospect, will announce his decision live on ESPNU at 4 p.m. EST. “Everybody’s making a big deal about me announcing on Friday the 13th,” said Barnes. “It’s crazy to me… I don’t get into all of that spooky stuff.”
* JJ’s Prediction — Of course I talk to Harrison once a week for the recruiting diary he keeps, and he always asks me, “Jason, where am I going?” I’ve given at least three different answers on this one, to which he said, “Aww, come on man! I like it when someone’s definite and confident!” So I told him I would be making this prediction… So here goes: Now, obviously it’s a tough call, but in talking with Harrison and from what I’m hearing I’ve concluded that it’s between UNC and Duke. All of the conversations we’ve had and from what I hear from sources tells me it’s Duke.
2. Brandon Knight (Pine Crest High, Fla.), 6-2, PG
Knight is down to Kentucky, Connecticut, Miami, Kansas and Florida, and every indication is that the No. 2 prospect in the HSH Top 50 will wait until the spring to sign. That typically means he won’t verbally commit any time soon, either. He’s already taken official visits to UConn, Kentucky and Kansas, and is supposed to visit Florida this weekend.
* JJ’s Prediction — Knight has kept most of his news close to the vest, but from what I’m hearing, Kansas and Connecticut have the inside track. You can’t count Kentucky out, but I fully expect another big-time guard to be in Lexington. If I had to pick today, I would say Kansas.
3. Josh Selby (Lake Clifton-Eastern High, Md.), 6-3, PG
Don’t expect Selby, rated No. 7 in the HSH Top 50, to be making any big news during the early signing period. He and his mother have maintained throughout that they plan to “thoroughly look at each school” they’re considering. Translation: It will be a lot warmer when Selby signs or decides. Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Miami and Syracuse make up his list. He’s set to visit the Hoosiers this weekend and has already visited Kansas unofficially. Word is, Kentucky has the inside track due to a connection with William Wesley, a.k.a. “Worldwide Wes,” a hoops power broker who’s been tied to some of John Calipari’s biggest recruits in the past. To be fair, Selby’s mother admitted to us that there was a third party involved in Selby’s recruitment, but “it’s not Worldwide Wes!”
* JJ’s Prediction — Remember that “big-time guard” I said I thought would end up in Lexington? That would be Selby.
4. C.J. Leslie (Word of God Academy, N.C.), 6-8, F
Leslie will also be waiting until the spring to decide, and I would expect it to be a situation similar to Barnes — deciding on TV the day he plans to sign. Kentucky and North Carolina State are the perceived favorites here, even though Leslie, the No. 10 rated prospect in the HSH Top 50, de-committed from the Wolfpack during his junior season. Most thought Leslie to Kentucky was a no-brainer, but don’t count out N.C. State. The Wolfpack are putting together a monster 2010 class. Florida is also in the mix.
* JJ’s Prediction — In the end I think Kentucky will win out here, but I’m telling you, N.C. State is a major player.
5. Tobias Harris (Half Hollow Hill High, N.Y.), 6-8, F
Harris, the No. 14 prospect in the HSH Top 50, will decide during the early signing period, but he’ll wait until the last day. He said he plans to decide on Nov. 19, but he’ll likely move that up a day to make it official. Georgia Tech, Louisville, Kentucky, Maryland, Syracuse, West Virginia and Tennessee make up his list.
* JJ’s Prediction — Another tough call (I’m starting to sense a pattern), but I like the ‘Cuse here. From what I’m hearing, Harris likes the idea of staying in-state.