September 7, 2007

Basketball recruiting

Lets take a quick break from football for a moment. While this week's game vs. Miami (Ohio) is important to the Golden Gopher footballers, I believe that the basketball team has a bigger weekend ahead.

Let's all welcome Ralph Sampson III and Colten Iverson to the Minnesota. Both are top 150 players are both are taking official visits to the U this weekend. I've talked about them before but here is what I know...

Ralph Sampson III - C - 6'11", 220 - RSIII is the son of one of the great college basketball players. 3 or 4 months ago he was not receiving scholarships from big time programs. Tubby was one of the first to call on RSIII. Now Kentucky, Maryland, Georgia Tech and others are pursuing him. Fortunately Ralph's says that the fact that Tubby got to him early is important to him. This weekend is big, we need to "WOW" him and get him to commit soon. The longer he is out there and the fewer legitimate center prospects remain, the harder it will be to land him.

Colten Iverson - PF - 6'9", 240 - Colten is another big man who has gotten hot lately. Florida was high on Iverson and he took an official visit down there, but the lack of playing time early and I believe a recent transfer to Florida has dried up their available scholarships. It seems now that Iverson has his list narrowed to Minnesota, Nebraska and a few others (most think it is down to MN or Neb). I believe that playing time is going to be a factor for Iverson. Well, I guess in that regard we are lucky to be graduating every player over 6'2" (slight exaggeration).

We need help in the paint. These guys are very likely our best available big men out there. I think we legitimately have a shot at them and we clearly need them. Neither of these guys will turn this program around but they will be solid players to build a base. I really feel that this recruiting class has to be solid and the next recruiting class needs to have 2 or 3 studs (top 50 guys). Landing Iverson and Sampson along with the JUCO recruit, Paul Carter is a good start. Getting SG - Devoe Joseph along with these big men is the class I'm hoping to see sign.

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