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SoCalHoops Tournament & Recruiting News

Accelerated Recruiting? Players & Schools
In The West With Verbal Commitments--(Aug. 3, 2000)

There's a lot of talk at this time of year, especially now that the summer evaluation period is over, about "commitments"   or "verbals." Setting aside for the moment any question about what a "verbal commitment" really means, we have heared from quite a few D-I coaches about how much the summer evaluation process has increased the number of early commitments.  Some have decried this "trend" and others say it's a good thing, because it allows colleges to fill their slots sooner and that enables the players who have decided on a school to put the recruiting process behind them and focus instead on their senior seasons and, more importantly,  on academics (in order to qualify) without incurring further distractions from coaches.  Others, mostly those coaches who don't like the concept of early verbals and/or early signing, complain that the whole process of summer evaluations and the concomittant early "offers" and "verbals" has led to artificial and false expectations about what a scholarship to a university is really all about,  with players being more concerned about whether they are being "offered",  than whether they really know anything about the school, it's educational offerings, the coach, the other players on the team, and misleading players about what to expect.

And for all the talk that this year's senior class is loaded with high-level prospects (it is), together with the talk that that the summer evaluation process is quickening the pace at which players are committing early to schools,  we thought we'd find out if the process of securing "verbals" has thus far really taken place at the rate that many have said it is.   And much to our surprise, the answer is that the number of players who have been "offered" and who have "committed" thus far is fairly small, considering the number of players and schools in the West who will ultimately be signed later this year.       

And unless there are a substantial number of commitments that we haven't listed here (a distinct possiblity since the subject of players "committing" is sometimes a tricky business in and of itself, since a D-I school is prohibited from commenting on any such "commitments" and the "news" comes from the players themselves), it seems to us that this year the process of players committing early is proceeding at a fairly normal, sedate, and almost pedestrian pace, not really much quicker than in recent years past. 

Looking at just the schools in the west (which for our purposes includes also the States of Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado in addition to Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Washington and the other Mountain West Conference States), we were able to come up with just 15 players from the region who have announced verbal commitments, and among schools based in the west, only 13 players who have verbally committed to play there (in other words, two more players have commited to play outside the west than have commited to play within it).  

Of course, we think that in the next month or so, the pace will in fact quicken, as the early signing period approaches and once people have had a chance to step back from the hectic nature of the last month.  So this list below isn't meant to be any kind of prediction about when other players who have received offers are likely to give commitments (or whether they will or won't).    Over the course of the last month, we've gathered a ton of information about other likely recruiting targets for most of the schools up and down the west coast who haven't yet made up their minds,  but at least for now, those who have actually given verbals is a fairly low number. 

The fall signing period runs from November 8 through 15 and we'd expect that most of the schools in the west to fill their available scholarship spots by receiving actual signed Letters of Intent during or shortly after that period, but at least for now,  people seem to be playing things close to the vest.

We're not sure about the reasons why this is occurring, but most players know already that a "verbal commitment"  or an "offer" by any school at this point is not really binding on anyone.    Of course, most people want to believe that when a coach makes an offer of a scholarship he means it, and most coaches probably do mean it (otherwise word would get out and they'd have major credibility problems), but the simple fact is that even though the recruiting process is said to involve a high level of trust between a player and school, and player and coach,  the simple fact is that neither an "offer" by a school nor a player's "commitment" are binding, at least not until a National Letter of Intent or a Scholarship Agreement  are signed.  

In short, the rush to verbally commit hasn't really taken place this year, at least not among West Coast-based players, and while there are a lot of schools with offers outstanding to many players, there are a more scholarship spots which haven't been spoken for than have.   Here are the ones we know about so far:

Arizona

Arizona-based Players Who Have Committed

1. Channing Frye 6'10 PG Phoenix (St. Mary's) AZ University of Arizona

Arizona Schools with Player Commitments

1. University of Arizona

Channing Frye 6'10 C/F Phoenix (St. Mary's) AZ
Salim Stoudamire 6'2 SG Lake Oswego (H.S.) OR

2. Arizona State University

Jason Braxton 6'2 SG Moreno Valley (Canyon Springs) CA

California

California-based Players Who Have Committed

1. J.S. Nash 6'2 SG Moreno Valley (Rancho Verde) CA Oregon State University
2. Jason Braxton 6'2 SG Moreno Valley (Canyon Springs) CA Arizona State University
3. Derek Craven 6'2 SG Torrance (Bishop Montgomery) CA University of Southern California
4. Errick Craven 6'2 SG Torrance (Bishop Montgomery) CA University of Southern California
5. Chris Hernandez 6'-2 PG Fresno (Clovis West), CA Stanford University

California Schools with Commitments

1. University of California, Berkeley

Julian Sensley 6'9 PF Oakdale (St. Thomas More) CT/Hawaii

2. University of Southern California

Errick Craven 6'2 PG/SG Torrance (Bishop Montgomery) CA
Derek Craven 6'2 SG?PG Torrance (Bishop Montgomery) CA

3. Stanford University

Chris Hernandez 6'-2 PG Fresno (Clovis West), CA

Colorado

None

Idaho

None

Montana

None

Nevada

None

New Mexico

None

Oregon

Oregon-based Players Who Have Committed

1. Salim Stoudamire 6'2 SG Lake Oswego (H.S.) OR University of Arizona

Oregon Schools With Commitments

1. Oregon State University

J.S. Nash 6'2 2001 2G Moreno Valley (Rancho Verde) CA

Texas

Texas-based Players Who Have Committed

1. Daniel Ewing 6'3 SG Sugar Land (Willowridge) TX Duke
2. Matt Gibson 6'10 C Burkburnett (H.S.) TX University of Oklahoma
3. Carlos Hurt 6'2 PG Alief (Alief-Elsik) TX Louisville University
4. Dandrick Jones 6'4 PG Dallas (Kimball) TX Baylor University
5. Keith Langford 6'4 SG North Crowley (H.S.) TX University of Mississippi
6. Chris Wright 6'8 PF Redwater (H.S.) TX University of Texas

Texas School Commitments

1. Baylor University

Dandrick Jones 6'4 PG Dallas (Kimball) TX

2. University of Texas

Chris Wright 6'8 PF Redwater (H.S.) TX

Utah

Utah-based Players Who Have Committed

None

Utah Schools With Commitments

1. Weber State 

Reginald Patrick 6'2 PG Talbotton (Central) GA

Washington

Washington-based Players Who Have Committed

1. Anthony Washington 6'8 PF Seattle (Garfield) WA University of Washington
2. Josh Williams 6'7 C Yakima (Davis) WA University of Washington
3. Josh Reisman 6'1 PG Mt. Vernon (H.S.) WA Gonzaga University

Washington Schools With Player Commitments

1. University of Washington

Anthony Washington 6'8 PF Seattle (Garfield) WA
Josh Williams 6'7 C Yakima (Davis) WA

2. Gonzaga University

Josh Reisman 6'1 PG Mt. Vernon (H.S.) WA

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