|It looks like Philly native and Friends Central forward Amile Jefferson will finally make the decision of which college to play for Tuesday afternoon. With the late signing period looming Wednesday, it looks like the top 25 prospect has nailed it down to where he wants to go.According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jefferson said on Friday that he’s “still looking” at Ohio State, Kentucky, Villanova, N.C. State, and Duke. The Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Pennsylvania had at one point put the Buckeyes high on his list, but since has seemed to favorite the likes of N.C. State and Duke.The Friends’ Central senior averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in his high school career. The McDonalds All-American has a very good all around game, that best suits him at the power forward position in the college game.
Early on, it looked like Duke and Ohio State would be in a battle to convince Jefferson they were the school for him. But as of late, N.C. State has really put together a push to convince the undersized forward. And now, with one scholarship left for 2012, Calipari is putting in his last sales pitch for Jefferson in Lexington.
Back in December, I profiled Jefferson in a 2012 recruiting update:
A lot of what has kept the Jefferson recruiting wheel rolling has to do with the likes of Anthony Bennett, who has yet to sign a Letter of Intent, and might even opt to wait until after the late signing period.
Both Power forwards were on the radar of Kentucky and Duke. Jefferson has also continued to explore his options based on probable NBA Draft picks. NC State, who was the most recent to jump in the mix, has a top five class heading to campus in 2012. If they could add Jefferson, they could really be a threat in the ACC right away next season. With the talented C.J. Leslie returning though, many wonder if Jefferson still has them as a favorite heading into Tuesday.
I personally believe that Duke would be the perfect fit for Jefferson to develop his game and get immediate playing time. In fact, in due time, he could become the next Eldon Brand or Shane Battier in that program. His skill set really plays into how the Duke program has handled it’s undersized bigs in the past.
His game is similar to that Sheldon Williams, Carlos Boozer, Christian Laettner, Leoul Deng and the tons of forwards that have come through the program and made their way to the NBA.
All we can hope for is that his announcement doesn’t take as long as former recruit Tony Parker, who selected UCLA after three hours of non-sense.
There is no doubt that the class of 2012 is quite murky at this point of the recruiting process, as schools across the nation gear up for the regular signing period that starts tomorrow.
Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio State are all looking to replace their big man. Memphis and UCLA are also looking to fill voids they’ve had for quite some time.
With the loss of Jared Sullinger and William Buford, as well as Jordan Sibert’s possible transfer, Ohio State has two/three open scholarships left for the 2012 class.
Of the 17 scholarships offered by the Ohio State coaching staff, only three have yet to commit to play for a school next year. And as it looks right now, all three are favoring other schools.
That put’s the coaching staff in a territory they haven’t been in for quite some time.
Swing forward Amile Jefferson still has Ohio State listed in his top five, but there is no doubt that the return of Deshaun Thomas killed any chance of the five star recruit making his way to Columbus. Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina State have all quickly jumped out front. The Philly native was supposed to select a school early in the year, but continues to hold off as he waits for players of each team to declare their intentions for 2012.
With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky and C.J. Leslie of NC State still deciding whether or not to jump, Jefferson is in the dark. Coach K really put in a push for Jefferson’s services before the Wolfpack and Wildcats put their major push in. With Austin Rivers in the NBA, it seems like Jefferson could choose Duke simply because he almost instantly becomes a top playmaker and starter. Especially if Plumblee 1 decides to jump into the draft mix with Cody Zeller staying out of the draft.
Georgia big man Tony Parker was thought to have been a major target for the upcoming season, especially if Jared Sullinger opted for the NBA. Now, according to Baptist, Parker won’t even return voicemails left by the Buckeye coaching staff.
Back in December, it seemed like the former AAU teammate of Shannon Scott was favoring Ohio State. So what has happened since to cause Parker to rethink things?
It’s still unbelievable the pull that Ohio State head man Thad Matta has been able to put together in his time as the head coach of this great university.From Greg Oden to Jared Sullinger to Mike Conley Jr. and Evan Turner — there has been a lot of talent that we have been fortunate enough to watch blossom. Just on this roster, back to back phenomenal classes have proven that this program isn’t going anywhere over the long-haul. This young team will only be forced to say goodbye to William Buford via eligibility. In 2012, only walk-on Alex Rogers and transfer Evan Ravenel will be in their final year of athletic eligibility.
But what about 2012 freshman class? Dave Dickerson, Chris Jent, Jeff Boals and Thad Matta have yet to receive a commit, despite working hard on the recruiting trail.
That doesn’t mean that whoever decides to come to Ohio State isn’t going to be some of the most talented players in the country going into their first year of collegiate basketball. This Christmas Eve, my present to you is an update on the 2012 class and how things are coming together for next year.