Friday, May 16, 2008

Around the WCC: 2008 Recruiting

The WCC recruiting classes for 2008 are continuing to be filled to this day. The WCC was able get their hands on a few big-time transfers and the basement dwellers of the conference are attempting total upheavals of their programs. Gonzaga secured it's three recruits early on with Meech Goodson, Andy Poling, and Grant Gibbs. Mark Few also added Bol Kong but he will have to sit out this coming season for eligibility issues. Looking around the WCC, each team became stronger or loaded up on bodies. Here is a "quick" and by quick meaning very long breakdown of WCC recruiting classes for 2008.

San Diego- We will start at the top of the conference with the WCC tournament champion Toreros. After last years amazing tournament run, USD adds depth by signing a guard and two forwards. Patrick McCollum, a 3-star point guard from San Diego looks to be the big get for USD. McCollum was hearing from the elite of the Pac-10 as well as some interest from Gonzaga. He pulled the trigger on USD and will stay close to home for his college tenure. The Toreros also add Luciano DeSouza, a junior college small forward from Texas as well as Roberto Mafra. Mafra is a big body from the same high school as J.P. Batista in Brazil. He scored a team high 16 points last year and added 6 boards. These recruits will learn from stars Brandon Johnson and Gyno Pomare as they enter their senior seasons at USD.

St. Mary's (CA)- Staying at the top of the WCC, heated Gonzaga rival SMC is also reloading its talent pool. They lose two role players in Tron Smith and Todd Golden. Golden killed th
e Zags with his three point range and Tron was an excellent defender. SMC brings in Tim Williams and Colin Chiverton. Chiverton is a 6'5'' small forward who was named player of the year in the West Catholic Athletic League. Both him and Williams are instant impact players. Williams is a power forward also out of California. Williams had offers from Miami, UNLV, and Utah as well. They also add another Australian transplant in Clint Steindl who is a pure shooting guard. Also making impacts for the Gaels this coming season will be redshirt juniors Wayne Hunter and Ben Allen, who is a transfer from Indiana.

Loyola Marymount- Here's where it all gets interesting. The Lions nabbed two huge tr
ansfers in Larry Davis from Seton Hall and Drew Viney from Oregon. Both were four stars out of high school and contributed at their previous schools. Davis is a 6'3'' SG and Viney is a 6'7'' SF. They also recently picked up Vernon Teel, a junior college transplant who was hearing interest from Kentucky and the Oklahoma schools. Teel has had an interesting past, being that he was a top prospect in 2004, he has had a very long journey. They also added Fremont, CA prospect LaRon Armstead. Armstead, a guard, averaged nearly 20 points per game in his senior season. After a tumultuous past season and off-season, the Lions are still left with a number of open scholarships. As of right now they are just looking to field a team, and it appears that they are well on their way to putting together a very good one.

Santa Clara- In another "program uphaul" attempt, the Broncos of Santa Clara have a
dded five new players to their program under Kerry Keating. They recently signed Perry Petty, a junior college transplant to apparently round out their recruiting class. A class which includes James Rahon, Marc Trasolini, Troy Alexander and Kevin Foster. James Rahon is the star of this class. Rahon is a deadly shooter and one of the best on the west coast according to many scouts. The combo guard from Torrey Pines High in California was receiving interest from many lower division one level schools including USD and San Diego State. He was also hearing interest from Michigan, ASU, and USC. Their big loss this off-season is Brody Angley but they return a much improved John Bryant and will be poised to compete for the WCC.

San Francisco- New coach Rex Walters will take over for Eddie Sutton and was looking to complement star forward Dior Lowhorn for the Dons. Walters has envigorated the Dons and has brought in four newcomers looking to make an impact. Angelo Caloiaro, Dontae Bryant, Kwame Vaughn, and Chris O'Brien compose the 2008 recruiting class for the Dons. Caloiaro and O'Brien are fowards who scored 17 and 20 points per game for their respective high schools teams their season seasons. O'Brien intended to enroll at Princeton last year but wasn't admitted and was forced to sit out last year. Dontae Bryant is a juco commit from Arizona who can fill up every column of the stat sheet. Kwame Vaughn is a supreme talent. The 6'3'' inch guard from Oakland averaged 24 points per game and 3 assists. He was an original commit to LMU but did not see eye-to-eye with new coach Bayno and was released. He nearly committed to Oregon State but pulled the trigger with the Dons instead.

Pepperdine- The Waves have made a huge splash in recruting (apologies for the pun) and have signed a half dozen players for 2008. Recent additions Jonathan Dupre' and Taylor Darby join Keion Bell, Lorne Jackson, Corbin Moore, and Dane Suttle Jr. Dupre is a junior college commit who averaged 5.5 points per game last season. Corbin Moore is a 6'10'' center out of California. He is one of the best center prospects in the West and plays very well with his face to the basket. Lorne Jackson, Dane Suttle, and Keion Bell are impressive guards hailing from California. Each was given a three star ranking by Rivals and were hearing from many mid-major schools as well as a handful of high-major programs. After losing 2007 star recruits Tyrone Shelley and Malcom Thomas to transfer, the Waves needed to add significant numbers and coach Tom Asbury was able to do so.

Portland- The final recruiting destination in the WCC is the Pilots of Portland. Ever since the departure of Pooh Jeter, Portland has been dreadful. The Pilots have added two players to their roster this recruiting season in T.J. Campbell and Nemanja Mitrovic. Campbell was a third-team All American guard out of Glendale Community College. The 5'9'' guard joins the Pilots with two more years of eligibility. His standout sophomore year in Glendale was highlighted by his 16 points per game as well as 5 assists. Mitrovic is a big guard at 6'5'' from Toronto. He has bloodlines in basketball as his father was a standout for the Yugoslavian National Team. Coach Reveno only graduated one player this off-season and returns four starters.

The prognosis of the WCC is extremely positive. Gonzaga is already a very well established power nationally and the showings of SMC and USD are also very impressive and appear that they will continue in the near future. As long as Portland, USF, and Pepperdine can build on their coaching and current recruiting trends, the WCC should become a very strong conference top to bottom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, guys!

Three additions: Decensae White, a transfer from Texas Tech, to SCU (he'll be eligible midway through the season next year); John Hegarty, a 7+ footer, to Portland; and Andy Shannon to Pepperdine, a 6'10" kid from Sacramento.