The shifting dynamics of college basketball recruiting come into focus today when the NCAAs early-signing period begins.
Look at the cases of 6-foot-8 guard-forward Andrew Wiggins of West Virginias Huntington Prep viewed by most experts as the top recruit in the country and 6-5 guard-forward Sindarius Thornwell, who plays at prep powerhouse Oak Hill (Va.) Academy and is a top-25 prospect.
Wiggins and Thornwell are taking non-traditional, yet increasingly common, routes to college.
Wiggins recently reclassified, his class status at Huntington Prep, moving his scheduled graduation date up from 2014 to 2013. So hell begin college (hes expected to choose between North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida State, Syracuse and Kansas) next fall rather than in two years.
Then there is Thornwell, who is from Lancaster and part of a group of homegrown Carolinas players who have left the region to play at a private boarding school.
Both of these situations are a way that parents think they can enhance their kids opportunities of getting into the NBA faster, said Lenoir recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons. Its growing worse.
Wiggins, whom Gibbons said might not announce his college decision until next week, isnt the only nationally prominent player who has reclassified. Forward Noah Vonleh, who plays at New Hampton (N.H.) School and has committed to Indiana, did the same thing, as did center Dakari Johnson of Floridas Monteverde Academy.
Lancasters Thornwell, who will attend South Carolina after his senior season at Oak Hill, is also not the only Carolinas player to leave home to play elsewhere. Charlottes Allerik Freeman, a former Olympic High guard, transferred to Nevadas Findlay Prep and has committed to UCLA. Anton Gill, a guard from Raleigh Ravenscroft, is now at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy and will attend Louisville.
Weve lost a number of our top seniors, said Gibbons. Theyre being influenced by their summer coaches, telling them theyre going to play tougher competition and that theyll be better prepared for college both athletically and academically. And its all for the dream of playing in the NBA.
All-Star Sports Report national recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons ranks the top 10 high school basketball players in North and South Carolina.
|TOP 10 SENIORS IN SOUTH CAROLINA|
|1||Justin McKie||G/F||6-4||190||Columbia||Irmo||South Carolina|
|2||Austin Ajukwa||WF||6-6||190||Columbia||Cardinal Newman||Clemson|
|4||Matt Howard||SG||6-4||185||Columbia||A.C. Flora||Pennsylvania|
|6||D. J. Brooks||PG||6-1||170||Simpsonville||Hillcrest||Mercer|
|8||Rod Howell||WF||6-6||210||Rock Hill||Rock Hill||Undecided|
|9||TreDarius McCallum||PF/WF||6-5||200||Murrells Inlet||St. James School||Undecided|
All-Star Sports Report national recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons ranks the top 10 high school basketball players in South Carolina.