Porter-Gaud’s Josiah James is keeping his recruiting options open as he heads into summer before his senior season.
South Carolina and Clemson have been recruiting James, one of the state’s top prospects for the class of 2019, for several years. Texas, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee and Florida State also are recruiting him.
James attended a USC game a few weeks ago and was at the Duke-Clemson game last Sunday. He hears regularly from Gamecocks assistants Perry Clark and Bruce Shingler, and USC has been to several of his games this year, including all of the ones at the Chick-fil-A Classic in December.
James also hears from Clemson assistant coach Steve Smith, and head coach Brad Brownell texted him before Wednesday’s playoff game against Ben Lippen. At this point, he doesn’t have a favorite and likely will release a top-five list following his summer AAU season playing for Team TMP, which is made up of players from the Charleston area.
“My recruiting is still wide open,” James said after Wednesday’s win against Ben Lippen. “I was at Clemson and South Carolina the last two weekends. Both great atmospheres and both great games.
“Coach Martin wants me to come in and lead his team, really. He wants me to be a leader at the point guard position and play one through four on defense. But he is really preaching for me to be a leader, as I am on my high school team. Coach Brownell has, basically, told me the same thing. They want me to come in and facilitate the team. Both programs are doing really well this year, so it is great.”
Rivals recruiting analyst Corey Evans thinks James’ recruitment should heat up even more this summer, and he wouldn’t be surprised if programs like Duke and Michigan State get more involved. James’ dad, Kurt, was a member of the Spartans’ 1979 national championship team, which included Magic Johnson.
Rivals ranks James as the 18th-best prospect for the class of 2019, ESPN has him at 23rd and 247Sports at 29th. The 6-foot-6 junior guard will test his skills next month with some of the top juniors in the country at the Next Generation Sunday Program on March 30-April 1 in San Antonio. The event is being put on by USA Basketball and the NCAA and will be run in conjunction with the Final Four weekend.
“He is a definition of a multifaceted player,” Evans said. “He is a guy who can play one through three on both sides of the floor. He has an unbelievable body and feel for game and a lot of upside. He has everything you want in a high school prospect.”
Because of their size and body type, Evans said there are comparisons of James with former Spring Valley standout P.J. Dozier, who played at South Carolina and is on the roster of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s G-League team. But at this point, James has been more of a facilitator and hasn’t had to carry the scoring load on his team with the likes of college signees Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt) and Jake Lanford (Yale).
That should change next year when Nesmith and Lanford and the others on the senior-laden roster are gone. James is averaging 10.4 points and six assists per game for Porter-Gaud and went over the 1,000-point mark for his career earlier this season.
James scored 14 points Satruday to help Porter-Gaud defeat First Baptist for its third straight SCISA 3A championship.