With the recent news that #1 recruit for 2010 Harrison Barnes has knocked the Gophers off his list of possibilities, it dawned on me that the team still doesn't have a commitment for 2010. I believe they will have three scholarships open (L-Dub, DJ, and Bostick) assuming Ralph doesn't go pro. It's not necessarily a huge worry, since the team has plenty of young talent and can roll scholarships over if need be, but with four more coming available in 2011, I doubt Tubby wants to have to fill 7 spots in one year. That was hard as hell to fill all your spots when you had that many open in College Hoops 2k6 on the playstation.
Anyway, according to Rivals, these are the players the Gophers have made an offer to for 2010, not including offers that have already been spurned (besides Barnes, Jordan Sibert (#37 recruit) has declared for Ohio State, Tim Hardaway (2 stars) to Michigan, and Zach McCabe (3 stars) to Iowa.
- Vander Blue - Madison, WI - #22 overall, #6 PG. Other than being sweet to steal a kid out of Madison, and this dude having a sweet name, it would be great to get a real point guard so we don't have to watch Al Nolen fumble around any more. Blue had verbally comitted to Wisconsin, but backed out in May after realizing that Bo Ryan looked exactly like Richard Vernon and taught the most boringest brand of basketball in existence. Unfortunately the Gophers seem to be on the outside looking in with Blue, who plans to visit Flordia, Arizona, UCLA, Tennessee, and a fifth school. The Gophers have a shot at being that fifth school. I hope so. Then we can say things like, "You're my boy, Blue!"
- Cory Joseph - Henderson, NV via Canada - #7 overall, #3 PG. I've written plenty on Joseph here in the past, but in case you have good taste and don't usually read this blog, he is current Gopher Devoe Joseph's brother, and has shot up the rankings over the past year. Joseph recently spent some time on the Minnesota campus hanging with his brother, and has also visited Marquette with trips to Villanova and UCONN coming up. Joseph is #1 on my wish list for the team now that Barnes is off the table.
- Trevor Releford - Shawnee Mission, KS - #98 overall, #24 PG. There's been a lot of chatter about this dude and the Gophers, but naturally I haven't paid that much attention to it. It seems I probably should of, because I think it's looking extremely likely that Releford ends up a Golden Gopher. In a recent interview when he was asked which schools were recruiting him, the only two he could name were the Gophers and Arizona. He also mentioned not only being impressed with Tubby Smith, but always having enjoyed Minnesota when he has been here for a tournament. He is described as being a pass first point guard, which is absolutely what this team will need with all the scoring talent coming in.
- Trey Ziegler - Mount Pleasant, MI - #26 overall, #4 SG. Ziegler is, like Cory Joseph, another fast riser who is finding himself high on many team's priority list, including Michigan State, Oklahoma, Pitt, and UCLA among several others, with UCLA recently really upping their efforts to land the swingman. Interestingly enough, despite a name like Trey, his strength isn't his perimeter shot. He's known for being strong with the dribble and being very strong at the rim, along with a solid mid-range game.
- Casey Prather - Jackson, TN - #64 overall, #13 SF. The last of the truly elite prospects on this list, Prather recently narrowed his list down to seven schools and, like with Barnes, the Gophers did not make the cut. He's only included here because I already started typing this before I realized he had removed the Gophers from consideration.
- Chad Calcaterra - Cloquet, MN - 3 stars. The good news on Calc is that the Gophers are the most high profile school on his list. The bad news is that the Gophers are the most high profile school on his list. Diamond in the rough, or not that good? Based on the reviews of his play in the Howard Pulley League, it's looking like he could be a diamond in the rough. He's very physical when he goes to the rim, has an excellent jump hook, and a good mid-range jumper, although at 6-10, 210 lbs. he needs to add some muscle. He also sounds like a nerd, since Harvard and Stanford are two of the schools he plans to visit - although this makes me like him better.
- Elliott Eliason - Chadron, NE - 3 stars. Another midwestern big man, Eliason also can count the offer from the Gophers as his most prestigious, but it sounds like it will be tough to dislodge him from Creighton at this point. He did take an unofficial visit here, and must have enjoyed himself because he's coming back again for an official visit September 12th, although he is also hitting Stanford over Labor Day weekend.
Overall, it looks like Tubby has set his sights pretty high, but as more and more recruits Tubby has shown interest in either drop the Gophers from consideration or commit elsewhere (besides the above, Ricky Kreklow is going to Missouri, Alex Kirk isn't interested, Frank Williams has made it clear he wants to play for Kansas State, and something weird happened with Aaron Cosby that now has him as a class of 2011 player), you have to wonder when Tubby is going to capture that first comittment.
I'm not exactly worried, more like curious. I expect to see Releford and one of the big men likely come here, with Joseph, Blue, and/or Ziegler a bonus. Plus who knows with Tubby, he's probably after some dude nobody has heard of yet who will end up being a five star. Like Fred Durst said, "You gotta have faith."