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February 16, 2011

Whispers: Arizona duo overlooked

MORE WHISPERS: Daniels | Richardson | KU

What is interesting about the recently announced Jordan Brand Classic rosters isn't so much who made the team but who didn't make the team. Just as was the case with the McDonald's All-American Game, Arizona signees Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson are left on the outside looking in.

Turner and Johnson not making the McDonald's game wasn't that surprising. Turner transferred high schools under cloudy circumstances and those in power on the McDonald's selection committee often frown on such situations.

Yet off-the-court issues didn't keep Lance Stephenson and Renardo Sidney out of the game during their senior seasons. Evidently it did keep Turner, who is the No. 2 point guard and No. 10 overall prospect in the Rivals150, out of the game.

Johnson, who is presently ranked No. 40 in the Rivals150, has arguably been the best player on national power Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep and has his stock clearly on the rise. Johnson probably got caught up in a positional numbers game. The McDonald's game has voters vote by position, and the shooting guard position is by far the strongest position in the 2011 class.

Five-star shooting guard Jabari Brown and highly ranked four-star shooting guards Levi Randolph and Trevor Lacey didn't make the game either.

Brown, however, did make the Jordan Brand Classic. Turner and Johnson didn't make the Classic despite playing on one of the top Nike travel teams, along with Brown.

The prevalent thought in the recruiting world was that Nike would certainly get two of its own in the Jordan Brand Classic after several lower-ranked prospects made the McDonald's All American Game over them.

Arizona fans are hoping to see Turner and Johnson come to Arizona with a chip on their shoulders, ready to prove to the basketball world that they should have been included in these all-star games.

Down to eight

Class of 2012 four-star prospect J.P. Tokoto had a subpar showing on the travel team circuit, but it certainly didn't hurt his recruitment. The 6-foot-5 small forward out of Menomonee Falls (Wisc.) is now focused on eight schools: Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, North Carolina, UCLA and Wisconsin.

Top 25 commitment

Nationally ranked Utah State landed a commitment this week from 6-foot-8, 255-pound Croation Igor Premasunac, who is averaging 10 points and eight rebounds for Lon Morris Junior College.

Premasunac had interest from California and Coloradoand offers from Arkansas-Little Rock and Central Michigan.

Back on board

A 6-foot-7 wing, Abdel Nader is no longer a part of the 2011 New Mexico recruiting class. He has opened back up his recruitment, leaving New Mexico with a two-man recruiting class of Dominique Dunning and Cheir Ajou.

New wrinkle

Here is the latest wrinkle in the recruiting saga of five-star prospect DeAndre Daniels. Multiple sources out of Minnesota are saying that the Gophers are making headway in the recruitment of Daniels, who has family connections in Minnesota. Sources close to Daniels and outside of Minnesota, however, feel it is unlikely that Daniels would end up at Minnesota.

Regardless, more twists and turns can be expected in Daniels' unusual recruitment.

Free throws

Coaches from Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and USC were all at Edmond (Okla.) Sante Fe on Tuesday to check in with Rivals150 prospect Josh Richardson.

Athletic 6-foot-5 small forward and Iowa State signee Elgin Cook is reclassifying from the 2011 class to the 2012 class.

Class of 2011 point guard Jaquez Motley put up 33 points Tuesday night in front of coaches from Jacksonville and South Carolina-Upstate. Motley recently visited Clemson and Wright State and Sam Houston State have recently shown initial interest.

Class of 2012 wing prospect Wally Ellenson has picked up offers from Holy Cross and Cal Poly. Ellenson currently has offers from a number of mid-major schools.

Texas Tech NEWS


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