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Recruiting Rundown- AAC: Part One
by Brian Flinn, Future150 (8:43 AM CT, Wed March 26, 2014)
Cincinnati brings in Moore, a top 150 prospect in 2014.
Cincinnati brings in Moore, a top 150 prospect in 2014.
Brian Flinn
Brian Flinn:

Future150 National Recruiting Analyst. Covering high school basketball nationally.

Nashville, TN (Future150) -- With the end of the College season rapidly approaching, players are beginning to declare for the NBA draft, as well as transfer.  While schools have been evaluating, targeting, and recruiting the class of 2015 over the past few months already, now is when things really begin to take off in their recruiting cycle. Here at Future150, we are going to take a quick look on what each team is losing, who they are bringing in, and who they’ve targeted in the class of 2015. This week we start with the American Athletic Conference, which will be broken into two parts. Keep an eye out for the ACC breakdown next week.

Cincinnati

Who they lose: The Bearcats lose their top two players in SG Sean Kilpatrick and PF Justin Jackson, role player Titus Rubles and C David Nyarsuk also graduate this year as well.

Who they bring in:  CF Gary Clark and PF/C Quadri Moore will both step in and have a chance to provide depth right away. Clark is a hard-nosed, yet undersized big man that could prove to be a matchup problem. Moore has the size to guard either post position but can also step out and hit shots from the perimeter as well. JuCo C Coreontae DeBerry will also step into the rotation next year.

Who they are targeting: Troy Caupain has had a solid season playing the point but the Bearcats have a need for another player capable of playing the point full-time. Jawun Evans and Corey Sanders both have received offers. Replacing Jackson with a player like Alex Owens or Chris Silva remains a possibility. Finally adding a wing who can bring a scoring punch will be a priority. Derrick Jones and Dwayne Bacon top the wish list, but guys such as Pierre Sarr, and Kyle Ahrens are potential targets as well.

Connecticut

Who they lose:  Guard Shabazz Napier has turned in a solid career and was the heart and soul of this team. Graduate student Lasan Kromah was good in his one season at UConn but moves on as well. Niels Giffey was one of the top players on the team this past year.

Who they bring in: SG Daniel Hamilton is a major addition and more than fills the shoes of the departed Kromah. His ability to create plays from the off-ball spot, as well as his heigh,t make him hard to account for on the offensive end. PF Rakim Lubin may need a year to develop but could provide depth for Phil Nolan and Kentan Facey


Who they are targeting: With two commits in 2015 already in place in CG Willie Jackson and SG Prince Ali, UConn is in good position. Keeping those two on board and adding a forward such as Dwayne Bacon or Bennie Boatwright is enticing with the pending departure of DeAndre Daniels. Landing a big like Josh Sharma or Jessie Govan could also be a possibility. Unless the Huskies have a player transfer or leave early for the NBA, they only have one scholarship remaining.

Houston

Who they lose:  Guards Tione Womack and Brandon Morris both graduate and both gave the Cougars solid minutes in the back court alongside sophomore guard L.J. Rose. Power Forward Mikhail McLean was a role player who provided depth off the bench.

Who they bring in: PG JaQuel Richmond should come in and fill the role left behind by Morris and Womack almost immediately. Power Forward J.C. Washington is a tad undersized, but plays hard and runs the floor well. He too should be able to step in and fill the role left behind by McLean. Lastly, under-the-radar SF Elton Dyer is an athletic jumping jack that could develop over time.

Who they are targeting: It is hard to say given the fact that they don’t have a new head coach yet and it remains to be seen who will take the helm. That being said, TaShawn Taylor is set to graduate and Houston will need another forward and go-to player. Landing a local product like CF Paul Thomas or CF Marquez Letcher-Ellis would be a major coup.  The Cougars will also be looking at another guard to replace LeRon Barnes. Players such as Melvin Frazier, Tevin Mack, and Admon Gilder all appear to be realistic and appealing options depending on who is hired.

Louisville

Who they lose: Star guard Russ Smith will have exhausted his eligibility, as will have Luke Hancock and reserve big man Stephan Van Treese. Losing guys like Smith and Hancock hurt, but at Louisville there is no rebuilding; only reloading.

Who they bring in: Small forward Shaqquan Aaron is a jack-of-all-trades and will make an impact from day one. He could be Louisville’s next star. Point guard Quentin Snider is a local product and will have the luxury of backing up Chris Jones before stepping into a major role. Power Forward Jaylen Johnson is one of the bigger risers this year and is capable of playing multiple positions. Louisville has closed out its class with a couple of imports in C Matz Stockman and C Anas Mahmoud, both of which are best suited on the block but have a decent amount of skill as well.

Who they are targeting:  With Wayne Blackshear and Chris Jones both being gone after next season and no one knowing what to expect from Kevin Ware once he returns, look for the Cardinals to go after a difference maker on the perimeter.  Justin Simon, New Williams, Malik NewmanAntonio Blakeney, and P.J. Dozier all remain high on their list and given the way that Louisville has recruited as of late, it’s silly to think they won’t land at least one of the five. One potential caveat is that Louisville isn’t afraid to over-recruit, meaning there could be a lack of scholarships or someone will be leaving either via transfer or early-entry to the draft. 

Memphis

Who they lose: Losing point guard and team leader Joe Jackson hurts a lot. He was the head of this team and the Tigers often went how he went. Shooting guard Chris Crawford also had a solid career and will be missed greatly. A pair of one-year transfers in Mike Dixon Jr. and David Pellom also graduate from the program and leave some holes on the bench.

Who they bring in:  The Tigers went heavy in the JuCo ranks, bringing in wings Trahson Burrell and Chris Hawkins, along with two guard Avery Woodson. The lone high school prospect joining the fray is PG Dom Magee. He provides good size at the position and should step in and play a handful of minutes at both guard spots. Magee is a good passer who can get into the lane and score, or create for others.

Who they are targeting: Local prospect K.J. Lawson is already in the mix and the wing has a chance to be the next star of the program. They are also involved with scoring PG Nych Smith and PF Skal Labissiere, both Memphis kids. The Tigers are also showing interest in Nashville product, SG Andrew Fleming, who is a knock down shooter. The amount of players that ultimately end up at Memphis will depend on who leaves via early-entry or transfer, as of now, Lawson takes up the only available scholarship for the Tigers.

Part two of the American Conference Recruiting Rundown will drop on Friday. Next up is Rutgers, SMU, Temple, UCF, and USF

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