Friday Brings Big Announcement for Two Top Recruits

Decision Awaits

Tuesday, November 12 was a showcase of the young talent that college basketball is centered on right now, with stars like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle all playing in the Champions Classic in Chicago.  While the headlines have been focused on the debuts of these three, college basketball recruiters have been eagerly awaiting another event this week taking place on Friday, November 15.  That is when two of the top recruits in the country, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, will announce where they will play next season. 


While announcements like this always garner a lot of attention, the uncommon thing about this one is that the two recruits have already publicized their desire to play together.  Thus, whichever school they go to will immediately be thrust into next year’s national title discussion.  It looks that Duke and Kansas are the two most likely destinations for the young stars, but schools like Baylor and Ohio State have also been mentioned.  


Jones is a 6’2 point guard out of Apple Valley, Minnesota, and is seen as a great passer with potential to grow as a scorer and playmaker.  He has garnered comparisons to NBA players like Chris Paul and Ricky Rubio.  While he still needs time to develop his shooting game, his passing ability makes him an intriguing point guard prospect going forward. 


Okafor, reportedly a distant cousin of NBA player and former University of Connecticut star Emeka Okafor, is seen as a potential impact big man.  At 6’11, the power forward from Chicago has been ranked by as the #1 prospect of the 2014 recruiting class.  This past summer he competed in the FIBA Under-19 basketball championships in the Czech Republic, impressing coaches as the only high schooler on the U.S. team.  


Jones and Okafor became friends during a USA basketball minicamp in 2010, and decided the following year that they would play together in college.  While college teams are always trying to bring in the best group of incoming freshmen they can, it is nearly unprecedented for high schoolers to have a joint recruitment like Jones and Okafor have chosen to do.  Their announcement on Friday is much anticipated, as college coaches are already looking to the players that will take the place of Wiggins, Parker and Randle as the headliners of the sport.