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Top Available Recruits from Class of 2014

Top 5 prospect Myles Turner displaying his enormous wingspan

The early signing period for college basketball took place this past week and as we know, this past Friday was the nationally televised signing day for a lot of the top recruits in college basketball. By this time of year the majority of the top prospects have either committed or signed a letter of intent to their future school and fans are eagerly awaiting their arrivals.

Number one recruit Jahlil Okafor and number four recruit Tyus Jones swept the national headlines after both choosing to attend Duke together over Kansas. Cliff Alexander left the fighting Illini in utter disappointment when he decided on Kansas over Illinois. So who’s still available that will make an immediate impact to their future team?

According to ESPN’s top 100 recruiting class of 2014, there are only four recruits in the top 50 and eight overall who have yet to either commit or sign to a school for next fall.

The most notable on this list being the number two overall recruit Myles Turner. Turner is a lanky, athletic center from Trinity High School in Texas. His long wingspan and shot blocking ability resembles Anthony Davis and any school would love to have him. His list of top schools include Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma State. Many believe that after Okafor committed to Duke, that Turner would shy away, but Turner’s father has been quoted saying that Turner and Okafor could be a “formidable fit.” Turner recently agreed to visit to Oklahoma State on December 6th and has previously made visits to Ohio State and Texas. He is expected to reschedule his visit to Kansas sometime in the near future. KU has been mentioned as a favorite by several sources, and joining top ten recruits Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre would make for a dynamic recruiting class for Coach Bill Self to say the least.

Another 5-star recruit still on the market is 14th ranked overall Justise Winslow from St. John’s High School in Houston, Texas. The left handed small forward is explosive towards the basket, but can also hurt opponents from outside the arc. Great finishing skills and court vision make him an instant threat whenever he touches the ball. Winslow took official visits to Arizona, Duke, Florida, Stanford and UCLA. He joined Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones on their visit to Duke, but apparently was not ready to commit when they did. This may mean that Duke is out of the picture. Arizona recently got 9th ranked overall recruit and small forward Stanley Johnson to commit this past Friday, which could make Winslow steer in a different direction as well. Three of the schools he visited are in the PAC-12 conference (Arizona, Stanford, and UCLA) indicating that he may want to play out west. He was entertained by football games while visiting Florida and Stanford, and tweeted a photo of himself and coach Steve Alford while visiting UCLA. It’s tough to say who has the upper hand in getting Winslow.

The last available 5-star recruit according to ESPN’s top 100 is 17th ranked overall Rashad Vaughn from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. The 6’6” shooting guard is a natural scorer and is known to put up impressive numbers that can contribute heavily to any team’s offense. His top schools are listed as Arizona, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, and UNLV. He has only taken one official visit so far and that was earlier this month to Iowa State. He has a scheduled visit on the 25th of November to UNLV and has mentioned that he plans to visit North Carolina sometime soon as well. His visit to Iowa State proved to be very positive. According to an interview by Dean Berhow-Goll of iowastatedaily.com, Vaughn mentioned that out of all the schools recruiting him, he has the best relationship with the staff at Iowa State. When he was asked what is most important to him and the biggest factor in his recruitment he replied, “Really, relationships and where I fit most. “Where I come in and fit in, that’s what it’s really going to come down to.” He was also quoted saying: “This is one of the best places to play. The fans, the fans are amazing so you can see that.” Needless to say these are very positive reactions from Vaughn, but he still plans on taking the remaining four of his visits before he commits.

The last available player ranked within the top 50 is crafty point guard JaQuan Lyle from Huntington Prep in West Virginia. Lyle’s 6’5” frame along with ball handling skills and court vision make him a dominant floor general who always knows how to find the open man. He is rated 5-stars by Rivals.com and Scout.com and is ranked within their top 25. However, ESPN gave him a 4-star rating and a spot as the 39th overall prospect. Lyle was originally committed to Louisville, but decided to de-commit in mid-September. Not long after this, Lyle and recent Kansas commit and top recruit Cliff Alexander both had mentioned in tweets that they will play together at the next level. Lyle also mentioned in September that Kansas would be one school he would have a hard time saying no to and recent reports point to him planning an official visit in the near future. He visited West Virginia two weeks ago and took unofficial visits to Memphis and Connecticut earlier this fall. He is also being heavily recruited by his home state Indiana Hoosiers and has mentioned that he does have interest in the program.

The regular signing period for Division I basketball begins on April 16th and ends on May 21st. It is not certain when any of these remaining top prospects will make their final decision.