Four Junior College Basketball Recruits Set to Make Big Impact on Division I

National Junior College Athletic Association

Most college basketball stars take a standard path from high school to a Division I scholarship. These players are followed closely, with their decisions announced throughout the medium and invitations to prestigious high school tournaments. While this is the standard path to college basketball success, there are some players that need to develop their skills in junior college to make it to the Division I stage. Here are a few players that will be drawing significantly more attention at this time next year.


The Arizona Wildcats have been bringing in routinely great recruiting classes under head coach Sean Miller, and next year they will be welcoming one of the most talented junior college prospects in Kadeem Allen. Allen has been playing at Hutchinson Community College and this season is second among junior college players with 28.5 points per game. He has been playing great all-around basketball at the small Kansas school and was even named an All-American last season. Allen will be playing among some great talents in Arizona and looks to be a headliner of the next great Wildcats team. 


Stephen Hurt has had a tumultuous junior college campaign and will be playing at his third school in three years when he enters Kansas State next year. He had a promising first season at Lipscomb University, yet the team’s head coach resigned at the end of the season after 14 years at the school. Hurt then left the school after winning the conference’s Freshman of the Year award, and has played out this season at Northwest Florida University. With the commitment to Kansas State, Hurt will be back on a bigger stage and could be a force in the Big-12. 


While the Oregon Ducks basketball team does not get as much press as the football team, Dwayne Benjamin will be hoping to get the team more recognition next year. Benjamin was originally recruited by UTEP entering the 2011 season, yet he didn’t qualify academically and has been playing at Mount San Jacinto College. The versatile 6’7 player could be spending time at either guard or forward next season. He will be joining Michael Chandler, another exciting junior college player who is currently at Northwest Florida with Hurt.


Jeff Newberry, currently at New Mexico Junior College, will be another future Big-12 competitor, at Oklahoma State. Newberry will be filling the shoes of NBA prospect Marcus Smart when he likely leaves following this season. The point guard has been averaging 13 points a game with 3.5 assists as well. While it was a bit of a surprise that he went to Oklahoma State over one of the West Coast teams recruiting him, he will get the chance to make an impact with Marcus Smart gone.


Junior College recruits seem to burst onto the scene out of nowhere during the college basketball season, but in many ways it is the work they put in at the junior college level that sets their success in motion. The junior college schools may have a lower level of competition, but they are a key training ground for many young basketball prospects, and have become an important area of recruitment for Division I schools.