Friday, September 22, 2017

Bama Hoops News and Notes

It's seven weeks from the official start of the 2017-18 season, but recruiting never ends. The staff is currently on the road paying visits to recruits in the 2018, 19 and 20 classes. I've been doing my best to keep up with it all, but the day job comes first. Here is what I can tell you. Click the links for video.

First things first: The SEC Network is premiering an SEC Storied documentary about C.M. Newton on Tuesday, September 26th called Courage Matters: The C.M. Newton Story. That should be good. Tune in.

Alabama has offered Malcolm Dandridge, a 4-star center in the class of 2019. Dandridge (6-8, 200) is currently ranked in 247 Sports top 100 (78) for the class of 2019. He currently attends Memphis power, East High School. That's the same school that another Bama target, James Wiseman, currently attends.

Alabama visited 2018 target Diante Wood on Tuesday. The next day, Wood released his Final Four schools via his Twitter account, a list that included Alabama. Wood is a 3-star guard from Anniston, AL.

The Alabama staff also dropped by Mountain Brook High School to visit 2019 target Trendon Watford. A 5-star, priority recruit in the class of 2019, it appears the staff made it a point to visit Trendon shortly after he returned from a visit to Indiana. It's a long way until Trendon makes a decision, but I'd be shocked if Alabama and Indiana are not in the final mix. Trendon's brother, Christian, is a former star at IU.

The staff next journeyed to Georgia. Their first reported visit was to Brenden Tucker, a 6'2 guard from Lawrenceville, GA. Tucker is currently unranked at 247, but I don't expect that to last given who is showing interest in the young man. Those visitors include Texas A&M, Auburn, Uconn, Kansas State, Georgia Tech and strong mid-majors such as Charleston, Florida Gulf Coast and East Tennessee State. Unranked players usually don't receive that kind of attention so I expect Tucker's profile to rise in the next two seasons.

The next stop was to see Khavon Moore, a priority recruit in the class of 2018. Moore (6'8, 187) is a 4-star, top 50 forward from Macon, GA. He's a great player, capable of playing four different spots on the floor. I've mentioned it here before, but I really like Khavon's game and would love to see him in an Alabama uniform. Several Florida fans have been relentless on social media that Moore will be a Gator, but I'm not ready to write him off; and, it appears, neither is the coaching staff.

2018 target Jared Butler (4-star, 6'2, 180) has named his final three schools. They are Alabama, Virginia and Baylor. Butler is currently rated in the top 100 (88) at 247. It's been quite a rise in the rankings for Butler over the last year. Click the link for a Rivals article for quotes from Butler about the three schools. As Rivals points out, it seems that Virginia is the leader for Butler at the moment. The article also points out that Butler is expected to make his decision in October so there is still time for Alabama to make up ground if they aren't the leader.

Another 2019 target that the staff visited this past week was Marcus Watson (6'5, 188), a 4-star forward from Clemmons, NC (currently attending high school in Buford, GA). Watson is currently ranked in the top 150 for the 2019 class. Interest in Watson is rising. Georgia, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Iowa among others have offered Watson. Click the link for a video featuring highlights from a game that also included 2019 Bama target, Kira Lewis.

The staff stopped in Norcross, GA to see Kyle Sturdivant and Brandon Boston. Sturdivant (6'2, 170) is a 3-star guard in the class of 2019. He has been offered by a number of schools, including Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Miami, Iowa State, Xavier, Ole Miss, and on and on and on. Boston (6'4, 160), currently the top-ranked recruit in 247's 2020 rankings, is a 5-star guard that promises to be highly pursued over the next couple of years. He already has offers from the likes of Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Auburn.

Finally, a bit of self-promotion. I'm now a contributing writer for Blake Lovell's Southeast Hoops website. As the title implies, it's a website devoted to SEC basketball. Blake is the founder and editor of the site. He has also worked for Rivals, The New York Times, and Athlon Sports, among others. In addition to his writing, he also hosts a couple of great college basketball podcasts: Marching to Madness, which focuses on college basketball on a national level, and Southeast Hoops, which is the podcast companion to the site. I recommend both if you're into podcasts. If you're not familiar with the Southeast Hoops site yet, head over and check it out. New content will be published throughout the year. I will primarily write content about Alabama, but other teams as well. I recently wrote a player preview about Florida's Chris Chiozza.

I will continue to contribute to this blog. In fact, I hope to get the first half of the roster preview up this weekend so look for that. The season is rapidly approaching so expect to see more posts from Bobby, DJC and myself in the weeks ahead. Roll Tide! Buckle Up!    

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