Live Early Signing Period Blog
The early period for high school basketball players from the class of 2019 to sign with colleges started Wednesday and runs through Nov. 21. Rivals.com national analysts Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and contributing analyst Dan McDonald have the latest news and notes.
9:31 PM: WHAT'S NEXT FOR DAMION BAUGH?
The plan, for a while now, has been for Damion Baugh to wait until the spring to sign. Over the weekend, though, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway watched, offered a scholarship and the rumor mill went wild with speculation that Baugh (who is originally from Nasvhille) would extend his basketball playing time in Memphis to college.
After checking with sources close to Baugh's recruitment, there isn't any reason to expect a deviation from his original plan to sign late.
A big and athletic floor general who can create off the dribble, Baugh saw his stock soar over the summer after playing with Team Thad and proving to be one of the best defenders in the country.
He has taken official visits to Georgetown and TCU and in addition to Memphis earned recent offers from Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. Western Kentucky, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have been involved for a bit now and UCLA and Florida State are among the most recent programs to reach out and express interest.
Don't expect any movement on Baugh's recruitment or visits to be set until at least December.
6:57 PM: CHANGE OF HEART FOR C.J. WALKER
First five-star small forward C.J. Walker was going to commit and sign early. Then earlier this week he decided that he would wait until the spring. After further reflection, Walker has had a change of heart and will now commit and sign early.
According to a source close to the situation, the plan is for Walker to commit and sign next Wednesday, the 21st of November, which is coincidentally the last day of the signing period.
Walker has a final three of LSU, Miami and Oregon. He's far from being in the category of somebody that we would call a done deal, but at least over the last couple of weeks, the Hurricanes have been generating the most buzz.
4:01 PM: LITTLE DRAMA TO BEGIN SIGNING WEEK
The basketball early signing period is one that brings much less drama compared to the football end of the spectrum. While the majority of the previously committed have gone on to already sign, the reverberating theme in recent weeks leading up to today and the constant refrain that has continued in the past few hours is that those that have not committed, won’t do as such before the early signing period concludes next week
Earlier today, we confirmed the the news that Vernon Carey, Isaiah Stewart, Cassius Stanley and Terrence Shannon will hold off from committing this week. They are not alone as CJ Walker, who has been down to a final three of LSU, Miami and Oregon, will hold off from signing.
The same goes for Akok Akok and Qudus Wahab as both have told Rivals.com that they are more than likely to not sign this week. Fans of Georgetown, Pitt, Providence, Syracuse, UConn and Virginia Tech will have to wait a little longer to either rejoice or figure out what their programs’ next move will be.
Add in Trayce Jackson-Davis, Trendon Watford, Cole Anthony, Precious Achiuwa, Matthew Hurt and Kofi Cockburn, each that we definitely know won’t sign until the spring and the team rankings and national title picture for next year won’t become any clearer for another few weeks. Expect for college basketball offices across the nation to be even more anxious and uptight with where their top targets might land.
2:53 PM: CASSIUS STANLEY STILL WEIGHING OPTIONS
The top ranked available shooting guard and the second highest ranked guard, overall, left on the board in 2019, Cassius Stanley's status remains in the air.
An uber athletic wing, the 6-foot-5 senior at Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon hasn't added (and doesn't plan to) anybody to his final three of Kansas, Oregon and UCLA and he's seen each of the three programs officially. Still, he's up in the air about what to do.
I spoke with Stanley's father Jerome Stanley earlier today and he told me that the family is still sorting things out and that there is a chance that he won't decide in time to sign early.
“We are slowing down a bit as we'll carefully review everything," said the elder Stanley. "Plus we want to see a few games played.”
So fans of of the Bruins, Ducks and Jayhawks hoping for an answer, it looks like the wait is just starting.
1:12 PM: TERRENCE SHANNON IS IN NO RUSH
Will Terrence Shannon sign this week? Thing again, he told Rivals.com. The top-50 wing, despite committing this summer to DePaul, quickly backed off of his pledge and now is in no hurry to end his recruitment. “I just want to take my time and make sure I am 100 percent with it so that it is the right fit,” he said.
The native of Chicago was one of the breakouts from the travel circuit, entering April with zero high-major scholarship offer and leaving July a priority for some of the better programs nationally. Slated as a high-end four-star prospect, Shannon has taken official visits this fall to Illinois, Georgetown and Texas Tech, while DePaul, Florida State and UNC round out his final school list of six.
Much of the talk has surrounded Illinois in recent weeks but do not underplay the chance that Shannon could return to his home city next year and enroll at DePaul. While it is very rare to see a prospect decommit and then commit to the same program, the Blue Demons have a puncher’s chance. The Illini will be a factor, too, and so will Florida State if their personnel aligns properly. If UNC were to make a stronger move in the coming weeks where an offer has yet to be given, the Tar Heels would then be one to monitor closely, just as well.
12:32 PM: OREGON ADDS THIRD FOUR-STAR PROSPECT
A senior who plays for his father Keelon Lawson at Memphis (Tenn.) Wooddale, Lawson announced his commitment on 730 AM SBNation in Memphis.
"After careful thought, consideration and prayer, I am ready to announce my decision regarding the next phase of my student-athletic career," said Lawson on the Sports Bar and Grill show hosted by his Grandfather Johnathan Lawson. "First, I would like to thank God for the opportunities and talent that He has Blessed me with, my Mom, Dad, and Brothers for all their support. Secondly, thank all of the coaches that recognized my talent. You all made this a very tough decision and I respect your hard work. I would also like to thank Coach Penny Hardaway and the coaching staff at East. Penny played a major role in my development that has prepared me for this day. I am excited to announce that I have decided to continue my Athletic and Academic pursuit for excellence at the University of Oregon."
"Their style of play fits what I bring to the table," said Lawson. "The players there at Oregon will help me to reach my next goal of the NBA. (Coach Altman) made me feel like a super hero. When I came into town he said it's going to be my town just like Memphis."
12:16PM: TEXAS A&M SNAGS THREE-STAR KOBE BROWN
Despite missing on Drew Timme earlier in the day, Texas A&M overcame the slight misstep with the commitment and signing of senior forward Kobe Brown. A three-star prospect from the state of Alabama, Brown signed with the Aggies, giving Billy Kennedy a super versatile forward that is most comfortable with the ball in his hands.
Rated as one of the top-40 small forwards in the 2019 class, Brown gives the Aggies a unique weapon on the offensive end. While he has been knocked for consistent production in the past, he is also someone that could easily outplay his ranking in College Station thanks to his deep talent pool.
Standing over 6-foot-7 and with a great feel and overall skillset, Brown can handle on the perimeter as a giant playmaker that can create for others. He can make shots to the 3-point line, finish at the basket and upon the proper strength regimen, develop into a multi-positional defender.
Selecting Texas A&M over Auburn, Minnesota, Missouri and a slew of others, Brown becomes the fourth member of the Aggies’ 2019 class. Next fall, he will be joined by Rivals150 members Chris Harris, Sahvir Wheeler and Tyreek Smith. The class now ranks No. 14 nationally in the 2019 team rankings.
12:09 PM: SEVEN HIGH MAJOR SIGNINGS AT SUNRISE CHRISTIAN
Talk about a big morning, Bel Aire (Kans.) Sunrise Christian had one of the most impressive signing ceremonies of the day.
Earlier today the program saw a total of seven players -- four of them ranked in the Rivals150 -- sign with high major programs.
The highest ranked of the bunch, combo forward Malik Hall signed with Michigan State. Also ranked as four-star prospects, Tray Jackson (Missouri), Grant Sherfield (UCLA) and Austin Crowley (Vanderbilt) did the honors as well.
11:59 AM: GONZAGA MAKES BIG MOVE IN TEAM RANKINGS
Earlier today, Gonzaga and Mark Few picked up a huge score when five-star power forward Drew Timme made a commitment and signed.
By adding Timme, the Zags are in the process of making a major move up the 2019 team rankings. By joining four-star forward Anton Watson, three-star guard Brock Ravet and four-tar European wing Martynas Arlauskas, Timme has helped to elevate Gonzaga to the No. 8 overall spot in the 2019 team rankings.
11:40 AM: LOUISIANA TECH LANDS TOUGH AS NAILS GUARD
Regardless of class, regardless of position and regardless of sport they simply don't get more competitive than the 5-foot-11 guard who loves to pressure opponents on both ends of the floor. He attacks the rim, he makes teammates better and he gets up in the kitchen of other guards on the defensive end.
A standout for Dallas Showtyme during the summers, Williams should quickly develop into a fan favorite at Tech.
9:49 AM: VERNON CAREY WILL NOT SIGN THIS WEEK
The final confirmation is in for the top-ranked senior in America as Vernon Carey will not be signing this week. His mother, Latavia Carey, told Rivals.com that Carey is still in the deliberating stages of where he will attend college next year. “No, not this week,” she said. “Now, we just wait.”
A wait it will be as last weekend, Carey took his fifth and final official visit of the fall as he saw Michigan State for the second time this calendar year. Beyond the Spartans, Duke, Kentucky, Miami and UNC have also hosted Carey for an official visit.
No others trips are scheduled where, just as Carey’s mother noted, all that is left is for a commitment. First, Carey needs to get down to it and figure out what he exactly wants and does not want in college program. Much of the talk has surrounded Duke, Miami and Michigan State within recent weeks where the Spartans entered the fall as the likely favorite. That still can be the case but it seems as if the Hurricanes and more so, the Blue Devils, have picked up traction.
While a signing will not take place with the top prospect in America this week, a decision is not far off, one that should be made within the coming weeks.
8:28 AM: TWO DECISIONS TO MONITOR ON THURSDAY
On National Signing Day, we are only expecting two undecided members of the Rivals150 to announce their college decisions, five-star big man Drew Timme and four-star combo forward Chandler Lawson. Timme is expected to announce within the next hour while Lawson will be announcing around noon eastern per his father and high school coach, Keelon Lawson.
As for Lawson, his recruitment has been all over the place. His older brothers K.J. Lawson and Dedric Lawson both play at Kansas and he visited Lawrence but neither side has ever seemed particularly hot to make a commitment happen. During October, a commitment to Ole Miss appeared imminent but things cooled off there. Just hours away from his commitment, the main two combatants for Lawson's services appear to be Georgia Tech and Oregon. Josh Pastner and the Jackets scored Lawson's most recent visit and had a lot of buzz when Lawson set a decision date, but last night the rumblings that Lawson could ultimately be headed to Eugene (he visited last month) to play for Dana Altman has started to pick up steam.
Bottom line, there's some serious intrigue as Lawson prepares to make his choice.
8:11 AM: CANADIAN POINT GUARD JAHCOBI NEATH WILL ANNOUNCE THURSDAY
Canadian point guard Jahcobi Neath is down to a final three and will announce his decision on Thursday at 10 a.m. (EST).
Neath's most recent visit was to Wake Forest over the weekend and Danny Manning and the Demon Deacons -- who are in need of a playmker -- appear to be in pretty good shape as Neath's decision looms.
7:38 AM: THREE-STAR SHOOTING GUARD DAMERIUS WASH OPENS IT UP
Last month, three-star shooting guard Damerius Wash appeared to be a nice under-the-radar pickup for Kansas State. Now, after a week or so of speculation that his commitment could be shaky it looks like Wash and the Wildcats are headed in separate directions.
Late Tuesday night Wash announced that he will not be signing with Bruce Weber's crew and that he has re-opened things. A native of Mississippi who is playing for Bel Aire (Kans.) Sunrise Christian's prep team, Wash had considered Loyola-Marymount and Ole Miss among others prior to making his commitment.
Though Wash is out, it looks like K-State may already be in line to replace him. They hosted Minnesota native Goodnews Kpegeol over the weekend and appear to be in very good shape to land the three-star wing with athleticism.
7:15 AM: JADEN MCDANIELS TAKES LAST VISIT THIS WEEKEND
The No. 4 ranked player in the class of 2019, Jaden McDaniels isn't expected to decide in time to sign during the early period. However, the skilled scorer will move a step closer to making his choice this weekend.
While McDaniels isn't likely to sign early, he does appear to be moving closer to a decision and this is a situation where he's likely to decide within the next month or so rather than the next 3-4 months as initially expected.
Along with McDaniels, the Bruins find themselves in the mix with slew of other big time prospects including five-stars Trayce Jackson-Davis and Keion Brooks and top 35 wing Cassius Stanley who have all visited officially. Their commitments Jaime Jaquez, Grant Sherfield and Jake Kyman are all expected to sign on Wednesday.