The college basketball recruiting cycle kicks back up again on Wednesday, with coaches hitting the road for the first of three separate four-day live evaluation periods. While coaches aren't able to talk to recruits or their families, they are permitted to be on the road evaluating talent across the country. It's one of the most important stretches on the calendar for recruiting.
First year coach Jim Christian and the new Eagles coaching staff has plenty of work ahead to fill the 2015 class. The program currently has one scholarship to give in 2014-15, and will be able to give up to six more for 2015-16 once Caudill, Dragicevich, Heckmann, Jackson, Odio and Dimitri Batten all graduate. The number of available scholarships in 2015-16 balloons to eight should Hanlan turn pro a year early. See scholarship chart below.
As the college basketball recruiting dance starts up again in earnest today, let's look at some of the recruits that Christian and the Eagles coaching staff are targeting.
Donovan Mitchell, Shooting Guard
New Milford, CT (Brewster Academy)
6-foot-3, 180 lbs.
Offers: Boston College, Providence, Cincinnati, Creighton, Marquette, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iona, Iowa, Maryland, Penn State, St. John's
BC is making a late push for Mitchell, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard that plays for Brewster Academy. He's considered a Providence lean as Cooley and the Friars have put a lot of work into his recruitment the past few years. Mitchell recently took another unofficial visit to PC last month. He's also expressed interest in Georgia Tech and claims more than a dozen major conference offers, including Cincinnati, Marquette, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland and St. John's. 247Sports still has Mitchell to PC with 80% of all predictions.
Things have been relatively quiet for Terance Mann's recruitment in recent weeks. The 6-foot-5 guard from the Tilton School took unofficial visits to BC and Rhode Island last month. He's currently in Las Vegas for the LeBron James Skills Academy. The New Hampshire native ranks 78th in the latest 2015 ESPN 100 and, as such, has no shortage of would-be suitors. In addition to BC, Mann claims offers from URI, Florida State, Georgetown, Marquette and Maryland. 247Sports's Crystal Ball currently has BC in the lead at 62%. Georgetown, which has long targeted Mann, claims the other 38%.
Aaron Falzon, Power Forward
Southborough, MA (Northfield Mount Hermon)
6-foot-8, 208 lbs.
Offers: Boston College, Harvard, Boston University, Georgia, Marquette, N.C. State, Penn State, Providence, Rutgers
Like Mann, Falzon will be in Las Vegas this week for the LeBron James Skills Academy, a few days removed from showcasing his talents at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Washington D.C. A 6-foot-8, 208 pound power forward out of Northfield Mount Hermon, Falzon visited campus earlier this summer and is high on both BC and Harvard. In addition to those two schools, Falzon claims offers from Georgia, N.C. State, Penn State, Providence and Rutgers. New BC assistant Scott Spinelli was Falzon's primary recruiter while at Maryland. 247Sports' Crystal Ball has 11 predictions for the four-star PF -- all for BC.
Jeremy Miller, Power Forward
New Hampton, NH (New Hampton)
6-foot-9, 215 lbs.
Offers: Boston College, Virginia Tech, Xavier, Connecticut, Florida State, Providence
Despite backing away from his commitment to BC after the coaching change, it sounds like the Eagles may still be an option for the New Hampton school power forward. Miller wants Christian to recruit him though, so I'm not sure how that will all play out. Miller will participate in the Peach Jam in South Carolina and the Super Showcase in Louisville with his AAU team, BABC, this month, so there's no telling if his list of suitors grows following the July live evaluation period. For now, Miller lists BC, Xavier and Wisconsin as three schools he's likely to take an official visit to this fall. Xavier has picked up the last four Crystal Ball predictions and currently leads with 50%.
A 6-foot-7, 185 lbs. small forward from St. Anthony, McDuffie has seen his recruitment heat up in recent months. In addition to offers from a handful of Northeast programs, Dayton, Xavier, SMU, Creighton, Florida, Florida State, St. Joe's, Stanford and Princeton have all reached out to McDuffie as well. He's recently taken unofficial visits to Seton Hall and VCU. Last season, McDuffie averaged 14.4 PPG and 1.8 RPG for St. Anthony. The wing plays AAU for Sport U (NJ). No predictions yet for where McDuffie will land, though it's a safe bet that he'll pick up a few more offers after the July eval period.
Scholarship chart? Scholarship chart.
Assumes: medical redshirts for Hicks and Clifford.
If I had to wager a guess, I'd think Christian will grab four in the 2015 class -- bringing the scholarship player count to nine -- then supplementing the rest of the roster with preferred walk-ons or a fifth-year transfer so he can field a somewhat competitive outfit in 2015-16. You don't want the 2015 class to be too big for fear of pushing out the scholarship imbalance problem four more years out, but that concerned has to be weighed against being able to put an ACC caliber roster on the court for the 2015-16 season opener.