Monday, August 30, 2004

Lewis Clinch Commits to Jackets !!!

Reports from Insiders (Jeff Goodman) that Clinch's high school coach is indicating that Clinch committed to the Jackets today (per RamblinRed at the Hive). Link here to story.

If that is true, this is an outstanding pickup, a SG who can "fill it up" as some have said. He lit up the summer circuit, scoring points in bunches. In high school he averaged 25 pts, 8 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals a game as a junior.

There are a few really good things that come out of this:

1. We get a guy who Paul Hewitt has invested a lot of time and energy for.

2. More importantly, we get a guy who really WANTS to be here. If you read any of the articles, he just had a great time during his visit. You'll have to join them to get more than that from me.

3. He is in our backyard. The state of GA is producing more and more national caliber talent. Just the past two seasons have been fairly prolific. Guys like Dwight Howard (#1 NBA Draft pick), Josh Smith, Randolph Morris, Louis Williams, Mike Mercer, Barber, Clinch, etc. I really could go on and on. So Clinch is considered probably one of the top 5 SG's in his class and the hometown school won. Hewitt and Felton are "closing the borders" fairly well. His story is similar to BJ Elder's, and in fact that's the guy he'll probably be replacing.

4. Chemistry. It appears that Clinch has really fit in with the current players and also with Alade Aminu. We all know how important chemistry can be - just think about C-Moore for a second and how "swapping" E.Nelson and C.Moore really changed the complexion of the team.

5. Duke didn't get him. Coach K tried to put on the full-court press at the last minute, but Clinch didn't bite and didn't get star-struck. It just makes the world right again.

I have updated the 2005 recruiting board - link here. Don't forget that there is a permanent link to the board in the list on the left (under "recruiting")

How will the rest of the class shape up? Here's the most likely scenario. Coach probably wants one more perimeter guy, and if you look at current 'ships offered, it could be Chris Douglas-Robers or Austin Jackson. You could throw Miles in that category although he could probably play anything from the 1-3 spot. Miles is a favorite to land at Kansas though, and Austin Jackon is a 2-sport star, which makes his future uncertain even at the school of his chosing. CD Roberts has GT in the slight lead.......... Next Coach Hewitt probably wants to add a small forward which would probably be either Casaan Breeden or Adrian Thomas (again, you could throw Miles into this category as well). These are the guys with the current offers and visits scheduled........... Lastly, along with Aminu, they probably want to add one more big guy, which is down to Kevin Rogers or Cyrus McGowan. Rogers is another strong lean to Kansas and McGowan will probably chose between Miss.St and GT. So it could come to to this:

Point Guard.......none
Scoring Guard.....Lewis Clinch(GT) and one of Roberts/Jackson/Miles
Small Foward......Thomas or Breeden
Power Forward/C...Aminu(GT) and one of McGowan/Rogers.

Those are all the guys with official visits setup. There are certainly others in consideration but these are the current options.

Then 2006 becomes the "hunt for the bigtime point guard".