Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hoops: More on Javaris Crittenton

I won't post any comments from premium sites UNLESS I see them on a public board, so here are some comments from the Rivals article on Javaris Crittenton committing.

From Maryland board, JC on committing early to the Jackets:

"I think it helps the team a lot," Crittenton said of his early pledge. "Some players don't want to be the first players to commit to a team but you look at Ohio State. Dave Light went first then Daequan Cook. And now they got Greg Oden and Mike Conley. I think it's real important now because it draws players to Tech. I know a lot of guys and I'm close to a lot of them from these national tournaments. I've loved to bring some guys along with me. At first I was hesitant on being the first guy to commit but now I'm ready to step up to the challenge of bringing some other guys with me. I need someone to roll with."

So who does he target now? Crittenton rattled off a list of Stanley Robinson, Thaddeus Young, Alex Stepheson and Brandan Wright.

In terms of those four guys, Thaddeus Young has supposedly narrowed his list to Memphis, UNC and Ohio State (can you imagine them with 5 5-star guys?). Odds are very low he lands at Tech. Alex Stepheson is a real possibility for a few reasons, as mentioned by RamblinRed here:

Both Stepheson and Robinson are playing at Adidas this week with Crit so he will certainly get a chance to talk to them. Stepheson's mom visited for 2 hrs with Coach Hewitt last month when she was in Atlanta for a wedding. Stepheson is friends with GT freshman D'Andre Bell so it looks like they will at least get a visit from Alex this fall.

Another important comment about JC's verbal. Coach Hewitt is doing an outstanding job "closing the border" on key recruits. Georgia is a real hot-bed of activity in hoops. You have the Elder / Muhammad duo, the Clinch / Aminu duo, and now he lands J.Crittenton. Why is this important? Well, there are still some in-state possibilities for the 2006 class, and there are some major talents looming in the class of 2007, including top prospect Gani Lawal, who visited campus with Javaris last Wednesday. In fact, it was that visit by JC that started the ball rolling on closing the deal with him today............. Also worth noting that this is the 2nd earliest commitment Coach Hewitt has received (Aminu last season), so no doubt if JC is a good recruiter it will help during all these shoe camps.

For the recruiting fanatics, here is an updated RSCI Ranking pre-summer, which is basically a combination of 5 different ranking systems for an overall weighted top 100. In this version, Javaris ranks #30. However, JC has already moved up both the Rivals and Scout (D.Telep) lists. Rivals now has him #26 , and Scout has him #20. So once again Coach Hewitt has managed to land another guy who is seeing his stock rising entering his senior saeason. He certainly has an eye for talent.

The AJC has their J.Crittenton article up now..........

Some notes about Javaris:

1. The most "physical" Point Guard in his class - strong body, 6'4" 180lb. Very much in the Jarrett Jack mold.

2. Excellent ability to get to the basket. Once he gets his shoulder past you, forget it. Very strong rebounder. Once again, like Jack.

3. Has been making the transition from SG to PG, and doing it pretty darn well. He has made a believer of the major recruiting guru's in his ability to lead a team.

4. Varsity starter 3 years and his team has a combined record at SW Christian Academy of 82-16. Of course that team also starred Dwight Howard up until his junior season. In all 3 years his team has reached the state finals. As a sophomore he averaged 15 pts, 8 assists, 5 boards and they won the state championship. As a junior he led his high school team back to the state finals without Dwight Howard, although they lost to Randolph-Clay - a team on a 58-game winning streak. Nothing to be ashamed of there. JC had 29 points, 6 boards and 6 assists in that game. As a junior he averaged 23 pts, 8 assists, 6 boards and shot 37% from behind the arc.

5. Named to the Altanta Tip-off Club Metro Team, of the Year, Georgia All State First Team Honors, won the MVP award during the Pepsi Shootout Tournament, won the MVP award during the Battle of the Border Tournament and was named Georgia All State Second Team Honors.

6. I happened to be sitting courtside during that Battle of the Border game where he won MVP. Interesting - Dwight Howard fouled out fairly early in the 2nd half, and Javaris carried the team to victory, hitting key shots and ending with 18 points and 5 boards. On a side note, guess who was matched up against Howard and held his own? Our own Ra'Sean Dickey, who ended the game with 21 points and 6 boards. He had a couple of thundering dunks that night and played very good D against Howard. Also of interest - that night there were many games - I saw Randolph Morris, Buck Fredrick, Dwight Howard, Ra'Sean Dickey, Javaris Crittenton. Casaan Breeden (who I was high on), Damien Harris, Dwayne Day. Here was my re-cap, in which I actually never mentioned Javaris (I was so focused on the current GT-interest guys.

7. JC is a fan of Rip Hamilton

8. Excellent GPA 3.5+. He is an excellent student and the Black Coaches Association named him the "BCA Shining Star" for the spring edition of their 2005 BCA online journal. He has also been strong in his faith.

9. Absolutely, positively expects he will be the starting PG when he arrives. Absolutely, positively expects to play lots of minutes. I sure hope he continues to develop his defensive game.

10. Has had up-and-down summer league performances, although he has definitely elevated his game compared to last season. At the Real Deal on the Hill he had a fantastic game against the Playaz (25 pts, 10 assists). This is a team that includes Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson, Earl Clark, and others. Loaded. In that same tourney, he helped keep Willie Kemp scoreless, even though his team lost. He has struggled at times with his outside shot as well as from the line. At the Kingwood Classic he played very well, but didn't fare well on defense against OJ Mayo. Of course, who does? At the Tournament of Champions he seemed to force a lot of shots. At the NBA camp recently he struggled at times finding the open man. On day one of yesterday's Adidas camp, he played very well, scoring 21 pts and 7 assists. Overall, he never seems to have trouble

11. Played for TeamUSA at the International Sports Invitational in San Diego, and performed well throughout.