There was a lot to talk about this week in the world of Big East recruiting. From official visits to outstanding performances, these young have been displaying why they are being targeted by the top basketball conference in the country.
Nerlens Noel, Tilton (Center, No. 1 class of 2012)
- Providence, Syracuse, UConn, Georgetown, Kentucky, North Carolina
The high-top-rocking center has been the talk of the college basketball community since reclassifying into the class of 2012 earlier this month and has been backing up that No. 1 ranking with his play. Noel scored 18 points with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in Wednesday’s win over Phillips-Exeter.
Noel was also on campus last week at Syracuse as the Orange took on UConn, who is also in the running for his services. It was the second time he had been on Syracuse’s campus.
“It was good,” said Noel, who is close friends with Orange SF Michael Carter-Williams. “The crowd was packed and mad loud. I enjoyed it a lot.”
ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein examined how Noel would fit into Jim Boeheim’s vaunted zone defense earlier this week. It seems like a dream situation having Noel and Fab Melo down low in that zone, especially if you put Noel and his athleticism on one of the bottom wings to challenge threes.
Noel will visit Kentucky this weekend.
Jakarr Sampson, Brewster (Forward, Post Grad)
- St. John’s, Providence, Baylor, Kansas, Florida
Sampson is a favorite of a lot of fans because he is fun to watch, plays hard, and can play both forward positions. After de-committing from St. John’s to play a post-graduate year at Brewster, Sampson’s recruiting seems to be more open than ever.
Providence coach Ed Cooley has been a mainstay at many of his games, making the trek to watch him play several times. Florida coach Billy Donovan was also in attendance last weekto watch him play against Lee Academy.
This week, Sampson had strong games in wins over St. Thomas More on Wednesday and Winchendon on Friday night. Sampson scored 19 points in the first game before adding a strong performance against Winchendon in the semi-finals of the New Hampton Invitational.
Noah Vonleh, New Hampton (Forward, No. 4 class of 2014)
- Syracuse, Providence, Pittsburgh, UConn, others…
For those who do not know who Noah Vonleh is, they better get themselves acquainted with this young man because he will be a household name in a few years. A native of Haverhill, Mass., the New Hampton forward has been on the rise since the summer and has been playing his best basketball in the last week.
After a strong game against Brewster last week, Vonleh turned in a few more solid performances this week. In a win over MCI on Wednesday, Vonleh scored 15 points to go with 20 rebounds before putting up another strong game against South Kent on Friday night.
Vonleh’s performance against Brewster and Sampson was perhaps the most impressive. Sampson is considered an elite defender and Vonleh was able to attack the rim against him consistently, backing up the Harrison Barnes comparisons that so many send his way.
Cooley was in attendance at the Brewster game as he continues to work the New England prep schools for talent. One of his signees, Ricardo Ledo, was on the receiving end of some great moves by Vonleh on Friday night.
New Hampton will play Brewster again on Saturday in the finals of the New Hampton Invitational.