Vegas Notebook: Kaleb Joseph a prime target for many schools
Kaleb Joseph has college coaches following his every move, while Goodluck Okonoboh is one of the hottest names on the circuit. Plus a 2013 prospect is in demand.
LAS VEGAS -- Walking into a game at Rancho High School this week, one could have figured out who was playing just by looking at the college coaches along the baseline.
Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim was there with an assistant, Providence Friars was in attendance, Minnesota Golden Gophers stopped through, Maryland Terrapins made its presence known, Connecticut Huskies had an assistant. With that combination of coaches and programs, it could only mean one thing: Kaleb Joseph was playing.
The 6-foot-2 point guard from Cushing Academy (Mass.) has been a prime target for many schools all summer, with coaches following his every move.
"It just shows me I'm a priority for them," Joseph said. "It shows that there's a need for me in their system. It makes the whole recruiting process a little bit more intriguing."
Joseph rattled off a list of Boston College Eagles , Maryland, Tennessee Volunteers , Pittsburgh Panthers , Connecticut, Syracuse and Marquette Golden Eagles . He's taken only local visits so far, tripping to Boston College, Providence and Connecticut.
"After this month, I'm going to really focus on the recruiting process and pick off some schools to go visit," Joseph said.
Joseph is currently slotted at No. 53 overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 12 among point guards. With that said, his skillset is nowhere near finished. He's somewhat raw as a floor general right now, but his tremendous athleticism and attack-mode mindset make his ceiling higher than some players ranked higher than him.
It's just a matter of fine-tuning certain aspects of his game.
"I have all the pieces, just putting it all together on a consistent basis," Joseph said. "I think that would really take my game to another level."
Goodluck Okonoboh ready to dive into recruiting
It's easy to say a player should perform at his best no matter the opponent, but Goodluck Okonoboh isn't afraid to say he tries to take his game to another level when his counterpart is highly regarded.
"When I play against OK players, I tend to play down to them. But when I play against people I know who are good, I play a little bit better than I play usually," Okonoboh said. "I look forward to games like that because I know it will be competitive and fun."
Okonoboh has been one of the hottest players on the circuit this spring and summer, with his dominant defensive ability attracting nearly every college in the country. He's up to No. 26 in the 247Sports Composite ranking, and that number might only go up.
There have been some reports that the 6-foot-9 power forward from Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) is ready to focus on five or seven schools, but Okonoboh denied those rumors.
"I don't have a list. I have no favorites," he said. "I haven't even started to think about a list."
He mentioned Florida Gators and Indiana Hoosiers as two of the schools in hot pursuit, but Louisville Cardinals , Duke Blue Devils , Ohio State Buckeyes , Connecticut, UNLV Rebels have made a statement with their presence at games as well.
At the end of the month, Okonoboh will be ready to start advancing the process.
"I have to sit down with my family, see what they want to do," he said. "I'm going to wait until after AAU season to really get into that, talk about schools and stuff like that."
Jamal Aytes still on the market
While the heavy majority of players in Vegas this week are future prospects, there are some guys that are eligible to go to college in the fall. With many schools still looking to fill holes, these ready-to-play prospects are in high demand.
One of those players is Jamal Aytes, a 6-foot-6 power forward from California. He performed well against Okonoboh on Thursday morning, and could be nearing a decision.
So far, he has taken visits to BYU and Boston College, while Miami, Kansas State, Northwestern Wildcats , Gonzaga Bulldogs and West Virginia are also pursuing.
"I'm going to take visits next week," Aytes said, pinpointing Gonzaga and West Virginia Mountaineers as two schools he wanted to check out.
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