Recruiting notebook: Juniors rising, decisions coming for seniors

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Trevor Manual wasn't the most-hyped prospect in the Oak Hill Academy (Va.) vs. Whitney Young (Ill.) game at the Hoop Hall Classic on Monday. There was Jahlil Okafor, Paul White, Caleb Martin, Cody Martin, B.J. Stith, and other committed seniors.

But Manual could be that type of player next season, as the Oak Hill forward has broken into the top-50 rankings for the junior class. The 6-foot-9 power forward is at No. 45 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2015, and his rising recruiting reflects that talent.

He picked up recent offers from Wake Forest and Oregon, to add to a group that includes Michigan, Michigan State, Providence and Eastern Michigan. Manual also has interest from UCF, Virginia Tech, Virginia and some other Big Ten schools.

He has taken unofficial visits to Michigan, Michigan State and North Carolina State, but wants to take trips to Oregon and Wake Forest over the summer.

Manual said he's hearing from Michigan State, NC State and Wake Forest the most, but there are no favorites.

“I really can't say,” Manual said. “I'm just trying to figure out who's going to be the best for me overall.”

Decision coming for DuJuan Piper

DuJuan Piper is down to three schools.

“I'm picking out of Minnesota, Gonzaga and the University of Washington,” Piper said last weekend.

The Golden Gophers might get the next visit for Piper.

“They get up and run, they score in transition; that's what I like to do,” he said. “They pressure the ball a lot. I'm a defensive guy.”

Piper is a 6-foot-6 forward from Rainier Beach (Wash.), and his athleticism and activity at both ends make him a coveted prospect for teams looking to add in the spring.

But will he leave the state of Washington? The Huskies and Gonzaga are both in the mix.

“That's my hometown school,” Piper said of Washington. “I think their program is on the rise. I just like [Lorenzo] Romar.”

And then there's Gonzaga.

“I like Mark Few,” Piper said. “They get up and run, they're always a top-25 school. I'll have an opportunity to play early.”

There's no timetable for a decision.

Former Xavier commit looking to latch on in the spring

It looked like Melvin Swift was ending his recruitment in November of 2012, when he pledged to Xavier. However, less than 10 months later, Swift opened things back up.

And he's still on the board.

“It's down to UConn, UMass, SMU, Baylor and Georgia Tech,” Swift said.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Yates (Texas) only has one visit set up: Massachusetts.

“They're good,” Swift said. “And I have an old teammate there, Clyde Santee.”

The Minutemen and Connecticut are coming at Swift the hardest. He plans to make a decision in March.

De'Juonte Murray continues to raise his stock

One intriguing prospect to watch going forward is Rainier Beach (Wash.) junior De'Juonte Murray. He's ranked No. 90 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2015, and he was impressive at the Hoop Hall Classic.

Murray was quick and active, and his ability to get to the glass at both ends was eye-opening for a skinny 6-foot-4 guard.

He already has offers from Gonzaga, Washington, California, Washington State and Oregon, while Arizona is showing interest.

“Damon Stoudamire came to Rainier Beach, I think three times,” Murray said. “We had good talks, we have a good bond.”

He took unofficial visits to Gonzaga and Washington a couple months ago.

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