Blog Entry

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

Posted on: September 19, 2008 1:14 pm

Rashanti Harris has committed to Georgia State, and that might not mean much to you. But it's worth noting in this space because Harris is rated by as the 26th-best prospect in the Class of 2009 and Georgia State isn't the type of school that typically lures recruits of that caliber.

It's a wild development, honestly.

Arkansas, Memphis and Mississippi State were all heavily involved with Harris, whose academic woes are well-documented and the reason the Mississippi native is now at The Patterson School. But late Thursday night he passed on those programs to commit to Rod Barnes and in the process continued a trend of high-level prospects choosing outside the power programs.

Consider that four of's top 13 centers in the Class of 2009 are now committed to non-BCS programs. This wouldn't be too strange, mind you, if they were committed to Xavier, Gonzaga, Memphis or Nevada. But the four prospects (Harris, Zeke Marshall, Aaric Murray and Greg Smith) have pledged their allegiances to Georgia State, Akron, La Salle and Fresno State, meaning four top 90 national prospects have committed outside the normal power structure (and it should be noted that's No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2009, DeMarcus Cousins, has committed to UAB, i.e., another non-BCS/non-power program).

For those in search of explanation, here's one: Beyond the special relationships that can bond between staffs and prospects (and played a huge role in the commitments of Harris and Cousins), it's fair to partly credit the 2008 NBA Draft for the trend. Multiple industry sources have said kids watched three of the first 26 picks come from Rider (Jason Thompson), Western Kentucky (Courtney Lee) and IUPUI (George Hill) and realized for good that it's possible to be a first-round pick from virtually anywhere. In other words, Harris knows the NBA is an option even from Georgia State, and perhaps that helped make his unconventional decision a little easier.

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: September 22, 2008 3:30 pm
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Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: September 22, 2008 4:49 am

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

Uh Georgia State is not Georgia Tech and they do not play in the ACC ... check the conferences ... and it really does not matter where kids go to school anymore, the scouts will find you and you will be drafted accordingly ... just shows what a joke the college level has become in basically being the launching pad for the one and dones

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: September 21, 2008 9:31 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

Uh going to Ga Tech does not mean he will play against "drab competitors" in fact he will be playing in the ACC one of the nations top confrences in one of its usually mid pack teams. If a guy can take a team like Ga Tech past UNC Duke and the like that will give him huge attention nationally.

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2008 10:27 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

It could be a matter of being able to pad their stats. There have been a few prospects that were drafted out of HS high and exposed after playing against higher level competition.

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: September 20, 2008 5:40 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

The CAA has really stepped it up as a conference over the past few years and continues to improve with bringing in recruits like this.  Georgia State is going to be one of the most improved teams in the country this year and is quickly becoming a team team to watch out for!!!

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2008 1:51 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

Obviously, these kids are either too dumb or too lazy to keep up their grades at a school where the academics are more rigorous and they know it, so they choose a college where they suspect they can eke out good enough grades to qualify for playing time. That's the gist of this story.

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: September 20, 2008 1:09 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

I agree. Why would these kids not want to go to at least upper mid-major schools? If they are NBA tallent kids, they are not going to get the development or coaching to get them to that next level. Lets see......Rod Barnes or John Calipari? It should be a no brainer. Maybe these guys are just over hyped and they no they would ride the pine at better programs. Geogia St? Are you kidding?

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: September 19, 2008 10:57 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

I'd say that this is a very small trend. Actually I'd say that these numbers need to occur for more than a year to be a trend. How are each of these student's academics? Some non-BCS schools may be a little more creative, I mean caring, in their admissions process. At least that is what Huggins used to claim at Cinncinnati (Now a BCS school), and  Chaney, the venerable would-be-Calapari-strangler at Temple also professed. If their academics are great and they want to play at a smaller school, it's their choice, and I say power to them. Curry is certainly not being overlooked at Davidson, is he?

Since: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: September 19, 2008 10:00 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

yea, if hes good enough, hell make it... but come on, no way youre getting drafted as high from gsu as u would if you went to memphis or arkansas. at arkansas, hed play top competition, play on tv, and still be the man.

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: September 19, 2008 9:25 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

If you want to get better you play better competition.  I hope players are picking smaller schools so that they can pay more attention to their academics.  I know I know these guys don't go to school to earn a degree they go for the exposure.  Hopefully Harris can stay a couple of years at Georgia State so IF he's drafted he won't piss his money away like Latrell Sprewell or countless other professional ballers.  I hope this is a new trend and I hope this is the beginning of the end of the "one and dones"..............but probably not.

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