Did you see the dateline on this column? Read it again before you keep going. You did? Great, let’s proceed.
This is a first for this column as we’re in the heart of the recruiting world right now as I type this. I’ve yet to have a peach in Georgia though, and that bothers me. We have a ton of stuff to get into and this will only touch on a fraction of the stuff my colleague Aaron Reiss and I have gathered since we got here.
In the immortal words of Cosmo Kramer, “Giddy up.”
E.J. Liddell and the Dukies
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The first two thoughts that come into my head when I hear the word Duke are my college roommate Austin Hough’s semi-decent impression of Dick Vitale yelling “The Dukies,” and my dear friend James Ziemba (a Duke alum) and his overbearing love for Coach K, a man he has barely met.
So when Aaron told me E.J. Liddell is now hearing from Duke, that’s the first place my brain went.
And yours should go somewhere like that too. Anywhere but the panic button. At least for now.
Let’s start with this. Interest is one of the most overrated words in recruiting. I’ll back that claim up with a short story.
In high school, a football prospect from Metuchen, the town I went to high school in, said he had Missouri interest in a story about him. I asked my friend’s little brother, a right tackle on the team, about the kid.
“He got one letter from them,” he told me.
One stinking letter and the kid said he had Missouri interest. For context, Drew Lock was getting over 100 letters at a time from Missouri during his recruitment. So when a recruit says they have interest from a school, the definition can vary widely. In summary, defining interest from a school in recruiting is like trying to lick your elbow. It’s possible, but very hard to do.
Now to my other point. Duke hasn’t offered Liddell.
I’m familiar enough with how Duke does business to know that it occasionally check into a prospect for a while to do its homework.
When I was in high school, a prospect in my area named Quadri Moore started to get Duke interest around this part of the summer. Some people went crazy. Reporters were writing it up as if it were a big deal.
A source at the time said Duke was simply, “giving Moore a sniff.”
Moore eventually went to Cincinnati. Duke never offered and backed out shortly after getting in.
Who knows what happens with Duke and Liddell? The Blue Devils are in with a lot of the nation’s top prospects and it remains to be seen where the 6-foot-7 forward is on the list, if at all.
An offer would be more of an indication, but then the question becomes is it committable?
Again, it’s early. Let’s see where it goes, if anywhere.
Hargrove stays home
I caught up with Terrence Hargrove, who recently committed to St. Louis, simply to ask him what made him pull the trigger so soon. His answer? His mother.
He said she has no cartilage left in her hips and can’t travel very far so he decided to stay local for college so she’s able to get to all of his games.
I asked the East St. Louis, Ill. resident if he would listen to any other school that came into the picture and he said, “I’m all blue.”
That closes the case with Hargrove. Good for him.
Both Tray Jackson and Antavion Collum said they plan to take official visits to Missouri sometime in the fall.
Collum is a 6-foot-7 guard who has apparently sold Cuonzo Martin as a potential option at point guard. That’s very intriguing. He can clearly score and has a nice wingspan that can be a problem for defenses.
Jackson has some Jontay Porter in him, as the coaching staff has told him and would be a great player to get some Michigan ties going for Cornell Mann and his pipeline.
Either way, getting both on campus is a good sign. Jackson is playing his final season at Sunrise Christian Academy alongside another priority in Malik Hall. Getting one could help with the other.
Mosley back in the picture?
Isiaih Mosley, a Columbia native and top-100 prospect according to ESPN, said he’s taken three unofficial visits to Missouri this summer, partly thanks to his trainer Devin Griffin, who hails from East St. Louis, Ill., and knows Cuonzo Martin. Mosley has started building a relationship with Martin by reaching out on his own and plans to do the same with more schools he’s interested in.
This goes without saying, but in recruiting, the prospect has to want it as bad as the program that’s after him. So good for Mosley for recognizing that.
More importantly, I’m very curious to see what happens with him. The 573 area code has been one of the hardest for Missouri football and basketball to recruit. Missouri football got one back in Alex Ofodile, but it would be good PR for Mosley to stay home.
I still remember Jimmy Whitt committing to Arkansas, and while he’s now at SMU, he would have been a great fit with this current Missouri team.
Mosley appeared to be a backup option for Missouri for most of the past year, but now I don’t think it’s fair to currently say that. He’s somewhere in the middle. I’m curious to see where he winds up.
Stay tuned for more ...
That phrase above makes us seem like a TV show more than a newspaper but stay with The Star the next few days and into next week for all of your recruiting needs. We have even more to come.