Friday, May 20, 2011

Recruiting News

Below, some recruiting updates from around the Ivy League.

For a list of committed players to attend Ivy League schools, including profiles of incoming Cornell recruits, and a listing of Cornell's prospective recruiting targets, click here. For a list of general Ivy League prospective recruiting targets, click here. Please note that we update these lists daily.

In our last recruiting post, we noted that Darius Stevens (La Lumiere Prep) LaPorte, IN, 6-6, F, had committed to Columbia University. As an example of how arbitrary and untrustworthy recruiting ratings services can be, check out the screen capture image below of the ratings assigned to Stevens by ESPN's ScoutsInc. rating service. On May 6, ESPN rated Stevens with an 89 overall rating and ranked him as the No. 42 small forward in the United States. One week later, after Stevens decided to attend an Ivy League school, ESPN arbitrarily and without explanation of any kind, dropped Stevens' rating to an 80 and ranked him 97th in his position. Presumably, ESPN did not want to assign a high ranking to a player attending Columbia.

This was not an isolated incident either. In fact, this practice is rampant at ESPN. For example, incoming Cornell recruit, Shonn Miller, had his overall rating dropped from an 82 to a 79 just hours after he committed to Cornell. Meanwhile other big national services such as and have also engaged in this practice quite regularly for years. Accordingly, we continually advise our readers to place very little weight on these types of ratings services when evaluating recruits. Instead, other talent indicators such as the number and quality of scholarship offers received are far more reliable indicators of an incoming recruit's ability/potential level. Of course, one must also consider the surrounding circumstances such as the recruit's level of exposure (i.e. does does he play on an elite high school or AAU team or have the opportunity to attend high exposure summer camps).

But of course, when evaluating a recruit, nothing is better than trusting one's own gut after personal observation. Evaluating a recruit is an art, not a science.

Although Chris Wroblewski, Errick Peck and Adam Wire played vital roles in Cornell's 2010 No. 17 national ranking, Sweet 16 appearance and third consecutive Ivy League title, none of the three players were evaluated by ESPN's scouting service as high school seniors. Each was assigned the lowly 40 rating.


As we have indicated on numerous occasions since March, the Ivies have been extremely active in the transfer marketplace and Columbia became the first Ivy League school to strike and score a transfer commitment in this recruiting cycle. George Washington University forward, Chris Fitzgerald (Northfield Mount Hermon School) Northfield, MA, 6-8, F, has decided to continue his career with the Lions. Fitzgerald becomes eligible the 2012-2013 season and will have three years available.

Fitzgerald was intent on attending Cornell as a high school senior and was recruited heavily by Steve Donahue's staff. However, like many talented prospects, he could not surpass Cornell's rigorous admissions hurdles and found an opportunity in the A-10 as an alternative. He was not recruited by the current Cornell staff. Fitzgerald is an outstanding face-up forward who can score reliably from outside the arc.

Cornell is also active in the transfer market and reportedly has engaged in conversations predominantly with players who can play on the interior.

Class of 2011 Recruiting News

Ryan Burton (North Lawrence HS) Bedford, IN, 6-8, F, committed to Divison II Bellarmine University over interest from Princeton and Penn according to the Louisville Courier Journal's Jody Demling. reports that Travis Souza (Northfield Mt. Hermon School) Northfield, MA, 6-5, G, will attend Cal-Irvine as a walk-on. Souza, a postgraduate, was evaluated very carefully during the spring of 2010, when he attended Turlock High School in the San Francisco Bay Area, by Cornell's former coaching staff.

Ryerson University of Canada announced the signing of Aaron Best (Eastern Commerce Collegiate) Toronto, Ontario, 6-5, G. Best was reportedly offered by Penn.

Class of 2012 Recruiting News reports that Delante Dunklin (Francis Parker HS) San Diego, CA, 6-0, G is talking to Cal Poly, Boise State, San Diego, Yale, Harvard, Penn, Fairfield and UC Santa Barbara. Dunklin said Cal Poly, San Diego and UCSB have each offered scholarships. Dunklin said he has a 3.0 GPA and is open to attending college in any geographic region.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Anthony Dallier (North Allegheny HS) Wexford, PA, 6-6, G, has a scholarship offer from Duquesne already on the table and was reportedly offered a roster spot by Cornell. Others such as Davidson, James Madison, William & Mary, Penn State, Michigan and Bucknell are heavily involved.

Jordan Barham (University HS) Shaker Heights, OH, 6-4, G is hearing from most of the Ivy League, as well as Penn State, Ohio University, Miami (OH), Rider, St. Joseph's, and Cleveland St. He is expected to visit Cornell during May per Indiana Basketball Source.

Zach Rufer (Burke Catholic) Goshen, NY, 6-2, G, told that he is being recruited by Davidson, Lafayette, Cornell, Army and Central Connecticut State. He said he plans on visiting, at least, Davidson, Cornell and Lafayette this summer.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that Fitzgerald was not admissible to Cornell as a high school senior but now is cleared for Columbia as a transfer student. I wonder whether gaining academic clearance is generally easier or more difficult as a transfer applicant relative to the traditional high school process.

While we're on the topic, how different would Ivy League student bodies look if all students, athletes and "regular" alike, had to re-apply after freshman year? I know a lot of high school stars turned freshman slackers who could never get into their own colleges as transfers.

Anonymous said...

Hey CBB, you haven't reported this recruiting news yet:

I haven't seen the kid play, but by all accounts he's a great shooter, and very clutch.