Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tubby On The Trail

Tubby Smith may not get all of the recruits he is targeting, but thank goodness he is aiming high.

We've already learned he is pursuing a basketball legend's son in Ralph Sampson III. We know he's after Draymond Green, even though the rumors that Tubby would offer his high school coach a job haven't materialized. Both are class of 2008 prospects. Sampson is ranked as just a 3-star forward/center by Rivals, though having a Ralph Sampson on your side can't really hurt. Green is a 4-star power forward, who had previously committed to Tubby at Kentucky.

And it's been widely reported that Tubby is getting to know the two best--unsigned--local recruits for the class of 2009. One of them, Royce White, a small forward, is a five-star, top-40 player in the class of 2009, according to Rivals. The other, Rodney Williams, is a 6-5, 4-star standout.

Now, according to Gopher Illustrated (subscription), Tubby is on the trail of Stan Simpson (pictured above), a 4-star, top 100 power forward prospect being recruited by Georgia Tech, Illinois, Wisconsin, Louisville and others. Simpson is a 6-8, 220 pound big man from Chicago.

I had concerns that Tubby wouldn't have the drive to recruit as hard as he'll need to in order to right the Gophers' ship. But it seems he is proving me wrong. Now the test will be if he can convince stars like Green, Simpson and a player with a pedigree like Sampson to come to the Twin Cities.