Thursday, June 28, 2007

Green Won't Help Tubby Fill Out 2008 Class

According to published reports, Draymond Green has picked Michigan State.

This is unfortunate, albeit expected, news for Minnesota fans who were hoping Green would follow Tubby Smith to the maroon and gold. Green, the #78 player in the Class of 2008 according to Rivals, had given a verbal to Tubby at Kentucky. He withdrew that commitment when Tubby left the commonwealth.

One thing to note here is that according to the Green signing wraps up the Spartans' 2008 recruiting class. That enables Tom Izzo and company to begin concentrating on 2009. Tubby Smith has not come close to finishing off his 2008 class. The only Minnesota committ at this point is Texas point guard Nathen Garth.

If my tally is right, that leaves 4 available scholarships for Tubby's 2008 class--his first class in Minnesota.

Tubby has offered two four-star shooting guards in Oak Grove, Ill. prospect Iman Shumpert and Devoe Joseph of Ontario, Canada.

Shumpert is being heavily recruited from some heavyweights, and has offers from Marquette, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech. Shumpert has also expressed interest in Duke and Illinois, according to Rivals, but those schools haven't yet offered the shooting guard.

The Gophers would seem to have better odds at landing Joseph, the 22nd best 2008 shooting guard according to Rivals. He currently has offers from Duquesne, Washington St, Santa Clara, Fairfield and other mid-majors.

Rivlas lists four power forwards as having received offers from Minnesota. But two of those can be crossed off the list. Green is now headed to MSU, and Andrew Brommer, who once verbaled Dan Monson, was apparently told he wasn't in Tubby's plans.

The highest ranked PF propsect that has received a Minny offer is Eloy Vargas, a Rivals 4-star player ranked at #17 in the country at his position. Hes 6-10, 210 pounds for Hollywood, Florida. But Vargas indicates he has 'high' interest in Pittsburgh, which has offered. And the competition for Vargas is steep, with the Gophers in a recruiting battle here with Louisville, Clemson, Texas A&M and Miami. Vargas also indicates interst in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio State, but according to Rivals, those schools haven't offered.

Assuming Vargas does indeed head to Pittsburgh, that leaves Robert Eppinger, originally from Minneapolis, who is playing for Indian Hills Community College. At 6-8, 240 pounts, Eppinger would defintley have some weight to throw aronud. Fresno State and Seton Hall are also in the market for his services.

At center, where the Gophers will have to find a way to replace Spencer Tollackson, the Gophers have already missed out on the state's top propsect--Princeton's Jared Berggren--who is headed to the evil neighbors coached by Bo Ryan.

The only other center Minnesota has offered for 2008 is Duluth, Ga. prospect Ralph Sampson III. Tubby was high on Sampson before the son of a legend began to surface as a high-major prospect.

Tubby may have a leg up on the Class of 2009, where some local kids may opt for Minnesota. But landing Rodney Williams and Royce White will be a lot easier if Tubby has a solid 2008 class.

And there's plenty of work to be done before that happens.