With the 2017 recruiting cycle nearly complete, the focus shifts to 2018 with things heating back up during the upcoming spring evaluation period. A number of teams are already off to a fast start and have their plan ‘A’ targets on board. Here’s a look at six players who have already come off the board who are big additions to their respective programs.
Tyler Herro – SG - Wisconsin
Greg Gard has elevated Wisconsin’s recruiting level and Herro is one of the bigger wins in program history. When you think of the Badgers, you think of blue-collar, hard-nosed players and a coaching staff that squeezes every ounce of talent out of their roster. Gard will still have that, but now he’s got one of the nation’s top scoring threats to go along with it.
A player who can flat out light it up, Herro is one of the best pure shooters in the 2018 class, capable of creating just about any shot he wants and just as dangerous with the pass. A top 50 talent, Herro is also rounding out his game as a junior. He’s worked much harder on the defensive end this season.
Not many true freshman see the floor in Madison. Gard will likely have a hard time keeping Herro on the bench his first year.
Jordan McCabe – PG – West Virginia
McCabe could have waited and seen his recruitment potentially explode this spring/summer. There were even some potential in-state offers that he may have desired, but credit him for realizing a great fit and jumping on it.
Under Bob Huggins, McCabe is going to be able to play at a pace that suits his flashy, up-tempo style. One of most the creative passers and ball handlers in the country, there’s not a move in the book that’s outside McCabe’s repertoire. Capable of putting up monster scoring and assist numbers, McCabe is a rare electrifying talent.
There’s probably some questions about his ability to run a team at the college level and his tendency to get into trouble with turnovers, but if you watched his state title run with Kaukauna last season, you saw McCabe run his team like a pro.
Daniel Oturu – F/C - Minnesota
Oturu picked up an early offer from blueblood Kansas, but turned it down to stay home. When he first burst onto the scene a few years ago, Oturu was a big project. He had such a high ceiling, but was extremely raw and far from a finished product. Fast forward to his junior year, Oturu literally gets better each time we get eyes on him and always seems to add something new to his package. Playing with Howard Pulley last spring/summer, there was one game in particular against Cal Supreme, who featured two of the top post prospects in the 2017 class, where Oturu shined and in fact outplayed the duo of Brandon McCoy and DeAndre Ayton at times.
A 6-foot-9 forward with tremendous length, Oturu can dominate on the block, but also shows flashes of a sweet mid-range game and ability to take other bigs off the bounce. A tremendous defensive presence, Oturu will shut down the paint and force the opposition to play from the outside.
Minnesota is having a fine fourth season under Richard Pitino. Oturu is a big building block for their future.
Jontay Porter – F – Washington
A player that came up through the GNBA circuit, it was evident early that Porter was going to be a special talent. What Porter can do for his size is special. He can play all over the floor and not just fill a variety of roles, but excel in them.
Porter is a skilled, versatile, and athletic prospect with endless tools. Washington will be able to move the 6-foot-9, 225-pounder all over the floor and create mismatch problems. Porter can play with his back to the basket, shoot and face up from mid-range, and also step out and knock down 3-pointers. Just his presence alone is going to create great floor spacing for the Huskies and pull opposing bigs away from the rim.
Over the past couple of seasons, Porter has greatly improved his ball handling skills. He’ll grab a rebound and go coast-to-coast with ease. Porter can almost play like a guard, breaking down and shaking his man off the bounce and finishing with a sweet lefty stroke.
Courtney Ramey – PG – Louisville
Louisville and Rick Pitino are one of the best and developing guards. They’ve got another star on the way in Ramey. The kid just gets the game of basketball. His IQ and willingness to do anything to get the ‘W’ is second to none. Cardinal fans, rest easy. When Ramey gets the keys to the car, he’s going to drive the program to a ton of wins.
One of the best two-way players in the country, Ramey is engaged for every minute he’s on the floor. It doesn’t matter if his team is up by 50 or down by 50 – Ramey will bring it.
Capable of running the show offensively or taking over a game, Ramey is a unique guard that gives his team so much. A triple-double threat from the lead guard spot, Ramey contributes across the board and makes his presence felt even if he’s not putting the ball in the basket.
Joe Wieskamp – G/F – Iowa
It’s a good think Iowa locked up Wieskamp early, because a ton of programs would have come calling for this kid. He reminds me of Marquette’s Sam Hauser. Wieskamp super skilled, versatile, a terrific shooter, but with more bounce.
The Iowa commit is a big problem for opponents because he has so many tools and so many different ways to beat you. A high-IQ player that can score from all over the floor, Wieskamp is comfortable from all three levels. Wieskamp has a sweet stroke from downtown, he can pull up off the bounce, and he’ll take advantage of smaller defenders by putting them on the block. Also an underrated offensive rebounder, Wieskamp will battle for second chance opportunities.
Wieskamp should be able to play either wing spot effectively in Iowa City. At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Wieskamp should also allow the Hawkeyes to start their transition offense more effectively. An excellent transition player, Wieskamp has a knack for going coast-to-coast and finding teammates on the go.