The April recruiting period for basketball is here. From April 9-12, 17-22 and 24-26, college coaches across the country will schedule in-home visits, attend NCAA certified AAU events to scout players and get a jump start on 2016 recruiting.
However, a number of Mississippi’s top 2015 prospects remain unsigned — not just five-star Callaway guard Malik Newman. Here’s a list of some of the state’s best available prospects looking to land a Division I offer before inking a National Letter of Intent when the regular signing period starts on April 15.
BRUCE STEVENS | BAY SPRINGS
The 6-foot-8 forward was a monster in the postseason, averaging 25 points and 18 rebounds in the MHSAA state tournament. Stevens always anticipated that he’d have to go to junior college out of high school but recent interest from Mississippi State and Southern Miss could turn into a late offer for the dominating big. The Dandy Dozen selection told The Clarion-Ledger that Mississippi State is where he’s always wanted to go, and coaches from MSU were in attendance to watch Bay Springs capture its first state title. There’s no doubt Stevens is a Division I player with his strong low-post footwork and ability to dominate the glass with his size. Wherever he signs, improving his motor and conditioning skills is priority No. 1.
JAHSHIRE HARDNETT | GULFPORT
Hardnett transferred to Arlington Country Day (Fla.) for his senior season but came back to Gulfport in January. There’s been some question as to whether he’ll be academically eligible (ACD was under investigation by the NCAA to determine the legitimacy of its curriculum), but Hardnett took to Twitter to put the rumors to bed. The three-star point guard holds offers from Murray State, Connecticut, Georgetown and Kansas State but said he plans to hold off on committing until after April 15. Hardnett is taking advantage of one last go-around on the AAU circuit during the spring and will play in Dallas this weekend.
RICKEY HOLDEN | LAUREL
The Laurel standout is a pure shooter. Holden signed a LOI with Jones County Junior College on Wednesday but hopes the next few weeks will allow him to get in front of Division I coaches to earn a scholarship. One of the most underrated point guards in the state, the third-team all-state selection averaged 21.8 points, 9.1 assists, 6.8 rebounds and 5.2 steals as a senior.
TRISTIN WALLEY | HATTIESBURG
Walley, a Dandy Dozen selection, has held onto offers from Southeastern Louisiana, Delaware State and Tennessee Tech for awhile but will visit several junior colleges recruiting him in Kansas to figure out whether a stint in JUCO could earn him a bigger DI offer in two years. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged a double-double this season with 16 points and 11 rebounds and showcased his ability as a do-it-all player who can distribute the ball like a guard, dominate the glass and block shots.
MOSES GREENWOOD | VELMA JACKSON
The first team all-state selection holds offers from Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana, Troy and Xavier (La.), and recently picked up more scholarship offers from Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State. According to his coach Anthony Carlyle, Greenwood will likely sign the week of April 20 but will take one last visit to SELA to determine his best fit. The explosive forward was dynamic in every fashion at Velma Jackson, posting an average of 12.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the three-time state champions.
ANTONIO GREEN | TUPELO
Like Hardnett, Green will also make one last appearance on the AAU circuit this weekend with the D1 Ambassadors. The spot-up shooter exhibited good ball handling and decision making as a senior, but it hasn’t translated into the offers he wants. Wright State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Saint Louis are showing interest in the 6-2 guard, but Green’s only offer is Texas-Pan American. He’ll visit the Broncs next weekend.
SHEMAR JOHNSON | NEW HOPE
The 6-6 guard/forward is versatile, and UAB likely saw Johnson’s ability to come off ball screens and knock down shots when he worked out for Blazers coaches at the end of March. Despite claiming offers from the likes of Murray State, Southern Illinois and Tennessee Tech, Johnson’s recruitment has been relatively quiet. He hopes that will change during the spring recruiting period.
Contact Courtney Cronin at (601) 961-7091 or email@example.com. Follow @CourtneyRCronin on Twitter.