Talented guards embrace second recruitment after coaching changes

Talented guards embrace second recruitment after coaching changes

National Signing Day

Talented guards embrace second recruitment after coaching changes


Brewster Academy PG Thomas Allen is one of the most sought after guards in the country (Photo: adidas)

Thomas Allen never envisioned he would be in this predicament.

Not when he ended the headache that can be the recruitment process back in October, picking North Carolina State over Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Ohio State and Saint Louis.

But two weeks ago, Allen received a release from the Wolfpack following the firing of then head coach Mark Gottfried.

“And here I am,” Allen said. “Back trying to find the right school.”

It’s an all too familiar situation this season for talented guards like Allen, who find themselves up nights and racking up frequent flyer miles taking visits a month prior to their high school graduation after being displaced due to coaching changes.

“You think you have it all out of the way and then you’re back where you started,” said Allen, a four-star point guard at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.). “But, still, you have to take your time. It’s a big decision.”

One that Allen and elite guards like him hoped to have out of the way during the NCAA’s Late Signing Period, which kicks off today and runs through May 17.

Allen’s backcourt mate at Brewster, Makai Ashton-Langford, a four-star point guard who decommitted from Connecticut after the departure of associate head coach Glenn Miller, only came off the board this past Sunday when he committed to Providence.

“It’s not as bad as it sounds,” Ashton-Langford said of having to go through a second recruitment. “You have to embrace it and have fun with it. You’ll end up being in a better situation in the end.”

That was the case for Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) four-star point guard Blake Harris who also ended his second recruitment Sunday, pledging allegiance to Missouri after receiving a release from Washington when it fired then head coach Lorenzo Romar.

Similarly, Garfield (Seattle) shooting guard Daejon Davis, a four-star prospect who was also granted a release from Washington, announced his commitment to Stanford on April 1.

And after receiving a release from California last month when then head coach Cuonzo Martin left for Missouri, Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.) sharpshooter Jemarl Baker, a four-star prospect, committed to Kentucky on Tuesday.

Baker led the Under Armour Association in three-pointers made last summer. He drained 94 threes this high school season.

Last week, Notre Dame (New Haven, Conn.) point guard Tremont Waters was granted a release from Georgetown.

Waters, a four-star prospect, had signed with the Hoyas in October, but wanted out after then coach John Thompson III was fired.

New Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said he planned to meet with Waters and his father last week. Smart move since Waters initially had offers from schools like Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Duke.

“It’s different because you have more top-tier schools interested in you at this point,” Allen said. “At first, you think it’s going to be tough, but it’s not bad. I’m actually enjoying the process just taking my time and getting to know these coaches.”

Allen has become a top priority for Kansas, Nebraska and Xavier.

“It’s been pretty cool just having guys like Bill Self coming out to my school to meet with me,” Allen said. “All of the coaches are letting me know how much they need me next season and of course that feels good. I’m planning to take a visit to Kansas; I’m not sure when, but that’s the only visit I have planned for now. It’s just part of the game. I was committed, but now I have to figure it out again. I’m not complaining.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY


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