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September 30, 2012

Weekend wrap: Stars coming out for LSU

Relatively speaking, it was a pretty quiet weekend as September turns to October. However, there was some news as LSU landed its second four-star pledge in the span of three days, and a five-star junior college star opened things back up.

Quarterman for your thoughts

Presumably, LSU hoops fans will no longer be concerned about whether or not Johnny Jones is going to be able to recruit at the SEC level. After landing four-star power forward Jordan Mickey on Thursday night, the Tigers struck again on Sunday when they landed point guard Tim Quarterman.

A 6-foot-5 product of Savannah (Ga.) Johnson, Quarterman is a highly versatile guard who can conceivably play shooting guard and small forward in addition to the point. He's lean but wiry strong, very good off the dribble and has really emerged as a scorer over the last year.

Currently ranked No. 63 in the 2013 Rivals150, Quarterman was one of the summer's biggest risers as he seemingly came out of nowhere to put himself on the national map. LSU started stalking him in July and built a strong relationship with Quarterman and his family that was cemented when he visited officially a few weeks ago.

When you pair Quarterman with Mickey, you are talking about two athletic and improving players. Mickey is a very athletic 6-foot-8 forward who plays from the inside out, blocks shots, rebounds and really runs the floor. They are the exact type of players that are perfect for Jones running system and potential impact players as freshmen.

Thomas opens it up

Almost since he committed to Xavier and made the move to skip his final year and a half of high school to enroll at Marianna (Fla.) Chipola College last winter, rumors have swirled that Chris Thomas would open things back up.

Sunday, multiple sources confirmed to Rivals.com that the talented 6-foot-5 combo guard from Denver was no longer committed. So, what exactly does that mean?

Obviously, the loss of a five-star prospect is a tough one for Xavier to shoulder. But, most likely, Chris Mack and his staff have at least had the feeling that this could end up happening for a while now, so it shouldn't be totally unexpected to them.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see who steps up to recruit Thomas. As a high schooler, he was pretty lightly recruited for a player of his caliber and bounced around a little bit. So schools are going to want to know that he's gotten a bit more stable on and off the floor.

The elephant in the room, though, is the NBA. More and more, there's been behind the scenes speculation that Thomas' ultimate plan is to and skip a four-year program and test his luck in the pros after this season at Chipola.

Thomas is working to be eligible to leave Chipola after this season and have three years of eligibility if he does go to college. His situation is certainly one that we'll begin to monitor a bit more closely

More commitment news

Oklahoma State actually got the commitment party started on Friday night when it landed Jeffrey Carroll. A 6-foot-6 wing out of Texas, Carroll is actually a bit more of a combo forward at this point, but he's trending toward the wing. He can shoot it a bit, has developed good athleticism and is a guy who has plenty of upside. Carroll should be very familiar with one of his incoming teammates in Leyton Hammonds after the two spent the last few summers playing together on the Dallas Mustangs.

Sources also confirmed that top 100 prospect Stevie Clark stopped by Stillwater for a visit this weekend. After leaving Oklahoma City for Las Vegas, Clark is apparently back at Douglass High school in OKC.

During the weekend preview, we speculated that Colorado was probably the team to beat for Tacoma (Wash.) small forward Tre'Shaun Lexing. Sure enough, the three-star prospect confirmed on Saturday that he committed while on his official visit. An athletic transition performer, Lexing is coming on rapidly as a prospect, and it won't be a surprise if he ends up a valuable contributor and perhaps two-year starter (at least) during his time in Boulder.

Iowa State got on the board again with junior college wing Dustin Hogue. An East Coaster who plays at Indian Hills Junior College in Ottumwa, Iowa, Hogue is one of the better wing scorers in JUCO ball. He's an athlete and physically ready to play right away in the Big 12.

Carlton Battle of Team Nashville checked in with Rivals.com on Sunday night to let us know that a pair of his players have committed to Tennessee State. 6-foot-8 power forward Jamontae Davis and guard Jamonte Graham both committed while on their official visits in Nashville this weekend. Davis is a slender but fleet-footed big with upside, while Graham is a 6-foot-1 point guard with speed and toughness.

Maybe the biggest pull of the weekend was Valparaiso landing 6-foot-7 combo forward Alec Peters from Illinois. Peters was very good all summer long for the Peoria Irish and projects as an impact player and potential all-conference type performer for Bryce Drew and the Crusaders. It's easy to imagine the sharp-shooting and crafty Peters eventually causing some high-major a ton of fits during an NCAA Tournament game.




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