Wednesday’s Workbook: Unsigned Seniors
In this article:
Welcome to Wednesday’s Workbook, a new (often weekly feature) that blends highlighting a group of prospects and providing background context that is educational not only to the current prospects and parents, but hopefully others as well. This first edition takes…
Welcome to Wednesday’s Workbook, a new (often weekly feature) that blends highlighting a group of prospects and providing background context that is educational not only to the current prospects and parents, but hopefully others as well.
This first edition takes a look at recent small college commitments from Oklahoma’s Class of 2023 and a look at which prospects are still available. Along with a general guideline of the average timeline for small college prospects in Oklahoma. In this case, small college will be defined as “non-D1” meaning Division 2 (Central Oklahoma, Northeastern State, Southern Nazarene for example), Junior Colleges (Connors State, NOC-Enid, Redlands, Seminole for example) and NAIA (Langston, Oklahoma City University, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma for example).
Here’s a few points worth addressing, that will hopefully provide some context to the small college recruiting journey.
Small College recruiting is on a different timeline than D1 recruiting. And has been for years.
The roster turnover that he become common place at the D1 level has been a fact of life for years in the small college ranks. Also, Division One programs have larger budgets and start identifying talent and building relationships at earlier ages. In Oklahoma there will be many more prospects that sign with small colleges over D1s. Meaning that the average prospect and their family should not be judging their own recruiting timeline agains the elite prospects.
For 2024 prospects and younger, they shouldn’t be discouraged if they’re not receiving interest right now. Once college rosters are finalized in May, team camps, elite camps and tournaments will provide avenues to gain exposure for prospects to small college coaches.
Has the extra year of eligibility that many college players received due to COVID impacted the player pool?
Yes. But the small college ranks has always been filled with older players. Look through the roster of any of the four year programs listed above (and some of the JuCos), they will be filled with transfers from JuCos and other 4 year progams. So while yes there is some addd competition due to extra years of eligibility, 18 year old high school prospects have long been competing for scholarships against 21, 22 and 23 year olds at the small college level. That’s why going D2 or NAIA isn’t as simple as the average observer would think.
How many players commit to small colleges before their senior season vs after?
This year was a good example of while a handful of players commit early,(Westmoore/UCO), (Edmond Memorial/Pittsburgh State) and (Edmond Santa Fe/Oklahoma Southwestern) for example; the majority of prospects don’t see their recruitment pick up till recent months. Another recent UCO commit, was offered in the summer and committed in the last week. Similar to his high school teammate, , who was a long time target of Northeastern State, and committed in December. These are the exceptions to longer term recruitment concept, as the majority of small college movement, including new offers and interest has occurred in recent weeks.
The last few weeks have seen a flurry of D2/NAIA commitments.(Norman/UCO), (Edmond North/OBU), (Westmoore/USAO) committed shortly after the high school came to a close. There has been even more movement in the junior college ranks, with (Carl Albert/Northern Enid), (Douglass/Independence), (Anadarko/Western) among the many recent commits to go the JuCo route. In the upcoming month, many more names are likely to find homes via the junior college route. It’s very likely that over 50% of the players that sign to play basketball at the next level will sign this spring vs the November signing period.
For regional small college programs, it seems that production in high school tends to matter as much, if not more than AAU.
While some foundation for Class of 2024 and 2025 prospects will be built in the upcoming months, for many prospects the recruiting process won’t heat up till as late as next year. And that’s ok, every prospect has their own timeline.
Now, here’s a look at some of the top names still on the board.
Top Available Lead Guards
, 5’10, Putnam City North – A sniper from deep, he has college ready range. With a crafty off the bounce game in the mid-range and a floater at the rim.
, 6’2, Kingfisher – Ridenour had moments this year where he flashed big time scoring ability from deep, with a solid floater.
, 5’11, Choctaw – Finished his high school career with a clutch playoff run. End to end defender and capable shooter in the mid-range and beyond the arc.
Top Available Athletic Two Guards
, 6’3, Holland Hall – A strongly built guard, Cool has the potential to be a bowling ball as a finisher at the next level, with a solid jumper.
, 6’4, Del City – another guard with next level size and good range. He fits into the winning mold after helping Del City to their second state title in three years.
, 6’2, Booker T Washington – A bouncy guard, with a smooth mid-range game, Holdman steadily improved in his first season in Class 6A
, 6’3, Metro Christian – Has great end to end speed, and was one of the most explosive finishers in Oklahoma.
, 6’4, Newcastle – A composed scorer, Sucharda excels as an effective scorer in transition while also attacking in the flow of the offense.
, 6’3, Del City – One of the top defenders in the state, personifies the Del City team with his tenacity as an on the ball and off the ball defender.
Top Available Wings/Forwards
, 6’7, Douglass – Shockingly still available, McMorris is one of the toughest players in the state, with an improved off the dribble game. His toughness, size and athleticism makes him great for the “small ball” era.
, 6’7, Putnam City North – Another player that benefits from the small ball era as he has the strong base to be a physical grinder around the rim. And was automatic in the mid-range and from beyond the arc.
, 6’7, Westville – A human highlight reel on twitter, the small town standout plays above the rim. While also being an exceptional passer for a forward.
, 6’7, Destiny Christian – The long armed forward is a good rim protector and finisher. Can even stretch the defense with range from beyond the arc.
, 6’4, Putnam City North – A gritty defender, the lanky Payne plays with physicality on both ends of the court. With a sneaky mid-range game.
, 6’4, Owasso – Mann has next level size, quickness and power. He was one of the best finishers in the state this year, and if his shooting improves has one of the higher upsides in the class.