When it comes time to sign, college basketball can't match college football's fanfare.
Media-types would love to manufacture a signing period bonanza to match football's first Wednesday in February, but hoops recruits are proving reluctant to provide the drama.
Of the 100 prospects to be featured in next Monday's final edition of the 2011 Top 100, 97 have already identified their college destination. Coaching changes have a chance to impact a few of those decisions, but – thankfully – the signing day hat game just isn't catching on in basketball.
Still, there are some unanswered questions heading into the late signing period, which begins Wednesday and runs through May 18.
1. Where are top uncommitted/unsigned prospects Trevor Lacey and DeAndre Daniels headed?
When MaxPreps.com releases its final 2011 Top 100 next Monday, Lacey and Daniels will be the lone undecided Top 25 prospects.
Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News reported Tuesday that Lacey, a 6-foot-4 guard from Butler (Huntsville, Ala.)
named to MaxPreps.com's All-American first team this week, has pushed his decision back to at least April 22. Alabama and Kentucky appear to be the front-runners.
Duke is the hot name in the recruitment of one-time Texas verbal Daniels. The 6-8 forward spent his senior year at IMG Academies (Bradenton, Fla.)
and is expected to attend the Blue Devils' annual banquet this weekend, according to multiple reports.2. Are there any developments outside of the Top 100 worth paying attention to?
New Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin picked up a commitment Monday from Washington (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
point guard Wes Washpun
. We raved about Washpun
last July in Las Vegas while he was helping the Iowa Barnstormers reach the final of the Fab 48 tournament. North Dakota and South Dakota State were the only schools that had offered at that point with Northern Arizona, Northern Iowa and Santa Clara beginning to show interest.
No surprise here that he is headed to the SEC. Volunteer fans are going to love Washpun's grit and competitiveness.3. Aside from Tennessee's Martin, which other head coaching hires are making a positive impression on the recruiting trail at their new schools?
Without much blue-chip talent still on the board, the best move coaches like Mike Anderson (Arkansas), Brian Gregory (Georgia Tech) and Mark Gottfried (North Carolina State) can make is retaining the signees already on board with the previous staff.
That was especially important in the case of Anderson at Arkansas due to a five-man recruiting class regarded as the nation's seventh-best by MaxPreps. So far, so good as none – including All-American B.J. Young
of McCluer North (Florissant, Mo.)
– have requested a release.
Gregory also received an affirmation from Tech's top recruit, 6-8 forward Julian Royal
. Gottfried has secured the services of Tyler Harris
and even 2012 commitment Tyler Lewis
, a runner-up for North Carolina's player of the year honor.4. How does John Calipari's latest effort stack up against his first two classes at Kentucky?
As it stands today, better than 2010 and a slight tick behind the 2009 crop that produced four NBA first-round draft picks. Should the Wildcats land Lacey, Calipari might have his most promising incoming unit yet. And who knows how high the ceiling is for fairytale forward Anthony Davis
, who was a virtual unknown at this time last year and has vaulted to the top of the class.
5. How strong are the incoming classes for NCAA Tournament darlings Butler and Virginia Commonwealth?
Brad Stevens doesn't appear to be deviating from his recruiting approach despite back-to-back Final Four appearances. The Bulldogs signed four players last November that will head to Indianapolis with little fanfare. The common bond with the three American signees is winning. Forwards Kameron Woods
of Eastern (Louisville, Ky.)
and Andrew Smeathers
of Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.)
along with Roosevelt Jones
of O'Fallon (Ill.)
combined to help their teams go 74-14 this season.
The fourth member of the class is Jackson Aldridge, a product of the Australian Institute of Sport, which has cranked out the likes of Andrew Bogut, Andrew Ogilvy and Patrick Mills.
Virginia Commonwealth probably won't see the full benefit of its Final Four run recruiting-wise until next season. But head coach Shaka Smart has a good one on the way in 6-6 guard Treveon Graham
of St. Mary's Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.)
, who averaged 21.5 points and 12 rebounds per game in the rugged Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.