By Sean Moran
Tennessee Gets Its Motor (Chris Clarke)
Anytime Chris Clarke is described, the word “motor” is always involved. Now, the 6’5” Clarke will bring his motor and tenacity to Knoxville in 2015. Clarke’s decision gives Donnie Tyndall his first big name recruit and one that he landed over the local favorite in Virginia Tech in addition to the defending national champion UConn Huskies. Clarke is currently rated the No. 71 player in the country and No. 14 small forward and over the summer he averaged 12.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game playing for Boo Williams on the Nike EYBL AAU circuit. His body is college ready and along with his hustle, Clarke is also a ferocious penetrator and menace in the full court press. He is full of quick twitch muscle fibers and usually beats much taller players to the boards for putback lay-ups and dunks. His shooting is a work in progress, but Clarke is aware of this weakness and doesn’t try to do things he isn’t capable of….yet. Just like Poyser, Clarke received recognition from the NBA scouts for his play at the Global Challenge. He shot almost 72% from the floor and he did go 1-2 from behind the three point line. Clarke will see the floor from Day 1 for Tennessee and he provides a solid boost to Tyndall in his first recruiting class.
Jalen Poyser – Underrated Guard Goes With UNLV
Over the weekend, UNLV landed one of the most underrated guards in the 2015 senior class in 6’4” guard Jalen Poyser. The four-star guard out of Orangeville Prep in Canada is the first recruit for UNLV after they landed the No. 6 ranked recruiting class in 2014 with a pair of five-stars in shooting guard Rashad Vaughn and Dwayne Morgan to go along with a four-star shotblocker in Goodluck Okonoboh.
While Poyser is not currently ranked, there is no doubt he is a high level talent. During the Nike Global Challenge in August, Poyser was the top player for the Canadian team averaging a shade over 20 points per game while he drew attention from numerous NBA scouts. He is the rare type of shooting guard that is athletic enough to get a shot almost any time he wants while also looking comfortable in catch and shoot situations from the perimeter. Poyser has a long and quick first step that allows him to get by his defender where he can utilize his athleticism to finish in the paint. While not at the level of a Malik Newman type guard, Poyser is just a slight notch below.
Despite the Canadian roots, Poyser is no stranger to Las Vegas. He previously played at basketball powerhouse Findlay Prep in Nevada before transferring back to Canada for his senior season and he is also very familiar with UNLV assistant coach Todd Simon, who was previously the head coach of Findlay Prep. Playing time could come early for Poyser at UNLV as well. Former Findlay Prep teammate Rashad Vaughn is the pre-season freshman of the year pick in the MWC and the chances of the 6’5” Vaughn being a one and done type player are high.
Dozier: Done With Officials, Ready For A Decision
Perry ‘P.J.’ Dozier finished his final official visit this past weekend and is now ready to make a decision. The 6’6” guard took official visits to Michigan, North Carolina, Georgetown, South Carolina, and most recently Louisville during the fall. The South Carolina native sat out his junior season to recover from a torn ACL and Dozier is the rare case of someone coming back stronger from this injury. He grew two inches, added noticeable muscle to his upper body, and rose up the rankings to his current spot at No. 33. He has the ball handling skills to play point guard and by all accounts this is his position of focus at the college level despite having questionable quickness. Here is a look at all five of his options:
Michigan – The Wolverines were fairly late to the game in Dozier’s recruitment, but they still landed an official visit. With Derrick Walton Jr. firmly entrenched as the starting point guard, Dozier would be looking at more of a combo guard roll in Ann Arbor. While he won’t get to play the point full time, Coach Beilein most likely touted his recent NBA track record of success to Dozier.
North Carolina – The Tar Heels were recruiting Dozier well before his ACL injury and well before his rise up the rankings. While Roy Williams has made countless trips to South Carolina, there are two big pitfalls UNC must counter. The first being the release of the Wainstein report and the pending sanctions looming in Chapel Hill. The second being the crowded backcourt with Marcus Paige, Nate Britt, and Joel Berry all possibly returning next season.
Georgetown – Another school that was involved with Dozier before the injury. The Hoya backcourt is less certain. They have two incoming freshmen in point guard Tre Campbell and shooting guard L.J. Peak to go along with one of the top players in the Big East in junior D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
South Carolina – The hometown school for Dozier. Despite the lack of success in Columbia, Dozier could pair with Sindarius Thornwell to form a potent backcourt punch in the SEC.
Louisville – The Cardinals got the last visit from Dozier as he took in the FSU-Louisville football game in addition to a basketball scrimmage. Starting point guard Chris Jones is set to graduate after this year and sophomore guard Terry Rozier is being mentioned in countless mock drafts. Incoming freshman Quentin Snider is a point guard, but it looks like there could be some openings for Dozier. The Cards got in on Dozier this past July and then dropped him when Antonio Blakeney committed. Will this hurt their chances?
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