|Thursday, July 18
Hardeman to Texas; Ndukwe to Notre Dame
By Bill Hodge
The Texas Longhorns have a pledge from one of the nation's top running backs in Erik Hardeman of Pflugerville, Texas. Among many other offers were Miami, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, UCLA, Arkansas, LSU, Colorado, Nebraska and Michigan.
Notre Dame has its second commitment in outstanding receiver Chinedum Ndukwe of Dublin-Coffman, Ohio, over Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa and Maryland, among others. He had 59 receptions as a junior.
"Recruiting Power States": Florida, California, Texas, Pa, Ohio.
Two Class 2002 Top 100 prospects, forward Alexander Johnson of Albany-Dougherty, Ga., and center Julius Lamptey of Oklahoma City-Northeast, Okla., failed to qualify for Georgia. Center/forward Larry Turner of Bridgton Academy, Maine, recently chose Oklahoma after not being admitted to Georgia.
Ninety-six prospects verballed or signed from the Class 2002 Top 100 List. Uncommitted Top 100 prospects (4): Forward Leonard Cooke of Old Tappan-Northern Valley Regional, N.J. (NBA, not drafted); center/forward Amare Stoudemire of Orlando-Cypress Creek, Fla. (NBA, taken 9th in the first round by Phoenix); forward/center DeAngelo Collins of Inglewood, Calif. (NBA, not drafted) and center Sani Ibrahim of Oak Hill Academy, Va. (Junior College).
Duke-bound J.J. Redick led the East past West, 138-107, in the 2002 McDonald's All American Game at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Stories/Rosters for 2002, 2001, 2000).
Sixteen of the top men's basketball players 18-years-old or younger have been named finalists for 2002 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team (Story).
The NBA selected only one high school and a single junior college prospect during the 2002 draft: Center/forward Amare Stoudemire of Orlando-Cypress Creek, Fla., was taken 9th in the first round by Phoenix, while Portland took forward Qyntel Woods of Northeast Mississippi CC, Miss., at No. 21 in the first round. Sending a message to inexperienced hopefuls, the NBA passed on three other high school/prep school prospects: forward Leonard Cooke of Old Tappan-Northern Valley Regional, N.J.; forward/center DeAngelo Collins of Inglewood, Calif.; and center Giedrius Rinkevicius of Lithuania/Bridgton Academy, Maine. Forward Brandon Roy of Seattle-Garfield, Wash., who signed with Washington, earlier withdrew his name from the draft. Seven junior college players who entered the draft were not chosen: forward Rodney Bias of Shelton State CC, Ala.; guard Cordell Billups of Pierce CC, Wash.; forward/center Lee Benson of Brown Mackie CC, Kan.; center Rashid Hardwick of Eastern Oklahoma State CC, Okla.; Kei Madison of Okaloosa-Walton CC, Fla.; guard Eddie Shelby of Dixie College, Utah; and forward Omar Weaver of Riverside CC, Calif. Last season, five of the six high school players who declared for the draft were selected, with Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry and DeSagana Diop being taken among the first eight picks. None made an impact during their rookie season.
Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at CollegeSports.com. For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to CollegeSports.com's Recruiting Page.