A few weeks ago, we ran a piece highlighting the scholarship distribution of future men's basketball teams. Back then I promised you a follow up piece on recruiting, and while it's taken a while, here it is.
In addition to signees Nate Navigato and Nick Perkins, UB still has one open slot available - even with Torian Graham coming in - for next year. Here's a look at four players still with a UB offer for next year, as well as four more highly-rated players already with offers but further away from their high school graduation.
Possible Additions for 2015-16
Naquavious King - SG - Midland College (JUCO)
King is unlike the other names on that list in that he wouldn't be joining the Bulls for four years. But as I showed in the scholarship distribution piece, Hurley has been masterful at leveling out his classes, and we all know the production he's gotten out of transfers Josh Freelove and Justin Moss in his first two years.
The fact of the matter is that while adding a player to Evans' (and Graham's) year would benefit the scholarship situation, King might be too talented to ignore, anyway. Somehow he's only got offers from Arkansas State and Kent State, but King is pouring in 19 points per game on 46% from distance - the top sniper in the JUCO ranks.
Seriously: King has five games this season with eight or more made triples. UB as a team? Four such games: eight twice, and nine twice.
Funnily enough, at Midland King plays with former UB commit Stan Wier. Not important, but funny.
Kris Clyburn - SG - Notre Dame (MA) Prep
Don't be fooled by his extra year at the Fitchburg, MA prep school; Clyburn is a part of the #NateOatsPipeline. And not just the general Michigan-and-Great-Lakes pipeline, but the bona fide Romulus pipeline.
In addition to the Bulls, Clyburn boasts offers from a number of mid- and low-majors: Fairfield, EMU, UNC-Wilmington, Robert Morris, UMass-Lowell, and Iona, while also garnering interest, but no offers from a few more schools of similar caliber, and Nebraska and Michigan.
Some of those offers may be off the table, per Michigan-based blog The Prep Ball Report, but that same blog got a quote from the guard after his offer from the Bulls:
"We are pretty close," Clyburn had to say about Coach Oats, "He's a good guy and coach, it feels good to have that offer because I know for sure that I can go there and have someone that will take care of me."
Before leaving Romulus, Clyburn was named to the Michigan Class A 3rd Team. I can't find his current stats, but mlive.com named him Honorable Mention All-Detroit after his senior year.
Xavier Cochran - SG - Ann Arbor Huron High School
Cochran is another shooting guard with a handful of midmajor offers. UB was actually the second school in on the senior, offering nearly a year ago, though now Xavier holds offers from EMU, UB, and Kent State among MAC schools, and Rice, Northeastern, Dayton, and Oakland otherwise.
mlive.com also reports an offer from Rhode Island as well as interest from Boston College and Tennessee. To the extent that mlive can be trusted, Cochran looks like a reliable scorer, putting up 19, 21, or 22 points in all of his games this year. If his pace holds, it will be the second straight year with a notable jump, as Xavier averaged 12 and 17 points per game in his sophomore and junior seasons.
GodsPower Ogide - C - Bull City Prep
Ogide is another Hurley target spending a postgrad year at a prep academy. Though Bull City is in North Carolina, Ogide, like Javon McCrea, hails from the Rochester area, having played for Class A power Bishop Kearney. Odige, like many players of Nigerian descent, captivates white people with his "interesting" name, but also has put together strong showings of late, most notably playing well against five-star forward Diamond Stone at the Reebok Breakout Classic in July.
In that scholarship distribution piece, I looked at the many guards and few forwards coming into the program over the next few years and wondered if we should just go four-deep around the perimeter and get a true center who could run the floor. Ogide could be that center.
Either 6'10" or 6'11" depending on where you look, Ogide seems by offers alone to be Hurley's biggest-name target for his one remaining 2015 scholarship, having garnered offers from Liberty, Rider, LaSalle, and Southeastern Louisiana in addition to Temple and NC State, while also catching interest from Ohio State, Syracuse, and Tennessee.
This article from Athlon Sports is now six months out of date, but at the time, Odige felt that Temple had backed off after his reclassification and named Buffalo and Liberty as his top two suitors. It seems that he's on the rise, and would be a big pickup for UB, not just for his skills, but also for his potential fit in the roster.
Further Down the Line
These guys are notable UB targets from the class of 2016, though they may reclassify themselves, as two of the above players have already done themselves. UB has offered over a dozen players from this class, but I'm highlighting just the three-star and higher recruits, since their commitments are a year off or more.
Howard Washington - PG - Montverde Academy (Canisius HS)
He no longer plays in Buffalo, having transferred to Montverde Academy in Florida, but Washington, a consensus four-star recruit, is pretty much the best Western New York talent since Jonny Flynn. He might already be out of UB's reach with five ACC offers and a sixth likely on the way, but if there's any position where Bobby Hurley can hit above his weight, it's point guard.
Bryce Aiken - PG - Patrick School (NJ)
Another point guard. Though he's not quite as heralded as Washington, Aiken is pretty darn good himself, ranked #3 overall in New Jersey according to ESPN, and a top-20 point guard by the major services. He holds offers from a host of high-major schools, including Maryland and Illinois.
Willie Jackson - SF - Garfield Heights (OH)
VerbalCommits.com, my jumping off point for this piece, has Jackson listed as a top-50 small forward, though both Scout and Rivals have him in the top 25. At 6'6" 210, he's not as tall as incoming Bull Nate Navigato, but he's also 210 pounds before hitting a collegiate weight training program. He's got offers from three Big Ten schools, including Wisconsin, among a host of others.
Nolan Narain - PF - La Lumiere Schools (Hamilton, ON)
It's not like UB has never had Canadian student-athletes, but we've definitely seen an uptick in recent years. Given how close Buffalo is to one of the major population centers in North America, let alone Canada, they should be mining Toronto for all its worth. UB can offer Narain, who boasts a diverse variety of offers, a school close to his Hamilton home and family. Binghamton is his only other offer within driving distance, and he's too good for them.