August 23, 2007

Best of the rest: Power forwards

Teams in need of an impact big man should not fret. There is still plenty of talent at the power forward position in the class of 2008.

The post players comprise the deepest talent pool in the class this season, and a number of those prospects are still looking for a place to call home next season. takes a look at the position as a whole.

Best of the rest | Also on the board | 2008 PF rankings | 2009 PF Rankings

Best of the Rest: Power Forwards

Greg Monroe, Harvey (La.) Helen Cox

Rank: No. 1 overall power forward

Schools in the mix: Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, and USC

Visits: None scheduled.

Notes: The nation's top prospect has kept his thoughts on the recruiting process relatively close to the vest. He recently told that he will have his in-home visits before hitting the road for official visits. As the top player in the country, Monroe has the luxury of taking as long as he wants before picking a school. Everyone will wait for him, and he's certainly worth it.

Monroe highlights

Eloy Vargas, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage

Rank: No. 3 overall power forward

Schools in the mix: Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Miami and Pittsburgh

Visits: Florida (Sept. 1 - unofficial), Florida State (Sept. 7 - unofficial)

Notes: Vargas' AAU coach told in July that the big man could very well be a spring signee. Those plans have changed. Vargas will likely make a decision in the fall after visiting some of his top schools and watching the teams practice.

Angel Garcia, East Chicago (Ind.) High School

Rank: No. 8 overall power forward

Schools in the mix: Indiana and Memphis

Visits: None scheduled.

Notes: Garcia just came back to the United States after some time in his native Puerto Rico. The skilled forward may not need to take any visits because he has already visited his finalists. A decision could come in a month's time.

Xavier Gibson, Dothan (Ala.) Northview

Rank: No. 14 overall power forward

Schools in the mix: Alabama, Florida State and North Carolina

Visits: None scheduled.

Notes: What really is the latest with the long and lanky Southerner? The answer to that question is still a bit hazy. Gibson enjoyed a productive summer with the Georgia Blazers AAU team and showed flashes of his vast potential.

Matt Simpkins, High school to be determined

Rank: No. 15 overall power forward

Schools in the mix: Cal, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown and Washington

Visits: None scheduled.

Notes: Simpkins is coming off an unofficial visit to Cal earlier in the week, and he has plans to see Washington's campus in the near future. The two Pac-10 powers look to battle it out until the end. Simpkins has mentioned in the past that he'd like to get to some of the schools on the East Coast. A potential move across the country could help him reach that goal. But for the time being, it looks like a Pac-10 battle for the athletic forward.

Simpkins highlights

Ranked PFs still on the board

Instead of enrolling at Virginia Tech this fall, big man Augustus Gilchrist (No. 18 ranked PF) is headed to prep school. The talented post player from the D.C. area will likely be a hot target after the early signing period.

New Yorker Kevin Jones (No. 24 ranked PF) should be cutting his list down soon. He and his Mount Vernon teammates recently traveled to China for an exhibition tour. This weekend, he is playing in the Elite 24 game at Rucker Park.

Baylor, Notre Dame and Oklahoma have official visits locked up for Steve Tchiengang (No. 25 PF). Georgia Tech is also in the mix for the Montverde (Fla.) Academy big man.

Reno, Nev., prospect Olek Czyz (No. 28 PF) left the United States to return to his native Poland for a month. He has visits set up with Louisville, Duke and Florida.

Mississippi native Rashanti Harris (No. 30 PF) is one of the true sleepers at the position. He has all of the physical tools

There is a Big East flavor to Teeng Akol's recruitment. The No. 31-ranked power forward has yet to set up any visits though.

Prep school is looking like the most likely destination for Mississippi native Latavious Williams (No. 32 PF). A number of schools, most notably Mississippi State, are tracking the 6-foot-7 standout.

New Orleans-area prospect Brandon Moore (No. 34 PF) will be one to watch over the next couple of weeks. He has yet to set up any visits, but could be a hot target for Big 12 and SEC schools.

Will Florida still be an option for Louisiana native Storm Warren (No. 35 PF) after the Gators landed Allan Chaney on Thursday? Warren has visit dates set up with Florida, Baylor and LSU at this point.

Clemson, Iowa State, UNC-Charlotte, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest round out the final five for North Carolina big man Victor Davila (No. 36 PF).

Keep an eye on Colton Iverson (No. 37 PF) in the fall. The South Dakota product is off to Florida this weekend for his first official visit of the year. He is also lining up visits with Iowa State, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Chicago-area big man Josh Crittle (No. 38 PF) says Marquette is his leader, while Kansas State and Oregon will receive official visits. Southern Illinois and Minnesota are also options.

Savannah, Ga., native Toby Veal (No. 39 PF) has visits set up with Colorado, Colorado State, UNLV and Auburn.

Georgia and Texas are looking hard at Drazen Zlovaric (No. 40 PF). He relocated to Florida after a couple of years in Tennessee.

News & Notes

Nearly half of the top 40 power forwards in the country are committed. Twenty-one remain on the board, and this position will be a close one to watch because a number of teams are looking for an impact big man in the class. Twelve of the top 20 power forwards are off the board, and they are heading to eight conferences. Talk about spreading the wealth. Five of the committed power forwards are headed to the SEC. The Pac-10 is next with four pledges.

Best of the rest | Also on the board | 2008 PF rankings | 2009 PF Rankings


...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!