The spring signing period is two weeks away, and men’s basketball Coach Tom Penders said he hopes to sign up to two players in the spring period, which lasts from April 12 to May 15.
We’d like to sign at least one, and maybe two, he said from his home Wednesday before departing Thursday for the Final Four.
Although Penders is not allowed by the NCAA to comment on unsigned recruits, there are few secrets in the heavily covered recruiting world. Boys basketball Coach Gary DeCesare of St. Raymond’s (Bronx, N.Y.) confirmed Wednesday that guard Darnell Miller (6-4, 195 pounds) has given Penders a verbal commitment.
He’s going to visit April 14th to the 15th, and then it should all be done, Coach DeCesare said. He’s comfortable with the coaching staff there.
Miller averaged eight points, seven assists and six rebounds this past season. He led St. Raymond’s to a 27-3 record and a spot in the top 10 of the USA Today Super 25 rankings for most of the season, only falling out after a 52-49 upset loss to JFK (Bronx) in the Federation Class A semifinals. That loss ended a 19-game winning streak.
The second player Penders might sign is 6-9 forward Greg Jenkins of Mount Vernon High School (N.Y.). Jenkins led his team to a 28-0 record. This past week, Jenkins scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds as his squad beat JFK, the same team that upset St. Raymond’s, by a score of 60-58. The win earned Mount Vernon the Federation Class A title and a No. 25 ranking in the USA Today Super 25.
Jenkins is averaging 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks a game this season.
Neither Jenkins nor his coach were available for comment, but Jenkins’ father told FastbreakRecruiting.com earlier this month that Jenkins has verbally committed to GW. However, he made it clear that Jenkins is still entertaining offers from the University of Tulsa, Ohio State University, Dayton and Fairfield University.
Penders will have four scholarships to fill, assuming GW swingman Dorien Brown is still planning to transfer. Penders would not comment on Brown’s situation – and Brown could not be reached – but Penders is obviously working on the assumption that he will have four scholarships available. He is looking to sign up to two players and has already filled two scholarships for the 2000-2001 season. Shawn Davis signed a National Letter of Intent in November of 1999 while Attila Cosby transferred to GW in January.
Davis (6-7, 235 pounds) is a senior forward at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn. He averaged nearly 20 points and 18 rebounds this past season. Booker T. Washington (23-12) lost to Austin East (33-2) March 16 in overtime of the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Davis had 19 points and 10 rebounds in that game.
Cosby practiced with the team this semester and will be eligible as a junior in December. He is a 6-8, 222-pound center/forward who played two years at the University of Pittsburgh and spent a semester at the University of New Mexico before transferring to GW, in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He started 55 games at Pitt and averaged 8.8 points, 5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Cosby played one season at DeMatha High School but completed his prep career at Oak Hill Academy (Va.).
Both Davis and Cosby look to be impact players on a frontline that was less than impressive in 1999-2000. Irrespective of future signings, Penders already considers his class a success.
I believe we already solidified our biggest weakness, which is interior presence, he said.
Penders said he and his staff have been receiving a great deal of interest in the past few weeks from many recruits, including some he never thought he would have had a chance with. Penders said that at this time of year, many recruits begin to find that scholarships other schools promised are no longer there. But GW, too, appears to be fully committed as far as scholarships go. There is the distinct chance that one more may become available, though, because Patrick Ngongba’s future eligibility will not be known until after the school year. At that time, if Ngongba’s career is over, Penders would have the option of signing a fifth recruit.