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November 16, 2006Now that the dust has settled, there are only 13 prospects unaccounted for in the Rivals150 after the early signing period. There were no surprises from any of the committed players, but Jai Lucas surprised by not signing and O.J. Mayo turned a lot of heads by signing during the early period.
The Big Surprise
O.J. Mayo, the top ranked uncommitted prospect going into the early signing period had most people believing he would wait until the late signing period. But after receiving an ACT score of 29 on Tuesday, Mayo was in a position to sign with USC - and that's exactly what he did.
The Big Winner
The focus remains on the Trojans basketball program. Not only did USC land Mayo, but USC also landed elite prospect Davon Jefferson. There is a possibly Jefferson could suit up for the latter half of this season. He still must be given the OK by the NCAA Clearinghouse, and the USC staff must weigh out the benefit of playing him this season if he is cleared.
As it becomes increasingly more difficult to pin down the classification of a number of prospects, Marcus Morris and Markeiff Morris only made it more difficult this week. This fall, the twins announced their intention to attend prep school next year. However, they each signed a letter-of-intent with Memphis as 2007 prospects. The twins' coach told Rivals.com that there was a 90 percent chance that they would attend prep school next year and come to Memphis in the class of 2008.
Three other schools jump into the top 25
North Carolina State lands at No. 19 in the team recruiting rankings with the addition of Tracy Smith.
Alabama takes the No. 24 spot with Rico Pickett coming back into the fold.
Another Mid-Major Upset
While the mid-majors are wreaking havoc on the court, New Mexico State and head coach Reggie Theus pulled a recruiting upset. Five-star forward Herb Pope opted to play in the WAC and hone his game under the tutelage of Theus. Pope turned down Texas, Maryland, Memphis, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh.
Other uncommitted signees
Several other top players who were uncommitted entering the early signing period elected to make their college choices during the week-long period. Here is a sample of those who made up their minds recently: Eric Wallace to Ohio State, Jordan Crawford to Indiana, Charles Boozer to Iowa State, Jeff Brooks to Penn State, Rihards Kuksiks to Arizona State, Josh Owens to Stanford, Mustapha Farrakhan to Virginia, Tyrel Reed to Kansas, Darnell Gant to Washington and Chris Warren to Ole Miss.
Couldn't Make the Call
Both Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas did not feel ready to sign on the dotted line and are going to wait until the late signing period. Patterson - who is down to Kentucky, Florida, Virginia, Wake Forest and Duke - will watch some regular season basketball games to get a better feel for where he wants to play.
Down to Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Lucas is looking for the program where he can make the biggest impact as a freshman. Other schools will certainly try to get into the mix with the talented guard.