Portland (Ore.) Jefferson shooting guard Terrence Ross is headed to Washington, according to quotes from the player at Zagsblog.com, and that is welcomed news for the Pac-10.
The conference needs an image boost after none of its teams were ranked in the AP Top 25 at the end of the season. Ross’ decision to play in the Pac-10 is additionally significant inasmuch as he played 1 1/2 years for Montrose Christian School in Maryland before transferring back to Jefferson midway through this season.
He was exposed to ACC schools and received plenty of interest from Kentucky before he transferred back to Jefferson, where he was Oregon’s Class 5A player of the year as a sophomore. Ross’s reported commitment signals that playing in the Pac-10 means something again.
With Ross on the way, five of the West coast recruits rated among Rivals.com’s Top 50 recruits have decided to stay in the Pac-10 region. In fact, the eight highest rated West coast players by Rivals.com will be attending Pac-10 schools, including Arizona signee Daniel Bejarano of Phoenix North. Bejarano is rated No. 57 among Class of 2010 prospects.
More favorable news for the Pac-10 is potentially ahead if highly-touted forward Terrence Jones, Ross’ teammate at Jefferson, decides to attend Washington, Oregon or UCLA. Jones, a 6-9 player who can handle the ball like a point guard, took a visit to Kansas over the weekend. Kentucky is also in the picture. Jones is a Rivals.com 5-star player rated No. 13 overall in the Class of 2010.
He will announce his decision Friday.
Last year, two of the top 10 rated players by Rivals.com from Pac-10 locales went elsewhere — Los Angeles Dominguez High School foward Jordan Hamilton (No. 6) with Texas and Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde guard Michael Snaer (No. 7) with Florida State.
The highest rated player to leave the region this year is No. 99 James Johnson, a power forward bound for Virginia. Johnson, from Wildomar (Calif.) Elsinore High School, was recruited by Arizona early in the process after Miller’s hiring last year.
Eighteen Pac-10 scholarship players have announced they will transfer from Pac-10 schools at this point, but that can be viewed as addition by subtraction because a vast majority of them were role players last season.
Recently, Oregon’s inability to hire a coach for 39 days was dubious news. The Ducks went after some big name coaches, such as Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, but settled for Dana Altman, whose NCAA tournament resume is not as impressive as former coach Ernie Kent.
Altman, 51, coached Creighton to seven NCAA tournaments in his 16 years there, none in the last three seasons and only two in the last seven. He has not coached beyond the second round. Kent, a former Oregon player, coached the Ducks to two Elite Eight appearances.
Altman, however, brings a breath of fresh air to the Pac-10 with his pressing, transition style of basketball. Miller, 1-3 against Altman in his career, knows how a team at its peak under Altman can be dangerous with its pressing style and attack off turnovers.
At least Altman is humble about being one of the Ducks’ last choices to replace Kent. Sitting next to his wife at the introduction press conference today, Altman said, “I wasn’t her first choice either.”
Rivals.com’s Top 150 players who are considering Pac-10 schools
|13||Terrence Jones||Portland, Ore.
|F||*****||6-9||220||UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma|
|NR||Kadeem Jack||Manhattan, N.Y.
|PF||***||6-8||210||Arizona, Miami, Arkansas, UConn, St. John’s, Seton Hall|
CLASS OF 2010 PAC-10 RECRUITS
Rivals.com’s Top 150 rankings listed
|19||Josh Smith||Covington, Wash.
|23||Dwight Powell||Bradenton, Fla.
|25||Keala King||Compton, Calif.
|41||Tyler Lamb||Santa Ana, Calif.
|43||Terrence Ross||Portland, Ore.
|62||Anthony Brown||Huntington Beach, Calif.
|72||Gary Franklin||Santa Ana, Calif.
|101||Richard Solomon||Torrance, Calif.
|102||Allen Crabbe||Los Angeles
|106||Jordin Mayes||Los Angeles
|134||Devon Collier||Jersey City, N.J.
|135||Aaron Bright||Bellevue, Wash.
|141||Bryce Jones||Woodland Hills, Calif.
THOSE WHO GOT AWAY
Rivals.com’s Top 150 players who left Pac-10 locales for other schools
|99||James Johnson||Wildomar, Calif.
|114||Joe Harris||Chelan, Wash.
|150||Kyle Fuller||Moreno Valley, Calif.