With VCU’s Shaka Smart getting a commitment from the highest rated player in his tenure on Monday, that sparked CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello to take a look at the pre and post-Final Four recruiting performances of George Mason, VCU, and Butler. None of the article is a surprise to Mason fans, as many have grumbled in the past that Jim Larranaga and his coaching staff didn’t capitalize on the Final Four exposure on the recruiting trails. But despite what some media and fans thought about Mason’s post-Final Four recruiting, they still had one hell of a team in the 2010-11 season.
In general if you follow college basketball recruiting at all you soon realize the rankings and star-ratings are pretty worthless. Luke Hancock was a great example of this, and so was Folarin Campbell.
It’s easy for fans, including myself, to get caught up in all the hype and “scouting reports” that paint these kids as Gods and program saviors. Often it is more about a coaching staff finding the right recruits instead of the most highly-rated.
Of course VCU is going to get better recruits at this point than most teams in the A-10. They are consistently winning, making the NCAA tournament, being nationally ranked, and have one of the most recognizable coaches in the country. Let’s not also forget that they have created an identity, “Havoc”, that is a huge selling point for the program and their environment.
Right now a lot schools are filling up their 2014 class while Mason, who has four scholarships to fill, is still waiting for their first commit. It appears based on some of the recruiting analysts that the staff here has missed out on some of their targets. Frankly I don’t think it is a big deal just yet, the 2014 talent pool is far from dried up at this point. However with Paul Hewitt being well respected on the recruiting trails among his peers, we all are hoping this is the biggest strength that he has brought to the program. In the next two weeks we will be seeing more 2014 recruits committing and hopefully we will have a better picture on how Mason is doing.