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Recruiting - 2021

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36 minutes ago, ACE said:

Which of the DeSmet bigs is better? Any sense of which one we would have a better shot at (if we indeed want one of them)?

Depends on what you're looking for.  Keita is stronger. Gassama plays more under control. They are equally effective players at this point.  Gassama was at Billiken Madness.

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5 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

Depends on what you're looking for.  Keita is stronger. Gassama plays more under control. They are equally effective players at this point.  Gassama was at Billiken Madness.

the billikens interaction with gassama at billiken madness was poor.  at the end of the day he was left by hisself.   the look on his face wasnt one of joy.  that was just my personal view from the third row.   no one said he was upset or anything, but it would seem if a recruit shows up at an event like that, there would be an assignment by someone to buddy him at minimum if not a coach nearby.  

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1 hour ago, ACE said:

Which of the DeSmet bigs is better? Any sense of which one we would have a better shot at (if we indeed want one of them)?

They are at a similar level. They keep getting better and better. Gassama is getting his first minutes of the season (injury) and just getting up to speed. He will not be 100% tonight. Keita is a nightly double double. Good rebounder, shot blocker. Offensively, pick and rolls, put backs, 10 feet in.....expanding offensive all the time. Keita is built like an NFL tight end with speed.

Gassama is leaner, even longer, a little more skilled prior to injury. But he is back now. Both have high major and mid major offers.  Creighton (Paul Lusk is an assistant there), Xavier, Iowa, MVC schools.

DeSmet's head coach Kent Williams is an MVC HOF, 2 time first team player, runner up to Kyle Korver for poy, 2nd all time leading scorer at SIUC ....played under Bruce Weber, coached under Matt Painter, Cuonzo Martin.....so there will be some connections there 

It often takes big men longer to develop. Their potential is there.  Also, former SLU player John Duff is an assistant at DeSmet this season. His son is a reserve Freshman on their team.  

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14 minutes ago, billiken_roy said:

the billikens interaction with gassama at billiken madness was poor.  at the end of the day he was left by hisself.   the look on his face wasnt one of joy.  that was just my personal view from the third row.   no one said he was upset or anything, but it would seem if a recruit shows up at an event like that, there would be an assignment by someone to buddy him at minimum if not a coach nearby.  

Frankly, I don't remember anybody interacting with Markhi Strickland at Billiken Madness either.  But his interaction before and after the exhibition game must have gone well because he committed shortly after.

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Anyone interested in seeing local SLU recruiting targets this weekend and can't make it to the Highland Shootout.....

DeSmet hosts CBC Friday. Tickets will be available at the door beginning at 5:20pm. There will be no pre-ticket sales. Tip off is 7pm.

Both teams play the next day in the Highland Shootout.

DeSmet plays Collinsville, one of the best local area teams this year. CBC plays Chicago Whitney Young. (Duke's commit DJ Steward)

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Frank Cusumano was in the house last night to see his De Smet Spartans dismantle CBC 61-45.  CBC did a good job of speeding up De Smet's guards and preventing them from exploiting their size advantage but got hammered on the boards. Sekou Gassama and Yaya Keita shut down the middle, forcing CBC into contested jump shots.  Larry Hughes Jr. in particular was impacted by the physical play, missing 6 attempts from the field -- mostly jump shots -- and going scoreless.  

CBC has another tough game today vs Chicago Whitney Young at the Highland Shootout. Whitney Young is a much smaller and slightly less physical team than De Smet so this may actually be a more favorable matchup for the Cadets.

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30 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

Frank Cusumano was in the house last night to see his De Smet Spartans dismantle CBC 61-45.  CBC did a good job of speeding up De Smet's guards and preventing them from exploiting their size advantage but got hammered on the boards. Sekou Gassama and Yaya Keita shut down the middle, forcing CBC into contested jump shots.  Larry Hughes Jr. in particular was impacted by the physical play, missing 6 attempts from the field -- mostly jump shots -- and going scoreless.  

CBC has another tough game today vs Chicago Whitney Young at the Highland Shootout. Whitney Young is a much smaller and slightly less physical team than De Smet so this may actually be a more favorable matchup for the Cadets.

CBC tried a 1-3-1 trap, and full court man, but for the most part DeSmet handled the pressure. It at times actually helped DeSmet a bit offensively where DeSmet struggled in the backcourt recently with Lamontay Daughtery of Mehlville, and his length. DeSmet’s guard depth helped as two Soph guards led their scoring and are quickly improving. DeSmet doesn’t have one of their ideal historical point guards. Lots of foul trouble in the game. 

Hughes II was locked down by DeSmet soccer star Thomas Redmond early and was held to zero points. DeSmet’s perimeter D was good and then also having interior size, athleticism and help was the difference.

Gassama, Keita owned the interior defensively and the glass. Blocked, altered numerous shots. 

Love had a tough earned 15.

Hotly contested rivalry game. 

Gassama had 19 the other night easing his way back.

Tough turnaround for both teams. DeSmet is playing Collinsville...which has a win over Morgan Park, which has a win over Whitney Young. CBC lost to Morgan Park. But yes CBC matches up better with smaller, quicker teams. 

 

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-after watching the DeSmet bigs two days in a row I am wondering about them, Keita reminds of Reggie Agbeko with a nice body, might be more explosive but he has to catch the ball to be effective on offense and that is a struggle, Gassama didn't show a lot either, they both spent a lot of time on the floor not in playing but not on their feet, you can't teach height but there is more than that

-Larry Jr was out of sorts on Friday as was most of CBC, but on Saturday he shot the ball nicely, he will have his pick of schools in a couple of years and I hope it is SLU

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2 hours ago, Cowboy said:

-after watching the DeSmet bigs two days in a row I am wondering about them, Keita reminds of Reggie Agbeko with a nice body, might be more explosive but he has to catch the ball to be effective on offense and that is a struggle, Gassama didn't show a lot either, they both spent a lot of time on the floor not in playing but not on their feet, you can't teach height but there is more than that

-Larry Jr was out of sorts on Friday as was most of CBC, but on Saturday he shot the ball nicely, he will have his pick of schools in a couple of years and I hope it is SLU

The De Smet bigs are athletic projects.  But they are a 6'9/6'10 athletic projects.  And they don't have the benefit of playing with a point guard who can utilize their size and explosiveness.  De Smet's guards don't pass very well. You know those athletic 6'9 bigs that we see on other mid-major teams and we wonder "how did they get that guy?"  This is what they look like as high school juniors.

CBC being out of sorts on Friday and De Smet's bigs shutting down the middle are closely related. Those big kids will make a lot of good teams look bad the next year and a half.

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Hughes II had 16 points on Saturday, in part because he can shoot the basketball, knocking down some in a close loss to Whitney Young. (Duke bound DJ Steward tied tourney record with 40 points for WY)

The DeSmet kids are juniors, that are already good defenders and rebounders. Keita is a double double player and Gassama is a bit more advanced offensively but he is playing his first ball of the year due to injury. Both came from Mali a few years ago and have improved rapidly annually the last couple of years and will keep improving.

I would agree that this isn't one of the better passing guard teams of DeSmet. One of them did not play in their buzzer beater OT loss to Collinsville. (Lovette had 13 and 8 the night before vs CBC but rolled his ankle and didn't play Sat) And DeSmet is looking to young guards as the season progresses to help their offense and Keita and Gassama on that end. Their dominance on the D end as rim protectors and rebounders, as well as finishers around the basket offensively, already has value. 

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HIGHLAND, Ill. -- Since moving to the United States from his home in Mali to start his high school years, everything has been an adjustment for Rivals150 junior big man Yaya Keita.But, he's found a home at St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet and is thriving on and off the court.
A bruising and strong 6-foot-9 big man, Keita is a beast on the floor but a fun loving and engaging individual off of it. He discussed adjusting to a new place and a new language.
“It’s all different from my country to here," Keita told Rivals.com. "Jumping from Mali and coming to the United States the climate is a big, huge difference. I had never been in snow before and when I came over an saw it I was like woah, I’m not going out. That was a big challenge to be able to handle the weather and the cold.
"After that it was the language part of it. From where I started to today I think I’ve done a pretty good job. When I came over I only knew three words because back home in Mali we use French.”
On the basketball court, Keita has endeared himself to teammates and to coaches. He has earned offers from Iowa, Missouri State, Saint Louis and Southern Illinois to go with interest from Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, West Virginia and many others. It's easy to see why coaches would appreciate his hard work and style even though he's only been focused on hoops for three years.
“At home I was a soccer player," said Keita. "Then when I came over I got changed to be a basketball player and it was fun so I gave myself to it. My freshman year I did play soccer for DeSmet, I played forward and scored 15 goals. But I stopped after that and I’ve just focused on basketball because I love it.
“Anytime when I step on the floor I have to be in that aggressive mood and make my teammates that way. Even if it’s not going for me I have to get them going. I like to take leadership and talk to my guys all the time. If I’m not scoring I don’t worry about it, I go for every rebound because I know that’s going to help. I love my teammates and I want them to love me too.”
IN HIS OWN WORDS

 Not surprisingly, Keita has been to nearby SLU and he has also taken an unofficial visit to Kansas. He'd like to set up trips with Iowa and Michigan and discussed those four programs.
Iowa: "I think Iowa is very excited for me to come visit and they’ve been watching me since my sophomore year. Even when I was hurt they didn’t give up and not offer me. They offered me when I was not playing so that surprised me a lot. Coach saw me, I couldn’t even run and all I could do was shoot free throws and he said ok, I want to offer you. I’m like “wow, this means a lot so I want to come back and show them that you offered me when I was hurt and now I’m back and I’m playing hard for you.” 
Kansas: “Kansas it was pretty decent, I mean it was really cool. The coaches were nice, the campus was nice, the players were nice to me and after the game I got to go in the locker room to hear the coach speak. I got to talk to Bill Self and it was very cool. They've had all those NBA players and they are just starting to recruit me but (fans) treated me like I was already one of the NBA guys." 
Michigan: “I’m just excited about where the program is. They have a new coach, Juwan Howard, and I like his personality. He played in the NBA and he played with one of basketball wise my favorite people to see in life, LeBron James. He got to play with him on the Miami Heat. Also his coaching and what he stands for is neat to me. I just want to visit and see.” 
SLU: "It’s a very cool place and I like (Travis Ford). I had some losses in my family last year, I lost my mom on Christmas day and it was pretty tough and I was injured and I had lost my dad too. It was three hard things in one year and I was kind of fighting through it and the SLU coaches wanted to see how I was doing and lift me up. It meant a lot to me and since then I’ve seen them as a nice people.” 
WHAT'S NEXT?
Keita is still learning each day how to be a better player and adjusting to a new culture. His teammates and coaches love being around him and he's experiencing as much as possible. That spills over into his recruitment where Keita will take his time and do all he can to learn as much about the schools involved as he can.
Because of that, there's no rush to do anything.
"So now I’m just kind of waiting and seeing," said Keita. "Everything is new to me. This college stuff I don’t know much about it and I’m just kind of focused and playing hard. When the time comes to sign with a school I will do it, but for now I’m just kind of thinking it over.” 
  

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Really like our top wing prospects in the 2021 class.  Along with Kern, I'm also a fan of sharpshooting point forward Troy D'amico out of Chicago.

 

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On 1/17/2020 at 11:58 PM, Coach314 said:

Hearing Kern will play for Mokan this summer 

That’s not good to SLU, right?  Less connected to MoKan than to BBE.

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9 hours ago, RUBillsFan said:

That’s not good to SLU, right?  Less connected to MoKan than to BBE.

It's good for K State.

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On Frank's show today, he reiterated that SLU loves Nesbitt and Kern and it sounds like they are the priority for the 2021 class.

Tony Irons was also on the show today. He said that Kern is a huge fan of SLU. He has attended a lot of games this year and even checks the SLU score when they're on the road.  

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26 minutes ago, SLURadioBoy said:

On Frank's show today, he reiterated that SLU loves Nesbitt and Kern and it sounds like they are the priority for the 2021 class.

Tony Irons was also on the show today. He said that Kern is a huge fan of SLU. He has attended a lot of games this year and even checks the SLU score when they're on the road.  

Frank also said that 6'9" 240 lb Tarris Reed sophomore from Chaminade was right behind the bench Friday.

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1 hour ago, HoosierPal said:

Frank also said that 6'9" 240 lb Tarris Reed sophomore from Chaminade was right behind the bench Friday.

He sure saw a good one with the best crowd student body and game for a loss.

I think it would make a good impression on any recruit.

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20 hours ago, thetorch said:

It's good for K State.

Weber has gotten his last STL recruit.  He can move on unless it's someone we have no interest in. 

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1 hour ago, HoosierPal said:

Frank also said that 6'9" 240 lb Tarris Reed sophomore from Chaminade was right behind the bench Friday.

I have not seen Reed play, but I have heard really good things about him from people who have.

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On 1/19/2020 at 8:32 AM, RUBillsFan said:

That’s not good to SLU, right?  Less connected to MoKan than to BBE.

Not necessarily.  MoKan's style better suits the way Kern plays.  There will be a chance for more exposure with MoKan but I don't think it hurts SLU. 

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I see very few local high school games, but the posts on Kern made me look at Pistol's 2021 list of recruits.  It seems based on their size that Kern, Nesbitt and Lee might be vying for one spot in the 2021 class.  All of them are in the 6'5" range.  Is that a fair assumption or do any of the three have skills which are different from the other two?  e.g. is one of them a pure 2 guard while the others are more like a Perkins type #3 wing?

I know things can change (transfers/injuries) but as of today we will have 3 scholarships available for that class.  Spots currently filled by HF, JG and JP.  Depending on how TF fills the one remaining scholarship for next year, it seems like the ideal 2021 class would consist of a PF, wing/SG and a Point Guard

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1 hour ago, bauman said:

I see very few local high school games, but the posts on Kern made me look at Pistol's 2021 list of recruits.  It seems based on their size that Kern, Nesbitt and Lee might be vying for one spot in the 2021 class.  All of them are in the 6'5" range.  Is that a fair assumption or do any of the three have skills which are different from the other two?  e.g. is one of them a pure 2 guard while the others are more like a Perkins type #3 wing?

I know things can change (transfers/injuries) but as of today we will have 3 scholarships available for that class.  Spots currently filled by HF, JG and JP.  Depending on how TF fills the one remaining scholarship for next year, it seems like the ideal 2021 class would consist of a PF, wing/SG and a Point Guard

Nesbitt is a 6'6 matchup problem. If Yuri wasn't already our point guard, he's talented enough to play the point on day one.  He also has the scoring ability to play the 2 and is strong enough rebounder to play the 3.

Kern projects as a slashing Perkins type wing.  He needs to shoot it better from the line though.

Lee is basically Zeke Moore at this point: a 6'6 spot up shooter with a nice handle. I doubt he has a committable offer.

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