Now that every men's and women's team previews are completed it's time to take a look at recruiting. This past week marked the end of the so-called early signing period during which players who will join colleges for next season can sign their national letters of intent.
It appears that conference men and women teams made sizeable and quality hauls during the early period.
But, the signings should come with a word of warning, something similar to that note on the sideview mirrors of cars that says "objects are closer than they appear."
For sure, recruits aren't always as good as they appear. And, then, there's the converse ... some recruits often wind up being better than their high school stats and reputations would indicate.
Want proof? How about former Saint Peter's standout Keydren Clark?
As a high school junior, Clark averaged about 10 points per game. And, then, during the early signing period prior to his junior year he had almost no offers from Division I teams. There were several teams in the MAAC approached by individuals with connections to Clark, but the interest was almost negligible. He was a 5-foot-8 guard whoh didn't really play the point and was viewed as too small to be a shooter on the college level.
Ultimately, Saint Peter's took a chance and gave him a scholarship.
And, how did that turn out? Clark led the country in scoring twice and finished with 3,058 career points, second-best all time among MAAC players.
Anyway ... we'll report early signings in dribs and drabs over the next few weeks. In most cases the reports will contain primarily information from the individual schools' websites. Many players coming into the conference, though, have played in the GymRat Challenge AAU tournament held in the Albany, N.Y., area and your blogger has been involved with that event for the last several years. So, if I've seen the player in person, Ill provide my own notes.
Here's a look at recruits signed in the early period by ...
- ISAIAH MORTON, 5-foot-8 guard, St. Augustine's (N.J.) Prep
Thomas averaged 25 points and nine assists as a junior last season. He enters his senior season with 1,656 career points just 54 shy of the record at St. Augustine Prep.
"He is a prolific scorer from the point guard spot," said Marist coach Chuck Martin. 'He's going to be outstanding in the open floor. I think he's going to excel in our style of play."
- MANNY THOMAS, 6-5 forward, Xaverian H.S./Brooklyn
No statistics are available, but he is knwon for his strong work ethic, according to a press release issued by Marist.
"He's a long, athletic wing who can be terrific on the defensive end and keep people honest on the offensive end," said Martin. "His best days are ahead of him. We think he's going to make a tremendous impact on our program."