The 2018-19 season is just around the corner, which means current high school seniors (and JUCO sophomores) are getting in those final official visits, trimming their lists, and, in many cases, verbally committing.
(Note: This list excludes guys like James Bouknight (UConn), Ty Etienne (Wichita St.), Tre Williams (Indiana St.) and Dakota Rivers (Florida Gulf Coast).)
From the outside, having these players sign elsewhere is a bad look. Especially when guys like Flowers and Rush, scoring combo-guards who look like they could step in and start on day 1, signed with rivals. However, these aren’t necessarily losses. Some thoughts:
The staff could be taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to filling that final open scholarship. I’ve written extensively on the point guard situation at CCSU; however perhaps the coaching staff has been impressed with either or both of Will Ellis and Thai Segwai, so much so that they are not looking to bring in another on the ball guard for 2019. Don’t forget Trey Tennyson, a ’19 verbal commit, is a combo-guard who is listed as a PG on verbalcommits.
The frontcourt will thin out after this season, and on the surface that makes it seem imperative that Donyell Marshall & Co. use that last scholly on a big man to help replace Deion Bute. But look around that roster; a ton of guys 6’5” to 6’7” with positional versatility. I get the sense Marshall would prefer to play two stretchy-fours together in the frontcourt, rather than one true big. I don’t think they’d say no to a true game-changer with size, but I believe Marshall is more concerned with the ability to switch on defense.
Following recruiting at the low/mid-major level is not the same as it is for ACC or Big 12 teams. When a 5-star guy chooses Duke over North Carolina, we all know that Roy Williams lost that battle. In the NEC though? It’s just as likely that CCSU passed on a player as it is that it was a true recruiting loss. Maybe the guy they really want is still out there. It could be Myles Baker, who would add another knock down shooter to the backcourt. Or it could be Jaren Phillips, a 6'5" scoring wing from Tampa. There are about a dozen prospects with open scholarship offers from CCSU (excluding the guys whose recruitment has taken them above the low major level).
It’s entirely possible that CCSU doesn’t want to sign anyone in the fall, and would prefer to see what the depth chart looks like come March. Maybe one of the guards doesn’t work out. Or maybe there’s a player who has a breakout and decides to transfer up. Having one player already banked for ’19 allows the staff to be picky and fill a need, rather than just grabbing the first guy willing to commit. Remember; Tyler Kohl, Deion Bute and Joe Hugley were all late signings. That seems to have worked out well.