As some of you saw and commented, the final two players of the incoming recruiting class have been announced on MountAthletics.com.
We already knew that Jeff James would be coming after signing when Milan Brown was still the head coach. Now Josh Castellanos and Julian Norfleet have been added to the class of 2014 recruiting class.
Norfleet, from Virginia Beach, was the player I was hinting about in my Dorsett post when I said "I do, however, think that at least one of them will be used and as I get more concrete information on the subject I'll post it." At that point I knew he had been offered but had not heard whether he accepted.
A close friend of his high school coach told me that Norfleet will be able to fill in at point guard when necessary, a la Jean Cajou, and added that he is both a shooter and a scorer. Evidence of Norfleet's shooting ability lies in his Virginia State Beach District tournament record of eight 3s made in a game, which was set during his junior season.
We've had a shooter in Will Holland and scorers in Jeremy Goode, Kelly Beidler, and when necessary Jean Cajou. Hopefully this fills the void of having a player who must be defended beyond the perimeter as well as on the drive. The closest thing we have to that now is Cajou, although his shooting percentage went down last season, and Pierre Brown.
Pierre Brown was 16-for-36 - 44 percent - from 3 last year and as the strongest and most athletic returning guard on the team has the ability to drive and score. Expect a much bigger contribution from Pierre Brown - likely a starter at small forward - this season.
Rivals.com had this to say about the left-handed Norfleet on June 4:
As for Castellanos, I know little about him other than what is listed in the press release. Only Norfleet is listed on Rivals, with no rating, and ESPN and neither play is listed on Scout. I do know, however, that Castellanos signed with the team Tuesday*, so my bad on letting that get by. An interesting note on Castellanos is that his high school teammate, Orlando Parker, signed with Wagner.
*I received my job offer Tuesday and have been looking for an apartment/moving some stuff from Emmitsburg since then.
So all three class of 2014 recruits have first names beginning with the letter J. Excuse the corniness and simplicity of my suggestions, but should we call them the Blue Js? The 3 Js? I think we have a lot of options here. Please give better suggestions and I'll put a poll up.
Norfleet on ESPN:
Rating of 80/100, No. 194 shooting guard in his class.
The commentary for non-ESPN insiders: "April, 2009: Julian is a lefty combo guard that is athletic and extremely quick with deep shooting range. He is clearly one of the best shooters/scorers emerging in the 2010 class. Offensively he is equally effective off the dribble or catch and shoot. He consistently knocks it down from 23 feet"
Justin Burrell is rated 74 and the No. 194 point guard in his class. Keep in mind the distinction between their positions. Also note that ESPN is the worst of the recruit rating services.
I like the enthusiasm on the new staff, but let's not put them above the old staff - it's apples and oranges. Clearly I have allegiances to Brown's staff, but to say that Burke's guys will be better recruiters is jumping the gun. Brown inherited a 3-24 team and the players he brought in got better and better each year with the most successful class being the one that just left.
I do agree with, John, though, that we have great potential connections with these guys so I'm looking forward to who they can sign this fall and next spring with a full recruiting season under their belt. What looked like a potentially disastrous rebuilding year has turned into a cautiously optimistic one since Burke's hiring.
Here is a YouTube gallery of Norfleet. Would love to get some more info/highlights on Castellanos, so please let me know if you have something and I'll gladly give him equal pub.
Go to the 1:06 mark for the beginning of commentary on Norfleet and the 1:40 mark for the first comments from Norfleet himself:
Highlights featuring Norfleet:
Music is whack in this one. And why would someone include a bank 3 (1:18) in a highlight tape?
Love the competitive side that comes out in this one (and the music is way better):
Probably the most professionally produced and in-depth one: