The July evaluation period is one of the biggest recruiting periods of the year as it happens right before players go back to school and start narrowing down their recruitment. It also gives coaches a chance to finalize their “recruiting board” or list of players that they are interested in. A one month-long quiet period usually follows this July period. During this time coaches cannot have contact with a prospect outside their college campus, hence they take the opportunity to pour over their notes from the last three weeks and go over scouting reports.
I have been following the San Diego State coaching staff’s whereabouts all July and called on friends to help me figure where they have been and the biggest thing I have come up with is that the staff has been heavily following 2019 recruits Jaden McDaniels and Rejean “Boogie” Ellis. Everyone keeps asking me what is new with recruiting (which you can too via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or at firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can only respond that it really comes down to those two. The Show summed it up best in this tweet:
McDaniels is the younger brother of San Diego State redshirt sophomore Jalen McDaniels. He is a consensus top five player in the 2019 class and has been one of the fastest stock risers in the nation. At 6-10 Jaden McDaniels is a new age wing, one who can take the ball inside, however is just as adept if not more so at bringing up the ball and shooting from outside. The younger McDaniels has and will be linked to the Aztecs because of his older brother, however Coach Brian Dutcher and staff have recruited him aggressively, building a relationship with Jaden rather than relying on familiarity and his older brother.
Getting McDaniels would be huge as he would be the highest rated recruit ever to enroll at San Diego State. He would slot in at the wing position and would likely be an immediate starter and producer. Getting a potential one and done player in McDaniels would elevate the program and show that San Diego State is a place where top players can come and produce, be seen, and head to the NBA. Imagine a lineup with Malachi Flynn, Matt Mitchell, Jordan Schakel and Nolan Narain along with McDaniels and it is hard not to be excited (I expect his older brother to go to the NBA after this year).
Ellis is a 6-2 guard out of Mission Bay High School here in San Diego, California. Ellis skyrocketed his recruitment this July playing on the Nike EYBL for the Oakland Soldiers. He raised his game to another level at the Nike Peach Jam by averaging 22.7 points per game (in seven games) while leading the Soldiers to the semifinals. A true combo guard, Ellis can do it all. He can score the ball from all three levels, facilitate the offense, find the open man, and run the break. San Diego State has been recruiting Ellis since before they offered him a scholarship in April of 2017. The staff has been relentless in pursuit of Ellis, visiting him on numerous occasions and following him during evaluation periods. Coach Dave Velasquez has been checking in on Ellis before the offer and has built a strong relationship with him.
Ellis is the next elite prospect to come out of San Diego and keeping him home would be a huge statement for the program. The last elite player from San Diego to call his home on the Mesa was Trey Kell, however since him all have left elsewhere. Keeping the elite players home has been a goal of the staff and with Ellis they have an opportunity to add home grown talent to the roster. Ellis has stated that he wants to find a place where he can play right away and San Diego State offers that opportunity.
San Diego State has three available scholarships, however it has been reported many times that Coach Dutcher and company wants to keep a scholarship open for a transfer. Add that to the fact that the team only has one junior on their roster, Narain, which means that only one scholarship will open up in 2020. Getting both players would be huge for the program and would take recruiting to the next level.
We should hear news on Ellis soon in regards to visits or a cut-down list as Corey Evans from Rivals reported that Ellis is expected to sign in November. Reports on McDaniels’s recruitment say the opposite, that it could extend into spring. As soon as news arises with either player we will make sure to report it to you and make sure you stay tuned to AztecsHoopsNation.com and our social media pages for more.