After the July Evaluation Period the Quiet Period begins. During the Quiet Period players are allowed to visit campus and coaches can send written and electronic communication. Coaches are not allowed to view or contact players off campus.
I have spent the last three weekends glued to my computer following recruits via Flohoops and BallerTV. I have ignored friends and family long enough (although I am still ignoring them as I write this article)! Sometimes I was fortunate to catch the staff following a recruit. Other times I got to see our recruits put on a show. Instead of writing a little about each recruit that we are following, which would have made this a 30 paragraph article, I decided that I am going to name five guys that I believe the Aztecs fans need to watch out for.
Starting in the 2017 class we have to talk about the final recruit on the board, Matt Mitchell. We have been quietly following his game shortly after he de-committed from Cal State Fullerton. One of our recruiting staff members brought him to my attention and we were happy to hear that San Diego State was pursuing him. The coaching staff was following Mitchell and his Dream Vision teammates in July and I know that Coach Brian Dutcher was on hand for at least some of his games, if not all. Mitchell has long been associated with the Aztecs and Utah, however he mentioned that LSU and UNLV as two schools he would like to visit.
There are a number of things working in San Diego State’s favor when it comes to Mitchell. First he already is out of official visits and last second flights are not cheap, especially to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Secondly he is running out of time. Classes at San Diego State start on August 28th, which is the same for UNLV. LSU and Utah both start on August 21st. Thirdly, playing at San Diego State will keep him close to home. Finally LSU and UNLV are both out of scholarships for 2017. It would be a terrible thing to take Mitchell and have to expel out a player right before classes start, which would have to happen if he is still weeks away from deciding.
Moving to the 2018 class the next names to watch are Joel and Nathan Mensah. I know for a fact, because their AAU team Coastal Elite tweeted out during the last two weekends in July, that the coaching staff was at nearly every game that both Joel and Nathan Mensah played. Both are top targets for the 2018 class and they would solve the problem of having to find a center every year on the transfer market. Having watched them play so many times I feel that they are truly underrated.
As far as I know, the Aztecs are still in a good place with the Mensahs and getting either or both would go a long way in helping stabilize the frontcourt. Getting them on campus for an official visit would help in sealing the deal. Hopefully they can get on campus soon.
Another name to watch is Compton Magic wing Timmy Allen. The 6-6 Allen plays at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Arizona. Running with the Magic, which is one of the best AAU teams on the Adidas circuit, he has shown himself to be an outstanding player. In a team full of high level talent, Allen holds his own. When I watch him on the court he is a jack-of-all-trades. He plays both sides of the court at a high level. On offense he is a very good rebounder and a good passer and shooter. Allen runs the floor well and can bring the ball up if needed. He could be a bit more consistent when it comes to shooting the ball, however he attacks the rim without fear. Defensively you can tell that he takes it personally, which is great to see from a young player.
I had been down on Allen previously due to some information I had received, but I continue to like his game. I heard that an Aztecs coach was at least at one of his games, and while Compton Magic is filled with players with Aztecs offers I believe that they are still recruiting Allen.
Allen was at the first San Diego State team camp in June with his high school team, which he has been at for three straight years, and he mentioned that he wanted to set up visits after his AAU season. We will see if he reciprocates interest with the coaching staff. Also, I am curious to see if the Mitchell recruitment affects Allen’s recruitment in any way.
The final name that I think is one to watch this August is Mason Forbes. I saw Forbes in person at the San Diego State team camp and walked away impressed with his game. He stood out so much I had to ask local San Diego scout extraordinaire Aaron Burgin who he was. His skill set fits in San Diego State’s scheme and if his game continues to improve we may look back and be glad that we offered early.
At 6-8 Forbes will likely play the four at San Diego State and his game is suited to play down low. The thing I like about Forbes is that he knows his strengths and areas of improvement and they are all things that can be worked on. When we spoke with him he mentioned that he wanted to improve his shooting and his dribbling. He already rebounds and runs the floor well and is an excellent athlete. On offense he moves well without the ball and on defense he knows when to rotate and help. To me this shows that he has a high basketball IQ. He just needs to extend his game out and become more of a threat. You can improve your shooting and dribbling; being more athletic and having a good basketball IQ are not something that you learn in a gym.
Forbes has mentioned that he plans on visiting San Diego State in the near future and has seemed pretty excited about the Aztecs offer. In an article with Scout he even mentioned the Aztecs as one of his top schools (he did not mention any others).
These are five players that Aztecs fans need to keep an eye as August rolls into September. San Diego State is recruiting these guys hard and expect them to try to get these recruits on campus. Hopefully we will hear news on the Mitchell front and on the visits front in the near future. The Aztecs are moving in the right direction and things should get good over the next two months.