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November 5, 2012

Weekend wrap: Huggins gets gritty


MORE: Five-star picks Memphis | Rankings

The beginning of the early signing period for college basketball is just nine days away and only 25 members of the 2013 Rivals150 remain undecided.

As the first signing period approaches, it was another relatively quiet weekend, but West Virginia, Syracuse and UAB were among those schools that scored important commitments.

Huggable

No matter where Bob Huggins has stopped during his career, he has always recruited physically tough kids who play with an edge. Huggins is now in Morgantown, and the Mountaineers' latest pickup certainly fits that mold.

Chiseled big man Devin Williams picked West Virginia over the weekend and he will be a boost to the WVU recruiting class.

A 6-foot-8, 230-pound native of Cincinnati, Williams is spending his senior season at Montverde (Fla.) Academy, where he'll benefit from the tutelage of one of the nation's premier high school coaches in Kevin Boyle. But it's not as if Boyle doesn't have plenty to work with.

Ranked No. 90 nationally in the 2013 Rivals150, Williams is a strong and tough interior player. He gives up his body on both ends of the floor, attacks the glass, runs pretty well and has steadily increased his skill level.

Right now, he's probably a little more comfortable with his back to the basket, but he's worked to be able to attack big defenders with a dribble or two out of the high post.

With his workmanlike attitude and physicality, the four-star Williams will fit right in and he's part of a recruiting class that is now filled with size and competitors. The group of four-star Elijah Macon (who ranked No. 56 overall in 2012 but is attending prep school), ranked three-star Brandon Watkins and local three-star forward Nathan Adrian already ranked No. 28 nationally.

The addition of Williams should push WVU up a little further come signing day depending on where some of the remaining uncommitted players end up.

Bound for Syracuse

One thing is for sure, Ron Patterson never imagined that he'd be a member of the class of 2013 or headed to Syracuse, but here he is.

Originally a member of the class of 2012, the Indianapolis native committed to Indiana early in the process and spent the summer in classes in Bloomington, only to find out that he wasn't going to be admitted.

So, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard, who ranked No. 131 in the class of 2012, ended up at Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy and saw his recruitment explode this fall. Over the weekend, he took a visit to Syracuse and didn't make it off campus before he'd committed.

Reports out of Brewster this fall have been that Patterson has rededicated himself and improved his all-around game. Always known as a slasher and a defender, his shooting has earned high marks and his coach feels he'll be a good fit at Syracuse.

"Ron is an athletic guard who has shot the ball very well from the perimeter this fall," Brewster coach Jason Smith told Rivals.com. "He's an excellent defender and has tremendous length, which will be very effective and beneficial in Syracuse's zone."

Patterson joins a solid class at Syracuse that is being built around the nation's No. 23 player Tyler Ennis. In addition to Patterson, three-star wing B.J. Johnson looks like a potential sleeper prospect, while three-star big man Chinonso Obokoh will be able to be brought along slowly.

Weekend wrap

In his first year at UAB, head coach Jerod Haase and his staff are putting together a pretty nice recruiting class. Sunday night, the Blazers got the big man they were hoping for and beat out a couple of high major programs in the process when Tosin Mehinti made the call.

A rugged and tough 6-foot-9, 225-pound center, the three-star Mehinti is a physical kid who defends hard and crashes the glass. At the moment his offense is still pretty raw, but he's a big body that was needed in Birmingham.

He joins three-star wing Tyler Madison, three-star point guard Dayshawn Watkins, two-star combo guard Denzel Watts and junior college combo forward C.J. Washington in UAB's early class.

We wrote in the mailbag over the weekend about BeeJay Anya basically being down to one school, N.C. State. We also wrote that he would be deciding sometime during the early signing period during a function at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha. Over the weekend the four-star center confirmed that he would make his decision final on Nov. 16.

Moving down to the class of 2014, the No. 3 player in the country Tyus Jones publicly announced a cut to his list. The six-foot point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) High took to his twitter account to reveal that his choice will come from a final eight of Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State.



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