There’s going to be a ton of pledges and signings this week. Having acknowledged that, it’s important to speak on an under the radar that is worthy of noting. A.J. Astroth (Tampa, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian) picked Vanderbilt over Coastal Carolina and interest from Maryland, Virginia Tech and even a dabble from Stanford.
Forget who offered and who didn’t. Last summer, Astroth was a shooting star with Team Breakdown in July. Forget the household names, this guy made as many 3-pointers as any of the big dogs who got all the credit. More than once, I saw him put on eye-popping displays of marksmanship.
Old Dominion, South Carolina and Providence did too and each offered him coming out of the summer season. They were under the assumption that he was Class of 2011. Turns out, they were right and wrong at the same time. Astroth could have enrolled in college this fall but he had other plans.
“I felt like I wanted to weigh my options more and see what offers I could get,” Astroth said.
Astroth is a legitimate shooter and I wouldn’t discount the possibility of him evolving into one of the SEC’s top perimeter threats. Vanderbilt values what he does and it sounds simple, but Kevin Stallings absolutely knows what to do with guys like this. When Astroth turns into a major weapon, don’t act surprised. You’ve been warned.
Jordan Goodman, record breaker?
A source told ESPN that Jordan Goodman (Jacksonville, Fla./Arlington CD) is no longer committed to Texas Tech. I’ll be honest, I have trouble recalling the details of every one of Goodman’s commitments and subsequent de-commitments. It’s plausible that he could be the unofficial career record holder for both. At one point in time, he was pledged to Georgetown, Rutgers and most recently, the Red Raiders.
Here’s what we know about the Texas Tech situation. Former Arlington Country Day assistant coach Reynard Phillips was hired by the Red Raiders to coach basketball. Phillips is no longer on the staff and Goodman’s no longer committed. Go ahead and connect the dots and this one is pretty clear.
Minnesota gets its guy
The last time Tubby Smith beat Arkansas for a player, we’ll guess that he was at either Georgia or Kentucky. This week, Smith revisited his roots and bested the Hogs for power forward Charles Buggs (Arlington, Texas/Hargrave). Smith committed a ton of his own time to Buggs, whom the Gophers would like to convert into an exact replica of Ralph Sampson II.
“His biggest thing is he’s got to get stronger,” Hargrave coach A.W. Hamilton said. “Athletically he can play and he’s a very skilled kid but he’s got to get stronger and he’ll have to be committed to that.”