Posted: 2:52 pm Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

State’s No. 1 prospect hasn’t asked for release … yet 

By Michael Carvell

The state’s No. 1 college basketball prospect is still waiting to see who Missouri’s new coach will be before deciding whether or not to ask for a release.

Jakeenan Gant, a 4-star forward from Effingham County High School, signed with Missouri in November’s early period. He also transferred from Effingham to a Missouri prep school in early April.

No. 1 Jakeenan Gant (247sports)

No. 1 Jakeenan Gant (247sports)

Gant’s family is “still in shock” that Missouri coach Frank Haith accepted the Tulsa job last Thursday.

“It’s a big surprise when a coach tells you that he’s going to be there for the longevity of (Gant’s) career and then all of sudden he bolts out,” said Michael Stokes, Gant’s AAU coach, told the AJC on Tuesday. “Nobody saw that coming. College basketball is a business.”

Stokes said estimates that there’s an “80-percent chance” that Gant sticks with his original choice if Missouri assistant Tim Fuller stays on the staff in his current role or is promoted to head coach. “They just have a great relationship.”

If Gant decides to ask for a release from Missouri, he would likely have interest in Louisville and Indiana, among others, because those were Gant’s finalists when he signed with the Tigers.

Both UGA and Georgia Tech reportedly have heavy interest in Gant, but it’s not reciprocal. Stokes doubts that Missouri would release Gant to another SEC school and it probably wouldn’t matter anyways.

“Those guys, Georgia and Georgia Tech, had a chance to recruit him before he signed, and he (Gant) didn’t show interest then,” he said. “So I don’t know why it would be any different now.”

Stokes also offered some insight on Gant’s reasons for moving to Missouri only five weeks before his high school graduation:

“I just think he was ready to get out of Effingham County and get accustomed to the Missouri area,” Stokes said. “He was really ready to get out of the area, and I think it’s the best thing for him, too. It takes a little time to get used to a new environment and a new situation.”

RELATED: The state’s No. 2 prospect, guard Ahmed Hill of Aquinas high school, committed to Virginia Tech last weekend. Hill signed with Marquette in the early period, but requested a release after coach Buzz Williams left for Virginia Tech. Hill’s drama was another example of how “recruiting is all about the relationships.” Said Stokes, who also was Hill’s AAU coach: “It had to be Buzz Williams because Ahmed wasn’t even considering Virginia Tech before Buzz got there.” Hill can’t sign a second letter-of-intent, per NCAA rules, and will officially be a Virginia Tech recruit when he attends his first day of class at the ACC school this summer.

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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8 comments
foxdog
foxdog

The AAU coach/leech says that "College Basketball is a business". That's all you need to know about him, the player and the recruitment of him.

Rick_James
Rick_James

I dont expect Mark Fox to sign every top recruit in the the state what I dont understand though is why Georgia is never in the hunt for any of them.Not one player on the The Atlanta Celtics AAU team has any interest in playing at Georgia.Something is wrong...

DHJohnson
DHJohnson

Haith was dirty and still is dirty.... $$$$$

Charlestondog
Charlestondog

Why wasn't he interested in UGA?  Because he played for an AAU coach and these guys determine where these players go.  Until Fox, the idiot, starts building relationships with these AAU coaches, he is never going to get the top players in the state. 

midtowncowboy
midtowncowboy

“It’s a big surprise when a coach tells you that he’s going to be there for the longevity of (Gant’s) career and then all of sudden he bolts out,”


The sad part is someone would actually believe the coach who said that.

StingerSplash
StingerSplash

Gant had a lot of interest in Tech and Georgia. A lot. Wasn't it weird that he made just one visit and committed virtually on the spot? Gregory saw Gant at least three times in person and so did Fox. Why would they spend that much time seeing one kid if he was not interested? You also realize there is a chance Gant could move back to Georgia to graduate with his own high school class, right?

MichaelCarvell
MichaelCarvell moderator

@Rick_James  From talking with some high school coaches and AAU coaches, UGA has yet to establish any strong connections to Atlanta's AAU scene