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Chuck Landon: Basketball recruiting offers no grand finale

May. 04, 2013 @ 12:24 AM

It couldn't be much different.

Collegiate football recruiting generates web sites, ESPN coverage and all-consuming attention from recruit-aholics, finishing with a crescendo on the first Wednesday of every February.

It has become the most celebrated, most talked about and most publicized day in college football.

But college basketball?

There's no comparison.

Collegiate basketball recruiting just sort of meanders around much like a long, winding country road in "OW" ... ahem, "Out Wayne."

As a result, there's no special day when national recruiting culminates.

Why, the rules aren't even the same. In football, there's the etched in recruiting stone date. But in basketball, there's an early signing period from Nov. 14 until and, then, a regular signing period from April 17 until May 15.

That's why basketball recruiting is an even more inexact science than football recruiting.

Take Marshall, for example.

Although Marshall's coaching staff is pounding the pavement for shooting guards, the Herd still has an offer on the table to Martinsburg High School star Donte' Grantham.

What is the 6-foot-8 small forward going to do? No one knows. Including, it seems, Grantham.

At first, it seemed Marshall had a good shot at him as long as WVU didn't offer a scholarship. But, then, the Mountaineers offered and the Grantham sweepstakes appeared to be over.

That wasn't the case, however, much to WVU coach Bob Huggins' chagrin.

In fact, Grantham still hasn't committed to any school.

So, while Huggs goes crazy and Marshall searches for shooting guards, Grantham ponders his options, which include an offer from Clemson, and appears to have more people in his ear than he ever could hope to hear.

Don't be surprised if Grantham opts for a year of prep school basketball at either Fork Union or Hargrave.

My guess is it's very unlikely Grantham ever will wear a Marshall uniform.

Meanwhile back at the recruiting ranch, Herd fans are wondering if the recent departure of three guards might create an opening for uncommitted Ironton High School star Zac Carter.

Again, not likely.

Marshall's coaches talked as a staff about offering Carter a spot as an invited walkon, according to sources. But when MU's coaches got the impression the 5-10, 165-pound guard wanted a scholarship somewhere, they backed away.

The list of schools interested in Carter, according to sources, include Morehead State, North Florida, UT-Martin, James Madison, Akron, Northern Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky. Considering former Marshall standout Cornelius Jackson is an assistant coach at UT-Martin, don't count the Skyhawks out.

If UT-Martin could get Carter, it would be a real coup.

Then, there's his Ironton teammate, Trey Fletcher. The 6-6 forward has visited some Division I schools, including Bowling Green, but reportedly hasn't received any offers.

In the meantime, Rio Grande College is waiting patiently in the wings, hoping eventually to get a commitment from Fletcher.

See what I mean about college basketball recruiting?

It just keeps going on and on and ...

KANE VISITS: Former Marshall star guard DeAndre Kane reportedly visited Southern Cal on Friday, according to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. The Trojans are coached by Andy Enfield, who took the job after leading Florida Gulf Coast on its amazing NCAA Tournament run.

Kane also plans to visit St. Mary's and Pittsburgh.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2827 or clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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