Findlay Prep point guard Cory Joseph committed to Texas on Friday. The basketball staff expects to receive the national letter of intent next week.
“I made my decision. I’m back in Toronto, so I had a chance to communicate with my family, go in depth about it,” Joseph told Rivals.com. “I just felt like Texas was the best fit for me.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound, five-star recruit was ranked as the nation’s seventh-best overall prospect. Rivals.com reported that he chose Texas over Villanova, Connecticut, Minnesota and UNLV.
“It was mostly the relationship I had with coach [Rick] Barnes,” Joseph said about his decision. “I have good relationships with all the coaches, but my relationship with Coach Barnes fit me best.”
Joseph, along with Findlay and now-Longhorn teammate and lifelong best friend Tristan Thompson, will move to Austin in early June and will be in the mix for immediate playing time. With Avery Bradley thinking about entering the 2010 NBA Draft, Joseph fills a big need for the Longhorns in the backcourt.
“It’s definitely a relief to put the recruiting process away,” Joseph said. “Just knowing I found the one for me, it’s a blessing. It’s a relief.”
The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team lost a recruiting battle with Texas for All-America point guard Cory Joseph, who announced his decision Friday to play for the Longhorns next season.
Minnesota dreamed big in hoping to land Joseph, a senior at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas and the seventh-ranked player nationally by Rivals.com. The Gophers tried to sell him on reuniting in college with his older brother, Devoe, a sophomore guard on the team. They also tried to persuade the younger Joseph by signing his childhood friend Maurice Walker, a center from Canada, but it wasn’t enough.
“I wish all the best to the program,” Joseph told the Pioneer Press on Friday. “(Devoe Joseph and Walker) know I wish all the best for the both of them.”
But Joseph decided instead to play with his high school teammate and fellow McDonald’s All-American Tristan Thompson, who already had signed with Texas. The Longhorns also had received an oral commitment from Canadian guard Myck Kabongo, who will be part of their 2011 class.
“I have my brother at Minnesota and my friends at Texas,” Joseph told Rivals.com. “Who wouldn’t want to play with their brother or with their friends? So in the end, I just had to go where I thought it was the best fit.”
“I like the style of play at Texas, the way they get up and down the court,” he told the recruiting site. “There is a great opportunity at the point guard position.
And coach (Rick) Barnes is a great coach and we have a great relationship.”
Minnesota coach Tubby Smith would have two scholarships available if point guard Justin Cobbs transfers. The 2010 recruiting class includes Walker, Nebraska center Elliott Eliason, Tennessee guard Austin Hollins and Latvian forward Oto Osenieks. But Smith needs a point guard, and there aren’t many legitimate options left in the late signing period.
The Gophers had no choice but to wait for Joseph to pick a school. And it’s uncertain now whether the Gophers will sign another player to this year’s class. But they still could add last year’s top recruit, Royce White.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Smith met Thursday with the former freshman forward who quit school during last season after being suspended for legal issues. White, Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball last year, asked about rejoining the team, but no decision has been made.
Montreal’s Bennedict Mathurin commits to Arizona Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats got a big time commitment from Bennedict Mathurin — Canada’s top guard in the class of 2020.
The 17-year old Mathurin opted to reclassify from the 2021 class — fast tracking his potential NBA eligibility in the process. Standing at 6’6″, 195 pounds, the Montreal native has all the attributes to make an immediate impact at the NCAA division I basketball level — with a NBA ceiling written all-over his resume.
Perhaps not a household commodity, due to his lack of participation in any Canadian FIBA youth sanctioned events — Mathurin was named MVP of the 2019 Canadian National Basketball U17 Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
The Canadian guard/forward led a loaded Quebec team to a perfect 5-0 record — claiming the province’s first U17 title since 2010. Mathurin dominated the entire tournament, including a electric, eye-popping 33 point, 7 assist, 6 rebound performance in the opening game against Team Ontario.
In the championship game against same Ontario squad, Mathurin was equally impressive — scoring 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in the 84-77 victory.
Mathurin is currently showcasing and strutting his growing all-around game in Mexico City as part of NBA Academy Latin America — an elite basketball training center for top male and female prospects across the Caribbean Central and South America.
The Canadian prospect kicked off 2020 and new decade in style with a 30-point, 6 rebounds outburst in a 93-74 win over FC Barcelona U18 team at the Hospitalet tournament.
A lockdown defender with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander like wingspan, Mathurin has the ability to get from the three-point line to the rim with just one dribble. At 6”6′ he’s also able to see over much smaller defenders and is a willing and effective passer that looks to attack at rim can finish with through contact.
Part of the continuous and overflowing rising crop of future NBA talent from Canada’s second largest city — Mathurin may just be the top guard to come out of Montreal since current Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort pledged allegiance to the desert State of Arizona.
Holding multiple offers from the likes of NCAA basketball programs as Virginia, Alabama, Washington State and Nebraska — Mathurin narrowed his decision to the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks.
“Those two schools were my finalists because the other schools recruited me a little later, and I said to myself, that if I was going to visit other schools it was going to take a lot more time to get to know the coaching staff and also lots of time to get to know for example who (players) was coming back and leaving.” discussed a well spoken Mauthrin in a live french announcement during half-time of the Toronto Raptors’ and OKC Thunder game.
On what tipped the balance between the two finalist schools, Mauthrin added that the “history of Arizona, the style of play and the fact that every player has a role, and that is my style of play.”
For head coach Sean Miller the commitment of Mauthrin is a significant scoop for a player that was just starting to gain national notoriety and will likely mature into another future Canadian NBA player.
Abu Kigab career night powers Boise State Broncos
Canadian Abu Kigab (St. Catherines, Ont.) dropped a career best 33 points, 11 rebounds to power the Boise State Broncos 103-72 past the CSU Northridge Matadors.
The 6’7″, 211-pound junior forward was efficient as a heat pump, knocking down a hot 11-of-16 field-goals, 3-of-4 triples and 8-of-9 free-throws in just 26 minutes — including a two-hand alley-oop — to bring the home crowd to it’s feet while recording his 30th point.
Kigab’s output is one the best performances by a Canadian playing NCAA DI basketball and as per the Broncos’ public relations team “It’s just the 17th 30 & 10 game all-time by a Bronco and seventh in the last 25 years.” Chicago Bulls’ rookie Chandler Hutchison was the last Boise State player to reach the milestone — erupting for 39 points and 14 rebounds at the 2018 NIT.
“We were all making the right play and some nights that’s just how it is,” Kigab said. “I just go out there and try to win the game. I’ll do whatever it takes. Sometimes I might have to score more, sometimes I need to rebound more, sometimes I need to pass more. Whatever my team needs, that’s what I’ll do.”
Highly recruited coming out high school, Kigab was part of the historic Canadian national team that captured the country’s first-ever basketball gold medal at the 2017 U19 World Cup. The hybrid forward averaged a double-double with 14.7 points and 10.6 rebounds — earning a nod in the all-world all-star team alongside MVP RJ Barrett.
Abu Kigab commits to Oregon Ducks
The St. Catherine’s product committed to the Oregon Ducks — playing a season and half before opting to transfer to Boise State. Kigab showed promise in his first three games under Dana Altman hitting double-figures scoring in all three non-conference games before completely falling out of the rotation. In 45 games with the Ducks, Kigab scored just a total of 82 points while playing only 418 minutes.
Since becoming eligible and joining the Broncos starting lineup on December 22, Kigab has helped the team to a 3-1 record — including two straight double-doubles and has scored a total of 64 points.
Based on early results it’s fair to say that the change in scenery and shift from the Pac 12 brand of basketball to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) has benefited Kigab’s game.
The Broncos compete in the tough Mountain West Conference with the likes of San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico and Nevada. The Conference has a history with Canadians and holds the title of producing former Running Rebel and No. 1 NBA pick Anthony Bennett. The MWC currently features eight Canadians across multiple teams — including Elijah Mitrou-Long (UNLV), Nolan Narain, Sabry Philip and others.
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