A recruitment that has been quiet so far is about to pick up in a major way.
Achraf Yacoubou, one of the top players in the class of 2011, has two upcoming trips scheduled that could impact his eventual college decision.
“I’m planning on visiting Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness and [Villanova]’s ‘Hoops Mania,’” Yacoubou said in a text message.
The Big Blue Madness is on October 16, while Nova’s Hoops Mania is on October 23.
Despite a relative lack of attention from national websites, Yacoubou has no shortage of offers from the top programs around the country.
“UConn, ‘Nova, Kentucky, Wake Forest, G Tech, Harvard and more,” Yacoubou said when asked what offers he held.
When I spoke to Yacoubou in August, he also mentioned offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, Rutgersand Wisconsin, as well as interest from Florida.
Although Yacoubou is taking a visit to see both schools of Wildcats, they aren’t ahead of anyone else on his list.
“I like all those schools I named and I’m going there to get a better look at it,” he said.
Yacoubou is not just taking a look at the basketball team and athletic program, either – comfort with the school and academics will play a big role in his decision.
“I’m looking for a good business school and a homey feeling,” Yacoubou said.
Yacoubou, a 6-4, 200-lb. guard, will suit up for Long Island Lutheran (N.Y) this season, hoping to help lead the Crusaders to their second straight New York state championship – without Tobias Harris.
“I’m expecting me and my teammates to play hard,” Yacoubou said. “I have a feeling we will surprise people ‘cause we have something to prove.”
He spent the latter part of the summer and this month working on his game in order to make up for the loss of Harris. Specifically, he is hoping to become more versatile of a guard.
“My handle is good, but [I’m] trying to work on making it a 1-type of a handle,” Yacoubou said, referring to his ability to play the point.
“I’m just working out, not playing in anything else before the school season.”