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Stanford Basketball Roundup: Recruiting takes center stage

Recruiting Ramping Up

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Finke Visits

Finke, a grad transfer from Illinois, has Stanford on his short list. He kicked off his campus visits on Friday with a trip to The Farm.

In 28 games (25 starts) this year with the Illini, Finke averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds. The 6’10” forward is a capable outside shooter, connecting on 41% of his three-point attempts two seasons ago and 36% for his career. Though he doesn’t provide much at the defensive end, his big body and floor spacing alone would be valuable, particularly in wake of Michael Humphrey graduating.

Also in competition for his services are Nevada, Grand Canyon, Penn State, and Vanderbilt. His younger brother, Tim, is committed to play at Grand Canyon as an incoming freshman.

Michael Finke would be the first graduate transfer to play for Stanford basketball; players like Robert Cartwright, Malcolm Allen, and Aaron Bright have gone the other direction. Finke was an Academic All-Big 10 selection each year he was at Illinois.

Bryce Wills signs

Though he committed months ago, Bryce Wills has now officially signed his National Letter of Intent to play for Stanford. The combo guard is the third member of the recruiting class of 2018.

Wills recently represented USA basketball at the international Albert Schweitzer Basketball Tournament. In 8 games, he averaged 11.6 points and 5.9 rebounds. Playing alongside him was Stanford 2019 recruit Tyrell Terry. Team USA finished in a disappointing 7th Place.

Sam Beskind Commits

According to his Twitter, Sam Beskind has committed to play at Stanford as a walk-on. Beskind had a great prep career at Catalina Foothills in Tucson, including being named one of eight finalists for Arizona Player of the Year in 2018. He also won gold as part of Team USA’s U18 team at the 2017 Maccabiah Games.

Beskind reportedly had a 4.18 GPA and 1450 SAT going into his senior year. He received a D1 scholarship offer elsewhere, but clearly academics were a major factor in his choice.

Walk-ons are valuable as practice competition and for scouting opposing players. They can even occasionally find themselves getting meaningful minutes, as was the case of Blake Pagon this season. Pagon played in 13 games, four of which were for 13 or more minutes during the worst of Stanford’s injuries.

Haase offers Five-Star ‘19 Recruit

Stanford has offered guard Josiah Jordan-James, one of the premier high school juniors in the country. The lefty Jordan-James is a versatile player. He often serves as the primary ball handler on his high school team, can knock down threes, attack the rim, rebound, and cause havoc on defense. He is exactly the type of player Jerod Haase would love to land.

Unsurprisingly, the South Carolina native has drawn interest from dozens of schools, including Frank Martin’s Gamecocks and Clemson in-state, as well as elite programs like Virginia, Louisville and Xavier. Jordan-James led his Porter-Gaud School through the state tournament, where no game was closer than 17 points.

Stanford hosts ‘21 Recruit

Guard Carter Whitt paid Stanford an unofficial visit. He just completed his freshman season, so he is still very early in the process. Whitt, a North Carolina native, has already visited NC State, and holds offers from three mid-major schools in the region.