Layden Blocker, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior point guard from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, on Sunday narrowed his list of prospective colleges to seven. They are: Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Memphis, Gonzaga and Auburn.
Blocker — he is ranked No. 34 in the recruiting Class of 2023 by 247sports.com and No. 55 by Rivals.com — told On3.com he will no longer consider scholarship offers from Wichita State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Creighton, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, St. John’s and others.
A native of Little Rock. Arkansas, Blocker has made unofficial visits to Arkansas and Baylor.
Recruiting analyst Eric Bossi of 247sports.com wrote that Blocker “is one of the most athletic backcourt players in the class of 2023.”
Blocker averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game as a sophomore at Little Rock (Arkansas) Christian Academy. The Brad Beal Elite AAU player has moved to Sunrise Christian Academy for his junior campaign of high school.
“Blocker is a capable volume scorer, a fearless slasher, a facilitator, a plus-rebounder relative to his size and he uses his quickness and instincts to convert steals into easy transition scores,” wrote Kevin McPherson of Hogville.net.
Endless Motor Sports wrote that Blocker “is one of the most impressive Class of 2023 guards we viewed last summer. He is a quick-twitch athlete with exceptional acceleration, an outstanding playmaker for others with good vision and has a high upside.”
Analyst Rob Cassidy of Rivals.com noted: “Blocker is an explosive prospect with a knack for getting to the basket and finishing through contact.”
Blocker told On3.com he is looking for “a coaching staff that’s going to treat me like family and push me on and off the court and make me not only a better basketball player but a better man. Somewhere I can play my game and have freedom. I want a college coach that’s going to coach me hard, teach me and help me work on my strengths and weaknesses so I can become a complete player and try to help me get to the league.”
Fears includes KU, Missouri on list of eight
Jeremy Fears Jr., a 6-1, 170-pound junior point guard from La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, has cut his list of prospective colleges to eight, he reported Saturday on Twitter.
Fears, who is ranked No. 26 in the recruiting Class of 2023 by 247sports.com, No. 31 by ESPN.com and No. 41 by Rivals.com, is considering Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, Memphis and UConn.
According to On3.com, he eliminated Kansas State, Nebraska, Gonzaga, Auburn, Purdue, Iowa State, Xavier, Maryland, Creighton, DePaul, Iowa. and others from his list.
He has taken unofficial visits to Missouri, Michigan State, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. He has not taken any official visits just yet.
As to what he’s looking for in a school, he told Joe Tipton of On3.com: “For me to be able to come in and play, to be able to run the team and have freedom. A winning program with winning players. A great coach that’ll tell me when I’m doing wrong and get on me. A coach that’s going to push me and help me get better.”
Fears, a native of Joliet, Illinois, recently was selected to USA Basketball’s Junior National team that will compete at the FIBA Americas Under 18 championships as well as the Nike Hoops Summit next spring and summer.
Fears last summer helped lead Brad Beal Elite to the Peach Jam final against Team Final.
Jeremy Fears Sr. was a high school standout at Joliet (Illinois) Township High School. He played college basketball at Ohio University and Bradley and professionally in Greece.
Fears Sr. told insidethehall.com he knows a lot of coaches on the recruiting trail.
“What’s funny about that is 40% or 50% of the coaches that are recruiting my son, recruited me. Guys like Cuonzo Martin, Matt Painter, Chris Lowry, Bruce Weber, Bill Self, when he was at Illinois. (Also) Shaka Smart from back in the days he was in the MAC. I’m not far removed at all (from the recruiting process). So I know exactly what I’m looking for,” Fears Sr., said.
Of his son’s ability, Fears’ dad told insidethehall.com: “The strength of his game is that he’s a natural-born winner and leader. He does not believe in losing. He will go play by play the entire game. He’s just so vocal. It’s contagious. He can change a culture. ... Just his leadership is next level when it comes to wins and losses and making guys better around him. His intangibles as a point guard and passing ability. ... he’s electric with the ball. His understanding and IQ have always been high. His nickname is ‘Coach J’ because of his IQ. He’s a coach on the floor.”