Leon Gilmore III, a 6'7 small forward from Missouri City, Texas and Ronnie Harrell, a 6'8 small forward from Denver Colorado , made it official Wednesday that they would be playing college basketball for the Creighton Bluejays in the 2014 season and beyond. The two had previously made solid verbal commitments in September, and each signed their letters of intent to make the commitments all but official.
Both Gilmore and Harrell are three-star recruits according to Rivals, and are the first members of the 2014 class to sign their letters of intent. The Bluejays had initially signed Nick Norton, a Columbia, Missouri native, but Norton had decided to shy away from his commitment due to personal reasons.
Coach Greg McDermott tweeted earlier today about the signing of Gilmore, making it clear that it was official.
It's official....@3LeeLee_ is officially a Bluejay! Can't wait to coach him next year. Congrats Leon!— Coach McDermott (@cucoachmac) November 13, 2013
As a junior at Manvel High School, Gilmore had a very good season. The forward averaged 13.7 points per game, 4.2 assists per game and 2.0 steals per game, according to College Basketball Talk's Scott Phillips. Gilmore also played in the EYBL in Houston, Texas, where he showcased himself quite well.
One of the things that Gilmore has gotten notoriety for is his versatility on the floor due to his height and his athleticism. That versatility should make Gilmore a good fit for the Bluejays, who will be losing both Grant Gibbs and superstar Doug McDermott after the 2013-14 campaign. Should he earn himself bountiful playing time in the offseason, he should be able to jump right in and add impact to the Bluejay lineup.
According to Bluejaycafe.com, Creighton's Rivals page, the signing of Gilmore III is the highest ranked recruit the Bluejays have obtained since P'Allen Stinnett who was ranked 100th in the nation. Gilmore III is ranked 121st in the nation.
Meanwhile, Harrell's signing to Creighton will take place at Denver East High School. This was tweeted by Harrell himself on Tuesday.
Signing tomorrow at 2 at East! #Jays🏀— Ronnie Harrell (@RonnieHarrell25) November 13, 2013
Harrell, also a small forward, gives the Bluejays depth at the position with the acquisition of Gilmore III. The 6'8 forward scored 13 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game and 2.1 steals per game according to Joe Nguyen of the Denver Post. What Harrell adds that Gilmore does not is apparent by the stats, and that is an edge at rebounding. The Bluejays have proven this season that they are a very good rebounding team, as they are ranked 21st in the nation in rebounds per game (48.0). The addition of Harrell can only benefit them in the future.
The next signings for Creighton can only add to what is already shaping up to be a very good recruiting class.