Class of 2016 point guard Bryce Aiken (Elizabeth, NJ) will be committing to one of three colleges on Thursday. The news stems from a report that was first issued from Scout.com's Evan Daniels.
The four-star point guard, ranked fourth in the Garden State, 20th at his position, and 100th in the nation per 247Sports' Composite Rankings is deciding between The University of Miami of the ACC, the Ivy League's Harvard University and Seton Hall University of the Big East Conference.
As of now, it's a bit of a mystery with regards to where the New Jersey native will go. To explain that, let's look at his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions:
As we can see, we're at roughly 50 percent right now for the Crimson, 33 percent for the Pirates, and 17 percent for the Canes. However, a closer look reveals that Seton Hall and Miami have been trending upwards in recent weeks. On September 15 and 19, Adam Baliatico of TheChopNation (RU's 247Sports site) and Chris Fisher of CatsPause (Kentucky's 247Sports site) selected Seton Hall as their prediction for the Elizabeth guard. Over a nine-day span afterwards, two selections were made for Miami as Jerry Meyer and Dain Ervin of BIReports both selected "The U" as Aiken's destination.
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Then, on Wednesday afternoon, Richard Schnyderite, a Rutgers Insider made SHU his prediction. So while Harvard is currently winning the race, a closer look might reveal that they're losing traction in the race for Bryce's services as they haven't been chosen by any prediction maker in almost a month.
Lots started to percolate for this Aiken-to-Seton Hall movement after the commitment of Myles Powell on September 19. Powell, a Trenton native, told SNY's Adam Zagoria that he spoke to Aiken about what the two of them can do together:
And now Powell would like Bryce Aiken, the point guard from Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick's who visited with him, to join the party. Aiken is also considering Harvard and will visit Miami next week.
"I had a long talk with Bryce this weekend so hopefully he listened to me and he can make the great decision that I made too," Powell said.
"I told him that he can play in the Big East just like I can."
What else did he tell Aiken?
"Hopefully that Isaiah will have a great year and will enter the league and that opens up a lot of space for me and Bryce to come in and handle what we go to handle. He's a very good point guard, he thinks pass first would. He would be a very good player to play with."
There's no question that Kevin Willard has the potential to pull off quite the coup if Aiken does indeed verbally commit to SHU on Thursday. It was quite the stroke to get Powell, but aligning him with Bryce Aiken for 2016 and beyond sets up an extremely dynamic, divisive and dangerous backcourt.
The 5-foot-10, 140-pound guard is bringing a lot to the table. Per Future150, let's take a look at his +'s and -'s:
|3-Point Shooting||Finishing Through Contact|
|Ball-Handling||Playing Above the Rim|
|Agility||Size for Position|
|Feel for the Game|
|High Basketball IQ|
3-point shooting is something that the Pirates will surely welcome as they were merely an average team in the department a year ago. The other dynamics speak for themselves, and the hope of course is that Willard and the Pirates staff can aid Aiken in improving on the current weaknesses of his game.
The haul in of Bryce Aiken for The Hall not only sets them up nicely for their own personal gains, but it also is a move to keep up with the rest of the conference. When you have the likes of Jalen Brunson playing for Villanova, Duane Wilson, Traci Carter and Haanif Cheatham in the 414, the assortment of guards down at Georgetown, and the recent commitment of Shamorie Ponds at St. John's, it's practically imperative that you do as much as you can to get talented players at the guard position.
Tomorrow, Coach Willard could add yet another.
As for now, all we can do is play the waiting game. With any luck, Aiken will be a Pirate by day's end, and the Big East will make another splash in the realm of recruiting.