ESPNU, Baylor's 247Sports site, and Baylor Scout are all reporting, along with a vast contingent of tweeters on the twitterverse, that Riverside Academy (Reserve, Louisiana) PF Ricardo Gathers has given his verbal commitment to Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears! Baylor fans should well remember that particular Bayou hamlet for another Baylor legend it produced recently.
Gathers officially visited Baylor on January 27th and there have been rumors swirling ever since that Baylor led for the 6'7" former St. John's commit. A consensus top-100 national recruit in the 2012 class, Gathers is ranked 35th, 37th, 42nd, and 21st in the country by ESPNU, Rivals, Scout, and 247Sports, respectively. He makes the third national top-100 recruit for Scott Drew in the 2012 class along with 5* superstud Isaiah Austin of Grace Prep in Arlington and PG LJ Rose of Westbury Christian in Houston. If I'll link Gathers' profiles at all the major recruiting sites after the jump along with a few highlight videos from Youtube.
At 6'7", 240-250 pounds (depending on who you believe), Ricardo is as close to a clone of Quincy Acy size-wise as you could imagine. Considering how worried I've been about how we would replace Acy's production after he graduates, Gathers would seem to be a perfect fit for Baylor's system and needs. He can plug right into Acy's spot (though he probably won't get as many minutes as Acy does right off the bat, I'm sure) and play next to 7'0" Isaiah Austin, another top-ranked national recruit in the 2012 class. From what I've read about Gathers his biggest strength may actually be his strength; people are saying that if he were on the team right now he might actually be one of the strongest players in the conference. ESPN has this to say about him ($):
...Gathers is probably best known for his rebounding. He is an elite rebounder who is worth his weight in gold on both ends of the floor. He rebounds in and out of his area in traffic and exposes opponents who don't want to mix it up immediately.Gathers' strength and power is also a great fit in Baylor's system as well.
Scott Drew continues to work miracles on the recruiting trail for Baylor University, and before anyone chimes in with baseless speculation, in the Scout article about the commitment, Gathers' cited our program's success, the enthusiasm of our coaches, and how hard they worked recruiting him as the key factors in his decision. Apparently playing alongside top-5 recruit Austin helped a little, too.
Here is a blurb from the ESPN free article linked below the jump:
"He went up there last week and said that he wanted to (commit)," Gathers' brother Greg said. "I told him to sit on it for a week. Baylor had been recruiting him since he's been in the 7th and 8th grade and there's a connection with 'Tweety' Carter going up there and it's a situation where they have Isaiah Austin, L.J. Rose and they already have Gary Franklin that he's familiar with."
(Head below the jump for videos and links)...
Profiles: ESPN, Rivals, Scout, 247Sports (each is a link)
- Ricardo Gathers, No. 35 overall prospect, picks Baylor Bears - ESPN
Scott Drew's Baylor Bears closed strong as power forward Ricardo Gathers (LaPlace, La./Riverside Academy), ESPNU's No. 35 overall prospect in the Class of 2012, committed to Baylor on Monday.
- Scout.com: Gathers makes pick for Baylor
Ricardo Gathers, a four-star prospect, popped on Monday for Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears. He's their fourth pledge of the 2012 class.
- Gathers commits; Austin; Rykhoek and Rose react
Future teammates react to Gathers commitment
Ricardo Gathers is a BEAST... Most Powerful Dunker in High School (via Yayareasfinest2006)
BE UNSTOPPABLE: Ricardo Gathers (via courtcred)
Ricardo Gathers: On St. John's, Kentucky, Duke, Baylor, LSU & UF (via fivestarbasketball)
Ricardo Gathers (via LauraMcKeeman)