Brownell and staff busy on the virtual recruiting trail
|Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 2:01 PM- -|
The ongoing social distancing hasn’t kept head basketball coach Brad Brownell and his staff off of the virtual recruiting trail.
Brownell has dotted his roster with Columbia-area talent and last Friday he dropped an offer into the hands of 6-foot-3 point guard Joshua Beadle of Cardinal Newman. Clemson, with assistant coach Antonio Reynolds Dean logging the legwork, has been on Beadle’s trail for several months, so the offer came as no great surprise to him.
“They’ve been recruiting me for a while, and I’ve been to a few games,” Beadle said. “I went last year to the game they played Notre Dame and the game they played USC. And they came to some of my games. They came to multiple games and they sent out different coaches each game. Coach Dean has been recruiting me for a while and he really likes me. He’s the one who really pushed the offer to Coach Brownell.”
Beadle said the Tigers want him to have the ball in his hands and be the guy that runs the offense.
“They want me to play the point guard position,” Beadle said. “They say I have a high IQ and I have a good feel for the game, and that’s what they want and that’s what they need.”
Another ACC program, Wake Forest, also recently offered Beadle. The coach handling his recruiting for the new Demon Deacon staff is none other than South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer BJ McKie.
“I was really thankful for that because he told me when we were on the phone, he said, he ‘s not offering me just because I’m from Columbia, and he’s not offering all the Columbia kids as well, but he really likes me personally, not just from a basketball standpoint,” Beadle said.
Beadle also has offers from VCU, UNC-Wilmington, Wofford, College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, Presbyterian, Upstate, East Tennessee, Furman, NC A&T and Saint Louis.
Beadle said he wants to take official visits before a decision but he’s not yet decided on those. And he has an idea of what he’s looking for from a school both academically and within the basketball program.
“As of right now, the business school, because I think business is what I want to major in,” Beadle said. “And pretty much a family culture environment, as well as a coaching staff that I like and a coaching staff I feel like likes me as well.”
Beadle averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game last season.
Another top prospect the Tigers are chasing has both height and local ties.
Six-foot-11 big man Gabe Wiznitzer of Walhalla has grown into a major prospect during his time away from home. He first attended Christ School in Arden, North Carolina before arriving at Hargrave Prep (Va.) last year where he averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. He’s rated a four-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked as the 25th best forward prospect in the country.
As he prepares to head back to Hargrave for his senior season, Wiznitzer now has a long list of major college offers to consider. One of those comes from the school right down the road from his home, Clemson.
“I’ve been talking to Coach (Dick) Bender about twice a week,” Wiznitzer said. “I still talk to him a good bit. I haven’t talked to anybody else on the coaching staff. I visited them back in January. I watched them play Miami and NC State. Coach Bender has talked about me coming up and taking an official. They just like my skill set, my size in playing the post, and also pick and pop.”
Providence, Iowa, and Iona are three other schools pressing hard for Wiznitzer at this point. Some of his other offers are LSU, Nebraska, Penn State, TCU, St. John’s, Xavier, DePaul, USF, George Washington, Old Dominion, and East Carolina. Having all those offers to choose from has not made it easy for Wiznitzer to do the easy thing, and that would be to stay home and go to Clemson.
“It would definitely be cool if I turn up there, but a school’s playing style, how they develop their players and the history of their winning is more important to me,” Wiznitzer said. “When I got that offer, it was like a real special offer just because I grew up watching them and they are 10 minutes away from where I live.”
Wiznitzer also has visited Virginia Tech and George Washington. He said he will visit Providence once recruiting travel is allowed again. He hopes to make his decision before his senior season.