Breaking down the 2015 Aggies basketball in-state targets (VIDEO)
As promised, here's a little more information on the Utah Prospects crew that was offered by Utah State on Monday. None of them are close to deciding, but the Aggies are in the early mix for all four 2015 recruits.
Utah Prospects is planning to play in summer tournaments in Milwaukee and Las Vegas, but come winter, you'll be able to find a lot of these potential DI ball players at a high school near you.
(In alphabetical order, with links to video highlights in their names)
Makol Mawien, F, 6-foot-9, Granger
Growing up, Mawien was always a little taller than everybody else. That's why he loved blocking shots. Now 16, others are catching on to just how good the Granger power forward could be.
Mawien most recently was cited by ESPN as the top low post defender at the Under Armour Grind Session, a testament to his ability to deny some of the nation's best inside players. For the Prospects, he is a scoring threat and also a decent passer out of the post to the team's many 3-point shooters. His overall offensive game could use polishing, and he needs to build his body, but Mawien has size that projects well to the DI level. His brother, Arik Mawien, plays at Central Wyoming, but was not as athletic.
Although Granger didn't have a memorable season this year, the stud sophomore was a great reason to watch the Lancers. He averaged 11.4 points and 7 rebounds a game, including a 32 and 10 performance against Hunter. He doesn't know much about Utah State, but he was glad to get his first offer. Utah might not be far behind, he said.
"It's pretty cool," he said. "It's been fun playing with my team and learning new stuff. I've got more to work on, though."
Brock Miller, G, 6-foot-5, Brighton
At this point, the rising junior is known as much for his name as his game. Most basketball observers will remember his older brothers Corbin and Brandon, who are signed with Harvard and the Utes, respectively. But 16-year-old Brock is already the tallest of his two brothers and some think he could have the most complete game by the time all is said and done. He was a role player for most of last season, but had his moments for the Bengals, like a 16-point game against West Jordan.
Miller said he likes the atmosphere at Utah State, and likes the program's tradition and coaches. Ultimately, his college decision will come down to a mix of the right program but also academics, he said. His only other offer right now is Idaho State, but he's had conversations with Utah and Harvard - among others.
His plan would likely be to graduate early from high school to go on an LDS mission like Brandon did, but he's not hurrying to follow in all of his siblings' footsteps.
"When Brandon made his decision, everyone thought he would end up there because Corbin was there," Brock said. "I'm not saying I won't end up with one of my brothers, but I'm really just looking for the best place for me. I don't really have a top list right now, but I'm just going to do some homework and take some time to figure out what is good for me."
Zac Seljaas, F/G, 6-foot-7, Bountiful
He was a key player for the Braves as a 6-foot-4 freshman. Then he kept growing.
Now, Seljaas has emerged as one of the state's most versatile prospects: a tall, lanky wing who can shoot and handle the ball. His length gives him a defensive advantage, but he can also compete offensively, averaging 15.3 points and 3.2 assists per contest as a sophomore. Along with Utah State commit Sam Merrill, he forms a power tandem for Bountiful, which topped Alta to finish on top at Utah State team camp last week. The Braves made a deep run last year which was cut short by a miraculous buzzer-beater by incoming Aggie Jalen Moore. Said Seljaas: "It was disappointing, but I'm over it and ready to win next year."
Only 15, Seljaas only has the Aggies offer in hand right now, and he's really only talked to in-state schools at the moment. The rising junior said he'd like to be near his family in college, but he's not yet striking any future destinations out. He's never really had a favorite in-state school, but he really likes Utah State's coaching staff in the camp interactions he's had with them.
"They're good to everyone, and they don't have favorites," he said. "They're pretty nice to be around, and really help everybody out. I'm sure Sam will talk to me about it a little bit, but as a friend. I have to make my own decision."
Jesse Wade, G, 6-foot-1, Davis
Utah State is the first offer for the Darts' point guard, who broke out in a big way as a sophomore. He had a team-leading 14.8 points and 2.5 assists per game directing the Darts, who reached the Class 5A quarterfinals. He's one of the state's shorter prospects, but college coaches like the way he can direct a team, add energy and find ways to score. He's proficient from long range, but also has good vision for directing passes to teammates.
Wade, who plans on serving an LDS Church mission out of high school, has talked to (with varying degrees of interest) BYU, Utah, Stanford, Rice, Columbia, Boise State and Weber State. He said he's played Marcel Davis a few times this offseason and sees a lot of similarities between their playing styles. But similar to Davis as a prospect, he has to get stronger before he gets to college.
Wade grew up a fan of all Utah-area teams, he said, and if he had to pick a color in the Holy War, he'd choose "purple." But the Aggies' home court atmosphere is one of the program's biggest draws, and he's intrigued by the coming Estes Center.
"I love the Spectrum - that's the type of crowd I would love to play for in college," he said. "I really only know Coach [Stew] Morrill and Coach [Chris] Jones, but it feels like a really great staff and a great program."
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon