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Recruiting: Belmont and Princeton land some of the summer’s hidden gems

This photo is only kind of related, but it’s a Rick Byrd classic.

Arizona v Belmont Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The recruiting process is the first big step that separates the prospects from those whose careers peak in high school. Too often at the mid-major level, this gets ignored, as the blue chippers commit to play a year with the blue bloods and everyone below them quietly makes the biggest decisions of their lives so far.

Here are a few of the hidden gems that you might have missed:

Jaelin Llewellyn (No. 118, 2018): Guard, Princeton, composite 3-star.

Is Llewellyn going to be the next Ivy League name to remember? It’s (way) too early to predict, but on talent alone, he has the skills to put Princeton on his shoulders. A composite three-star (but four-star on some services) from Ontario, Llewellyn played last season at Virginia Episcopal School and averaged 17.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a junior.

He is athletic with a great handle and can also shoot from the perimeter. Of course, he can deliver some great passes to his teammates, with excellent backcourt vision as well. With this commitment, Princeton secures the point guard position for the future.

Ranked the 21st-best point guard in his class by 247Sports, Llewellyn had interest from many top programs, including Cincinnati, Purdue, Rhode Island, Florida, Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgetown. But Princeton won this race — good news for both the program and the Ivy League as a whole.

Mitch Listau (No. 340, 2018): Guard, Belmont, 3-star prospect

Everybody knows that Belmont’s offense will need some more firepower next year. They lost a guy who, reportedly, is pretty good. Listau, who is still a year away, could be the Belmont star of the future as a three-star recruit from Wisconsin.

As a junior, Listau was a unanimous first-team selection in his Division 2 championship in Wisconsin. He averaged 21.5 points and 4.3 rebounds last season as a junior to lead his team (Waunakee) to the Badger North Title and its second consecutive appearance at the WIAA Division 2 state tournament.

After this run, only two programs offered Listau a scholarship: Green Bay and Belmont. Teams like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Toledo did pay him visits, however. He is a skilled overall scorer, who can shoot from the perimeter.

Taurus Samuels (No. 273, 2018): Guard, Dartmouth, 3-star prospect

Samuels, a California native, committed to travel across the country to sunny New Hampshire and play for the worst offense in the Ivy League (and, let’s be honest, one of the worst offenses on the country).

As a 3-star prospect, Taurus might be one of the most under-rated point guards in the class of 2018. He can do it all on the floor: shoot, drive, pass, mop it, probably. He’s quick with the ball in his hands and can destroy his opponents with a crossover.

Of course this is a great addition to Dartmouth, no doubt. Samuels can be a great player and might be a huge surprise in the Ivy League. Watch him closely.