basketball Edit

Anthony draws coaching crowd, more from Thursday in Vegas

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Cole Anthony
Cole Anthony

LAS VEGAS – Thursday marked the first full day of the final July live period, and it was not short on star-studded play. Among the stories to follow: Coach watch was in full swing for five-star Cole Anthony, four-star center Isaac Johnson is now down to a final six, Rivals150 guard Brandon Newman is ready to visit to Ohio programs and breakout guard Chase Hunter has scheduled his first two official visits.

MORE FROM LAS VEGAS: Eric Bossi's Thursday blog | Bossi's Wednesday blog | LeBron's son draws a crowd


In one of the more intriguing recruitments in recent years, Cole Anthony, the top-rated guard in the 2019 class, has discussed little to nothing of those involved in his recruitment. This is not a kid being difficult to deal with, but rather one who is about investing all of his time and attention in becoming better at his craft.

A day is going to come when Anthony sheds some light his recruitment, but until then all that we can do is ponder who the actual contenders are.

On Thursday morning, head coaches from Oregon, Boston College, Notre Dame, Providence, Wake Forest, UNC, Michigan, Seton Hall and Auburn, along with assistant coaches from UConn, Indiana, Louisville, Vanderbilt and Pitt took in his PSA Cardinals contest. While some of those on hand may not have been directly present for Anthony, it would be a safe bet that Roy Williams, Dana Altman, John Beilein, Kevin Willard and Mike Brey were.

Thinking that a commitment will occur sometime this fall is totally ridiculous. If I were a betting man, I would go all in on the idea that Anthony will be one of the last in his class to decide on which college to attend. He has all of the leverage in the world and being the son of a former NBA standout and growing up in a highly educated household, look for his commitment to be a well-thought out process that happens on his own accord.


It took a little longer for some of the best from the Midwest to jump into the recruitment of Brandon Newman, but they finally got it. A potential 3-and-D wing that can make shots, create for others and defend either wing position, Newman was solid again Thursday.

Purdue became the first Big Ten program to offer Newman earlier this spring, and Ohio State and Indiana quickly followed. For the time being, it would look as if the three are the favorites to beat in his recruitment. However, he did tell that Seton Hall and Kansas are the two most recent schools to inquire about him, and the KU interest seems to have caught his attention some.

Headed to Montverde Academy in the fall, Newman is staying patient with the process and his move to the Florida powerhouse should only bring in more SEC and ACC looks, which he might not have received had he stayed at his local high school in Indiana. He did say that he would like to visit Xavier and Ohio State before school begins, though a commitment or even a cut list remains far out of sight.


The state of Louisiana is underrated for basketball talent, and the next in line from the Pelican State is Mylik Wilson. The Rayville native can really put the ball through the basket, and after helping his Woodz Elite team come through for the W, Wilson continues to look the part of one of the best microwave scorers from out of the South.

A sneaky athlete who can score from each level on the floor, Wilson is at his best out of the mid-range with the balanced and elevated jumper attempt. He has plenty of potential as a perimeter defender, thanks to his light frame and instincts which, coinciding with his already strong value on the offensive end, could make for a solid two-way producer in college.

He told that Auburn, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, USF, Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin were among the schools in strong pursuit. A cut list has not been made just yet, but he is planning on scheduling a few of his official visits next month. I would expect a commitment to occur sometime this fall and a signing in November.


In one of the most impressive showings of the summer and against an absolutely loaded frontline of Drew Timme and Victor Iwuakor, Isaac Johnson was dominant. He hit timely 3s, finished at the basket thanks to his sneaky athleticism, and made the appropriate read and play out of the mid- and high-post settings on the floor.

A skyscraping center that still needs to fill out in order to properly produce in the trenches, Johnson remains a unique pawn in an offensive system, due to his perimeter shooting skills paired with his rim-protecting abilities.

Following his contest on Thursday, Johnson told that he is down to a final six of BYU, Gonzaga, Utah, Ohio State, Stanford and USC. He will take his first official visit to Gonzaga, while the others are currently being set. From there, Johnson will spend two years on a mission, thus placing him in the 2021 class. A commitment should follow prior to the beginning of his high school season, and Gonzaga may have the slight edge since it is the only program with a visit date set.


We all know how good Anthony Edwards is, and the fast-rising sophomore guard is one of the best - if not the best - scorer in America. But his backcourt buddy with the Atlanta Xpress unit, Chase Hunter, has quickly emerged as a top target for a handful of power conference programs this summer.

A tough and competitive guard who has become a better playmaker in recent months, Hunter will first be relied upon for his scoring, a facet of his game that will translate a high level. He is already a solid on-the-ball defender that displays quality competitive traits, and because of his ability to impact the game in a variety of ways his stock has quickly improved.

Recruiting-wise, Hunter will take an official visit to DePaul on Aug. 8. Oklahoma will then host him for an official visit on Aug. 15. He also told that a number of other visits are being scheduled, as Clemson and Georgia are likely to host him, too. Expect more offers to accumulate, and Providence and Virginia are the latest to do so.