Bossi's Best: Most mysterious recruitments of 2019
When you are dealing with teenagers, pretty much every recruitment is a mystery. However, for one reason or another, some recruitments are much more difficult to get a good handle on the direction a player might be leaning.
In this week's edition of Bossi's Best, national basketball analyst Eric Bossi takes a look at 10 of the most mysterious high-profile recruitments from the class of 2019.
Why the mystery? Cole Anthony's recruitment has everything you could ask for in a buzzworthy prospect. He's the son of an NBA player. He is popular on social media. He plays a fun style of basketball and has personality for days. He's already interesting. Add in that he and his family don't do any public speaking about his recruitment and you have all the ingredients for a seriously mysterious recruitment. He'll likely be the most speculated about and discussed player in the 2019 class.
Why the mystery? Any time that he's been asked about his recruitment, Jaden McDaniels has been pretty open about the schools that he and his family have heard from. But, he's not exactly publicizing things either and it has become clear that he and his family are going to take things slowly and be thorough in their approach. So, there's no mystery in how things will run. What's mysterious to me is how the recruitment of McDaniels hasn't turned into a total free-for-all at the highest level. I watch him and I see a potential poster boy for positionless, skill-based basketball, and with his vast upside it's a bit surprising to me that his recruitment has stayed as quiet (relatively speaking) as it has.
Why the mystery? First, there were the questions of whether or not Jalen Lecque might enroll as a 2018 prospect. He's headed to prep school, so that's out of the way. But, Lecque has also been open about potentially looking into the NBA Draft as an option, so schools have to consider that when recruiting him. But, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves in that regard, because it's not fair to anybody. In Lecque, we are talking about a truly freakish athlete who can destroy rims. He's admittedly a work in progress in terms of becoming a full-time point guard, but most of the mystery is from the fact that while watching him at events like Nike's Peach Jam, it was difficult to get a feel for who is truly prioritizing him. So, until coaches start showing up at Brewster Prep in September, he's really tough to figure.
Why the mystery? A massive and rugged big man who could be a WWE superstar if hoops doesn't work out, Kofi Cockburn is a true throwback big man with impressive agility and quickness for a kid his age and size. You see a guy like that and you can't help but want to know his story and what he might do college-wise. Many head coaches watched Cockburn through the summer, and he talked a lot about some potential August visits, but to date nothing has been locked in - though he has seen UConn and St. John's previously. More than likely, he'll wait until April, which automatically adds intrigue.
Who is involved? Look for Cockburn to cut his list down to eight sometime in the relatively near future, but for now he has a final 12 of Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida State, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Oregon, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, St. John's and Syracuse.
Why the mystery? As if Steve Smith wasn't used to welcoming a lot of coaches to powerhouse Oak Hill Academy to see his always-loaded teams, things are going to get extra crazy this year. Not only does he have Cole Anthony and Kofi Cockburn coming in, Jahmius Ramsey is making the move to Mouth of Wilson as well. Like Anthony, Ramsey doesn't speak in very many specifics about his recruitment and like both Anthony and Cockburn, he's got a huge list of schools. Plus, he's already told Rivals.com that he's probably waiting things out until the spring.
Why the mystery? All summer long, Drew Timme's summer team, Drive Nation -- which also featured Jahmius Ramsey, among others -- was maybe the most closely watched of any grassroots team in America. The team had tons of talented players and few of them said much about their recruitments. With his headband, his trademark beard, his pump faking and spinning style of play, Timme gets your attention. His relative silence about where he might be leaning toward only drives up the intrigue and mystery.
Why the mystery? Mark Watts is fun. He puts up points in bunches, he's not shy about letting the shots fly and he's more commonly known as "Rocket" than Mark. Guys like that draw a lot of attention. Add in that he recently released a top eight, took it back and then put out a top nine and you've got the makings of a potentially wild recruitment.
Why the mystery? There's mystery with Jaykwon Walton because a week ago there didn't look like there would be any mystery. Mississippi State was considered the leader, and over the weekend he committed there. By Monday morning, though, the talented and athletic wing had backed off his pledge and opened things back up. On top of that, early word is that he could wrap up his recruitment within a few weeks.
Who is involved? There has been early speculation that Louisville and Georgia could be in the best shape, but it's unwise to assume anything here. Along with those two and Mississippi State his final seven prior to committing/decommitting included Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Memphis.
Why the mystery? Outside of Timme, Patrick Williams may be the toughest for those recruiting him to get a read on, based on conversations with college coaches this summer. Whereas Timme is gregarious and outgoing, Williams is very quiet, and coaches have said it's tough to get a direct conversation with him. A big wing with skill and the ability to play small-ball four, he's a prototype three-man prospect for high-level college programs.
Why the mystery? A sharp-shooter with size and deep range, Lester Quinones' recruitment is mysterious for different reasons. When we saw him during the winter we thought his recruitment would explode. Instead, it took until the middle part of July before he really took off, so much of his interest is new and he's not had time to sort through it. Add in a transfer to IMG in Florida and Quinones could be starting things totally fresh.
Who is involved? After getting winter offers from Georgetown, Illinois, UMass and St. John's, Quinones picked up offers from Arizona, Florida, Maryland, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Ohio State, Florida State and LSU, among others, during the latter part of the summer.