Bossi's Best: Must-gets for top 12 college hoops programs
Which prospects are must-gets for the nation’s top programs? In this week’s Bossi’s Best, National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi looks at who is the most important target for the top 12 ranked programs in NBC Sports' preseason top 25 for the 2020-21 season.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
1. VILLANOVA: Trey Patterson
Why he’s a must-get: There’s a really good chance that skilled forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will head off to the NBA after his sophomore season and Patterson has a similar game. Jay Wright hasn’t exactly played with a ton of bigs over the past few years, but if JRE does go, the Wildcats are going to have little in terms of size, making Patterson even more important.
2. GONZAGA: Hunter Sallis
Why he’s a must-get: Odds are pretty strong that incoming five-star freshman point guard Jalen Suggs is going to be a one-and-done player. Also on the way in is four-star freshman Dominick Harris. But, should Suggs leave, Mark Few and the Zags are going to be short on ball-handlers. A dynamic talent who can play the one or the two, Sallis would be the ideal guy to come in and keep the train chugging along.
The competition: Sallis has yet to cut his list, and has Alabama, Arkansas, Creighton, Kansas, Louisville, Memphis, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee, UCLA and many others in hot pursuit.
3. BAYLOR: Josh Minott
Why he’s a must-get: A long and skilled player like Minott, who can play both the three and the four on either end of the floor, is a perfect fit for the Bears. A dude like K.J. Adams would also be an excellent fit to replace the departing Mark Vital, but the shooting that Minott could also provide from the perimeter makes him close to a must-get for Baylor.
4. VIRGINIA: Efton Reid
Why he’s a must-get: Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers are going to need more size and who better than a top 30 in-state player like Reid to come in? Reid is big, he’s strong and he would likely be a strong anchor to Bennett’s defense and a good fit on the offensive end. He’s not a high flyer, but he’s smart and showing more and more skill.
5. MICHIGAN STATE: Jaden Akins
Why he’s a must-get: The Spartans already locked up an excellent in-state prospect in four-star wing Pierre Brooks, but why not add a second in Akins? An athletic scorer who can play either the one or the two, he adds a presence in terms of explosion off the dribble that the Spartans won’t have. Another in-stater, Kobe Bufkin, or even five-star two guard Max Christie, would be great as well, but Akins seems to be such a perfect fit for Tom Izzo.
6. KANSAS: Tamar Bates
Why he’s a must-get: A native of nearby Kansas City, Kan., Bates is a homegrown product and a great fit for the Jayhawks. They’ve done really well developing highly ranked - but not too highly ranked - players like Devonte Graham, Frank Mason and Marcus Garrett in the past, and Bates shares traits with many of them, particularly Garrett, who is graduating. Now pushing 6-foot-5, Bates can score and play anywhere from point guard to small forward in Bill Self’s offense.
7. DUKE: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Why he’s a must-get: The Blue Devils already have five-star wing A.J. Griffin committed, but given Baldwin’s size, skill and versatility, he looks like the remaining must-have player for Duke. Jalen Johnson will likely be gone after this season and he could end up playing three or four positions for the Blue Devils this season. Baldwin could help fill that void. Also, Mike Krzyzewski’s best teams have had dangerous shooters, and Baldwin would be the best shooter of his size to land in Durham in quite some time.
8. IOWA: Gabe Wiznitzer
Why he’s a must-get: Everything about Wiznitzer seems to be a fit for Iowa and what the Hawkeyes do. He’s gigantic and not a traditional burner, but he runs better than you think and has a strong presence around the rim with some skill. The Hawkeyes have done really well with guys ranked in the area and they have a good system in place for developing bigs like Wiznitzer.
The competition: Wiznitzer now holds over 20 offers and has to really cut things down before we can get a true sense of the competition, but Clemson, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Providence, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia are just a few that are involved.
9. TENNESSEE: Kennedy Chandler
Why he’s a must-get: The Vols have sunk an awful lot of attention into Chandler. They could make a major statement by landing the state’s best player for the second year in a row and landing a five-star player for the third year in a row. They have a solid point guard in Santiago Vescovi, but Chandler has another gear to him off the bounce. Also, landing Chandler would greatly increase the chances of Rick Barnes and his staff landing another five-star in Paolo Banchero.
10. TEXAS TECH: Daimion Collins
Why he’s a must-get: In a perfect world, the Red Raiders would add Jonathan Kuminga, but if they can get him, it’s more likely to happen with him being a 2020 recruit. Also, looking at their roster, there really isn’t anybody who stands out as a true “must-get” type. But, given the surplus of athletic and versatile guards and wings that they should still have in Lubbock a year from now, a guy like Collins makes a lot of sense and fits well. He runs the floor, rebounds, blocks shots and is a freak athlete.
11. HOUSTON: Souleymane Doumbia
Why he’s a must-get: Much like Texas Tech, Houston is another program on this list that has a roster that looks to be well constructed for a year from now. The biggest need, though, would appear to be a shot- blocking big man, and they’ve made Doumbia a priority. He’s got experience, he can run from rim to rim and he definitely blocks shots and rebounds. He would be a perfect fit for the Cougars.
12. NORTH CAROLINA: D’Marco Dunn
Why he’s a must-get: Since moving to North Carolina from Arizona, Dunn has blossomed into a national-level prospect. One of the best shooters in the country, he has good size and is sneaky good as a ball-handler. Another guard who can handle the ball has to be a priority for Roy Williams, and the Heels would love to get another local kid who can stroke it from deep like Dunn.