Bossi's Best: Top 2020 targets for the top programs
The recruiting calendar has changed for the summer of 2019, allowing coaches to watch prospects in June and July. The question is which prospects fall into the category of “must gets.” In this week’s Bossi’s Best, National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi looks at 2019’s final regular-season Associated Press Top 25 Poll and discusses which 2020 targets are most important for the teams that finished in the top 10.
Why he’s a must get: If Vernon Carey goes pro as expected after one year, Duke’s biggest need is going to be a big man, and Walker Kessler and Mark Williams look like primary targets. But, I still see Johnson as the absolute must-get guy for the Blue Devils. They’ve invested a ton of time in him, do well with versatile wings of his type and losing him would be a pretty big blow to their recruiting mystique.
Why he’s a must get: The Cavaliers are likely going to have a need for some interior punch and a guy like Kessler sure fits the bill. The five-star center is skilled, he has tremendous size and he’s shown a lot of interest in Virginia. He appears to be as much of a program culture fit as he does an on-the-floor fit, and that is the kind of player Tony Bennett would really hate to miss on.
3. NORTH CAROLINA
Why he’s a must get: The way things are looking, Roy Williams and the Heels will have a need for a high-end, instant-impact wing. I don’t think they want to have to rely on the grad transfer market or sweating out late decisions as much as they did with the class of 2019, and Williams has been a priority target for some time now.
Why he’s a must get: The Zags loaded up in the frontcourt for 2019. They’ve already got four-star wing Julian Strawther and four-star combo guard Dominick Harris committed, so they are in pretty good shape all-around. So, why not go with the best player on their board in Suggs? He’s been on campus and the staff spent a lot of time watching him in April.
The competition: The possibility that Suggs could elect to play football in college is always something to consider, but he’s otherwise pretty wide open with most of the Big Ten and much of the Big 12 all over him.
5. MICHIGAN STATE
Why he’s a must get: The Spartans have already secured their point guard of the future in top 50 Jalen Terry, and they are in pretty good shape in the frontcourt. What they don’t look to have a lot of is shooters, and Thompson can definitely do that. Of course, if somebody wanted to argue Isaiah Jackson (best local prospect) or Carlos Johnson (another local who is a Tom Izzo-style competitor) I wouldn’t have much disagreement.
Why he’s a must get: What’s the point of rebuilding the program the way Rick Barnes has if you can’t land big-time local players? I don’t mean that literally, but if this version of the Vols can’t land a wing like Johnson who fits them, who they have need for and who seems to really like them then there is reason to be a little worried.
Why he’s a must get: With Kentucky you just never know. Guys are going to go pro, needs are going to change and the Wildcats can usually get involved with almost anybody they choose. But Boston’s skill, ability to score and wing presence look to be most important right now. Not to mention their biggest competition for him would be programs they’d hate to lose him to.
Why he’s a must get: We actually need some time to see the types of players that Juwan Howard is going to target, and getting four-star point guard Zeb Jackson to affirm his pledge was huge. That being said, Howard is a big man who played at an all-star level in the NBA. What better way to announce his presence than by landing a Michigan kid (even if he spent his junior year of high school in Ohio) like Jackson, who is also a big man?
The competition: Jackson has never put out any leaders or a true list, but Michigan State is expected to be a major factor.
9. TEXAS TECH
Why he’s a must get: There’s a lot going in Tech’s favor here. Peavy is a great fit for the Red Raiders with his blue-collar style, he has a teammate he won a state title with (Jahmius Ramsey) in Lubbock and he’s very familiar with Chris Beard and the Red Raiders. It makes a lot of sense. At least that’s what the Texas Tech message is.
10. FLORIDA STATE
Why he’s a must get: The Seminoles already filled their point guard hole by landing an early commit from four-star Naseem Khaalid, but they could still use another playmaker. Who better than Barnes, a Florida kid who can play multiple positions and who fits the style of athletic and physically tough defense the ‘Noles play?
The competition: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Ohio State and Oregon are among the finalists. Cal is technically among his final eight, but has no real shot here and the biggest competition as of right now is likely coming from the Ducks and Hurricanes.