Cassidy's Takeaways: Hoophall Classic
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Hoophall Classic is traditionally one of the most loaded events on the high school basketball calendar, and the 2022 installment is no different. This year’s five-day event is well underway and has featured a long list of America's top high school prospects. Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy is on hand for the event and shares news and notes from the showcase below.
2023 Rankings: Rivals150
2024 Rankings: Top 40
CALEB FOSTER REMAINS IN RECLASSIFICATION LIMBO
Caleb Foster’s recruitment has long been in the rear view. The five-star point guard committed to Duke back in September, and the curtain closed on that front. These days, the only question that surrounds his college future is when exactly he’ll arrive in Durham.
Foster said that he continues to mull a reclassification from 2023 to 2022 and discusses the possibility with the Duke staff often. He hopes to have a decision on that front in the coming months, but the determining factor has long been clear.
“It’s mostly about the depth chart and what it looks like after the season,” Foster said on Saturday. “Right now, they’re just telling me to focus on my seasons and that we’ll figure it out for sure after they finish their season.”
Foster’s decision seems at least loosely tied to the future status of current Duke standout Jeremy Roach and what he decides to do following the season.
JUDAH MINTZ TO VISIT XAVIER THIS MONTH
A one-time Pitt commit, four-star guard Judah Mintz is firmly back on the market and considering programs such as Florida, Xavier, Wake Forest and NC State. He has just one visit set in stone, however, and the Musketeers will be the recipient.
Aside from the planned Xavier visit, which will take place on Jan. 25, Mintz has no other other travel plans. And while the four-star prospect declines to call the Musketeers his official leader, the upcoming visit is certainly being treated as massively important.
“I’m actually missing a game to take the visit,” Mintz said following a 22-point performance that earned him MVP honors in his Oak Hill team’s win over La Lumiere on Saturday.
Mintz says he intends to take his time before making a decision about his college future but has set a rough target date of “late March.”
LAYDON BLOCKER SEEMS COMFORTABLE WITH RAZORBACKS
The de facto leaders in Layden Blocker’s recruitment are Arkansas and Baylor based solely on the fact that Blocker has taken unofficial visits to the campus of each. And while Gonzaga, Memphis, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Auburn are also involved, he has no additional visits scheduled at the moment.
Those trips will come in time, however, as the 6-foot-2 point guard hopes to narrow his focus even further this summer and possibly reach a decision prior to his senior season.
Blocker’s recruitment is likely to take its share of twists and turns in the year ahead, but, for the time being, the Arkansas native certainly seems most at ease with his home-state school.
“I love Arkansas,” Blocker said on Saturday. “They’re close to home and they show me attention. I love their coaching staff and I love their play style. I got to see the campus and watch the players work out while I spoke with the coaching staff. Eric Musselman and coach Keith Smart, we were all in a room and they gave me a presentation about the things I could do if I went to Arkansas.”
TEXAS, INDIANA, OREGON LEAD THE WAY WITH KJ EVANS
One of the most promising prospects in the class of 2023, KJ Evans doesn’t lack options. He holds offers from major programs that span conferences and time zones, but the five-star forward’s interest seems particularly piqued by three programs.
On Saturday, Evans says he hopes to visit Oregon, Texas and Indiana in the coming months. Evans has been in frequent contact with all three programs and intends to finalize dates for trips as the high school season winds down.
And while it will be up to the schools’ respective coaching staffs to ultimately land Evans’ commitment, the Hoosiers and Longhorns have help in the form of Evans’ teammates Indiana pledge Jalen Hood-Schifino and Texas signee Dillon Mitchell.
“Jalen just tells me it’s really nice there and I’d like it at Indiana,” Evans said. “It’s the same with Dillon and Texas, too. They stay on me.”