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Conference Call: Most important weekend visitors

While we have seen a few big dominoes fall recently, a string of commitments have yet to appear. That could all change in the coming days as a handful of important visits are set to take center stage this weekend.

In this week’s conference call, we assess which prospect might eventually commit to the program that he is spending an official visit on this weekend.

MORE: Whose 2018 recruiting class could surprise? | Duke's top 10 recruits

ACC: NC STATE

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Keldon Johnson
Matthew Hatfield (VirginiaPreps.com)

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Kevin Keatts has made noise already at NC State. First, he nailed down the commitment of former VCU signee and Rivals150 guard Lavar Batts in the spring before then landing the services of one-time Ohio State pledge Braxton Beverly. However, the 2018 recruiting cycle is a vital one for the first-year staff at NC State and this weekend is of the utmost importance.

Hosting Keldon Johnson, a five-star wing, for an official visit, does not hurt the perception of the program, but where a commitment could come is from Immanuel Bates. After visiting Georgetown last weekend and with another coming to Georgia Tech in two weeks, Keatts and his staff need this one. They will have to replace Abdul Malik-Abu and Lennard Freeman after this season, and could lose Omer Yurtseven to the professional ranks. A hard-playing Bates would be welcomed with open arms.

OTHER IMPORTANT VISITS:

Clemson: Zion Williamson

North Carolina: Nassir Little, Armando Bacot, Wendell Moore

Notre Dame: Saddiq Bey, Nate Laszewski

Syracuse: Darius Bazley, Jalen Carey

BIG EAST: XAVIER

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Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

One of the top wing prospects from the East Coast, Isaiah Mucius will kick off his official visit tour this weekend. Heading to Xavier, the New Yorker will then get a look at Wake Forest the following weekend. While others remain involved, it would come as a giant surprise if he were not to pledge to either of the two schools.

In need of filling at least four spots this fall, Xavier did nab a big man last month in local center Jake Walter. However, more of a long-term prospect down low, Xavier must strike big this fall in replacing departing seniors JP Macura and Trevon Bluiett.

Mucius fits the bill as he could become an exceptional fit under Chris Mack’s watch. He will not be alone this weekend in Cincinnati as top-50 big man David McCormack and one of the top shot-makers in the 2018 class, Noah Locke, will also be on campus.

BIG TEN: MICHIGAN

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Justin Ahrens
GoldandBlack.com

Michigan has already hit it out of the park with its 2018 class as it boasts two Rivals150 commits and another coming in with reclassified forward Taylor Currie. But Michigan will make sure that Justin Ahrens, a one-time Ohio State commit, understands the circumstances that he is in: The ball is in his court. If he passes, others may jump at the chance before he has another opportunity to do so. Maybe he commits this weekend in Ann Arbor or maybe he doesn’t, but he will end up playing his college ball there. Ignas Brazdeikis, a four-star forward, will take an official visit to Michigan this weekend, too.

OTHER IMPORTANT VISITS:

Indiana: Jake Forrester

Michigan State: Aaron Henry

Ohio State: Elijah Weaver, Jaedon LeDee, Luther Muhammad

Penn State: Hunter Dickinson

Purdue: Eric Hunter

BIG 12: IOWA STATE

Iowa State patched together its roster for the upcoming season by landing grad-transfers Hans Brase and Jeff Beverly. This summer, the Cyclones also secured the commitments from Marial Shayok, Zoran Talley and Michael Jacobson, three new members to the program that should leave a mark.

However, there is a giant need at point guard and wing. ISU played host to its top lead guard recruit last weekend in Tyler Harris, and now the Cyclones will welcome Zion Griffin to Ames for the weekend. One of the top breakthrough performers from the July evaluation periods, Griffin would fit well under Steve Prohm’s watch. Pitt, Illinois State and Kansas, his other three finalists, would love to secure the commitment. Griffin, though, may be headed to ISU; it may not happen this weekend but a fall commitment should ensue.

OTHER IMPORTANT VISITS:

Texas: Jaxson Hayes

PAC-12: OREGON

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Luguentz Dort
adidas

All eyes are on Eugene this weekend as Oregon hosts two of the top prospects in the 2018 class. Luguentz Dort, a 6-foot-4 guard built like a Herculean figure, is down to the Ducks, Michigan State, Miami, Arizona State, Baylor and Indiana. Oregon is the likely landing spot for him. He may not commit this weekend but Oregon, thanks to its Canadian connections with assistant coach Mike Mennenga, has been a consistent landing spot for prospects from north of the border.

Five-star wing Lou King also will spend the weekend at Oregon and the Ducks are the favorites among his final 10. While Dort is a more likely candidate than King, both could spend their college days in Eugene. In the 2019 class, top-50 wing Marcus Watson will take an unofficial visit to Oregon, as well.

OTHER IMPORTANT VISITS:

USC: Mike DeVoe

SEC: ALABAMA

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Jared Butler
Jon Lopez/NIke @NikeEYB

After visiting Virginia last weekend, Jared Butler, a Rivals150 guard from Louisiana, will make the short trek over to Tuscaloosa. Alabama isn’t accustomed to recruiting and landing one-and-done talent, but with incoming 2017 five-star guard Collin Sexton, the Crimson Tide may have just that. Texas and UVA remain heavily in contention and while Butler has remained patient with the process, expect for his college career to begin and end under the tutelage of Avery Johnson at Alabama.

OTHER IMPORTANT VISITS:

Ole Miss: Serrel Smith

South Carolina: Aaron Nesmith

Texas A&M: Keyshawn Embery, Josh LeBlanc, Miller Kopp

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