Early Signing Period Live Blog
The early period for high school basketball players from the class of 2020 to sign with colleges started Wednesday and runs through Nov. 20th. Rivals.com national analysts Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and contributing analyst Dan McDonald have the latest news and notes.
9:13 PM: UCONN THE ONLY MOVER ON A QUIET FIRST DAY
The first day of the early signing period for the class of 2020 may go down as the quietest one that I have ever seen in my 20 year career.
So quiet that there was only one decision made that had any impact on the team rankings for the class of 2020 and had Javonte Brown-Ferguson not elected to move from 2021 to 2020 when he committed to Connecticut, there wouldn't have been any.
By committing to Danny Hurley and the Huskies, Brown-Ferguson moved their class from No. 65 overall to No. 34. He's still a little raw, but has the size, length and shot blocking ability to at least help out on the defensive end early.
Look for the next few days to be pretty quiet with decisions from five-star Isaiah Jackson (Alabama, Kentucky or Syracuse) and four-star Chris Moore (Auburn, Arkansas or Memphis) on Saturday and four-star Keon Ambrose-Hylton (Alabama, Arkansas, Dayton, N.C. State and USC) on Sunday the next known choices that could have any real impact on the team rankings.
6:59 PM: IS THOR READY TO HAMMER OUT A DECISION?
There was a feeling that whenever Cade Cunningham gave his commitment to Oklahoma State, that a J.T. Thor-to-OSU commitment would immediately follow. While a week has come and gone since Cunningham picked the Pokes, it is a wait-and-see approach with Thor.
However, a decision might not be entirely too far off. Thor is not a done deal for Oklahoma State; this is a four-star, top-60 prospect that practically any high-major would love to add. In saying that, Mike Boynton has done a tremendous job of developing the proper in-roads with Thor and his circle.
The Cowboys are definitely the leader and while I am told that a signing this week could or could not take place, I am banking on a decision from Thor sometime next week but before the early signing period completes on November 20.
5:29 PM: FIRST FIVE STAR FOR MICK CRONIN IS OFFICIAL
This is the culmination of a huge recruiting win for Mick Cronin and the Bruins.
Let's face it, there were some questions about whether or not Cronin could land high level West Coast talent early on and they simply don't get much more high level than Nix out West. Especially at the all important point guard position.
I just watched Nix play again over the weekend and there is no question in my mind that he's deserving of his top 15 status and that he is a McDonald's All-American type point guard. The way he passes and defends, takes care of the ball and scores when necessary are all things that other high level players -- whether they are already at UCLA or being recruited by them -- will look long and hard at wanting to play with. To me, he's a new age Andre Miller and he's ready to make an instant impact.
So, where do the Bruins go next. Recently, they have been linked with Cameron Thomas but the Bruins are out of that race and have turned their focus to another West Coast five-star, Josh Christopher. The big time scorer is now firmly the Bruins sites and where they were more of an afterthought a few months ago, they've emerged as a very serious contender and have a legitimate shot to land him. If they can pull that off, pairing him with a guy like Nix would be something other Pac 12 programs won't want to see.
5:02 PM: SHAK MOORE NOT READY TO SIGN JUST YET
There was a belief just a few weeks ago that Shakeel Moore was close to making his decision with Providence as the leader for his services. While the Friars are still involved, Moore left his visit to the Big East program without committing and has no plans on making such a move any time soon, at least during the early signing period.
Moore is now one of the top guards available. Ed Cooley would like to take another guard in the 2020 class but the competition for him has only picked up. A few weeks ago, Moore visited DePaul and could potentially visit NC State some time in the near future. Interest from Pitt has remained steady this fall, but Maryland and TCU are the latest to jump into his recruitment.
A timetable towards a commitment has not been established yet but he will definitely not sign this week. Therefore, it should come as no surprise if he takes the remaining three official visits before coming to his college decision sometime this winter, though NC State may have found some traction with the in-state guard.
4:01 PM: PURDUE'S CLASS IS OFFICIAL
Overall, the group currently ranks No. 26 in our 2020 team rankings and there is plenty for Boilermaker fans to be excited about.
Morton is a playmaking guard with good size, toughness and outstanding passing ability. He was an early target of Painter and they wrapped him up pretty early in the process. He's had some troubles shooting the ball over the last year but his release is clean and he is a worker who should fix any issues.
Jaden Ivey, though, will not have to fix his jump shot. The four-star from Indiana is one of 2020's best jump shooter and his ability to spread the floor with his shooting should help get him on the floor early. He can also handle and pass and should be a quality secondary ball handler once he arrives on campus. The son of a coach, he's pretty sound in his all-around game.
Last but not least, Edey is the guy who we have seen the least of. He continues Purdue's streak of having gigantic dudes in the post, doesn't move too badly for a seven-footer. Over the weekend some coaches much more familiar with him told Rivals.com that Purdue has found themselves a guy who will contribute for years and that they expect his reputation to soar during his senior season at IMG.
3:27 PM: JAYLIN WILLIAMS DOWN TO TWO, NOT SIGNING EARLY
Jaylin Williams made some noise earlier this week with our very own Nikki Chavanelle of the Hawg Beat where he knocked Texas A&M off of his list of finalists. That brings things to a final two for the four-star center that is also one of the best centers available this fall.
The Arkansas native has already taken official visits to the home-state SEC program and Auburn, and despite completing all of his scheduled visits, has remained resolute in not signing this week. Now, would I be surprised if the Hawgs or Tigers were able to tip things over the ledge in their favor and have Williams sign? No, but Williams has been unwilling to budge off of his plans in signing late.
A commitment will come much earlier than the spring, though, where I would expect for a decision to be made by early to mid-December. Arkansas remains my pick in the FutureCast for Williams and I believe that in-state lure that Eric Musselman has thrown his way may be too much to overcome by Bruce Pearl’s bunch.
2:19 PM: IS LATEST KANSAS OFFER A CLUE?
On Tuesday, Kansas landed five-star guard Bryce Thompson. Once they landed him, it was expected that he, Rivals150 big man Gethro Muscadin and junior college star Tyon Grant-Foster would be the Jayhawks class. But maybe not?
On signing day, Kansas extended an offer to three-star guard Latrell Jossell from Keller (Texas) Central. Word is that Jossell is very high on the Jayhawks and at a minimum his situation is one that KU fans should be watching closely throughout the signing period.
I just watched Jossell over the weekend and he's not the typical high end prospect you usually see Kansas involved with. He is a very good athlete, can shoot a bit from deep and plays really hard. Currently, I think he's maybe more of a combo guard and might be more prepared to help out at a little bit lower level right out of the chute. But, Bill Self has shown he can find under the radar guards and develop them. Does that mean he's on the same path as say a Devonte Graham or Frank Mason who were once under the radar?
No. It's unreasonable to say or even remotely expect he turns into a National Player of the Year candidate. But, guys like him with heart and a chip on his shoulder can often surprise after a few years in a good program with other good players around them.
Jossell hasn't announced any signing plans or anything like that. But, again, his situation is worth keeping an eye on.
1:42 PM: VOLS FANS SHOULD BE GOING CRAZY FOR KEON
There is no shortage of things for Tennessee basketball fans to feel good about. Rick Barnes has returned the program to national relevance, there is a lot of buzz about the Vols and with a class that currently ranks No. 4 nationally for 2020, they are recruiting at an unprecedented level.
Five-star Jaden Springer is a stud scorer. Top 40 forward Corey Walker can play the wing or as a small ball four man. Those guys are tremendous. But Keon Johnson, I believe that's the guy that Vols fans should be going crazy for.
I've attached video highlights of him below and they give a look but don't paint the entire picture. He's gradually ascended the rankings and I don't think he's done yet. He makes plays with the ball, he's a freak athlete and he's an elite defender at multiple positions. He's not technically the highest ranked player the Vols have ever gotten, but he's as good a get as I have seen for Tennessee during my near ten years at Rivals.com and probably in my 20 years in the business.
12:22 PM: WHAT WILL JALEN TERRY DO?
The feeling is that Jalen Terry is torn on signing early or holding off until the spring to do as such. The former Michigan State recruit quickly scheduled a string of visits following his decommitment and was able to squeeze in trips to Louisville and LSU before this week. Could the Cards add another this fall, or might Will Wade be able to snag one out of the Midwest?
Either could take place but there is a strong chance that Terry takes at least one more visit before he decides. Ole Miss and Pitt are involved but one to watch is Oregon. The Ducks are sitting without a commitment this fall which is not the norm in Eugene. Furthermore, Oregon has become the landing spot for top-50, or five-star talent, every fall, so it is more of a matter of when, not if, for the Ducks this recruiting cycle.
Maybe Terry doesn’t make the trek to the Pac 12 program but, if he does, Oregon should be seen as a serious threat for his commitment. One can be sure that Louisville and LSU are doing all they can to shut down his recruitment as things have been rather fluid of late with Terry who, even though it rarely ever happens in such circumstances, could always retreat back by selecting MSU again.
12:01 PM: TARI EASON TO WAIT
Tari Eason, a four-star power forward out of the Pacific Northwest, has told Rivals that he will…not sign this week. Eason has already taken official visits to Cincinnati, Colorado and USC, his three finalists, but is not ready to end his recruitment quite yet.
Sure, others could become involved before he comes to his final decision which will be made on December 21. I asked what the significance was of the day and Eason stated that it was the birthday of his deceased aunt and he wanted to remember her on that special day. Great for Eason just as it will be for the program that lands the talented power forward that has only gotten better throughout the past few years.
11:00 AM: SIBLEY REMAINS UNDECIDED
The recruitment of Jamari Sibley has not been much of a discussed one in recent months and selecting a single leader for his services has not been the easiest, either. The four-star wing, who played alongside Duke blue chip recruit Jalen Johnson on the travel circuit, and is now completing his high school career at Oak Hill Academy this winter, sometimes doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. I say this because he could be the type that comes out of nowhere next winter and leaves an immediate imprint on a high-major program.
Having taken official visits to Georgetown, Iowa, and Minnesota, Sibley will pick between the three. When he does remains up for debate. He told Rivals.com that he could sign before the early signing period closes on November 20, but if he doesn’t, could commit a week or two later.
The Hoyas had some of the momentum earlier this fall and while, if I had to pick one school for him, it would be Georgetown, I still do not feel entirely confident on such a prediction. Either way, count Sibley among the few that is on the fence with signing early or holding off another week.
10:54 AM: FIVE-STAR LOVE WILL SIGN ON THE FIRST DAY
North Carolina's replacement for the expected departure of Cole Anthony after this season is just a few hours away from being official. Dennis Love, the father of five-star point guard Caleb Love, told Rivals.com that his son will sign at 3:30 pm EST.
One of three five-star prospects signing with the Heels, Love is arguably as important a recruiting win as there is for any program in the class of 2020. Replacing Anthony isn't going to be easy, but Love appears up to the task.
He's got very good positional size, has tremendous length and athleticism and has just as much defensive potential as he does on the offensive end.
Tar Heel fans can get a glimpse of what they are getting in the attached video.
10:08 AM: IOWA BOUNCES BACK
Iowa and Fran McCaffery suffered a tough loss earlier this week when coveted in state prospect Xavier Foster chose Iowa State. Undaunted, the Hawkeyes bounced back quite quickly landing big man Josh Ogundele.
A native of England, Ogundele is a true center with good hands and the southpaw is developing. During play with BABC in Nike's EYBL, Ogundele was a productive rebounder and showed good touch around the rim.
At Iowa, it will be about getting into the best shape possible and consistently scoring on the interior. Is he Foster? No. But, he's a pretty good fallback plan on short notice and could be one of those guys that surprises once he has access to college coaching, strength and conditioning.
9:40 AM: CADE SET TO SIGN
Oklahoma State won’t be sweating things out too long today. Cade Cunningham, arguably the Pokes’ greatest recruiting win during the Rivals.com era, will sign his LOI around 11:30am EST. I spent a few hours with Cunningham yesterday and to say that he is relieved that the recruiting process is behind him but is anxious to get onto the Stillwater campus would be a giant understatement.
Cunningham has often talked about bringing others with him to OK State. Some saw OSU’s miss on Bryce Thompson as a reflection that all things were not going as planned for the Cowboys. I will just say this: the two had just begun to really talk about teaming up within the past week and while Cunningham would have loved to have Thompson with him next season, there are others he is eyeing.
JT Thor could be one of them, you never know the path that Greg Brown could go down, and it is not going to be difficult for Mike Boynton to sell what he will have in his stable for next season to a possible spring decommitment or grad-transfer candidate. Either way, today is a very, very good one for Oklahoma State.
9:36 AM: BRAKEFIELD WILL SIGN WITH DUKE
For the past 72 hours, rumors have been swirling that top 40 forward Jaemyn Brakefield's commitment could be shaky to Duke. In particular, Ole Miss was popping up as a program he could potentially flip to.
Rivals.com was in contact with the skilled 6-foot-9 scorer from Huntington (W.V.) Prep on signing day he said that it "was just a rumor going around."
Brakefield confirmed that he still plans to sign with Duke and that he should have his signing plans finalized shortly. If you are looking for signing day drama, looks like you will have to look elsewhere.
9:06 AM: IS A DECISION COMING FOR FIVE-STAR JOSH HALL?
Skilled five-star wing Josh Hall hasn't finalized any plan for announcing his college decision and could still choose to wait until the spring. But, it's looking like the Hickory (N.C.) Moravian Prep star may be close to making his pick.
I checked in with Hall's father Quincy and he told me that his son could do something as early as this weekend. That information falls in line with rumors that Hall could be announcing this weekend at the Phenom Hoops National High School Showcase in Raleigh.
Currently, my FutureCast for Hall has been made to N.C. State. Could a weekend announcement in Raleigh be a good omen or does Hall have other plans? We should know very soon.
8:24 AM: ONE VISIT LEFT FOR FOUR-STAR WALTON
Throughout the fall, the belief was that four-star shooting guard Kerwin Walton from the Minneapolis area would commit sometime leading up to the signing period. Well, that hasn't happened and he's not planning on signing in the next seven days he told Rivals.com.
Walton is not short on college interest and rightfully so. Remember, this is the kid that hit 15 3-pointers during a two-game session in Birmingham during the lone July travel ball evaluation period in front of a throng of college coaches. From there, his recruitment soared just like his ranking within the Rivals150.
Walton has already taken official visits to Arizona, Cal, Miami and North Carolina. He is also considering Creighton and the hometown Minnesota bunch. This weekend, he will compete his visit tour when he heads to Nashville and gets a look at Vanderbilt. From there, look for Walton to sit tight for a little longer before going into decision making mode with a commitment likely to be made before the calendar year flips.
8:03 AM: RIVALS150 BIG MAN ODUSIPE WILL WAIT IT OUT
One of the top remaining big men left on the board, big man Akeem Odusipe of Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic will wait things out and won't be signing early his summer coach Bobby Maze of B. Maze Elite tells Rivals.com.
A high energy big man who rebounds, blocks shots and runs the floor, Odusipe announced a top 10 of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, South Carolina,Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Wichita State earlier in the fall. To date, he has not taken any official visits and his list is not one that is closed.
Expect new teams to call and offer throughout the winter.
7:43 AM: WELCOME TO THE SIGNING DAY BLOG
The early signing period for the class of 2020 is finally here. All day long myself, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald will be dropping in news and notes.
Analysis of signees, highlight videos, news on upcoming announcements and the latest movements in the team rankings and word on undecided players will be here. Please be sure to check back all day long.
To get your morning started, check out the current status of the team rankings.
Also, the "Talent Spread" can give you a quick refresher on the top players headed to the top conferences.