Evans Seven: Super sophs who will hear from coaches soon
While they were not able to enhance their recruitments this spring with a travel season, the class of 2022 is about to see their lives change beginning Monday. On June 15, current members of the sophomore class can speak directly with college coaches. Here are seven players who will be in the news when those calls start coming in.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
1. EMONI BATES
Is it finally the time that the blue bloods finally enter the picture for Emoni Bates? Hyped by some as the best high school prospect since LeBron James, much of the talk surrounding Bates has connected the phenom with the professional rung, especially in light of the recent emergence of the G League. Michigan and Michigan State have also been discussed as possible landing spots.
2. CALEB HOUSTAN
The fact that Caleb Houstan could soon reclassify into the 2021 class, a decision that is expected to be made by the end of the summer, could only ramp up the attention that he will receive on Monday.
The top-talent from Canada, Houstan has already spent a year on American soil after receiving the starting nod alongside three McDonald’s All-Americans for Montverde Academy this past winter. He holds close to a dozen offers, with Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia among them. Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Villanova have also kept a close eye on him.
Expect for his suitor list to expand in the coming days and for Houstan to be one of the busiest sophomores thanks to his talent and shot-making prowess.
3. JADEN BRADLEY
Arguably one of the best and most gifted lead guards in high school basketball, Jaden Bradley already leads one of the most heated recruitments in the 2022 class and for good reason. A tremendously gifted playmaker with speed for days and great positional size, Bradley counts over 20 scholarship offers with priority attention.
The Rochester, N.Y., native is the next man up out of the Tar Heel State and already holds an offer from North Carolina, though his commitment will not come easy. Whether it is Auburn, Florida State, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, or the new staff at Wake Forest, Bradley is only going to become that much greater of a top target for the very best in the coming weeks, and it will start Monday.
4. KIJANI WRIGHT
The top frontline prospect along the west coast, Kijani Wright is going to be a heavily recruited prospect in the coming years. He has made a name for himself competing with the Compton Magic on the adidas circuit, and with the Windward School in his native California.
USC offered him nearly two years ago, while such others as Kansas, Pitt, Stanford and UCLA have also joined the mix in recent months. Wright possesses tremendous grades in the classroom, which could enable the better academic schools to become involved. However, he is already a priority for the nearby Pac-12 schools, which could scare off some of the national programs from offering.
That will become clearer in the coming days as teams pursue Wright, who will be a day-one producer at the high-major level.
5. SKYY CLARK
Clark moved to Nashville this spring. He was already a top target for the best West Coast programs and that likely will not change. However, now that he is more centrally located, it will only be a matter of time before more schools get involved.
Offers are already in hand from Arizona, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCLA, while he has already taken an unofficial visit to Kentucky. Clark is trending towards an all-out blue blood affair as he remains one of the best guards in the game.
6. BRUCE THORNTON
Atlanta has a boatload of talent that can be found within the 2022 Rivals150, but Bruce Thornton might be the best. The face of the always talented Milton High program, Thornton is no stranger to the regional high-majors near him. He has already accrued over a dozen scholarship offers and things should only pick up from here.
While coaches have been unable to directly speak with him, that has not placed a burden from labeling Thornton as a must-get. What might be a sign of things to come, in just the past week, Thornton has received new offers form Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue, which join a previous group including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami and Ole Miss. He is an East Coast priority and could soon be a national target before the end of next week.
7. JULIAN PHILLIPS
Oftentimes, those from the state of South Carolina fly under the radar, but whenever you receive the early top billing in a state, you’re going to enjoy a recruitment unlike any others. That is exactly the situation that Julian Phillips finds himself in, which should only become even more hectic whenever the college coaches begin to express direct interest in him in the coming days.
The long and mobile forward is someone that can play a variety of positions in the half-court and has only improved throughout his high school career. Clemson and South Carolina offered close to a year ago, but so has Alabama, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Ole Miss, and Virginia Tech, along with the new staff at Wake Forest. Phillips is most certainly an East Coast priority that will lead one of the more intriguing and pressure packed affairs in his class.