Evans Seven: Predictions for McD All-Americans
The McDonald’s All-American week was full of standout play from the future faces of the sport but was also abuzz about the homes of the few uncommitted prospects found in the 2019 class. In this week’s The Evans Seven, we dish out our seven biggest hot takes from Atlanta.
1. Cole Anthony will be a Tar Heel
North Carolina has weathered a number of storms in recent months, coming up short on a slew of high-profile recruitments in Tre Mann, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Josh Green and Keion Brooks. While they lost on each, the Heels have continued on their winning path on the playing floor but with their success, it has also brought the likely departure of Coby White after his lone season in Chapel Hill.
Don’t fret, UNC fans, because help is on its way. Cole Anthony, a top-five guard prospect in the 2019 class, told Rivals.com on Sunday that will be announcing his college commitment on April 20. It would be a giant shock if he were to not choose UNC. In doing so, UNC would have landed two five-star prospects and could actually have a better chance with Matthew Hurt than many assume.
2. Isaiah Stewart will be the 2020 Pac-12 player of the year
While any freshman having the chance to bring home player of the year honors in a power conference is a bit hot takey, Isaiah Stewart is so good that he will do just that next year.
The well-built and high-motored big man will take the role that Noah Dickerson left this spring, which is an opportunity that Stewart should thrive in. He has been arguably the most productive and consistently competitive prospect in the 2019 class for the past four years. He's headed to Washington where Mike Hopkins will build everything around him, and don’t be surprised when 20-point and 10-rebound stat lines become the norm.
3. Kentucky will miss out on McDaniels and Hurt
Kentucky has a major need in the frontcourt this spring with the looming exits of Keldon Johnson, Reid Travis and PJ Washington. It did secure the commitment of Keion Brooks earlier this month but even his services are best used in a wing capacity which makes it even more prudent that they can etch out the pledges of Jaden McDaniels and/or Matthew Hurt.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, it is not looking promising. While McDaniels is nowhere near his college commitment, as he told Rivals.com on Wednesday, picking Kentucky as his eventual landing spot seems to be a bit of a reach. The same could be said for Hurt, who is expected to come off the board on April 19. Duke, Kansas and UNC seem to be in a much better spot with the top-10 prospect. Kentucky will have to figure out other avenues to fill out its frontline for next season, a reason why it will host Bucknell transfer Nate Sestina next week.
4. Trendon Watford will hold off committing
Trendon Watford told Rivals.com earlier this week that his plan is to make his college decision on April 20. Down to a final five of Alabama, Duke, Indiana, LSU and Memphis, there still is no clear landing spot for Watford.
Alabama just fired their coach; Indiana is not a legitimate threat; LSU is sifting through the investigation regarding its now suspended head coach in Will Wade; lastly, Memphis could be in a bind with a crowded frontcourt with DJ Jeffries, James Wiseman and Malcolm Dandridge already committed.
If Duke were to offer, a swift commitment would not be a giant surprise. But with a fluid coaching carousel, don’t be surprised if Watford doesn’t announce in three weeks, waits to see which five-star lands where, who gets what coaching job and possibly even lets a few newcomers enter his recruitment before it comes to an end.
5. Anthony Edwards will lead all freshmen in scoring next season
Anthony Edwards didn’t begin things on a strong note, but as the week wore on, his motor and intensity improved, which turned the negative comments into positive remarks. When the five-star guard is locked in, there are not many like him in the high school game.
The same will be said about him next year in college. Deciding to stay home to play for Tom Crean, expect for his shot opportunities not to be in short supply. Georgia relied on its big men last season to initiate its offense, thanks to a depleted backcourt, but with Edwards in store, the prolific scorer will have the ball in his hands more times than not.
Don’t be surprised if he averages more than 22 points during his lone year in Athens. He can take some time to get warmed up, but when Ant Man is feeling it, his takeover abilities are second to none.
6. James Wiseman will be the first pick in the 2020 NBA draft
James Wiseman will be the first name Adam Silver announces on the 2020 NBA Draft night. A 7-footer with a 7-foot-6 wingspan, tremendous touch around the basket, quality agility as a rim runner, ball screen defender and lob threat, there is not a lot that Wiseman cannot do.
The next step is bringing consistent energy to the floor and scoring more efficiently in traffic, each of which he has improved upon. Mark it down, Wiseman will be the first overall pick in next June’s draft and another selling point for all that Penny Hardaway is creating at his alma mater.
MORE MEMPHIS: TigerSportsReport.com
7. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antoine will deliver Jay Wright his third national title
While Jay Wright is more about relying on his upperclassmen, he has two absolute studs in Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antoine. Robinson-Earl faired a bit better than Antoine in Atlanta but that is beside the point; both are going to lend a major hand to Wright’s chances of attaining his third national title in the coming years.
Keeping Villanova’s personnel in mind, the two five-stars, along with Saddiq Bey, Cole Swider, Jermaine Samuels, Collin Gillespie, Jahvon Quinerly and two others four-stars from the 2019 class, write it down as the Wildcats will grab another national title by the year 2022.
MORE VILLANOVA: NovaIllustrated.com