Evans Seven: Teams with no 2020 commits that should have a big fall
No one likes to be left out of a party, but that has been the case for some of the top programs this summer that remain without a commitment. In this week’s The Evans Seven, we look at the programs that might be empty-handed with its 2020 class but are set up for a successful run this fall.
After enrolling its best class since the Billy Donovan years, Florida has the chance to replenish its cupboard again this fall. Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appleby will sit out this season but should help the perimeter needs when he's eligible for the '20-21 season. Florida is in a great spot with Niels Lane who could make another trip to Gainesville after just visiting campus last week. The Gators sit in the final five for five-star Cade Cunningham and have an even better shot with his Montverde Academy teammate, Moses Moody.
Matthew Murrell, KK Robinson, Andre Curbelo, Caleb Murphy and Springer all hold the Gators in high regard and each will likely visit Florida this fall. Hall will visit Florida, too, and it is not difficult envisioning him in a Gators’ uniform next year.
The Gators surprised some by getting an official visit out of Matt Cross, who will commit next month, and things have picked up with Elijah Taylor, Zed Key and Myles Stute. Chalk up Lane and Hall, throw in Appleby, and a dark horse in the mold of Taylor, Key or Moody, and Mike White would have done it again with a nationally recognized class.
After celebrating the best recruiting class that he has ever assembled, Chris Mack is prepared for another strong run this fall. The Cardinals have kicked the tires with a handful of the nation’s top guards including Deivon Smith, Caleb Love and DJ Steward. All are within grasp, though decisions from each is nowhere near.
Devin Askew could potentially reclassify later in the year and Louisville is the one that might be ahead of the others in the race for his signature. Adam Miller, Nimari Burnett and RJ Davis may be difficult, but Josh Hall, Isaiah Jackson and Jaemyn Brakefield are three others to watch for.
Don’t forget about Hunter Dickinson, who is down to a final seven and was wowed by his trip to Louisville. In two months, it is within reason that the Cards are sitting again with a top-10 class nationally.
You don’t put together the top class in America one year and then fall on your face the next, which is why Memphis is due to enroll another prominent class next fall. Jalen Green remains its top guard target and with his commitment date set for Dec. 25, the Tigers should be deemed as one of the few favorites, though Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and a slew of others are involved. Five-star Greg Brown just released his final five and if anyone can beat out the local Texas program, it is Memphis. Jaden Springer was thought to be done for North Carolina or Tennessee, but don’t sleep on Penny Hardaway’s bunch.
They need some frontcourt help and remain involved with Mady Sissoko, Isaiah Jackson, Cameron Matthews, Isaiah Todd and Dawson Garcia. None are Memphis leans but likely one will fall its way. Also, don’t underestimate its chances with Devin Askew or Terrence Clarke, who could both reclassify into the 2020 class.
The Hurricanes ended things on a high note this spring thanks to the commitment of Harlond Beverly and are hoping that they have a few tricks up their sleeve this fall. They have found no shortage of traction within the recruitments of Rivals150 guards Lane, Deivon Smith, Earl Timberlake, Moody, Curbelo and Jamal Mashburn Jr. Landing Smith or Curbelo at the one, and filling in with Lane or Moody would be ideal for the Canes.
Hall will not decide until the spring and could visit Miami before doing as such. Cross already has visited the ACC program’s campus and with a commitment likely to be made in September, Jim Larranaga’s bunch sits as one of his top landing spots. Don’t sleep on the local program with Barnes, either, and while the Hurricanes will strike out more than they win this fall, Miami should be found fairly high up in the 2020 team rankings later on this year.
A month ago, it was difficult to surmise who Michigan really had a chance with. There were some reservations regarding whether Juwan Howard and his staff had it in them to defeat some of the sport's best for the best and while they haven’t done as such just yet, they have picked up some momentum with the nation’s elite.
Nimari Burnett will release his final five next week and Michigan will definitely be on it. Don’t be shocked if he ends up in Ann Arbor. Kentucky just offered Lance Ware and it was immediately assumed that he would end up there. That can still be the case but don’t underestimate Howard in the hunt for the top-60 forward.
Dickinson is not as big of a reach for the Wolverines and while they would have to defeat UK for Josh Christopher, among others, Michigan could be up to the task. Henry Coleman, Jackson, Carlos Johnson and Walker Kessler are just four others to monitor in what could be a really good fall for Michigan.
Chris Holtmann just enrolled his best recruiting class, but more is needed if the Buckeyes want to remain among the elite in the Big Ten. They are sitting with a goose egg in the 2020 commitment column and while nothing is imminent, chances are they will be holding the pledges of more than one highly-touted prospect in November.
They are the dark horse for both Coleman and five-star Scottie Barnes, and have gained traction with Eugene Brown. Four-star wing Moody is not a longshot and would squelch a number of their perimeter concerns.
The Buckeyes remain in pursuit of Rivals150 forward Jalen Bridges, with Dawson Garcia, Zach Loveday and Ryan Kalkbrenner sitting as three others that OSU has its eyes on in filling its frontcourt need. A Moody or Brown commitment, with Loveday or Kalkbrenner, and maybe even a surprise landing of Coleman or Barnes would work wonders in Columbus.
Mick Cronin didn’t make any splashy moves upon his hiring and while some of the nation’s best are found in California, there was some that he decided to not prioritize.
Ziaire Williams, Green, Christopher and Burnett each hold UCLA offers but Burnett seems to be the most attainable of the top-25 foursome.
Jaylen Clark just released his final school list with the Bruins included, but where they have found even great traction is with Mark Williams and Daishen Nix. The Bruins should not be discounted with Williams even with Duke’s presence, and if there is anyone out in front for Nix, it would be UCLA. Sissoko and Davis are two others that Cronin and his staff have remained in touch with.
His first class might not be awe-inspiring but it should hit a number of marks in laying down the foundation for future success in Westwood.