Five programs that should feel the best about the 2019 rankings
The new Rivals150 was released on Tuesday. So far, only two five-star prospects are off the board and a total of 111 of the ranked players remain open in their recruitments. So, taking a look at the newest rankings, which five programs should feel the best about where they currently stand and where they could finish up based on how things appear to be trending.
DUKE BLUE DEVILS
Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils seem to be locked in mortal combat with John Calipari and Kentucky for the top class each year and it looks like 2019 may be no different. While nobody has made a commitment to Duke just yet, Coach K and his gang are looking at another potential monster class. They are very much in the mix, if not the leader, for 2019's No. 1 player Vernon Carey Jr.
In addition to Carey, No. 2 Cole Anthony has the Blue Devils under serious consideration and some think they are in great position with him. Other five-star prospects they have either gotten involved with or are in good standing for include Jaden McDaniels, Isaiah Stewart, Josiah James, Bryan Antoine and Armando Bacot to name a few. Judging by the past five years in particular, it's hard to see them not landing multiple five-stars and competing for the nation's top class again in 2019.
Could Romeo Langford have been just the tip of the iceberg for Indiana on the recruiting trail? Archie Miller has done phenomenal work thus far in Bloomington but even better days could be ahead for the Hoosiers. They remain a top contender for five-star forwards Trayce Jackson-Davis and Keion Brooks, the top in-state players within the 2019 class.
Indiana is in the mix, too, for five-star forward Trendon Watford, the younger brother of former Hoosiers’ star Christian Watford. The same can be said for one of the top spring stock boosters, D.J. Carton, a five-star guard that took an official visit to the program last week. They’re also involved for Watford’s travel teammate Kira Lewis, along with other top Rivals150 in-state targets Armaan Franklin and Brandon Newman, the latter who just received an IU offer last week.
The Jayhawks are no stranger to recruiting success under Bill Self and they already hold a commitment from four-star point guard Markese Jacobs. However, Self and his staff are hoping to add a haul of several big fish and have positioned themselves nicely. In particular, the Jayhawks look to be in good shape for five-star forwards Matthew Hurt and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
An added bonus is that the two played alongside each other for extended minutes on USA Basketball's U18 National team during June and Self was able to coach them. In this case, he doesn't just have to sell them on how he would play them together, he's already shown them. Aside from those two, the Jayhawks are in the final three - along with Florida and Tennessee - for top-30 point guard Tre Mann.
They have several other high level players that they are involved with but also have good connections to top-35 small forward Samuell Williamson whose mother and brother are both Kansas graduates.
Of course Kentucky finds itself in a good place. When are Calipari and the Wildcats not at the top of recruiting rankings? So far, the Cats have the No. 2 ranked class in 2019 thanks to commitments from No. 7 Tyrese Maxey - an explosive scoring guard - and top-50 wing D.J. Jeffries. We knew that Maxey was a stud and can play either point or shooting guard in college, but the development of Jeffries on the grassroots circuit after a somewhat poor showing during the high school season is a very positive one.
Kentucky is right there for Vernon Carey but the most interesting recruiting battle they are involved with is the one for No. 3 overall James Wiseman. At this point it looks to be a dead heat between UK and Memphis, but it's hard to bet against Cal in this one even if Penny Hardaway coached Wiseman for a year.
Five-star guard Bryan Antoine is all set to visit, rumblings are that No. 4 overall Jaden McDaniels would be all over an offer from Kentucky while other five-stars like Cole Anthony, Scottie Lewis, Keion Brooks and Jalen Lecque are all legitimate possibilities.
Much has been said about the hiring of Eric Mobley, the father of Isaiah Mobley and Evan Mobley, two top tier prospects in the 2019 and 2020 classes respectively. While the former has already pledged to USC, Andy Enfield and his staff have gone outside of the Mobley household for two other top-75 commitments this summer, five-star center Onyeka Okongwu, one of the best rebounders in America, and Drake London, a four-star wing that will attempt to play both basketball and football for the Trojans. Together, those three create the current No. 1 recruiting class in 2019 giving the Trojans a leg up on their competition.
They can now invest greater attention into recruiting their remaining top targets. One of those is Cassius Stanley, a top-35 guard that holds the Trojans in a good light. USC is also a top contender for Georgia native Kyle Sturdivant, the 66th-ranked player in the 2019 class. Four-star wing Max Agbonkpolo and five-star Josh Green are two others that have been on campus within recent weeks as they’re also eyeing four-star prospects Boogie Ellis, P.J. Fuller and Jalen Hill, as the Trojans are on track to complete the 2019 recruiting cycle with one of the nation's best classes.