basketball Edit

Five storylines to follow during the late signing period

MORE: Predicting the commitments of top 2017 prospects

A lot has changed across college basketball since the early signing period closed in November. North Carolina cut down the nets. Indiana, Georgetown and Missouri changed coaches. Rosters across the country have been turned upside down due to decommitments, NBA defections and transfers. The late signing period, which opens today, has the chance to shake up the sport further as we look at the top five storylines to watch in the days ahead.

New 2017 rankings: Rivals150 | Team rankings


Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter Jr. (Nike/Jon Lopez)

Missouri arguably has the most buzz in the college hoops recruiting world right now. Following the dismissal of Kim Anderson, the Tigers hired Cal coach Cuonzo Martin. One of Martin's first moves in Columbia was adding Michael Porter to his coaching staff, which in return, led to the commitment of top-ranked senior Michael Porter Jr. The new Missouri staff was able to keep Rivals150 guard C.J. Roberts in the fold and then landed another nationally ranked recruit in Blake Harris.

What might Martin do for an encore? Only time will tell but the Tigers remain in the mix for Rivals150 guard Mark Smith and could immediately become the favorite for Jeremiah Tilmon, pending his full release from Illinois.

Missouri has already been a major story this spring and that could continue as the late period begins.


Trevon Duval
Trevon Duval (Under Armour/Kelly Kline)

Trevon Duval, the top-ranked point guard in the 2017 class, remains on the board and will choose among Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Baylor and Seton Hall. Needless to say, he would be a huge, championship-level addition for any of those programs.

Tremont Waters, another Rivals150 recruit, was originally slated to attend Georgetown in the fall but requested and received his release. The Connecticut native's recruitment remains wide open with schools getting involved by the day.

Others point guards to keep tabs on include Mark Smith and Thomas Allen, two Rivals150 guards that will be heavily pursued this spring, each of whom could be used at either guard position.

Duke, Kansas, UConn, Illinois and Nebraska are just a few of the schools involved with a number of the top lead guard recruits this spring.


Leading up to North Carolina’s national championship win, much was made about the fact that the Tar Heels had recently struggled to land one-and-done recruits. After striking out on a number of prospects over the past few classes, could North Carolina use its back-to-back national championships appearances to land its first top-10 recruit since James Michael McAdoo in 2011?

The Tar Heels are in the top five for Kevin Knox, who is also considering Florida State, Missouri, Duke and Kentucky, but it's hard to get a feel for where the five-star forward will end up. UNC's appeal to Knox has likely improved by the day due to the expected departure of Justin Jackson.


Mohamed Bamba, down to a final four of Kentucky, Duke, Michigan and Texas, holds the keys to the late signing period.

If the Wildcats ink the the five-star 7-footer, John Calipari will land his top one-and-done candidate in the 2017 class. Duke would cement its case for a top-five group nationally, while Texas could squeak its way into the top 10 thanks to the plethora of talent Shaka Smart has accumulated in the fall. Michigan, while an unlikely landing spot, would make a giant leap into the top 10 of the class rankings.


The Wildcats already sit with a top-five class nationally thanks to signing four Rivals150 prospects, including five-star DeAndre Ayton, in the early period. Ayton solidifies the Arizona frontcourt but the team's backcourt remains in question.

The Wildcats welcome in freshmen Brandon Randolph and Alex Barcello but with the potential early departures of Kobi Simmons, Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier, Miller and his staff need to lock in one more perimeter piece this spring. Brian Bowen is the most likely candidate, though Creighton has picked up major ground with the go-to scoring wing. Trevon Duval, as we noted on earlier, has the Wildcats in his top five, and Arizona is in the mix for Pitt transfer Cam Johnson.

If the Wildcats can land Bowen, Duval or Johnson, they become a top-five national championship contender next year. If not, questions will continue to loom.

New 2017 rankings: Rivals150 | Team rankings