basketball Edit

Florida Man: Georgia zeros in on Mohammed, sorting out the ACC

Aminu Mohammed
Aminu Mohammed (Jon Lopez/Jon Lopez Creative @NikeEYB)

Each week, Rivals national basketball analyst and very own Florida Man, Rob Cassidy, takes readers around the hoops recruiting world, touching on news, notes and developments that relate to prospects and teams from coast to coast.

This week, he predicts Georgia will land a five-star, takes a stab at predicting the unpredictable ACC and looks forward to seeing some of the nation’s top prospects in person.


2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team



FutureCast of the Week: Aminu Mohammed to Georgia

The No. 15 overall player in the Rivals150 is set to make his decision on Dec. 21. Five-star guard Aminu Mohammed’s recruitment has kept people guessing because both his destination and when exactly he plans to arrive on campus has been in question in recent months. These days, it seems as though the Springfield (Mo.) Greenwood senior will enroll early and show up on the campus of his choice in January. All that’s left to do now is pick a school.

I’ve long seen Georgia as a major player here, but it seemed that the Bulldogs might not have an available scholarship to award Mohammed at semester. That all changed when UGA sophomore Jaykwon Walton hit the transfer portal on Dec. 3. The stars seemed to now be aligned for the talented Mohammed to land in Athens, but both Georgetown and Indiana shouldn’t be ruled out. The other teams on Mohammed’s final list (Kansas State, Oklahoma State, etc) seem much less likely to land his letter of intent.

Georgia head coach Tom Crean has a long history of developing pros and the fact that he recently helped a guard become the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft certainly plays well in this situation.


Prediction of the week: Florida State will win the ACC

Let’s take a foray into reactions based on tiny sample sizes and handicap the messy ACC, shall we? Duke appears to be … uhhh .. let’s say “a work in progress.” North Carolina is certainly improved from a year ago but still seems to be nothing resembling a powerhouse. Louisville has been impressive but far from hyper-imposing. So while undefeated Florida State has certainly looked flawed for stretches, it has the feel of a team that could be a couple weeks away from hitting an impressive stride.

FSU has willed itself to a 4-0 record despite some erratic stretches and is hovering around the 1.049 offensive efficiency rating it boasted in a 26-5 season a year ago. That number obviously means very little just four games in, but the fact that it’s been accomplished despite some peaks and valleys from freshman point guard Scottie Barnes, who finished with an impressive 16 points and six rebounds in a 74-61 win over Georgia Tech Tuesday and looked like every bit the superstar in the final minutes of a tight game against Indiana last week. Still, the game against the Hoosiers saw him make some mistakes with the ball early in the contest. The outing was a microcosm for the talented Barnes’ season thus far. He's the reigning ACC Freshman of the Week, however, and freshmen have a way of leveling out after Christmas. As the former five-star continues to adjust and see the floor better, the Seminoles will become even more dangerous than they’ve looked thus far.

FSU has truly elite length both inside and on the perimeter, which frustrated the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday. They have a veteran star in M.J. Walker and a developing high-level pro Barnes. They also possess their signature depth. Combine all of that, and Leonard Hamilton's bunch has the look of a team that will start to really click when it counts.


Back on the road: Five-stars on display at IMG

The pandemic makes the opportunity to get in the road and see live games feel like a special occasion, so I couldn’t be more excited to head to Florida’s Gulf Coast for a few days for the Sunshine Prep Showcase at IMG Academy this week,

I’ll get a chance to see five-star Tennessee commit Kennedy Chandler, five-star Syracuse commit Benny Williams and five-star Baylor commit Kendall Brown, along with a host of other highly-ranked prospects, but it’s some of the more under-celebrated guys that have me most intrigued. Class-of-2022 four-star Willie Lightfoot (offers from Alabama, Oregon and others) is intriguing to me, The same goes for 6-foot-11 Minnesota commit Kenny Photo.

Whatever the case, live basketball is in my immediate future and that suddenly seems like a gift. I’ll have plenty of updates from the two-day event in the week ahead.