basketball Edit

I've Got Five On It: Must-get prospects in the 2024 cycle

Tre Johnson
Tre Johnson (

Most 2023 prospects are signed, sealed and almost delivered to the colleges of their choice, so coaches all over the country have turned their attention to the class of 2024. The majority of the heavy hitters in that group, of course, remain uncommitted. That said, many of their recruitments are starting to take shape, and some prospects are beginning to feel like must-gets for individual schools.

Today,’s Rob Cassidy explores five major programs and the junior it feels like each must land in the 2024 cycle.


More: Four-star Isaiah Abraham mulling visits to Marquette, Tennessee

2023 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2024 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team

2025 Rankings: Top 80

Transfer Portal: Latest news




Threats to steal his pledge: Kentucky, Baylor, Arkansas

Why he’s critical: Once seen as a Texas lean, Johnson’s recruitment was thrown for a loop when the Longhorns fired head coach Chris Beard for being charged with felony assault. That said, the situation with the top-ranked junior is salvageable. Interim head coach Rodney Terry has a relationship in place with the Texas-based five-star and would likely keep the Longhorns near the front of the chase should he land the job on a permanent basis. There’s also a chance that a new hire could come in and quickly lay the groundwork to keep Johnson in the Lone Star State for college.

Whatever the case, however, his commitment will go a long way to determine how smoothly the program's second coaching change in three years goes. Landing Johnson would do wonders to sooth a sudden transition that took everyone in Austin and the basketball community at large by surprise.




Threats to steal his pledge: Arkansas, North Carolina

Why he’s critical: Creighton’s coaching staff laid tons of early groundwork here and have poured massive resources into chasing Flowers, who has a few blueblood options to his name. Greg McDermott and company have long felt like one of the leaders to land his pledge, however, and getting his letter of intent could help the perennially successful Bluejays take the next step toward reaching the Elite Eight, a goal the program flirted with a couple years back.

Creighton has not landed a five-star prospect in the Rivals Era, and it seems as though Flowers provides a realistic opportunity to change that. If Flowers decides to head to Omaha, which for the moment seems more likely than not, he’d have a seismic impact on the immediate future of the Creighton program.




Threats to steal his pledge: Oklahoma State, Alabama

Why he’s critical: It’s been a while since the Orange landed a high school recruit. And while the 2023 class was always going to be small by design, the fact that they don’t have a single prospect in the fold on that front makes the 2024 class vital. Enter New York-based junior Elijah Moore, who has visited campus on two separate occasions and could be close to making a verbal commitment. The fact that Moore is one of the truly elite outside shooters in the 2024 class makes him important on its own, but the fact that he could act as a recruiting slump-buster of sorts for Syracuse makes the situation even more pressing.

There simply aren't very many shooters of Moore’s caliber in this class, and there’s no better way to start a vital stretch for Jim Boeheim and company. Moore officially has a top five of Syracuse, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Miami and Arkansas, but it feels as though the Orange, Cowboys and Crimson Tide are the only true players.




Threats to steal his pledge: Rutgers, UCLA, Indiana, Kansas

Why he’s critical: Will Dylan Harper make or break the Jon Scheyer Era in Durham? Of course not, but the timing of the five-star junior’s recruitment makes him even more important than he seemed to be months ago. The on-court start of Scheyer’s tenure has not come close to matching the overwhelming positive energy of its recruiting start. The 14-6 Blue Devils have had some rocky moments this season and seem to be having a growing pain or two in the wake of a coaching change. Both success and failure seem to compound in college hoops, so how things play out with Harper, Duke’s top 2024 target, could be an early indicator of how the program is viewed by top recruits in the aftermath of Scheyer’s first year.

Harper may not be a “must-get” from a wins and losses standpoint, but he’s definitely the program’s most important target due to the fact that his commitment will be a part of the picture people point to when discussing Duke’s long-term future under its legendary coach’s successor.




Threats to steal his pledge: Florida State

Why he’s critical: Anyone that even loosely follows the sport is aware of the grumbles coming out of Lexington when it comes to John Calipari, the legendary Kentucky head coach that has drawn criticism based on his offensive system and his failure to advance out of the NCAA Tournament’s first round since 2019. UK now finds itself unranked and sitting at 4-3 in SEC play, which has turned the fan base’s grumbles into shouts.

Calipari’s ability to recruit at an elite level serves as a counterpunch to his detractors, but if he loses a Kentucky legacy like Knox, that talking point will take a hit. Knox’s Kentucky recruitment will likely hinge on the perception of stability at the school, which feels as though it could go either way in the coming months. Failing to land Knox, whose older brother became a lottery pick at UK, would toss gas on a fire that is already burning a little hotter than Calipari would like.