Basketball Recruiting - I've Got Five On It: Predicting where 5 top prospects will land
basketball Edit

I've Got Five On It: Predicting where 5 top prospects will land

Everyone loves a prediction. In recruiting, they’re as common as they are difficult. Industries are built on projections about how prospects will develop and where they’ll land for college.

Today in I've Got Five On It, Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy tries his hand at the second one as he attempts to guess where five touted players will land at the next level.

*****

MORE: New class of 2023 rankings and top storylines

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 100

*****

1. KEYONTE GEORGE 

Keyonte George
Keyonte George (https://basketball.rivals.com)

THE LATEST: George is in the midst of a run of official visits. He recently toured Baylor after a trip to check out Texas. The five-star guard intends to visit Kentucky in the coming weeks and Kansas in the fall. Oklahoma State is involved as well but seems like a long shot to land his pledge.

THE PREDICTION: It seems less than bold to say Texas leads the way. The Longhorns became the clear favorite to land George the moment they hired Chris Beard away from Texas Tech. Beard had built a relationship with George before he made the jump to Austin. His new situation provides George with the opportunity to play for a proven coach he trusts and represent a truly national brand while staying somewhat close to his Dallas-area home. George’s visit to UT seemed to solidify his already high opinion of the program, and it’s starting to seem like the Longhorns are going to be tough to beat.

*****

2. JALEN DUREN 

Jalen Duren
Jalen Duren (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

THE LATEST: Recent reports of a reclassification to 2022 have been refuted by Duren’s camp, but it seems like such a thing may become official down the line. The buzz around the situation has some wondering whether the No. 1 player in the county is giving college a more serious look than he once was.

THE PREDICTION: I’d still bet on Duren forgoing college to cash hefty paychecks in the pros. That said, my prediction here comes with a caveat, being that if the five-star big man shocks everyone and enters college, it’ll be at Kentucky, Miami or Michigan. Still, following the money is wise in all endeavors. The tea leaves here still read “no college.”

*****

3. JUDAH MINTZ 

Judah Mintz
Judah Mintz (Twitter)

THE LATEST: Mintz recently wrapped up a string of visits and has narrowed his focus to include Penn State, Georgetown and Pitt as well as a few others. That said, the Hoyas, Nittany Lions and Panthers were the only programs to get the four-star prospect on campus, so a commitment anywhere else would be a shock. Mintz will announce his choice on June 18.

THE PREDICTION: Hail to Pitt’s recruiting prowess. The Panthers could use a victory on the recruiting trail and seem poised to get one here. Mintz has long had a bond with Panthers head coach Jeff Capel and his recent official visit felt like more of a final checkup than anything else. Capel and company seem like the smart bet to win this sweepstakes.

*****

4. DARIQ WHITEHEAD

Dariq Whitehead
Dariq Whitehead (https://usatoday.com)

THE LATEST: Duke had long been interested in Whitehead and it seemed significant when the program made things official with an offer June 14. White has already visited the Blue Devils’ campus and is also high on schools such as Florida State, Memphis, UCLA and more

THE PREDICTION: Whitehead took an official to Duke shortly after receiving the offer, and returns on the trip seem overwhelmingly positive. Things seem to be moving quickly between the parties. So while future visits could change things, this battle is starting to seem like the Blue Devils’ to lose. My recent FutureCast reflects just that.

*****

5. MARVEL ALLEN 

Marvel Allen
Marvel Allen (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

THE LATEST: It’s early for a 2023 prospect, but Allen currently lists offers from Miami, Virginia Tech, LSU and others. His list of options isn’t nearly as long as it will be next month, and things with his recruitment will change multiple times between now and the day he commits. That’s all to say that making a prediction about the guard’s landing place at this juncture is a bit insane. I’m also a bit insane, however, so that works out.

THE PREDICTION: It’s early. And this is going out on a limb based on nothing but a hunch, but the way the in-state programs are prioritizing Allen is going to make extracting him from Florida quite a task. Florida State and Florida are both expected to offer and be major players until the end. The Florida-born five-star seems open to the possibility of either. The Gators were the first school to contact Allen when the contact period began, and FSU remains intrigued by his skill set. My way-too-early guess is Allen plays college ball in Florida … somewhere.