Making the Case: Five-star shooting guard Josh Christopher
There are talents and then there are talents who people are drawn to. Five-star Joshua Christopher is one who commands attention.
The still unsigned shooting guard at Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair, who currently ranks No. 11 overall in the class of 2020, is wanted by coaches for his explosive ability to score. Online, he has become an icon and influencer on social media because of his personality and unique style.
Arizona State, Michigan, Missouri and UCLA are left on his list but the Bruins appear to be on the outside looking in. With that in mind, we went to the experts from across the Rivals.com network to make the case for why Christopher may select the school they cover.
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2022 Rankings: Top 75
THE CASE FOR ARIZONA STATE
"There's no denying that ASU signing his older brother Caleb Christopher to the team was a tactical move that the Sun Devils hope would yield the expected dividends and I believe it will.
"But aside from that obvious factor when you look at a prospect that is a virtual guarantee to be a one-and-done player, you would think that his family would want to see him in-person in as many games as possible and Arizona State is the only school on his short list that offers that opportunity while still allowing him to spread his wings not playing in his backyard.
Both Josh Christopher and his parents have been to numerous games in Tempe, and it stands to reason that Josh was not only there to see his brother play but also because he does enjoy being around the program as often as he has been. When facing a pandemic such as the one all of us are experiencing these days one would think that keeping the family close together would be of highest priority if it wasn't already previously.
"The opportunity to play with a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in Remy Martin, as well as another five-star prospect, Marcus Bagley, and yes playing college basketball with his brother even it is for just one year, are all aspects which I believe put Arizona State as the leader for Josh Christopher's services." -- Hod Rabino, ASUDevils.com
THE CASE FOR MICHIGAN
"First-year Michigan coach Juwan Howard’s first offer went out to Christopher last fall, and the relationship has continued to grow. The Wolverines have a huge void at the shooting guard/playmaker positions, and Christopher is well aware he’s going to have the ball in his hands plenty if he chooses to come to Ann Arbor.
"One other thing that’s important to him — playing in an offense that suits his talent. His father, Laron, told us recently there’s a lot to like about playing in an NBA style offense, especially for a one-and-done like his son. To be clear, he didn’t hint which way his son might be leaning, indicating the decision was completely up to Josh, but it’s clear Howard’s ties to people at the highest levels of basketball aren’t hurting the Wolverines’ chances." -- Chris Balas, TheWolverine.com
THE CASE FOR MISSOURI
"The sales pitch from Cuonzo Martin is pretty simple: He has to have a guy that can come in and make an instant impact offensively. Missouri struggled to score for much of the season and while Xavier Pinson and Dru Smith did a nice job down the stretch, the Tigers need a scorer on the wing. Christopher is the prototype for what Martin needs to add in this class. His cousin is the strength coach in Columbia so there would be familiarity despite moving so far from home. Christopher has been the top target on Missouri's board for 2020 for quite some time now and the class really rides on getting him. If they don't, Mizzou will have to likely hit the juco ranks and transfer portal and pull a rabbit out of the hat late.
"That said, there hasn't been much momentum at all with the Tigers in the last few months. That all seems to have been with Michigan and Arizona State. Christopher had long planned another visit to CoMo, but obviously those are all on hold right now. If the Tigers can get him back on campus once they're allowed to host visitors again, they might have a fighting chance. If he decides before that time, it would seem Missouri is going to be on the outside looking in." -- Gabe DeArmond, PowerMizzou.com
"Recently, Christopher has been dropping one hint after another that he could be close to making a decision so it wouldn't surprise me if he has an announcement sooner than later.
"When his older brother first committed to Arizona State, I have to say that I thought it was curtains for anybody else trying to land him. His brother on the team, lots of freedom for guards in Bobby Hurley's system and relatively close to home, it just all seemed like too much to overcome.
"Missouri for a while had some momentum and he's got family ties to the Tigers as well. But, without a visit to Columbia this season, it seems tough to see Christopher making his way to Columbia for college.
"When Michigan first jumped in, most (myself included) guffawed some and felt it had little chance. But, the Wolverines plugged away and now seem to be in pretty good condition to add Christopher as the cherry on top of an impressive class in Howard's first year.
"At this point, I favor the Wolverines on this one and I've got my FutureCast with Michigan. I'll say, though, I don't feel like it's a done deal and I do wonder if we all might be sleeping on the Sun Devils a little bit here." -- Eric Bossi, National Basketball Analyst