McDonald's Nuggets: Daishen Nix, Georgia, Oklahoma, Utah
Dan McDonald is back with his weekend primer, McDonald's Nuggets. This week’s edition includes thoughts on Daishen Nix's commitment to UCLA, important visits at Georgia and Oklahoma, and the commit of the week.
BOSSI'S BEST: Risers in the class of 2021
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
WHAT’S ON MY MIND: The impact of Daishen Nix to UCLA
When I saw the news of Daishen Nix committing to UCLA, two thoughts went through my mind pretty quickly. The first was, “Didn’t he just cut his list to five yesterday?” The other thought was, “Wow, that’s a big-time get for Mick Cronin and his staff!”
I’m ready to take it a step further than it being a great addition for the Bruins. I’m going to call it the most impactful commitment to date in the 2020 class. There are prospects ranked higher than Nix to that have made verbal commitments already, but I don’t think any will change their college team in the year (or possibly two) they are on campus as much as Nix.
Remember when Lonzo Ball came to UCLA and made a huge impact in just one year by elevating the play of all his teammates? I think Nix will have a very similar career in Westwood. He has a lot of the same traits as Ball, but I have also seen Deron Williams used as a comparison for Nix and that makes sense to me as well. He’s an elite passer with great size for the position and he’s a more than capable scorer.
For Cronin to land a prospect like Nix in his first full recruiting cycle, that has to make the UCLA administration and the fan base feel much better about the new staff after what many consider a debacle of a coaching search.
RECRUITING NOTE: Big couple days for Tom Crean
Tom Crean is no stranger to highly-ranked recruiting classes going back to his time at Indiana, but he surprised a lot of people by putting together the No. 5 overall class in his first full cycle at Georgia, which included the No. 3 overall prospect Anthony Edwards. With the talent that will be available to him in his state every year, it’s entirely possible that becomes close to the new norm for the Bulldogs. This could be a big weekend for Georgia’s chances of keeping the recruiting success going as they host a pair of top in-state prospects for visits.
On Friday, the Bulldogs host in-state point guard Bruce Thornton Jr., who I believe will be one of the top floor generals in the 2022 class nationally. The Bulldogs offered earlier this summer and he’s also added offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Tulane, Vanderbilt and Xavier recently. Georgia has a pretty nice advantage going into this recruitment. His father, Bruce Thornton Sr., played football at Georgia before playing a couple years in the NFL, while his mother, Tiaunna Briggans, played basketball for the Bulldogs.
On Saturday, four-star shooting guard Kowacie Reeves Jr. will be in Athens for a visit. His stock has steadily been on the rise this travel season as he comes in at No. 64 in the 2021 Rivals150. The 6-foot-5 wing has great athleticism and is one of the better shooters in the Southeast in the 2021 class. He’s collected several high-major offers, but appears to be focused on Florida, Georgia and Stanford right now.
VISITOR TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND: Bryce Thompson’s trip to Oklahoma
Lon Kruger has a really important weekend coming up as well. He’s getting what could be his final shot to host five-star guard Bryce Thompson on a visit and convince him to pick the Sooners instead of leaving the state for Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan State or North Carolina.
Oklahoma will also need to fend off in-state rival Oklahoma State and the potential for him to pair up with Cade Cunningham in Stillwater. Kruger and his staff have won this type of battle before as you may remember the excitement Trae Young brought to Norman just a couple years ago when he decided to stay home for college. The Sooners do have Thompson's high school and travel ball teammate, Trey Phipps, committed and he’ll be in town as well trying to get his friend to join him at Oklahoma. Let’s keep an eye on this visit.
COMMITMENT OF THE WEEK: Caleb Lohner to Utah
How about the job Larry Krystkowiak and his staff have done so far in the 2020 class? The addition of four-star forward Caleb Lohner on Wednesday gives the Utes a third commitment in the fold already and the program’s second four-star prospect in the class. I’m a big fan of this fit for Utah.
Lohner is the ideal stretch four in today’s college game because he can stretch the defense with his shot, he’s competent putting the ball on the floor situationally and he won’t be overwhelmed by the position defensively or on the boards. He’s going to have a great career in my opinion and likely be a part of a class that wins a lot of games in the Pac-12.