McDonald's Nuggets: Recruiting calendar, Deivon Smith, more
A positive change in the recruiting calendar was announced last week. We discuss this change, plus an update on four-star point guard Deivon Smith, a visitor to watch and the Commit of the Week.
WHAT’S ON MY MIND: Additional April recruiting weekend is a positive, but not enough
The NCAA and the NABC have taken a lot of grief for the changes to the recruiting calendar over the past couple years, and it has mostly been deserved. However, I’d like to give them both a little credit for making changes after gathering feedback on how the first year of the new calendar ran its course.
The big news that came out last week is that there will be a second recruiting period in April after having only one in 2019. The only time college coaches could be out evaluating prospects with their travel teams in 2019 were the last weekend of April and the one four-day period in July. That wasn’t enough. So, the NCAA decided to add another one in 2020.
That’s a great start, but more needs to be done. The reason I say that is because a lot of schools are scrambling to finish off their recruiting classes with transfers or available seniors at that time. That means there is a good chance your favorite team’s coaches could be hosting an official visit on either or both of those weekends, as opposed to being out evaluating prospects in the upcoming classes.
It would have been a whole lot more efficient to give that weekend back to coaches in July when they are more focused on the upcoming senior class as opposed to putting the finishing touches on the current class. Hopefully, another weekend in July is the next step in this process.
RECRUITING NOTE: Deivon Smith update
Deivon Smith became a hot commodity during his junior season at Grayson High School, and his stock only rose this summer playing for the Atlanta Celtics. He racked up offers from all over the country, and he’s starting to trim down that list and take his official visits.
Louisville took the first shot at him in early September, followed by a trip to NC State the next weekend. He heads to Mississippi State this weekend, with Miami getting him on campus next weekend. Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss are some of the other schools still in the mix for him.
Cross NC State off the list of likely landing spots, as the Wolfpack took a commitment from Cam Hayes. Beyond that, the other three schools getting official visits should all be considered legitimate threats to sign Smith in November. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise for him to take a fifth official visit, but an educated guess would be chooses from the schools who have already scheduled visits or hosted him already.
VISITOR TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND: Caleb Love heads to Chapel Hill
There will be a lot of North Carolina fans hitting the refresh button on their computers this weekend checking for recruiting updates. A pair of five-star prospects, Caleb Love and Walker Kessler, head to campus and both appear to working toward a decision in the not-too-distant future.
Love’s visit will certainly be one of the more important visits of the weekend nationally. The Tar Heels had a huge recruiting win in the 2019 class by reeling in Cole Anthony, but it’s all but a guarantee he’ll only be around for a year, which means Roy Williams needs a replacement in the 2020 class. Love is a perfect fit at North Carolina, as he’s a terrific passer in the transition game who can also score.
Louisville, Kansas and Missouri are the other contenders for Love’s signature. It should also be noted that another reason Love’s visit is so important is it could help the Tar Heels beat out Duke for Walker Kessler. The five-star big man from Georgia is keeping a close eye on the point guard situation at each school. Duke has Jeremy Roach committed, while UNC - as we discussed - needs to find a replacement for Anthony for the 2020-21 season.
COMMIT OF THE WEEK: Terrence Clarke to Kentucky
Kentucky has wasted no time putting together a terrific 2020 recruiting class that currently ranks No. 1 overall. The most recent addition was Terrence Clarke, who has an argument for being the top prospect in all of high school basketball right now. He’s 6-foot-7 with a well-rounded overall game and he has a killer mindset like Kobe Bryant. He’s a sure-fire top 3 pick in the NBA Draft when he comes out in 2021, and he’ll dominate college basketball in the meantime. Enjoy him while you have him, Kentucky fans. He’ll be one of the best you have seen in John Calipari’s tenure.