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{{ timeAgo('2017-11-07 08:07:30 -0600') }} basketball

Plenty of drama still to unfold as signing period nears

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Zion Williamson

The early signing period for the class of 2018 begins tomorrow. So far, 118 members of the Rivals150 for the senior class have come off the board. However, there are still some big-time decisions left to be made that are certain to come with some drama. For others, the drama has already passed.

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DRAMA STILL TO COME


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We don’t yet know where Williamson, the No. 2 player in the class, will go to school. We don’t yet know when he plans to announce a decision -- or if he will just wait until the spring. Because of his wild popularity, Williamson’s recruitment will be among the most closely watched and highly scrutinized from here on out and that alone will create plenty of drama.

Langford is the top ranked shooting guard in the senior class and the most heavily touted guard from the state of Indiana since Eric Gordon in the class of 2007. Indiana has a first-year coach in Archie Miller who is looking to make a big statement by landing the big-time scorer. Needless to say there is pressure on Langford to stay in state, but he’s no lock for the Hoosiers with Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Vanderbilt all still pushing. Like Williamson, Langford isn’t even set on when he’ll make his choice.

On the surface, the recruitment of Shittu looks like it should be pretty much out of the drama stages. He’s down to a final two of Vanderbilt and North Carolina and after taking a visit to Vanderbilt earlier in the Fall is scheduled to visit Chapel Hill this weekend. However, Shittu has always said that he doesn’t plan to sign early and there’s a really good chance that he sticks to that plan. If the signing period comes and goes without a decision from him, the hand wringing from Commodore and Tar Heels fans will begin in earnest.

Like Williamson and Langford above, the hand wringing or “drama” with Grimes is just as much about when he’ll announce as it is the pick he’ll eventually make. At the moment, Kansas appears to be leading Texas with his other finalists Kentucky and Marquette still in the mix. Obviously, Bill Self and the Jayhawks would love to get him done ASAP and have him join a class that currently ranks No. 1 heading into Signing Day. Texas is also involved in a dogfight for five-star Keldon Johnson and would love to get either him or Grimes to put an exclamation point on an already strong class. History tells us Kentucky is going to add somebody elite to go along with committed five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, while Marquette is hoping to pull off a major coup.

Speaking of Kentucky, John Calipari and an assistant went in to see Brown on Sunday and now an already interesting recruitment just got a whole lot more interesting. The leader heading into signing week has to be considered Maryland and Brown has seen the Terps. He’s also been out to UCLA, Florida State and Louisville (who is out). His decision date is still up in the air as well, but Kentucky is trying to get him in on a visit. Can Mark Turgeon and the Terrapins get him to commit and sign early? Does Calipari convince Brown to visit Lexington? It’s going to be an interesting week for the seven-footer.

NO MORE DRAMA

The nation’s top player still has to actually pick between his finalists of Duke, Kentucky and Oregon. But, the visits are done and an announcement is set for six o’clock Friday night on his home country of Canada’s TSN. The current feel is that Duke is the team to beat.

Bol is the son of former NBA player Manute Bol and is down to a final pair of Kentucky and Oregon. Oregon has emerged as the heavy favorite here and Kentucky’s late movement to get involved with Moses Brown is a pretty good indicator that they don’t like their chances with the super talented seven-footer. Now, it’s just a matter of Bol actually making his announcement. He hasn’t put a time on it, but we expect it to be at some point this week.

Thanks to a great summer, Little rose from fringe top 50 prospect to one of the nation’s elite players. On the recruiting front, his name got caught up in the federal investigation into college corruption and many feel that the arrest of Arizona assistant Emmanuel Richardson cost the Wildcats Little’s commitment. Interestingly enough, Little told Rivals.com early in his recruitment that North Carolina was his dream school and though the route may not have been traditional, he is ending up there.

For most of Dotson’s recruitment, Kansas was considered the healthy leader. Then, Florida began to make things real interesting before getting commitments from five-star Andrew Nembhard and four-star Noah Locke and Maryland made a last ditch effort to try and sway him. In the end, Dotson picked the favored Jayhawks and things will come to a completion when he signs his letter of intent on Saturday while playing in the Phenom Hoops National Showcase.

The most important recruit for new Illinois head coach Brad Underwood was Dosunmu and he and his staff beat out Wake Forest for his services. In this case, the real drama didn’t start until after his commitment, when the Illini chased after four-star wing Talen Horton-Tucker. Long story short, Illinois ended up having to choose between Dosunmu and Horton-Tucker and chose to watch Horton-Tucker go to Iowa State so that they could retain Dosunmu. Dosunmu is planning to sign on Wednesday.

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