Ranking the Contenders: Four-star forward TJ Power
The No. 60 prospect in the 2023 class, TJ Power recently released a top five made up of Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa and Boston College. This top five isn’t your normal predictable formality, however.
The absence of Notre Dame is a bit surprising, as the Irish were once seen as one of the frontrunners to land the versatile forward. Nobody has a firm grasp on where Power is headed as things stand. In fact, we here at Rivals don’t yet have the intel to feel confident making a FutureCast as Power himself seems to be sorting out the pecking order in his head.
Nevertheless, the buzz around Power’s impending decision is growing, so why not attempt to sort through the noise, based on logic, whispers and vibes? It may be a race too close to call, but it’s certainly not too close to analyze. Below, we rank Power’s final five schools in order of their likelihood to land his pledge.
RELATED: Power cuts his list to five
2023 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position
2024 Rankings: Top 125
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Duke tops this list for a couple different reasons. First, Power’s reaction to the offer brought on a break from his usually even-keel demeanor. The four-star forward is normally reserved and measured when discussing his recruitment but called the moment “surreal” before diving into how he grew up watching Duke play.
His actions support those words, as Power essentially rushed to visit Durham following this year’s Peach Jam. There seems to be a sense of urgency when it comes to his relationship with the program, which is oftentimes an indicator.
Add in the fact that new head coach Jon Scheyer and company haven’t made a habit of missing on priority targets since taking over the program, and the Blue Devils seem like a decent enough bet to win out.
There’s something to be said about Iowa’s ability to survive the onslaught of blueblood interest that took hold of Power’s recruitment this summer. He visited campus back in October and has stayed in close contact with the staff since.
In a recent interview with Rivals’ Travis Graf, Power made sure to point out the fact that his relationship with Fran McCafffey was older and stronger than his bond with the other coaches recruiting him. Even in the era of NIL, relationships matter. The rapport the Hawkeyes staff has built with the 6-foot-10 forward makes Iowa a serious contender.
3. NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Heels offer the same sort of winning culture, prestige and national exposure that Power can find at Duke. What could set UNC apart is the fact that its commitment list isn’t quite as crowded. Duke boasts a pair of 6-foot-8 forwards in its 2023 class. North Carolina, on the other hand, has yet to land a frontcourt prospect.
Power feels as though the style of play in Chapel Hill suits him well and he doesn't have to squint to see a road to the NBA should he choose UNC.
The Cavaliers present an interesting option for Power, who says he’s intrigued by the way the program develops players and the emphasis it places on defense. Head coach Tony Bennett has personally handled Power’s recruitment, which has put UVA solidly in the mix and allowed the Cavaliers to break into the forward’s top five in place of Notre Dame, which many saw as one of the frontrunners.
5. BOSTON COLLEGE
Boston College seems like a dark horse of sorts, but it’s never wise to count out the in-state school completely – even if it seems like a courtesy mention. Power seems legitimately intrigued by the pitch he’s received from head coach Earl Grant and feels confident in the direction of the program. It would be a bit of a shocker if Power chooses the Eagles but stranger things have happened.