Recruiting Rumor Mill: Buzz surrounding some top 2024 prospects
Prospects in the class of 2023 are flying off the board. But while the seniors get most of the headlines, the recruitments of several 2024 prospects are also starting to take shape.
This week in the Recruiting Rumor Mill, Rivals recruiting director Rob Cassidy takes a look at some buzz surrounding in-demand juniors.
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BOOGIE FLAND MAKING VISIT PLANS
As we reported over the weekend, five-star guard Johnuel “Boogie” Fland has scheduled his first official visit, a trip to North Carolina that is set to take place on Oct. 28. And while Fland is miles away from a decision about his college future, the New York-based star’s trip to Chapel Hill feels important because the Tar Heels have long been appealing to Fland and his family.
Next could be a visit to Virginia Tech, a trip for which Fland has not yet settled on a date, but buzz indicates that it could come soon. Fland holds offers from major programs that span the country, so reading too much into junior-year visits is probably a bit dangerous as a long list of schools, including multiple bluebloods, project to figure into his decision.
That said, both UNC and VaTech seem to be players in the early going.
HOUSTON FEELS LIKE THE TEAM TO BEAT FOR DEDAN THOMAS JR.
Nevada-based point guard Dedan Thomas Jr. recently released a final six comprised of UCLA, Florida, Houston, Arizona, Gonzaga and UNLV. Thomas will take his visits and weigh his options, obviously, but Houston feels like the team to beat for the time being following the four-star’s visit to campus on Oct. 1.
Gonzaga seems like the most formidable challenger to the Cougars as things stand now, and Thomas is scheduled to take an official visit to Spokane on Nov. 5, which is definitely an event worth monitoring.
Thomas, who has considered reclassifying to 2023, will also visit Arizona on Oct. 28, and he also plans to tour UCLA and Florida at yet-to-be-determined dates. So, while Houston may feel like it’s in the driver’s seat for now, there could be a long way to go between now and decision day for Thomas, whose recruitment will likely stretch into next year. Still, his decision to trim his list at such an early date will definitely add more fuel to reclassification rumors, no matter where the talented guard lands.
ARIZONA WORTH WATCHING IN REGARDS TO CARTER BRYANT
Arizona may have an uphill battle on its hands when it comes to Dedan Thomas, but the Wildcats have reason to feel a bit more optimistic when it comes to five-star forward Carter Bryant, the No. 8 prospect in the 2024 class.
The Wildcats have long prioritized Bryant, as head coach Tommy Lloyd has taken the lead in the Newport Coast (Calif.) Sage Hill High School star’s recruitment. The entire staff dropped by to see Thomas when coaches were permitted to hit the road last month and the bond between Bryant and the Wildcats has grown even stronger since. He visited Tucson over the weekend, and U of A’s momentum in his recruitment seems to grow by the week.
KANSAS OFFER COULD BE SIGN OF THINGS TO COME FOR DERIK QUEEN
Now standing 6-foot-10, the Maryland native has also slimmed down over the past few months, leaving him quicker and leaner after dropping nearly 15 pounds. The fact that he’s added an inch of length and dropped some bad weight may have played into Kansas’ interest, and new offers may continue to arrive for Queen as he plays his junior season at Florida’s famed Montverde Academy.
Maryland and Indiana are seen as the most heavily involved parties when it comes to Queen’s recruitment as things stand, but it feels like another wave of offers could arrive in the coming year for the reshaped big man, who will play a major role for a heavily scouted Montverde team this winter.