When it comes to recruiting, it's become pretty safe to expect that Duke and Kentucky are going to put together monster classes on a yearly basis. Other big name programs such as Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina and UCLA are typically going to do really well, too. So, in 2018, which non-power programs have the potential to surprise with their recruiting results? As usual, National Basketball Analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans have Rival Views.
BOSSI'S VIEW: LSU
You never quite know what to expect when a coach makes the leap from the mid- to high-major level. But, things seem to be going pretty well for Will Wade since he left VCU for LSU. He and his staff picked up a terrific late addition to the 2017 class in top 40 point guard Tremont Waters. In 2018, they immediately landed their top in state prospect in top 30 guard Javonte Smart. From the looks of it they are far from done. LSU is currently the overwhelming favorite to pull five-star big man Nazreon Reid out of the state of New Jersey. Just he and Smart alone would be a great class. In addition to Reid, LSU is also heavily in the mix for five-star big man Emmitt Willliams, four-star big men Josh LeBlanc and Jaedon LeDee, four-star combo forward Darius Days and four-star wing Kaden Archie just to name a few. Add any of those guys to Reid and Smart and it would be a first class that exceeds any expectations that anybody could have set for Wade and his staff during their first year in Baton Rouge.
EVANS' VIEW: OREGON
Since the hiring of Dana Altman, the Ducks have not had much issue luring top talent to Eugene. It should be noted that even with the work that they have done, credit must also be given to the program's skill development and playing style, all of which had made Oregon one of the winningest and consistent programs in America.
Over the past four years, Oregon has been a contending force for elite, five-star prospects. This year should not be any different. They already notched the commitment of top 60 big man Miles Norris and a number of others are expected to join him on campus next fall.
Oregon is in a great spot with Louis King and Luguentz Dort, two top 50 recruits that will visit the Pac-12 program this weekend. The Ducks are the favorite for each and a commitment from either of the two would not be a giant surprise.
The Ducks have also picked up major traction in the recruitment of five-star power forward Emmitt Williams. Just like with Dort and King, Oregon should be seen as a likely landing spot. Toss in the fact that they remain in contention for top-ranked wing R.J. Barrett along with five-star big men Simisola Shittu and Jordan Brown, and Oregon will be the biggest winners of the fall.