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Rivals Roundtable: 2024 rankings, five-stars, Cason Wallace

Each week, analysts Rob Cassidy, Dan McDonald and Jamie Shaw discuss three topics from the world of basketball recruiting. Today, the trip breaks down unpredictable recruitments and a five-star’s impending decision. The guys also take a look ahead to the class of 2024.


Fact or Fiction: Kentucky will land a super class

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150



1. Rivals will release a top 30 for the class of 2024 in October. Which player in that class will you personally be pushing for?

Johnuel Fland
Johnuel Fland (

Cassidy: I’ll go a bit outside the projected top five or 10 here and talk about how intrigued I am by Johnuel Fland. The New York-based prospect comes with every tool it takes to be special. The sophomore is already all of 6-foot-3 and can score at all three levels. His length lends itself to defensive versatility and he rebounds decently for his size. He’s a sure bet to see his name on the initial list, and his upside is that of a McDonald's All-American.

McDonald: Jayden Williams from Georgia is one of the most gifted prospects I’ve seen here in the Peach State in recent years. Beyond being super talented at 6-foot-9, he keeps getting better every time I see him. He reminds me a lot of Jabari Smith at the same age in that he has a similar body type, skill level, and the same type of steady upward trajectory. He’s an elite rim protector that keeps getting more confident offensively each time out. He can score on the block or from three-point range. He’ll be a hot commodity before long with high-major programs all over the country.

Shaw: The 2024 class is an exciting one for the region I live in, with a lot of potential high level talent along the Eastern Seaboard. The player I have been most impressed with, to this point, is Montverde's Derik Queen. Queen played last year at Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances and this summer with Team Thrill (Md.) UAA 15s. Early returns out of Montverde are very positive. Queen stands as a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward, who is comfortable handling the ball and creating offense. He has natural touch and hands on the block, but also can push the break and deliver pin point passes, or get to the rim and finish through or around contact. There is a lot to like about Queen, and it is easy to see why Montverde is so excited about his future.


2. Which uncommitted five-star in the class of 2022 do you see as having the most unpredictable recruitment? 

Yohan Traore
Yohan Traore (Nick Lucero/

Cassidy: Yohan Traore could pack a surprise or two, as nothing seems set in stone as it relates to his recruitment. Pro options will be in play for the French import, while Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Michigan and UCLA all seem like serious players. Usually the visits tell the tale, but Traore has been tight-lipped about which programs he intends to tour this fall.

McDonald: Julian Phillips has had a very intriguing recruiting process to date and the move to Link Year Prep for his senior year only adds to it. Clemson, Florida State and LSU already hosted him on official visits and all three have been rumored to be in a good spot for the five-star small forward. But the remaining seven schools in his top 10, which includes Alabama, Florida, Kansas, LSU, Tennessee, USC and Virginia, can all make a case for landing him as well. It’ll be very interesting to see which schools receive his remaining official visits.

Shaw: I think all of them hold a sense of mystery with the G-League and, more recently, Overtime Elite looming. However, the two players I have had a hard time getting a good read on are Yohan Traore and Julian Phillips. Both prospects have put out top 10 lists, and both are relatively tight-lipped when it comes to their recruiting process. Phillips recently transferred from Columbia (S.C.) Blythewood High to Branson (Mo.) Link Year Academy and Traore recently transferred from Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep to Phoenix (Ariz.) Dream City Christian. Both prospects can be program changers at any of the schools listed, but I just have not been able to get a feel yet.


3. Five-star guard Cason Wallace is set to announce on Nov. 7. Where do you see him landing and why?

Cason Wallace
Cason Wallace (

Cassidy: This one seems like Kentucky's to lose. And while nothing is ever a sure thing in recruiting, I’d bet a steak dinner or two the Wildcats land Cason Wallace when he announces his pledge. That said, there’s a lot of time between now and November, so who knows? As things stand, however, UK fans should be optimistic to say the least.

McDonald: I’ll take Kentucky to win out for the five-star shooting guard out of Texas. It’s tough to count out Chris Beard in any recruitment of a top Texas prospect now that he’s in Austin, and Tennessee has made a dent here too with an early official visit, but I like Kentucky to win out. The Wildcats set the bar this past weekend with a great official visit and that momentum should be enough to get them to the finish line in November.

Shaw: Kentucky. There was a time when Tennessee led the charge here, however I think this one has been locked in to Big Blue Nation since the offer became official in July. It sounds like things even got stronger on his recent visit to Lexington.