Rivals Roundtable: 2025 prospects, sleeper teams, predictions
Each Week, Rivals.com’s trio of national analysts field questions related to college hoops and college hoops recruiting. In this installment, Rob Cassidy, Jamie Shaw and Dan McDonald, discuss up-and-coming prospects, which teams are being disrespected in preseason polls and log commitment predictions for uncommitted seniors.
Fact or Fiction: Oklahoma will make the NCAA Tournament this season
2023 Rankings: Rivals150
1. The 2024 top 40 has just been released, but let’s look even further ahead. Which 2025 prospect that you’ve encountered has piqued your interest most?
Cassidy: I live just a few miles away from Miami Columbus High, where Carlos Boozer’s twin sons, Cameron and Cayden, will play their high school ball. Both seem like locks to be elite-level recruits. Cameron, who projects as a long, powerful forward in the mold of his father, is probably the more promising prospect at this point but both have a chance to be major national recruits. This should excite Duke fans to no end, as the Blue Devils obviously will be granted an inside track of sorts in the twins’ recruitments.
McDonald: I haven’t seen a ton of freshmen I feel comfortable labeling as a high-major prospect, but Bryson Tiller out of Atlanta is one of them. The 6-foot-8 forward is a really good athlete and pretty skilled too. He played up on the Atlanta Xpress 17-under team this summer and will be getting coached by one of the best high school coaches in the country in Sharman White at Pace Academy. Auburn and Georgia already offered. I feel confident saying they will be far from the last ones to come in.
Shaw: With Cassidy talking about Cameron Boozer, and my sample size of Koa Peat being too small, I will jump over to Jamier Jones. The high-flying wing out of Florida plays high above the rim, especially in transition. As the 6-foot-5 wing showed at CP3 Rising Stars camp this year, he is also a better passer than many give him credit for. He will be a viral darling and it will be interesting to see if he continues to progress his skill set, but the early returns are certainly there.
2. Conference media days are in the books and preseason polls have been released. Which school do you think is being undervalued in the polls?
Cassidy: I’ll run back my answer from a year ago at this time and go with Florida State … again. The Seminoles have their trademark length (including three 7-footers) and senior leaders in Anthony Polite and Malik Osborne. They also found some firepower via the transfer portal. I also think, at least nationally, some people are still selling freshman Matthew Cleveland short when it comes to the impact he’ll have in year one. We’ll see, but FSU seems like a good bet to finish well above 20th nationally.
McDonald: Auburn coming in at No. 22 in the AP poll feels a little low to me. I know the Tigers are coming off a little bit of a down season after taking a self-imposed postseason ban, but I expect them to bounce back in a big way this year. Adding Wendell Green Jr., KD Johnson and Walker Kessler in the transfer portal helps in a big way and five-star freshman forward Jabari Smith should be one of the top newcomers in the sport nationally. Allen Flanigan is a returning All-SEC caliber player. I trust Bruce Pearl to have this team finishing towards the top of the SEC and potentially inside the top 10 at season’s end.
Shaw: While there are a few teams I think were voted too high, for the undervalued question I have to look at Houston being ranked below Memphis. I get the hype surrounding Memphis, but Houston is the team that will win the American. They return Marcus Sasser who averaged 13.7 points last season. Watch for the development of former Rivals150 Tramon Mark. With the additions of Kyler Edwards, Taze Moore and Josh Carlton and returning Reggie Chaney and Fabian White, Jr. all of a sudden this Houston team has depth - even with losing Quentin Grimes and Dejon Jerreau to pro ball.
3. The early signing period is fast approaching. Predict an uncommitted prospect’s landing spot.
Cassidy: Let’s go with Adem Bona to UCLA. This is a bit of a risky pick because I truly believe this recruitment isn’t over despite the Bruins getting the last visit. John Calipari doesn’t often just give up down the stretch when it comes to a priority target, so this thing could turn on a dime. That said, everything I’ve been hearing for the last two weeks or so has favored UCLA. I’ll continue to stick my neck out here and rock with Mick Cronin despite Kentucky lying in the weeds.
McDonald: I’ll take Anthony Black to eventually land at Oklahoma State. In my most recent conversation with the five-star guard, he mentioned that he sees himself as a similar player to Cade Cunningham and liked how Mike Boynton let him play last season in Stillwater. The Pokes have had a ton of success over the years recruiting in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Before long, I think you’ll see Black on Oklahoma State’s commitment list.
Shaw: I will say Dillon Mitchell to Texas. The high-flying wing has been a long time lean to Florida State, even with Ohio State having some early optimism. However, after Mitchell took his official visit last weekend, Chris Beard has seemingly locked this one in. It is a good positional fit as Beard has had a lot of prior success with Mitchell’s archetype. Add Mitchell to 2022’s No. 1 point guard Arterio Morris and this class is coming together nicely for the Longhorns.