Rivals Roundtable: In-state targets, hard-to-read prospects and more
The Rivals.com crew of Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald is back for another recruiting roundtable. This week, they discuss most important in state targets, tough to read recruitments and who may be next to pop
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
1. Which remaining 2020 player is most important for a program to keep in state?
Bossi: It’s got to be Adam Miller for Illinois. Not only is he an in-state kid who plays in a city, Chicago, that should be vital to the Illini’s success, Miller is originally from Peoria a city that the Illini used to have a strong pipeline into. Add in strong ties to the Mac Irvin Fire summer team and the fact that a high-scoring combo guard like Miller is likely going to be their biggest need (assuming star sophomore Ayo Dosunmu goes pro) then you have the definition of a must-get recruit.
Evans: Bryce Thompson for Oklahoma State. It might be an outside-the-box selection, but hang with me here. The Cowboys will likely only land Thompson if they also celebrate the commitment of top-ranked guard Cade Cunningham. They have discussed the idea of playing together in college, so this is not just a pipedream. Rather, Oklahoma State, if it were to land Thompson, would more than likely have Cunningham either already committed, or soon to commit.so, chances are, OSU will land both or neither.
If both pledge, it goes without saying that the Cowboys are immediate must-see television next year and be penciled in among the early Final Four contenders for the 2020-2021 season.
McDonald: I'm going with Isaiah Jackson for Michigan State. The Spartans already have his summer teammate from Detroit-based The Family, four-star point guard Jalen Terry, committed for the 2020 class. Jackson would be a great addition for Tom Izzo to patrol the paint until he moves on for the NBA. I love his length, athleticism and skill level. He could be a star in East Lansing.
2. Which top 50 player's recruitment remains the hardest to read?
Williams recruitment was pretty cut and dry for a while and it looked like it was headed towards an either/or type decision between North Carolina and Stanford. Now, I don’t know. Arizona, Duke and maybe even the local schools like UCLA and USC have muddied things up a bit and Williams recruitment has become very difficult to read. It seems like most of the main players feel like they’ve got a great shot.
As for Garcia, the skilled forward from Minnesota has given absolutely zero hints into what he might be thinking. Could he stay local at Minnesota? Could early work done by a Texas or Purdue work out in their favor? Does he go the blue blood route with a Kansas or a North Carolina. Or, does he do something else. Nobody seems to have any clue, least of all the coaches chasing him.
Evans: Earl Timberlake. Who the heck knows what this dude is thinking!? That is not just my two cents but also what the seven programs that make up his final school list feel today. He originally visited Providence and South Carolina during his junior year, has visits scheduled for Alabama, Miami and Pitt for the coming weeks, and is also working on dates for North Carolina and Seton Hall.
I can promise you this -- no one has a great feel or understanding of where they sit within his recruitment. The Gamecocks have taken on most of the talk in recent months but even that is difficult to be deemed credible. His five official visits this fall will likely define where he ends up but my guess is that we will not really know which way he is leaning until he makes his college decision.
McDonald: Caleb Love's recruitment seems to have some conflicting opinions around it. I've heard Louisville chatter for him, but there are also some saying North Carolina could be in the driver's seat. Could Kansas be in a little deeper than most think? They'll get the last shot at him on a visit assuming he makes it that far. Love's recruitment will be interesting to follow when he visits those three schools.
3. Who will be the next top 50 player to commit and where is he headed?
Bossi: That’s a tough one because we are going to be hitting at least a two or three week lull on the recruiting trail before things start to pick up again in mid-September when prospects start getting visits under their belts. But, if I had to pick one guy, I’ll take Puff Johnson and Arizona.
I don’t want to rule out anybody else, particularly North Carolina where his brother Cameron Johnson had so much success. But, Johnson is now going to high school in the Phoenix area, his brother was picked by the Suns and he has an official visit set for Tucson the weekend of Sept. 22. That seems to be a lot going in the favor of Sean Miller and the Wildcats.
McDonald: It feels like Cooper has been on commitment watch with Auburn for quite some time now, but I've been told he plans to wait it out and won't be deciding any time soon. I'll flip to another point guard here in Georgia and that's Deivon Smith. Keep an eye on his visit to Louisville on Sept. 6. I wouldn't be shocked if he pops for the Cardinals if all goes well.