Rivals Roundtable: Looking ahead to July live period
The busiest time in high school basketball recruiting is just around the corner. Today, the Rivals.com recruiting crew tackles questions related to what's ahead in July.
1. Which prospect will be under the microscope the most during July?
Eric Bossi: Whenever he takes the floor, all eyes are usually on 2018's No. 2 player Zion Williamson. He's a social media sensation, mixtape king and a heck of a competitor to go along with being very talented. But, after missing much of the spring with an injury the pressure will be on Williamson to show up and prove that he has the type of skill that comes close to matching his mind-boggling explosiveness. Compounding this is that others such as Bol Bol, Cameron Reddish and Romeo Langford all have legitimate claims to that No. 2 spot – since as far as I'm concerned Marvin Bagley III is untouchable at No. 1 – and for that reason Williamson is really going to have to produce.
Corey Evans: This seems like the same story as last year where Quentin Grimes burst onto the scenes as a blueblood, top-25 prospect. Heading into his senior summer, Grimes has become a priority for some of the top programs nationwide. Seeing that he is someone that can play the 1 or the 2, has all of the talent in the world, and there is due to be some point guard misses in the coming weeks, the eyes placed on Grimes will be limitless. If he can show some toughness and consistent play, the Basketball University star has the chance to pick from the best of the best, that being Duke, Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Kentucky, Texas A&M and many others.
Krysten Peek: I'm going to go with 2018 center Moses Brown. He was good in the spring but not great when I watched him play. At 7 foot, I expect a lot more dominance from him on the floor and it just wasn't happening. In comparison, Bol Bol has completely transformed his game, so I think coaches are hoping to see more from Brown during the July live period.
2. Fast forward a month and predict what the biggest headline of July will have been.
Eric Bossi: To piggyback off of the previous question, I see the debate over who the second-best player in the rising senior class is turning into a huge debate and something that will be a big story during the month of July. As I mentioned, Zion Williamson is currently No. 2 and he's likely going to hold that spot when we update rankings next week. However, his hold on the No. 2 spot is tenuous at best and with lots of high-level events in front of coaches coming in July. I think the debate about who checks in at No. 2 behind Marvin Bagley III is going to turn into a major headline.
Corey Evans: Coming out of July, we will be talking about the emergence of Nassir Little. Yes, he has already become a priority recruit for the top SEC and ACC programs and yes, Kansas offered last week, but in a month, Little will be on every school's radar. The 6-foot-7 Little is a hard-playing, athletic and improving small forward that fits the mold of a versatile, multi-positional prospect that has become the rage. His rate of progression has been impressive where he has shown no signs of stopping any time soon.
Krysten Peek: Not a lot of prospects like to commit prior to the fall but I expect five-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly to commit sometime in the next month. When I talked to him a couple weeks ago, he had an official to Arizona scheduled and took an unofficial to Virginia while attending the NBPA Top 100 camp. He still wants to get to Stanford and UCLA for a visit and has been to Villanova and Seton Hall a couple times already. A lot of people think Villanova is the team to beat but I think Quinerly will settle on one of the Pac-12 schools in the end.
3. Who is a prospect not many high-major programs are familiar with right now, but will be in a month?
Eric Bossi: I'm going to go with West Coast combo guard Logan Johnson. The younger brother of Miami Heat shooting guard Tyler Johnson, he's athletic, can get to the rim, defends on the ball and can really create in transition. Some Pac-12 programs have been keeping tabs but the high majors haven't really gone all in on him just yet. Given his athleticism, competitive spirit and how he seems to be on the same track as his older brother – who went underrecruited before committing to Fresno State – I'd have a real hard time passing on this kid at many high majors.
Corey Evans: Bryan Penn-Johnson created some noise during the camp circuit this past month but once the college coaches begin to get a better feel for him in July, things could soar. The 7-footer boasts a 7-foot-7 wingspan, a 9-foot-7 standing reach and bigger hands than Kawhi Leonard. Throw in the fact that the West Coast recruit has family ties in New York and Atlanta and that anyone would love to get Penn-Johnson, and things could explode into a national level recruitment.
Krysten Peek: Class of 2018 forward Josh LeBlanc is ranked just inside the Rivals150 but he stood out to me a couple weeks ago at NBPA Top 100 Camp. He's a long guard and is aggressive on the boards. A lot of programs will like his speed in transition and how he finishes at the rim. Right now LeBlanc holds offers from LSU, TCU, Texas A&M, Georgetown and Cincinnati but it wouldn't surprise me to see more big-name programs get involved in the end.