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Rivals Roundtable: Predictions for 2022

The calendar has turned to 2022, and the year that was left a massive imprint on the college basketball world. This week in the roundtable, Rob Cassidy, Jamie Shaw and Dan McDonald take a look back at 2021 and look ahead to what’s to come in 2002.


2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40




Coach K and Jon Scheyer
Coach K and Jon Scheyer (Associated Press)

Cassidy: What Duke has been able to do in a transitional year is incredible and underscores the value of big brands in the NIL era. Usually there is a short period of uncertainty following the retirement of a generational coach. That has not been the case here, as the Blue Devils have assembled the top class in the country. The fact that they have convinced four five-stars to sign with first-year head coach Jon Scheyer is remarkable and speaks to the brand the program has built, a brand even bigger than Mike Krzyzewski. The list of schools that could pull off this kind of feat is extremely short.

McDonald: Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because of the brand that is Duke basketball, but I’m a little surprised by how effective Jon Scheyer has been on the recruiting trail since the news of Coach K’s upcoming retirement. He has a terrific 2022 class signed with arguably the top two post players committed in Kyle Filipowski and Dereck Lively, plus five-star wing Dariq Whitehead who is in the mix for No. 1 overall. The Blue Devils also already have a pair of highly ranked 2023 commitments in Caleb Foster and Sean Stewart. I’ve been surprised at just how well that transition seems to be going.

Shaw: The impact of Overtime Elite (OTE). At the calendar's turn, we knew OTE would exist, but we did not have many answers. As the year wore on, we continued to hear of more and more players who signed to play with them. It started with Top 20 2023 prospects, Matt and Ryan Bewley. Amen and Ausar Thompson, who were in the conversation to bump into five-star range, followed suit. Jazian Gortman, Dominick Barlow, Bryce Griggs, Bryson Warren; in all 27 players joined the professional ranks through the Overtime Elite program. Over the 12 months that was 2021, this was the biggest surprise for me in recruiting.



DJ Wagner
DJ Wagner (

Cassidy: We’ve barely started discussing the top spot in 2023 because DJ Wagner looked so dominant for so long , but I feel like that gap is narrowing. GG Jackson is making a case to push Wagner at the top of the rankings, and guys like Mackenzie Mgbako and Marquis Cook are also lying in the weeds. I feel like the discussion’s overture is just now starting, and the conversation has staying power … .especially if we start to see reclassifications down the road.

McDonald: I’d say the next four or five months will be very interesting to see where things end up with the top spot in the 2022 class. That spot could go a few different directions with Shaedon Sharpe leaving the class to go to Kentucky early. Kyle Filipowski would probably be my choice today, but I’m not locked in on that opinion, and I get the sense Jamie and Rob both could be swayed in different directions over the next few months too.

Shaw: The five-star cut line for the 2023 class will be a big point of conversation. Typically we like to go into the 20s; right now, the line is between 21 and 22. For this class, I am not convinced there are 20 five-stars, and with Bryson Warren already leaving and the conversation of others classifying into 2022, I am not sure there will be 15 at the end of the day. As the year progresses, the biggest conversations we will have will center around this topic.



Cassidy: The rich are going to continue to get richer when it comes to roster construction. Be it high school recruiting or the transfer portal, money talks more than ever. The difference in NIL opportunities at bluebloods and near-bluebloods compared to that of less brand-name programs is simply too vast to allow smaller schools to regularly compete for top-flight talent. The gap between the haves and the have-nots will only expand. Whether or not that will translate to more on-court success is up for debate because coaching and chemistry still play a part. When it comes to landing talent, however, the playing field has never been more skewed.

McDonald: This upcoming off-season will be even crazier than last year with the transfer portal. There will still be kids choosing to do the super senior year at a different school that will be highly sought after. There will be those that don’t think they are getting enough NIL money at their current spot and want to see if there is a chance to make more somewhere else. And lastly, I think it could be a really busy coaching carousel with quite a few high-major jobs opening up leading to tons of transfers. Buckle up!

Shaw: We will have multiple players currently in 2023’s Top 25 who will re-classify to the 2022 class. The way the recruiting landscape is slanting, there is a lot of talk about the transfer portal, and rightfully so. There will be some power programs that will zig while so many others are zagging. While everyone is looking into the transfer portal and fighting over the same players, why not jump into the 2023 class and get a top 25 talent when no one else is looking?