Rivals Roundtable: Where will Efton Reid end up?
Each week, national recruiting analysts Rob Cassidy, Dan McDonald, Russ Wood and Jamie Shaw tackle several topics about college basketball and hoops recruiting. In this installment of the roundtable, the crew discusses Efton Reid’s landing spot, biggest surprises of the cycle and which recent commitment will have the most impact on the 2021-22 season.
2023 Rankings: Top 30
1. AFTER AN 11TH-HOUR COMMITMENT POSTPONEMENT, WHERE DO YOU THINK EFTON REID WILL EVENTUALLY LAND?
Cassidy: I think it was LSU that made a late move and ultimately caused Efton Reid to push back his decision. I know Florida State was in the mix, but it feels like the Tigers, Seminoles and Pitt are the three most likely landing spots as things stand now. Will this change again before the 7-footer makes a choice? Probably, as nothing has ever seemed certain as it relates to this recruitment. Never bet against Will Wade, though.
McDonald: This has been the most fascinating recruitment in a while for me. It’s pretty rare for a top recruit to be nearing a decision and nobody seems to have a good idea of where he’s going. He’s kept an incredible poker face during the recruiting process. I’ll go out on a limb here and predict he ends up at Florida State.
Shaw: Florida State or LSU. In what came into the week as an Ohio State and Pittsburgh battle, Florida State and LSU both provided Reid some cause for pause. Florida State came into Thursday as the odds on favorite and Leonard Hamilton is laser focused on this one, and when Ham gets laser focused he is tough to beat. I have been told throughout this process that Reid vibes with Will Wade as a kindred spirit, so the late push from Wade was well received. I honestly do not think Reid knows where he is going as of this writing, but I do believe it will be between these two... or maybe a school that comes up between now and the actual decision day... or maybe a pro league, or well actually who knows?
Wood: I don’t think you can ever count LSU and Will Wade out but I’m anticipating Reid will be wearing the Garnet and Gold of the Florida State Seminoles. I just wish I had some credible info to support that anticipation. Reid and his mom have done a spectacular job of not telling anyone where he is going. From what I gather that is largely due to Reid just wasn’t ready to make a decision on April 15. He has good options but one of those options has a pretty good track record of getting 7-footers better and putting them in the first round of the NBA Draft.
2. WHICH RECENT COMMITMENT DO YOU THINK WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON THE 2021-22 SEASON?
Cassidy: I’m really high on Jonas Aidoo and the rare skillset he brings. He’s one of the more explosive bigs in the country and has the skill to impact SEC games on both ends of the floor from day one. Bigs with Aidoo’s well-rounded profile are rare in the college game.
McDonald: I like what Texas Tech transfer Nimari Burnett and Furman transfer Noah Gurley bring to Alabama. The Crimson Tide will have to replace a lot of production from this season’s talented group, but a strong recruiting class with talented transfers like Burnett and Gurley give them a chance to run it back as SEC champs. Burnett’s scoring punch in the backcourt will help replace the loss of John Petty and potentially Jaden Shackelford, while Gurley can fill some of what Herb Jones did this season.
Shaw: Drew Timme. His commitment to either stay in school or stay in the NBA draft will have the biggest impact on the 2021-22 season. If Timme comes back he would be a front-runner for National Player of the Year and he would be the presumed running mate of Chet Holmgren with Anton Watson and Kaden Perry also in the mix. Without Timme, that frontcourt thins out real quick. Timme coming back to Gonzaga puts them squarely in the mix for a No. 1 overall ranking to start the year, so I feel Timme's decision will have a huge impact on the 2021-22 college season.
Wood: I’m going with five-star forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. He was the No. 14 prospect in the class of 2022 Rivals150 but has reclassified to join the Tennessee Vols in 2021. He has good size, long arms, is an effective rebounder and has the ball skills to be used in a similar fashion as Florida State used Scottie Barnes.
3. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING COMMITMENT OR DEVELOPMENT OF THE 2021 CYCLE?
Cassidy: Wesley Cardet’s commitment to Samford is certainly up there. Cardet may have seen some of his offers evaporate as spots became filled, but it’s not as though he was without options. It’s always fun to see a talented prospect with options decide to go down the road less traveled, and Cardet did just that. I think the quick and talented slasher will shine in the SoCon.
McDonald: After adding three more prospects in the last couple weeks, including two significant ones this week in Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Jonas Aidoo, Tennessee has followed up its No. 6 overall class in 2020 with the No. 2 class now in the 2021 cycle. That doesn’t even include the addition of Auburn freshman guard Justin Powell through the transfer portal. Rick Barnes, despite losing two valuable assistants to head coaching jobs in the past month, has done a terrific job stockpiling his roster with talent once again.
Shaw: Wesley Cardet. Rarely do we see a Rivals150 prospect commit to a mid-major program. Cardet has a great frame and can do a lot of things on both ends of the floor. Gerald Gillion, brother of Cardet's travel ball coach Kenny Gillion, was the lead recruiter for the SoCon school here as it beat out the likes of Alabama, Illinois, Maryland, Rutgers, St John's and others who offered Cardet along the way. This is one that made quite a splash when it happened, but when you take a step back to look at all the pieces in place, it makes sense.
Wood: Tennessee’s offseason has been very impressive and I really have to give Rick Barnes a head nod of respect. Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer declare for the draft. Kim English (George Mason) and Desmond Oliver (East Tennessee State) leave Knoxville to become head coaches. So, things were looking kind of dingy on Rocky Top. What does Barnes do? He lands four-star center, and former Marquette commit, and Aidoo, then scoops up Huntley-Hatfield. That Bobby Maze connection helped immensely with Huntely-Hatfield.