{{ timeAgo('2019-08-26 07:11:21 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Starting Five: Most intriguing recruitments

Josh Christopher
Josh Christopher (Jon Lopez/Nike)

This week in the Starting Five, a look at five of the most intriguing high level recruitments, like that of shooting guard Josh Christopher.

National Analyst Eric Bossi assesses the competition, looks at the fit and makes early predictions.

1. ZIAIRE WILLIAMS

Contenders: Arizona, Duke, North Carolina, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and USC.

Analysis: One of the most skilled scorers in the country, Williams is looking more and more like a legitimate candidate to be a one-and-done prospect, so his stay in college isn't looking like it will be long. During the winter, it seemed to be cut and dry that Williams would end up at either Stanford or UNC but things have gotten much more complicated.

Early prediction: At the end of the summer I heard a lot of talk that Williams will be really tough to pull of the West Coast and not to sleep on Arizona. UNC still has a great chance and the Duke offer could change things. I'm still going give a slight edge to Stanford because of the early relationship it built, but it is in for a major fight.

2. JOSH CHRISTOPHER

Contenders: Arizona State, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and UCLA.

Analysis: Explosive, strong and tough, Christopher is one of the better one-on-one scorers in the senior class and he may be able to play both on and off the ball in college. His brother is a freshman at Arizona State and his cousin is the strength coach at Missouri. Christopher also shares a close friendship with UCLA's Shareef O'Neal. He'll do his visits throughout the year and doesn't appear to be in any hurry to make a decision.

Early prediction: My current futurecast is for Arizona State because of the chance to play with his brother. But, from everything I've been hearing lately, I may have to look into making a change to Kentucky.

3. BRYCE THOMPSON

Contenders: Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and others.

Analysis: A smooth shooter from deep who is also an outstanding passer, he'll be a versatile guard in college. Thompson is another who has ties to multiple schools recruiting him in that his father Rod was coached by KU's Bill Self and UNC's Steve Robinson during his college days.

Early prediction: The general thought that this one will ultimately come down to Kansas and North Carolina, but Thompson did see what staying home at OU did for Trae Young and Mike Boynton is generating buzz at OSU. All that said, I'm leaning to Kansas for now.

4. WALKER KESSLER

Contenders: Auburn, California, Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan and North Carolina.

Analysis: Kessler is a seven-footer who can stretch the floor with his jump shooting and he has low post game to go with it. It already feels like his recruitment has had several changes of course and that he's leaned to multiple schools at one time or another. Kessler visits Michigan this weekend, Duke the next weekend, North Carolina on Sept. 20 and Gonzaga on Oct. 4.

Early prediction: Auburn made a big run at Kessler during the summer and it's currently got my futurecast. But, a buzz is starting to build around Duke and it is definitely one to watch.

5. CALEB LOVE

Contenders: Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Missouri and North Carolina.

Analysis: Love currently sits just outside of five-star range (and there's a strong chance that he will move into five-star territory next week) and is an explosive combo guard who can really score off the dribble. He's got back-to-back-to-back to back weekend official visits set to Mizzou, IU, UNC and Louisville during September and hits Kansas the second weekend of October.

Early prediction: Louisville has done a great job early and is in good standing but for now I'm going with Love's other ACC finalist, North Carolina, as his eventual choice.