Starting Five: Oregon's increased profile, Notre Dame gets one early
After the late additions of five-star N'Faly Dante and four-star Addison Patterson, Oregon's profile is as strong as it has ever been. Notre Dame gets an early pledge from 2021, a look at Eugene Brown and more in this week's edition of Eric Bossi's Starting Five.
1. OREGON'S PROFILE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH
What a week it was for Oregon as Dana Altman and his staff closed out their 2019 recruiting by adding five-star big man N'Faly Dante and four-star wing Addison Patterson and getting them both to reclassify from the class of 2020.
Just a week ago, the Ducks class ranked No. 17 overall in 2019, now they've flown all the way up to No. 3 overall and that's after landing 2018's No. 4 ranked class. Eugene has become a hot spot for talent and it doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.
The bottom line here is that the Ducks' profile on the recruiting trail has never been higher and it's time to consider them one of the country's hottest destinations and a threat in the recruitment of any player.
Class of 2020 five-star Scottie Barnes is probably the biggest name player to keep an eye on from the current senior class but I wouldn't bet against them landing another big class.
2. NOTRE DAME GETS ONE EARLY
Mike Brey and Notre Dame don't yet have a commitment from the class of 2020 -- and that's after taking no commitments in 2019 -- but they are on the board for the class of 2021.
Local wing JR Konieczny committed to the Irish on Sunday and he's a nice start to their efforts in what is looking like a strong 2021 class in Indiana.
A potential Rivals150 member when we update our rankings in September, Konieczny impressed me during July with his combination of size and ability to stretch defenses with his jump shooting. He gets the ball of quick, he is skilled and looking at him, he's still got a ways to go in terms of filling out, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him grow a bit more before he makes his way to campus.
3. EUGENE BROWN COULD END UP A STEAL
At the end of the day, somebody is going to land themselves a guy with huge upside in four-star wing Eugene Brown from Georgia.
When I last saw him in June, the athletic small forward with three-point range looked on the verge of seeing his recruitment explode. But, he was injured during July and because schools haven't really gotten a good chance to evaluate him, his recruitment didn't quite take off like I thought it would.
Now, don't get me wrong, Brown's final list of Butler, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Ohio State and Texas A&M is plenty impressive. He has already visited Butler officially and plans to again and the hope is to complete official visits to his other finalists by early fall.
Whoever gets him is potentially getting one of the bigger steals in the class of 2020. With a college weight program and repetition, he could develop into a premier college three-and-D guy.
I don't know that I would call anybody the favorite for Brown just yet, but I would keep a close eye on Georgia Tech here. The Jackets haven't landed as much local talent as hoped under Josh Pastner, but they've been plugging away and with Brown they have as good a chance as they have ever had with a local star. If they can land him, he would be their first Rivals150 player from Georgia since Josh Okogie in 2016.
4. ADJUSTING THE 2020 RIVALS150
Because of the previously mentioned N'Faly Dante and Addison Patterson's moves to the class of 2019, we've had to make a few tweaks to the Rivals150. We'll fully update the rankings in early September, but we have made some recent moves.
Most notably, Tennessee commit Keon Johnson moved up to five-star status at No. 17 overall. Lance Ware also made a big move as the power forward jumped from No. 52 to No. 34 overall. The move of Joe Bamisile into the top 50 has given Virginia Tech a top 10 class in 2020 to this point.
Maybe the biggest winner so far is Jordan Geronimo. The athletic wing with a dangerous jump shot has gone from unranked to four-star status and No. 74 nationally over the last week. Also making their way in as ranked three-star prospects are wings Mwani Wilkinson and Kerwin Walton.
5. IMPRESSIVE STARTS ON OVERSEAS TRIPS
One of my favorite ways to pass time between the end of summer basketball and the start of the college season is by keeping tabs on how highly rated freshmen who are able to take overseas trip with their college programs do.
Now, exactly what level of competition these guys are facing is a bit of a question mark and it's not like I'm watching every minute, but Texas Tech's Jahmius Ramsey, USC's Onyeka Okongwu, Memphis' class as a whole and Washington's Isaiah Stewart have all caught my attention.
Thanks to a monster senior season, Ramsey rose to five-star status during our final update to the 2019 Rivals150 and that move looks to have been well deserved. Texas Tech has a lot of production to replace this year, but he looks up to the task and gave a glimpse into a big-time future by going for 44 during a game in the Red Raiders' Bahamas trip.
When the rosters for the McDonald's All-America game were released last spring, one of the biggest snubs was Okongwu. An elite level shot-blocker in high school, Okongwu still looks like a big-time defensive player but his scoring and efficiency during the Trojans' tour of Spain. With fellow five-star freshman Isaiah Mobley (who did make the McD's game) out, Okongwu was a reliable low post scoring option and went for 20 plus points in multiple games. He looks ready to produce right away in the Pac-12.
Memphis' No. 1 ranked 2019 recruiting haul made their debut over the weekend in the Bahamas with three wins. Well, some of them did at least. The Tigers were without their two most-celebrated freshmen in 2019's No. 1 player James Wiseman and five-star power forward Precious Achiuwa, but it was no problem as four-stars D.J. Jeffries, Boogie Ellis, Lester Quinones and Damion Baugh all picked up the slack. Jeffries looks physically ready and can be just as much help on the glass as he will be as a scorer. Ellis and Quinones look to be every bit as good as advertised as jump shooters and Baugh is an exciting guard who can play anywhere in the backcourt. The locals in Memphis are already going wild over this group and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing them at full strength.
Finally, Washington is still over in Italy, but Stewart has been every bit as dominant as expected. The chiseled big man is averaging almost 22 a game through three contests and while fellow five-star freshman Jaden McDaniels stayed home for personal reasons, Stewart has been more than enough. Stewart could be in the mix for Pac-12 player of the year during what will likely be his only season in Seattle.