Three-Point Play: Cliff Omaruyi, Colin Smith, upcoming commits
Cliff Omoruyi cut his college list to a final five earlier this week and his commitment could be the key to any of his finalists season next year. In this week’s Three-Point Play, we examine his suitors, the national recruitment of Colin Smith, and upcoming commitments.
1. OMORUYI HOLDS THE KEYS
We broke the news on Monday that Cliff Omoruyi had narrowed his school list to a final five. While he is rated as just the 55th best prospect in the 2020 class, Omoruyi could hold the keys to the season for each of his finalists, even blueblood Kentucky.
Five remain -- Arizona State, Auburn, Kentucky, Rutgers and UConn. This could be the first Arizona State-Kentucky-Rutgers recruiting battle. For the Sun Devils, they leaped into the favorite’s category earlier this fall thanks to the hiring of Rasheen Davis. The former UMass assistant has a great rapport with Omoruyi and while distance could play a factor, don’t underestimate ASU’s chances.
Auburn is the lone program to have already hosted him. Assistant coach, Ira Bowman, thanks to his time in the northeast prior to his hiring at Auburn, developed solid in-roads with Omoruyi and his family. Austin Wiley will graduate this spring, but the Tigers could seemingly improve its interior defense with the four-star.
Rutgers and UConn have remained headliners for Omoruyi for over a year and no one may have invested more into his recruitment than the Scarlet Knights. Assistant coach Brandin Knight has done a tremendous job in his recruiting efforts and its success this season has definitely intrigued Omoruyi, along with the in-state appeal.
Lastly, Kentucky, who sits with the top class in America, has checked all of the boxes except one: notching a true center that can protect the basket and rebound. They haven’t enrolled such a figure since Nick Richards and with him likely gone for the NBA, Omoruyi could be the deciding factor for how far the Wildcats go next year and if John Calipari is finally forced to go the small ball route.
2. COLIN SMITH GOES NATIONAL
Harrison Ingram is really good. He is deserving of all of the attention he receives. But don’t underestimate his teammate on St. Mark’s, Colin Smith. The top-50 forward has had a strong sophomore campaign and has shown great progress with his all-around skill set while remaining a multi-positional prospect.
The class of 2022 in the state of Texas is more than promising and Smith is one of the select few leading the charge. His recruitment has already been a high-major affair for over a year. Florida State, Georgetown, Memphis, Purdue and Texas A&M have placed a heavy priority upon him and just a few weeks ago, Kansas’ Bill Self was in attendance for him.
Smith is now working on a handful of visits. He has already visited Baylor and TCU, two others that have kept close tabs on him, and will take two trips in the coming weeks. On Feb. 1, Stanford, a school that his sister will play volleyball at beginning in the fall, will host the four-star, before he heads to Michigan on Feb. 8.
Smith is someone that can defend up to three positions, make shots, handle and defend. Thanks to these traits alone, along with the upside that he showcases and tremendous grades in the classroom, Smith may lead one of the more prioritized recruitments on the national platform over the next two years.
3. COMMITMENTS AHEAD
It has been a slow few weeks on the commitment front, but that is about to change. Well, actually it already did thanks to Wednesday night’s commitment from Benedict Mathurin. The Canadian forward has the chance to immediately impact Arizona’s program next year and so will a few others that have scheduled their college decisions.
On Friday, Jalen Terry will come off of the board for the second time. The former Michigan State commit took official visits to Louisville, LSU and Oregon following his decommitment earlier this fall. All signs point towards the Ducks beginning its 2020 class with the top-50 talent.
One of the few programs that have made up ground on the recruiting trail this winter could add again. Jace Howard, the oldest son of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard, is ready to end his recruitment on Monday. Plenty of Ivy League suitors have piqued his interests but the three-star could be the next to become a member of the fourth-ranked class in America.
Still some time away, Zion Harmon will complete his official visit tour to Kansas next weekend. Last weekend, he visited Seton Hall, and has also been to the campuses at Louisville, Maryland and Western Kentucky in recent months. His plan is to commit on his birthday, Mar. 12. WKU gained most of the chatter up until this point and there is a solid chance that he reclassifies into the 2020 class.
Lastly, a commitment could be made any day now by Frank Anselem. The four-star junior has taken official visits to Arizona, LSU and Nebraska. The Tigers have garnered most of the talk of late with Anselem who is all but likely to reclassify into the 2020 class, too.