Basketball Recruiting - Three-Point Play: FutureCast picks, Cole Anthony, Kendall Brown
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Three-Point Play: FutureCast picks, Cole Anthony, Kendall Brown

We are getting closer to the end of the high school season and only a few big-timers remain in the class of 2020. In today’s edition of the Three-Point Play, national analyst Eric Bossi discusses his FutureCast picks for remaining five-stars. Also, the return of Cole Anthony and five-star Kendall Brown sets an official visit.

Rivals Roundtable: Coach of Year, unsung freshmen, top HS players

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75


FUTURECAST PICKS ON AVAILABLE FIVE-STARS

Jalen Green
Jalen Green (https://rivals.com)

There are currently five uncommitted five-star prospects in the class of 2020. No. 2 Jalen Green, No. 6 Ziaire Williams, No. 8 Greg Brown, No. 11 Josh Christopher and No. 17 Makur Maker. In looking at their profiles, I realized that I had only made a FutureCast prediction for Christopher. So, it’s time to explain my latest round of picks for these potential college and NBA stars. For now, I’m holding off on a Maker pick since he’s hoping to enter the NBA Draft.

I’ll start with Green, the most explosive scorer in the country. A native of Fresno, Calif. who has thrived during his senior year at Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep, I’m going with Memphis. The Tigers have been there all along and seem to be in a good spot.

Next on the list is Williams, who returned to form after sitting the early part of the season at Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon due to transfer rules. A McDonald’s All-American like Green, Brown and Christopher, Williams has long looked like he will stay on the West Coast. Arizona, Stanford and USC have the best shot right now but if he does end up visiting Oregon, maybe the Ducks can make a run. There’s been no shortage of chatter about what the skilled wing scorer may do but as of today I feel he picks the option that keeps him closest to home and for that reason I’ve logged a pick of USC ,where he would join fellow SoCal five-star Evan Mobley.

A native of Austin who has played all four years of high school at Vandergrift High, Brown has long been the top target of Shaka Smart and Texas. He also seemed like a pretty fair bet to stay home. But, the winds of change are swirling and the more I hear about Memphis the more I like their chances with the 6-foot-8 pogo stick of a combo forward.

Finally, there is Christopher. Even six months ago I would have considered the thought of him leaving the West Coast to be crazy. The tough scorer at Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair has always represented the West and L.A. as hard as possible. Also, with Arizona State taking his brother Caleb Christopher last year, I figured Tempe would be about as far away from L.A. as he would get. Now, I’m not so sure. I’ve heard an awful lot of good about Michigan and Juwan Howard, so I’ve switched my prediction from the Sun Devils to the Wolverines.

THE COLE ANTHONY CONUNDRUM

Cole Anthony
Cole Anthony (AP Images)

I’ve been doing this a long time and should know better when it comes to trash talk on message boards and social media. But, sometimes I can’t help myself. Reading people being hyper critical of North Carolina’s Cole Anthony in his first two games since returning from injury.

Prior to Saturday’s loss to Boston College, the five-star freshman point guard hadn’t played since Dec. 8 while he recovered from a knee injury. In his return after an 11-game layoff, Anthony had 26 points, five rebounds and three assists in a one-point heartbreaker. He also threw up a badly missed shot on the Heels' muddled final possession of the game. On Monday at Florida State, Anthony went just 5-for-22 from the field and the pointed criticism started flowing in even though he's only been back for two games.

Some of it is warranted and Anthony has no doubt forced some things. He shouldn't be above fair critique. But, the conundrum here is that he should also be getting credit for coming back from injury instead of shutting things down.

Barring a major turnaround, there’s not going to be an NCAA Tournament for North Carolina this season and Anthony is almost assuredly headed off to the NBA Draft. Who would have blamed him for electing to rest and recover while prepping for the Draft? James Wiseman passed on riding out his suspension at Memphis and we are seeing more and more football players bail out on bowl games to preserve their health. I don’t blame them for looking out for themselves. But at the same time, we always say we want guys that will compete, so that needs to be taken into account when judging Anthony.

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BROWN SETS ANOTHER OFFICIAL VISIT

Kendall Brown
Kendall Brown (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Five-star wing Kendall Brown has locked in an official visit to Ohio State for the weekend of Feb. 22. The Buckeyes first offered back in December.

A native of Minnesota, the 6-foot-7 wing has been flourishing this season at Bel Aire (Kan.) Sunrise Christian. He defends, he finishes in transition, he handles well and he’s improved enough as a jump shooter to rise all the way to No. 14 overall in the 2021 class.

The visit to Ohio State will be his second official visit after he tripped to Marquette in October. Brown has also been to Kansas for three unofficial visits this season and has additional offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Creighton, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland, Milwaukee, Nebraska, St. Louis, Texas, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.