Three-Point Play: July exposure, uncertain offseason, Tyrese Hunter
In today's Three-Point Play, Rivals basketball analyst Corey Evans explores what the summer and fall months could look like for high school prospects, explains why an extended draft process makes for an even murkier college offseason and dishes the latest on four-star junior Tyrese Hunter.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
1. LACK OF JULY EXPOSURE WILL HURT 2021 CLASS
It's been a significant week for the 2021 summer travel basketball season. The NCAA canceled its four regional July camps on Tuesday, and followed that up on Wednesday by extending its moratorium on in-person recruiting through the month of June.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches, led by organization president TCU coach Jamie Dixon, actually advocated for stronger action earlier in the week by recommending the recruiting dead period remain in place through the end of July.
Either way, the longer the dead period lasts, the harsher the impact will be on the 2021 basketball class. In its recommendation, the NABC raised the possibility of "alternative evaluation opportunities" as a way to help the rising senior class.
What might those alternative evaluation opportunities look like? Could it be a period or two in August where, instead of sitting elbow-to-elbow in gyms, college coaches are able to stream travel games online? Maybe recruiting will temporarily revert to how it was 20 years ago and allows for unlimited days on the road evaluating prospects at their local high school open gyms, fall leagues and so forth? Remember, the NCAA and the Rice Commission did their best to pull away power from the travel coaches and give it back to the high school coaches. In a sense, this ongoing pandemic could give the NCAA just another reason to take more control away from the travel circuits.
In the end, though, it will be difficult to make up for all of the opportunities that the 2021 class will miss out. No spring breakouts have been able to emerge, no top-100 prospects will evolve into blueblood targets and many deserving prospects will slip through the cracks.
2. DRAFT UNCERTAINTY MAKES FOR HAZY COLLEGE OFFSEASON
While the 2020 NBA Draft remains scheduled for June 25, it isn't a stretch to think that it will eventually be pushed back to later in the summer. Now, a lot depends on the currently postponed season and if it can actually be completed, but the likelihood is that the draft won't take place in June.
On Wednesday, the NCAA pushed back its withdrawal deadline, originally scheduled for June 3, indefinitely. This is, of course, the right decision but it makes for an even more difficult offseason for coaches planning for next season and beyond.
In a perfect, non-pandemic world, Scott Drew would know in three weeks if MaCio Teague or Jared Butler would be back in Waco, Will Wade would have known about the future of Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford, and Mark Few would have gained clarity about Joel Ayayi, Filip Petrusev and Corey Kispert. Now, those players, coaches and programs will essentially be in limbo until later this summer.
In the meantime, predicting how good Baylor will be, what the Big 12 race looks like or next year’s national title picture is rather difficult until all the dust settles on the most unique offseason ever.
3. HUNTER IS A TOP TARGET
The point guard depth in the 2021 class is not promising, which makes it crucially important that programs strike early this fall if they need a playmaking agent on the court. One of the best available, Rivals150 standout Tyrese Hunter, has become a hot topic of late.
Hunter is in no rush to make his college decision and plans to enjoy the recruiting process as much as he can during these uncertain times. The expectation is that he will not commit until the fall, at the earliest. Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Louisville, Marquette and Virginia Tech are among those that have invested the most into his recruitment.
He has visited Louisville unofficially but is hoping to take all of his official visits before coming to a final decision.