Three-Point Play: Kentucky, Marcus Bagley, 2023 standouts
Today in the Three-Point-Play National Analyst Eric Bossi says that a favorite may be emerging to land 2020’s top class. Also included are a look at Arizona State’s newest commit and some incoming freshmen made waves at USA Basketball’s mini-camp.
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
1. KENTUCKY RETURNING TO NO. 1 IN 2020?
For the last three years, John Calipari and Kentucky have only finished No. 2 in the team recruiting rankings – behind Duke in 2017 and 2018 and Memphis in 2019. Amazingly enough, some have even suggested that it is a sign that Calipari has lost his recruiting touch. Stop laughing at that thought long enough to look ahead to what might be coming in 2020, the Wildcats could be on track to move up a spot this year.
They made their first score over the weekend when five-star shooting guard B.J. Boston announced his commitment to the Wildcats during his official visit. The lanky scorer who has transferred to Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon for his senior year is just the tip of the iceberg if you ask me.
On the wing alone, the Wildcats are also in prime position to compete for commitments from Jalen Green and Josh Christopher. Top-40 small forward Cam’Ron Fletcher has a visit set up for Aug. 1 and the word is that Boston’s commitment won’t deter him at all and the Wildcats are gaining momentum there.
In the frontcourt, five-star Isaiah Todd is planning a visit and seems to like Kentucky a bit. We spent much of July wondering why bluebloods hadn’t gone all in on standout power forward Lance Ware and over the weekend he picked up an offer from UK and the Wildcats appear to be a big favorite there. Five-star Scottie Barnes is still in play and Calipari always seems to pull some type of rabbit out of his hat with big guys.
The biggest question may be at point guard where Sharife Cooper – who appears to be an Auburn lean – is the only known offer. Don’t be surprised if the Wildcats elect to offer Caleb Love after evaluating him more at USA Basketball and, if they do, they could make the race for his services quite interesting as well.
Duke, North Carolina and some others also appear to be on the verge of big classes but if I had to pick a favorite today to eventually finish with 2020’s top class, I’m going with Kentucky.
2. MARCUS BAGLEY IS A FINE ADDITION FOR ARIZONA STATE
Our entire staff – particularly Dan McDonald who predicted this way back in April – had felt good about Arizona State’s chances to land top-50 wing Marcus Bagley for a while and the Sun Devils completed the task on Monday. So, what type of player is Bobby Hurley and his staff getting?
A really good one. A really good one with lots of upside.
A legitimate 6-foot-7 with a solid frame, Bagley is a versatile wing who has some inside out game. He’s not a flashy ball handler, but gets where he needs to be with the ball. He rebound well, has nice potential as a deep jump shooter and because of his size he is more than big enough to play some small ball four in a fast and athletic lineup.
The younger brother of current Sacramento King – and former No. 2 player in the country – Marvin Bagley III is a heck of a way to start off their 2020 class.
3. FRESHMEN TO BE HOLD THEIR OWN AT USA BASKETBALL
For my entire 20 year career in the recruiting/scouting industry I’ve held pretty steadfast to a rule that I don’t watch players until they reach high school. There have been maybe three or four exceptions to the rule but I have also run across many in their pre-high school years because they are playing up with high school age players. That was the case over the weekend at USA Basketball’s mini-camp where I got my first look at 2023 guards Jaylen Curry, Chris Lockett Jr., DaJuan Wagner Jr. and forward Omaha Biliew. I have to say, they far exceeded my expectation and I’m looking forward to watching their potential development into big-time prospects.
A speedy floor general from North Carolina, I was impressed by Curry’s poise and his willingness to play with zero fear against players as much as four years older than him. As for Lockett, I wrote about him over the weekend and was taken by his ability to be a physical guard and his overall athleticism. Wagner is the son of one of my all-time favorite players to watch as a high schooler and the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree when it comes to scoring and being aggressive offensively. As for Biliew, he’s got terrific size already, has some skill facing the basket and was able to compete with bigger and older players physically.
All four of these guys look to be well on their way to high level recruitments and consideration for the national rankings when that time comes in another year or so.