Three-Point Play: Prospect empowerment, early commits, Micah Peavy
In today’s edition of the Three-Point Play, National Basketball Analyst Corey Evans takes a look at potential professional and reclassification candidates, outlines the fast-forwarded commitment timelines thanks to a new recruiting regulation, and dishes the latest on four-star Micah Peavy.
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
1. PROSPECT EMPOWERMENT IS HERE
Five years ago, the biggest splash a high school prospect could make was with their college commitment. Welcome to a new day, as the country's top high school talent has taken a page from their professional counterparts and begun forging their own path ahead instead of playing college basketball.
No longer are prospects content to simply spend four years in high school and then one year in college before beginning their professional careers. Instead, reclassifying and/or signing a professional contact, both avenues recently taken by R.J. Hampton by signing a contact with the NZ Breakers, have become real pathways for some of the nation’s best.
The 2020 class is a fairly good one but 2021 standouts Terrence Clarke, Paolo Banchero, Jon Kuminga, Cam Hayes, Devin Askew and Javonte Brown could add to the group as potential reclassification candidates.
Speaking of the 2020 class, Makur Maker, Isaiah Todd and Kyree Walker have been talked about as potential professional signees. Rumors continue to swirl that Walker will sign a deal any day now with a Chinese franchise or take part in the new G-League initiative this winter.
High school prospects are empowered by these options, and this could ultimately force the hand of NBA commissioner Adam Silver and end the one-and-done rule.
2. EARLIER COMMITMENTS COULD BE THE NORM
Changes were implemented last year that no longer allow freshmen to take unofficial visits but it did allow for juniors to take official visits once their academic school year began. Now that such regulations have been in place for a full year, it looks as if these changes have led to earlier-than-usual commitments.
On Sept. 1 last year, just 31 members of the final Rivals150 was committed. This year? Things are a bit different as 49 members of the Rivas150 have already decided on their college home. Sure, this could be just a random occurrence and things could balance out next year but it could also be a sign for things to come.
B.J. Boston, Keon Johnson and Dalen Terry, for example, took official visits throughout their junior year and have made college commitments. Would they still be available if not for the new recruiting regulations? We will never know, but it would behoove programs that are sold on a particular recruit to get them onto their campus as soon as possible which could pay off in the long run.
Therefore, whenever news breaks that Paolo Banchero, Devin Askew, Cam Hayes, Harrison Ingram, Isa Silva and Benny Williams are taking official visits, though some could reclassify, take note. These are not just random trips for the prospect but a chance for the host program to get a leg up and kick-start its 2021 class in a big way.
3. CHANGE OF PLANS FOR PEAVY
If you have followed our coverage of Micah Peavy, you know all about Texas Tech and its pursuit of the top-40 forward. The Red Raiders have been the perceived favorite for the past two years thanks to Chris Beard’s connection with his father, who was coached by Beard at Incarnate Ward. Peavy will be on Texas Tech’s campus this weekend on an official visit, but a commitment remains nowhere near.
While Texas Tech will be attempting to close things down with their top target, Peavy’s intent is to remain uncommitted and see how things play out during the college season for his top suitors. Speaking of which, Peavy will head to Florida on Sept. 6, and then visit TCU during the weekend of Sept. 13.
An official visit was set for Texas during the weekend of September 20 but due to a scheduling conflict, his trip to Austin has been postponed for a later date. Oregon could receive a visit, too, but Peavy could also might hang onto his remaining official visits and take them during the college season leading to an April signing.
The feeling earlier this year was that Peavy would be Texas Tech-bound and sign in November. Now that we know he will wait until the spring to decide, the question is whether Beard can hold off a surging field of suitors, or if Florida, TCU or a wildcard might steal him away.