Three-Point Play: Seniors, coaches forced to make adjustments
What a whirlwind of a week it has been, not just for the college season that was abruptly canceled, but also the newly regulated guidelines for recruitment for the months ahead. In this week’s Three-Point Play, Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans assesses the difficult situations surrounding available senior prospects, the new daily life for college coaches and upcoming decisions for members of the 2020 class.
1. Senior recruits left in limbo
“I don’t know.”
“Yeah, I am not sure.”
Those are just a few of the responses that I have gathered over the past few days when asking prospects that were on the cusp of taking visits and coming to their college decisions, where their mind was at with their respective recruitments.
Take for instance Will Jeffress. My heart goes out to him and his family. Here is someone that made the decision a month ago that he would reclassify into the 2020 class. However, he was in the meat of his high school season and wanted to invest all of his time into it compared to focused some of his attention towards his recruitment; that was for once his playoffs were over.
He never took an official visit but was slated to schedule a handful of those at the end of the month and once his state’s playoffs finished. Now, he is in recruiting purgatory, forced to decide if he wants to commit to a school sight unseen, or attempt to wait things out and hope that the ban on school visits is pulled in time to sign this spring.
The recruiting ban was never going to directly impact Jalen Green, Greg Brown, Ziaire Williams or Cliff Omoruyi, where each has taken all of the visits they may have wanted. Rather, it was Jeffress, Karim Mane, JT Thor, Donovan Williams, and Brandon Murray that are hit the hardest. Each had at least one other visit scheduled and now will likely be forced to make a major decision without having all of the information.
2. The new life of a college coach
We published an article on Monday discussing the new life that a college coach has been confronted with. I must say, it has been rather fascinating to see such a robust industry stop dead in its tracks and really not have much of a sense of what to do.
Yes, creative minds will come together and come up with ways to become more productive more now than if they were on the road recruiting but, in the end, that is exactly where most want to be. The industry is looking for answers.
There are just so many phone calls one can make, so much film one can watch and really, so much scrolling one can do on the Transfer Portal, until the daily grind becomes too monotonous.
Welcome to everyday life, coaches, the ones that they had never known because of their hectic lifestyles. Whether it is washing their cars, organizing their home office, or even attempting a nine-to-five lifestyle, many are seeing the daily life most American lead for the first time.
There were a few ideas I enjoyed hearing, though, like how one coach will break down a number of sets via Synergy regarding defensive breakdowns and also successes; Skype sessions with each of its players by showing clips of NBA stars as to how they manage a certain on-floor situation and what they can take from it; and staff meetings discussing who is leaving their program, roster needs and deciphering what they first need to get better at and also what they thought worked throughout the course of the season.
But, like Tom Izzo told the Detroit Free Press earlier this week, “Maybe it’s time to see what the other side of life is like.”
3. Late available prospects
On Tuesday, Femi Odukale came to an abrupt decision; he was ready to end his recruitment in favor of the Pitt Panthers. I would expect for a handful of other non-ranked but priority seniors to follow a similar trajectory in the coming weeks. No visits can be completed, so all someone can do is educate themselves in the best form possible and come to a concrete decision for which coach they’d like to play for next year.
David N’Guessan could be someone that is on commitment watch. He told Rivals.com earlier in the week that because of the visit ban, he is near his decision. Dayton is hoping to strike magic again at Mt. Zion Prep with its next 6-foot-8 intriguing forward, its most recent being Obi Toppin, but keep an eye on St. Joe’s, VCU and Virginia Tech, too.
A late blooming prospect from the Windy City that is completing his senior year at Compass Prep (Arizona), Seryee Lewis isn’t too far behind N’Guessan whenever it comes to making his college decision. Georgetown had begun to pick up traction with the versatile power forward but don’t discount Kansas State, either.
One of the better shot-makers in the 2020 class, on Saturday, three-star wing Josiah Freeman backed off of his commitment to Buffalo. Since then, he has picked up offers from Delaware, ECU, Robert Morris and Siena. Another batch of schools including Colorado State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Liberty and Ole Miss have also reached out.
It seems as if the commitment of Josh Primo is right around the corner. While there are a number of programs that would take his commitment, Alabama and Creighton are his top two suitors. The Tide have the inside track and he is expected to come off the board before the end of the month.
Don’t forget about the upcoming decision of Zion Harmon next week, too. The four-star guard has the chance to reclassify into the 2020 class and on March 24, will pick Seton Hall or Western Kentucky.
Two others to monitor: Tegra Izay, a throwback center, could be near his commitment with La Salle sitting as the favorite, while Akeem Odusipe might not be far off his own decision which could be given to Rhode Island. Both have the talent and size to impact the Atlantic-10 early and often next season.