Three-Point Play: Texas 5-star takes off; Lewis one to watch
Not surprisingly, things have really picked up for five-star junior wing Harrison Ingram. In today’s Three-Point-Play, Eric Bossi has the latest on the big time Texan, a prospect blowing up out West and an impressive move by Virginia’s Tony Bennett.
Starting Five: Five-star Banchero's list, changes for 5-star Burnett
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
1. BUSINESS PICKING UP FOR FIVE-STAR HARRISON INGRAM
Coming off of a monster summer run with Texas-based YGC36 on the Adidas Circuit, 6-foot-7 do-it-all wing Harrison Ingram rose to the top 15 of the 2021 Rivals150. Not surprisingly, his recruitment is taking off like you would expect of a player ranked that highly.
Let’s make it clear, Ingram is in no rush to make a college decision, but he’s certainly taking some steps to make things easier when he does.
I checked in with YGC36 program director Vonzell Thomas, who filled me in on the latest. Already this fall, Ingram has had coaches from Baylor, Butler, Oklahoma, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee and Texas Tech. Arkansas (where Ingram recently took an unofficial visit), Memphis and Oklahoma State have also been in and will be back this week with Penny Hardaway dropping in Tuesday and Mike Boynton and Eric Musselman coming by on Wednesday.
This weekend, Ingram will take an official visit to Stanford and the Cardinal have put a lot of work in on him. He’s already been there unofficially and is very serious about academics. Other trips planned for upcoming weeks are unofficials to Kansas for Late Night in the Phog on the weekend of Oct. 4 and Oklahoma State on the weekend of Oct. 19. On top of all of that, Ingram has also received an invite to USA Basketball’s October mini-camp.
2. MAXWELL LEWIS ONE TO WATCH OUT WEST
A native of Las Vegas, 6-foot-7 wing Maxwell Lewis showed some very real promise during the summer while playing for the Dream Vision program on the Adidas Circuit. Enough so that we made sure to find a spot for him in the 2021 Rivals150.
If anything, I worry that we were a bit too conservative with his ranking of No. 148 and the type of attention that he’s been getting since making the move from Las Vegas to Compass Prep in the Phoenix area is indicative of that.
A capable shooter with solid all-around game, Lewis now holds offers from Arizona State, DePaul, Loyola Marymount, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, TCU, Utah and Washington State. Additionally, Arizona, Auburn, Maryland and Oregon are among those showing legitimate interest.
Lewis has recently been to Arizona State and UNLV unofficially and he's got at least two more visits planned this fall. He'll see Utah unofficially on Sept. 28 and is planning to make his way to Big 12 country on Oct. 26 to visit TCU officially.
3. BENNETT MAKES SELFLESS MOVE
Virginia’s Tony Bennett didn’t need a national title to prove himself as one of the nation’s premier coaches. But, winning the 2019 NCAA title sure didn’t hurt. Especially a year after getting bounced in the opening round as a No. 1 seed.
He has built things his way at UVA and his program has been built upon integrity, putting his players first and developing them. He proved that none of that is fluff with his most recent actions.
Not surprisingly, UVA wanted to take care of him contractually for his efforts. Bennett did agree to adding a year onto the end of his current deal (which now has seven years left) but what I found impressive is that he declined any kind of raise. Instead, he asked for his assistant coaches to receive more compensation and for the resources to add to his support staff.
Bennett took things a step further by doing something that I don’t recall seeing any other coach do (and I apologize if I have missed somebody doing this) by making a true investment into his players and their futures. Bennett and his wife have donated $500,000 to help launch a career development program for current and former players. Coaches stress family and looking out for each other long term and by making this gesture Bennett is putting his money where his mouth is.
A lot of the bad things about college sports seem to generate the most attention, but there is still plenty of good and Bennett’s actions definitely strike me as the type of thing that we should be acknowledging and making a big deal about.