Basketball Recruiting - Three-Point Play: Tyler Beard, Hoophall, McDonald's snafu
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Three-Point Play: Tyler Beard, Hoophall, McDonald's snafu

Tyler Beard has gone from a high-major prospect, to a middling recruitment, to now a high-major target again thanks to his play at the Hoophall Classic over the weekend. In this week’s Three-Point Play, national analyst Corey Evans discusses the route Beard took to get to where he currently is, three other seniors that improved their own recruitments, and tonight’s revealing of the McDonald’s All-American teams.

Bossi's Best: All-Hoophall Classic

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

BEARD BREAKS THROUGH

Tyler Beard
Tyler Beard (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

This is why we keep watching. This time last year, Tyler Beard was firmly entrenched within the Rivals150. I loved his toughness, on-the-ball defense and playmaking abilities. Then the strangest thing happened: it all went up in smoke during the travel season. The high-major offers he carried were no longer there, he looked like a shell of himself and the confidence that he possessed during the school season was no more.

Instead of simply pulling him from the rankings and writing him off, we made sure to keep watching and our previous thoughts from a year ago were reaffirmed because of it. Finishing with 24 points, eight assist and six rebounds at the Hoophall Classic over the weekend, Beard has not only reverted back to his original self, but looks to be even better.

A recruitment that a month ago failed to showcase a single high-major offer is now becoming littered with them. Georgetown has recruited him the hardest in recent weeks and could potentially host Beard sometime soon. However, Cal, Ole Miss, Maryland, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt have begun to express greater interest in him.

Look for more programs to jump into the recruitment of Beard as the options remain slim in the backcourt this winter. However, before things expand even further, Beard may soon come to a quick college decision so programs are on the clock if they want to pursue.

SENIORS LEAVE THEIR MARK IN SPRINGFIELD

Paul Lewis
Paul Lewis

Arguably the most prestigious event on the high school calendar every year, this past week’s Hoophall Classic did not disappoint. Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green inched closer to the No. 1 ranking, sophomore guard Paul Lewis broke out, and Dajuan Wagner Jr. just might be the best 14-year old basketball player walking the planet.

While each received their fair share of fanfare, there was also a few members of the 2020 class that have begun to garner plenty of attention, too, which was all on display in Springfield.

David N’Guessan has remained a top target for a handful of Atlantic 10 programs. St. Joe’s was the first to really prioritize him and might sit in the best spot. However, Washington State just offered over the weekend, and he told Rivals.com that he plans on taking official visits to Dayton and Virginia Tech in the coming weeks. VCU is also involved.

Toby Okani left me intrigued this summer with the PSA Cardinals but after suffering a hand injury that shelved him for the beginning of the prep season, I can see why power conference programs have begun to recruit him. Holding offers from Coastal Carolina, Duquesne, Minnesota, UMass and a slew of others, Okani has also already officially visited Duquesne. Arizona State and Virginia Tech have begun to recruit him and rightfully so; Okani is a versatile wing-forward that has soft touch on his jump shots and can defend all over the place.

Suiting up for the prestigious Simeon Career Academy program, Jeremiah Williams looks the part of a fringe high-major recruit but most definitely is a really good mid-major prospect. He is long, active and impacts the game on both ends. He has already taken official visits to Akron and Valparaiso, and holds offers from Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois.

MCDONDALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME VOTING SNAFU

D.J. Steward
D.J. Steward (https://rivals.com)

I am not on the McDonald’s All-American committee so I can speak a bit more freely on the voting process compared to others. The 24-member team will be revealed today at 3 p.m. EST, which will be a great day for some of the elite prospects in the 2020 class.

Those that will hit the hardwood in Houston in late March will be more than deserving but I should say, I feel bad for the guard crop. The 2020 class is a really good one and it is most known for the depth of talent in the backcourt.

Unlike NBA All-Star voting process where position groups are split between just guards and forwards, the burger game has remained the more traditional route in selecting point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards and centers.

This all means that, despite a rather depleted frontcourt class when it comes to elite talent, a few questionable frontline prospects might make it in over, in any other year, no-brainer selections with the guards. We all know that Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham are fine but what about D.J. Steward, who has put together as good of a senior year that you’re going to find? Andre Curbelo might be the steadiest point guard in the college game next year but do enough people know about him? Did Keon Johnson’s break out too late, if there is such a thing? Did Devin Askew’s fall reclassification hurt his chances in the game’s voting process?

Time will tell but I will say this, someone that doesn’t make the prestigious game will prove to be one of the sport’s best freshmen next season. It happens every year and this time around should be no different.