Twitter Tuesday: Adem Bona, Anthony Black, St. John's
Each Tuesday, Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy turns to Twitter to answer questions about basketball recruiting and the world at large. This week in Twitter Tuesday, he takes a look at Adem Bona’s impending decision, the recruitment of Anthony Black and what being “done” with a class actually means when it comes to recruiting in the transfer portal era.
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2023 Rankings: Rivals150
I logged a UCLA FutureCast for Adem Bona back on Oct. 12, and I’m not feeling particularly inclined to change it on the heels of the four-star prospect’s official visit to Westwood. That said, my confidence level has never been through the roof here. So once again, I’ll cautiously pick the Bruins.
The buzz prior to Bona’s visit to UCLA was that Mick Cronin’s task was simply to “not screw it up.” It’s been pretty quiet in the wake of Bona’s official visit, however, which is probably good news on that front. Bad news seems to find a way to leak quickly, after all.
Bona is yet to set an announcement date, but most expect his commitment will come in short order. My opinion is that the faster it happens, the better it is for UCLA. If this stretches on too much longer, it may signify that momentum is swinging back toward Kentucky.
That said, like any initial list of players yet to play a game of their sophomore seasons it will evolve quickly and look vastly different when we expand in January. We don’t have an exact date yet, but I’d guess it would be mid month. Let’s set Jan. 18 as a ballpark figure. Our sample size on these sophomores will expand in the coming months, as we hit the road for big high school events. The next 2024 rankings should build the list out to 100, if not a full Rivals150. That’ll depend on how comfortable we feel with the class.
There are already a ton of guys that just missed the cut (Tahaad Pettiford, Jason Asemota, etc.) and will see their names on the list when we expand. Then there are players whose name we don’t yet know that we’ll stumble across during the season. Anyway, that’s a long answer to a short question. To be concise, expect a much more expansive 2024 list in mid January.
I feel like our Dan McDonald is more plugged into this recruitment than I am, but what I can tell you is that Oklahoma State felt pretty good about where it stood a couple back. Still, if I thought this was a lock, I’d have already logged a FutureCast for the Pokes. Arkansas and Gonzaga got the talented guard on campus in the last month or so, and each seems like a real threat to land his commitment. Originally, Anthony Black said he’d like to make a decision before the end of October, but the clock on that timetable is ticking.
Whenever the decision does come, I’m confident it will be one of three aforementioned schools. I guess I’d give the edge to Oklahoma State for now, but I wouldn’t bet any cash on it. Gonzaga lying in the weeds is not something to be taken lightly.
This answer isn’t going to satisfy you, but it’s worth exploring what “done” actually means in the age of the transfer portal. The Red Storm lost a commitment from Jaquan Sanders, who was committed to the school for roughly a month. The Johnnies are clearly not out of scholarships to give, but the question it needs to weigh is as follows:
Can they land anyone that will bring more value than retaining scholarship flexibility headed into transfer portal season?
The visitor list for the program's midnight madness event was heavy on class of 2023 and 2024 talent but wasn’t completely void of 2022 prospects. That said, head coach Mike Anderson has already shown an affinity for the transfer portal after adding Joel Soriano among others this offseason. In all, SJU has six transfers on its roster.
Obviously, Anderson is aware that the school’s location lends itself to certain transfer market advantages, namely luring back New York-area talent looking to transfer closer to home while still paying high-level hoops. The value of holding scholarships back is incredibly high at a place like St. John’s, which is set up for success in the transfer market due to its proximity to a hoops hot bed.
I’d expect Anderson and company to be extremely choosy on the recruiting trail when it comes to 2022 recruits, but the word “done” is relative in the new age of recruiting. “Done” simply depends on who comes knocking.