Twitter Tuesday: Adem Bona, Jordan Walsh, Mark Mitchell
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 the the recruitments of five-stars Adem Bona and Mark Mitchell in addition to discussing the top uncommitted senior in the country.
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The sticking point here is Adem Bona scheduled official visit to UCLA later this month. Sure, there are other schools “technically” in the mix, but this is a Kentucky-UCLA battle at its core. I’d assume an announcement will come in the weeks following Bona’s Oct. 22 trip to Westwood, as he’s already been on campus at Kentucky and knows what the Wildcats have to offer. What happens that weekend will ultimately determine where the five-star big lands, and I’d expect to hear something on that around the first of the month.
I’m not ready to make an official prediction on Bona, but UCLA getting what could be the last visit certainly plays in the Bruins’ favor. The closer the announcement is to the end of his official visit, the better Mick Cronin should feel.
Let’s tackle the easy part of this first. Jordan Walsh reportedly is planning to announce his commitment on Oct. 24 or Oct. 25.
The “where” part of the question is a bit trickier. The buzz around Arkansas was heavy for a time and I’d probably still bet on the Razorbacks if I were insane enough to wager money on the whims of teenagers. That said, things have kind of quieted down following Walsh’s official visit to Kansas. A relative newcomer to the race, KU is attempting to close the gap on schools that have been in the thick of Walsh’s recruitment for a long time. It’s going to be an uphill battle.
The smart money is probably on Texas or Arkansas, and I’d give the slight edge to Eric Musselman’s Hogs as things stand.
Yohan Traore is a future pro and the top uncommitted prospect in this class. His combination of size, skill and athleticism is a rare blend, and he’s becoming a better shooter each time I see him. The fact that he boasts a 7-foot-3 wingspan won’t hurt his chances, either.
A prediction on him is notoriously difficult. Traore has had one of the quieter, more mysterious recruitments of the cycle. Memphis seems to be trending following his official visit.
The French import visited Texas Tech, Michigan and Kansas as well, but the freedom Memphis gives its bigs combined with the fact that the school has become a destination for national prospects in the NIL era certainly plays in Penny Hardaway’s favor.
Do the Tigers have a realistic shot? That depends on what we mean when we say “realistic.” Are they the favorite? Not by a long shot.
The case for the Tigers is a simple one. Despite the fact that he attends Wichita’s Sunrise Christian, Mark Mitchell is a Kansas City kid, and the allure of home is very real. Mitchell has been on campus multiple times and has a bond with the Missouri staff. Historically, Kansas tends to have decent luck with some of these Bishop Meige prospects, which Mitchell once was, but the Jayhawks aren’t the major threat here. I’d actually like the Tigers' chances better if they were.
Unfortunately for Cuonzo Martin, standing toe-to-toe with Duke and UCLA is no easy task. It’s also one that’s made even harder in the NIL era, where schools with truly national brands are king. Things seem to have gone well on Mitchell’s recent visit to Westwood and with a return trip to Duke looming this weekend, it’s starting to feel a lot like a two-team race.
Mizzou feels like it sits in a solid third, but Mitchell intends to wait until December to announce his choice so at least there’s time? I guess?