Twitter Tuesday: Auburn, Alabama, NC State, Indiana
In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, Rivals.com Basketball Recruiting Analyst Corey Evans looks at the possibility that Auburn and Alabama will celebrate nationally-ranked classes, examines how NC State can leave its own mark this fall, identifies the programs to beat for Matt Cross and more.
Evans' Takeaways: Cunningham, Green shine at Nike Skills
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
Sorry, but that just will not happen. First, B.J. Boston will not decommit. There has only been one prospect that has decommitted from Kentucky under John Calipari and that was last year with D.J. Jeffries, so odds are we will not see the Wildcats hit with a defection in back-to-back classes.
Auburn could have a strong run on the recruiting trail if everything lines up properly this fall. Boston’s travel teammate, Sharife Cooper is the likeliest of the bunch to commit. Walker Kessler has continued to sift through the recruiting process, with his next trip scheduled for Michigan, but at this point in time, the Tigers sit in a great spot.
A Cooper and Kessler guard-big tandem would give the Tigers another chance at March glory, and I also would not be surprised if Auburn picked up another Rivals150 commitment or two.
Alabama went all out this summer and pursued some of the nation's top high school talent. If the Crimson Tide do scratch out a five-star commitment, Nimari Burnett would seem to be the most likely. The do-it-all wing is a program-building type of recruit that would immediately infuse talent, toughness and versatility into Alabama's program. It will be difficult for the Crimson Tide to win out over Illinois, Michigan, Oregon and Stanford, among others, but Nate Oats’ crew can certainly do it.
Five-star wing Josh Hall will not decide until the spring, but Alabama is in a good spot. While Montgomery, Ala., product Rongie Gordon has become a top target for the nearby SEC and ACC programs, the idea of playing for an in-state program has weighed on his mind.
While there's still a lot of work to be done, a trio of Burnett, Jones and Smith would be a phenomenal and, most importantly, attainable start for the Crimson Tide.
Kevin Keatts would love close out his 2020 class with Cam Thomas, Cam Hayes and Josh Hall. Nick Farrar’s commitment didn’t cause a giant commotion in the recruiting world last week, but he is the type of big man that programs need in order to have success at the highest level. He is tough, hard-nosed and will do the little things.
From there, Keatts needs a big-time lead guard and that could easily be Hayes. A member of the 2021 class, I would not be surprised if chose to reclassify into the 2020 class. If Hayes does reclassify, it will come later this year. NC State should be thought of as the leader, with Louisville not far behind. If North Carolina offers, that could change things in Hayes' recruitment.
Hall will not decide until the spring, but will he take an official visit to Raleigh early next month. If he did choose to end his recruitment abruptly, the Wolfpack would be the likeliest landing spot.
Lastly, Thomas has been an NC State lean for a while, but the longer things have gone, the less likely it seems he will end up in Raleigh. Look for UConn with Thomas, as the Huskies have picked up ground with him of late.
Team to beat? No, but Indiana is one of the leaders in Matt Cross' recruitment. The feeling with Cross was that he might commit before the July evaluation periods and, obviously, that didn’t happen. Maybe after his surprise trip to Florida two weeks ago? Again, not the case as he scheduled an official visit to Texas A&M for Aug. 28. The expectation now is that he will be make a decision shortly after that trip concludes.
He has already taken official visits to Butler, Florida, Indiana, Miami and South Carolina. The Aggies are the next, and most likely the last, to host the top-75 prospect. Indiana and South Carolina have garnered most of the talk in recent months, but his visit to Gainesville pushed the Gators into a good spot, too. Could his visit to College Station change things? For now, the Aggies are playing catch-up but a commitment shortly after his Aggieland visit might make Texas A&M the dark horse down the stretch.
Things are far from complete on the reclassification front. N’Faly Dante is expected to change classes, and so is Addison Patterson. Both top-40 prospects, their reclassification decisions are expected to be made in the coming days with the Oregon Ducks sitting as the top suitor for each. Kentucky and LSU are also in the mix for Dante, while Patterson is also considering UCLA and USC.
In the 2021 class, there is no shortage of potential reclassification prospects and many can be found high atop of the Rivals150. Jon Kuminga, Terrence Clarke, Paolo Banchero, Cam Hayes, Devin Askew, Carter Whitt and Javonte Brown are just a few that could make a move a year up and be found on a college campus this time next year.