basketball Edit

Twitter Tuesday: Patrick Ewing's priorities, Northwestern, more

This past week was the first live evaluation period, as schools were able to get a glimpse of the future of their sport. In this week’s #TwitterTuesday mailbag we investigate the needs at Butler and Northwestern, an impressive weekend from Keldon Johnson and Ayo Dosunmu’s and a look at Georgetown.

MORE: No. 2 and No. 3 duel at adidas | Programs that need big springs

Northwestern target Robby Carmody
Northwestern target Robby Carmody

Northwestern was able to finally get over the hump and reach the NCAA Tournament last month, but 2017-2018 could be even better. The Wildcats return the majority of their roster and have picked out a select few juniors to target.

Northwestern needs to replace Bryant McIntosh, its star lead guard, next year, so picking up the commitment of someone that can score and also create for others is a giant need. Chris Collins and his staff are heavily in the mix for Robby Carmody, Cormac Ryan and Ayo Dosunmu, three top-100 juniors that would immediately step into the program in Evanston and leave their mark as freshmen. It is crucial that they land at least one of the three, as they will also see another highly productive guard, Scottie Lindsey, graduate in the spring of 2018.

While my peers here at Rivals can give insight into the developments elsewhere, I was stationed in Hampton, Va., and can only speak to the Nike EYBL circuit. If there was anyone who made a push for five-star status at that event, it would have to be Keldon Johnson and Ayo Dosunmu.

Johnson, a top-50 wing out of Virginia, was unbelievable all weekend. He protected his home turf, taking his Boo Williams Summer League program to a 4-0 record by averaging more than 25 points and nine rebounds. He does have to become a better long-range threat and isn’t an elite level athlete, but not many others are able to put the ball through the basket like the four-star wing.

Dosunmu also lit up the scoreboard. He was able to get to the foul line more than 10 times per game, which helped him score 100 points during his four-game weekend in Virginia. He is an elite competitor and someone who gets to the basket with relative ease. He also must become a better long-range shooter, but if you need a bucket down the stretch Dosunmu is one of the few that you can trust the most with the ball in his hands.

Butler target Jerome Hunter
Butler target Jerome Hunter

Butler has become one of the most consistent programs in America, and it is because of the staff’s ability to pinpoint the right guys to recruit. They need to replace Tyler Wideman and Kelan Martin in the frontcourt and have done great work in pursuing Jerome Hunter, a top-75 forward out of Ohio, along with Torrence Watson, a top-100 forward who can play a variety of spots on the floor.

Even more important will be finding the proper ammunition in the backcourt. Robby Carmody, a do-it-all wing, remains high on Butler, as do others including top-30 guard Ayo Dosunmu and Jordan Lathon; the latter who could be seen as a Butler lean. Dwayne Cohill, Eric Hunter and Musa Jallow are a few others to keep tabs on, but landing Hunter and Lathon would be significant for the Big East staff.

Nick brings up the topic of Georgetown basketball and its efforts on the recruiting trail. The Hoyas recently nailed down the commitment of Jahvon Blair, a lefty combo guard out of Canada who brings shot making and athleticism to the Hilltop. He will be joined by Antwan Walker, a recruit that signed to the previous staff in the fall.

There are slim pickings left in the 2017 class, and the last thing that Georgetown wants to do is add someone who cannot pull his weight and fill up a roster spot that might be needed by someone in future classes. The Hoyas do need to land another frontcourt piece this spring; they recently offered former UNC-Wilmington commit Evan Cole and also remain in the hunt for power forward Isaac Kante. Tremont Waters, who was committed and signed to Georgetown's old coaching staff, could also be an option, though that ship may have sailed.

Georgetown could look to the transfer market, but the 2018 class needs to be the group that the Hoyas really zero in on. Robert Kirby, who served a prior stint for the program five years ago, is back for another campaign as an assistant on the Hilltop. He has a great network base on the East Coast and in the South, so expect those from the state of Louisiana - Josh LeBlanc and Greg Williams Jr. - along with others throughout the region to show up on the Hoyas’ radar. Meanwhile, Patrick Ewing needs to remain focused on players from the Washington, D.C. region and its surrounding areas, so Keldon Johnson, Prentiss Hubb, Brandon Slater, Noah Locke, and Jalen Smith must become priorities from here on out.