Twitter Tuesday: Duke's board; Memphis, KU targets and more
We have seen some movement on the recruiting trail of late thanks to a handful of high-profile commitments. In this week’s #TwitterTuesday, we take a greater look into Duke’s potential recruiting class, where Memphis finds success this fall, Kansas’ recruiting board, JT Thor’s landing spots and how coaches will handle recruiting the more talent-driven high school and prep programs.
Duke already sits with the commitments of two five-stars, Jeremy Roach and Jalen Johnson. Both are tremendous early pulls and the services of Johnson, who boasts versatility, gives the Blue Devils tons of wiggle room in completing its 2020 class.
The Blue Devils need a shot-making guard or wing, which is why they just offered Ziaire Williams and have continued to pursue DJ Steward. While the thinking is that Steward is a heavy Duke lean, I actually think differently. Sure, the Blue Devils could continue to pick up ground, but I see Steward committing to Louisville, though Illinois, Texas and a handful of others remain involved. Williams, on the other hand, was favored heavily by North Carolina and Stanford throughout recent months, but if Duke continues to prioritize, my guess is that he could end up in Durham.
In the frontcourt, Mark Williams is the likeliest. Keep tabs on UCLA as it definitely has a shot, but my prediction is that he ends up a Blue Devil. The same can be said for Henry Coleman; he just released his final five on Sunday and while Michigan, NC State, Ohio State and Virginia Tech are strong contenders, the top-50 forward still chooses Duke over the rest.
Add it up and the two Williamses and Coleman, along with Roach and Johnson, and possibly one other wild card, would make for a tremendous five-man 2020 class.
I would be surprised if Memphis does not get Jalen Green. The five-star has already taken an official visit to the campus and will likely visit Memphis again this fall. Kentucky sure will be a factor, as will Florida State, Oregon and UCLA, but Green will play his college ball in a Tigers’ uniform.
Who joins him is up for debate, but don’t underestimate the Tigers' chances with Greg Brown and Jaden Springer. They are sneaky leaders for them both and while beating Texas for the former, and Florida, Tennessee and UNC for the latter, might be difficult, Memphis has shown that it is up for the task.
Five-star Isaiah Todd just included Memphis in his final five; Isaiah Jackson just landed an offer from the program; lastly, Matthew Murrell is a top local prospect that the Tigers continue to track. None of the bunch is a heavy Memphis lean, but the Tigers will find a way to finish 2020 with another highly ranked class which should be headed by Green, who tweeted over the weekend that he will commit on Christmas Day.
You do have to love how Kansas is looking in the backcourt. The Jayhawks will likely see Devon Dotson leave for the NBA after this season and while there is still some debate as to when Dajuan Harris will enroll, either way, he should help in the playmaking department during the 2020-2021 season. Isaac McBride and Christian Braun should still be on campus then, but there are questions as to whether Marcus Garrett or Ochai Agbaji will reside in Lawrence with the NBA looming.
In the frontcourt, the Jayhawks have kept a pulse on Scottie Barnes, Isaiah Todd, Josh Hall, Xavier Foster and JT Thor. They are not the clear-cut favorites for any of the group but chances are, they complete the spring with another top-10 class with of a mix of versatile talents found in both the frontcourt and backcourt.
We broke the news on Sunday evening that JT Thor will reclassify into the 2020 class, speeding up his clock to college by a full year. In doing as such, Thor is expected to publish his final school list by the end of the month, commit in October and sign in November. He has already visited Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Miami and New Mexico this year and could visit Oregon and then UK again within the coming weeks. The schools that I would watch would be Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma State and Oregon, and, if it was to offer, Kentucky. Oregon would be my pick for now, but that changes depending on how Kentucky goes about further recruiting him.
What he brings to college is a versatile skill set where he can play either forward position. The lefty can make shots to the perimeter, is an underrated playmaker that works great out of the high post and also defends various spots in the half-court. He must be accentuated in the right system and also become more efficient and consistent with his energy and production, but there is a good reason for why he is so highly touted and recruited nationally.
That is an interesting question and one that I don’t think anyone has an exact answer for. I could see some schools pitching the idea of keeping a talented tandem together in college, like what you see with good friends Nimari Burnett and Jalen Green who share the backcourt together at Prolific Prep; or, I can see schools choosing between one teammate or the other, especially if they share a similar position.
Say that a prospect sees his fellow teammate, one that he might be good friends with, receive the same exact recruiting message. What does that make him think? Better yet, do they converse to the point that both see through the message and now, instead of the program having a chance at one talented prospect, are practically eliminated from contention with each?
These kids talk and they are not dumb. I know for a fact that a group of participants during last year’s USA Basketball trials compared texts messages from the same program that were identical. These kids don’t want to be lied to. They want authentic relationships and will see through it if they are not.
Therefore, what you will see is coaches, from the onset, deciding which teammate they want to recruit before pursuing.