Monday was a busy day on the recruiting front as Jeremiah Tilmon and Trevon Duval, two of the top remaining prospects from the 2017 class, finally closed out their college recruitments. Now that we are getting closer to putting the senior class to bed, this week’s #TwitterTuesday mailbag addresses Tremont Waters, the top lead guard still available, Archie Miller’s first month on the job at Indiana and the pending commitments of grad-transfer wings Cam Johnson and Darius Thompson.
While it is still a bit early to assess Indiana's 2018 recruiting, primarily because the new staff is just a month into the job, you do have to give Archie Miller’s staff two thumbs up for keeping intact the three-man 2017 recruiting class that the prior staff had accumulated.
The class of 2019 will receive some attention, but for now will be put on the backburner as the rising senior class is vital to the program's long-term success. Miller has already made his presence felt this spring by attending the majority of Romeo Langford’s games on the travel circuit. IU fans have clamored for the Hoosiers to lock down the best from the state, something that the prior staff had failed to do. Miller understands this and has made it a point to prioritize Langford, a five-star wing, while also showing priority attention to juniors Musa Jallow, Robert Phinissee and CJ Fredrick.
While it would look like Trevon Duval’s decision could affect the recruitment of Tremont Waters, that is not the case here. Originally committed to Georgetown, Waters backed off of his commitment a month ago. Ever since, it's been difficult to find information as to where things stand with the Connecticut native.
Duke reached out to Waters’ camp last month, but nothing developed. A number of schools have been mentioned with the super skilled senior, including Georgetown, which has done its best to remain in the mix following the coaching change on the Hilltop.
The three programs that have had some sort of traction with him are UConn, Western Kentucky and Creighton. The Blue Jays have had great success with its guard talent while WKU is bringing in one of the best mid-major recruiting classes that we have seen in recent years. UConn, the local school, has a need at the lead guard spot after seeing its own 2017 signee, Makai Ashton-Langford, ask for his release earlier in the spring before signing with Providence.
Could Waters commit tomorrow? Yes. Could he wait until the summer? Yes. It would be anyone’s guess, including the school he plans on attending. Whatever school lands Waters will be adding a top-flight floor general who can immediately produce next season.
This question refers to the draft decisions of Rawle Alkins, a 6-foot-5 wing from Arizona, and Hamidou Diallo, a redshirt freshman at Kentucky, each of whom has entered his name into the NBA Draft but has yet to hire an agent.
After completing official visits to UCLA and Oregon this past week following trips to Kentucky and Arizona, Cam Johnson is also considering Ohio State and TCU, though both programs remain more of longshots for his services. UCLA and Oregon remain the dark horses with Johnson, as his commitment to either of the schools would not surprise. However, UK and Arizona have been the favorites throughout the process. If each loses their departing freshman to the NBA Draft, a situation that I do believe occurs, Arizona would remain as the top threat for Johnson.
More of a small forward prospect, Johnson could walk into a great opportunity to start and help Miller achieve his first ever Final Four bid. He could succeed just the same at Kentucky, but the availability of minutes and forcing Johnson to play more as a two-guard could hurt UK’s chances.
Expect a commitment to occur in the coming days. Kentucky and Arizona currently remain in a fine spot for the shot-making grad transfer.
Andrew brings up Darius Thompson, the grad transfer from Virginia who has taken a number of visits in recent weeks. The 6-foot-5 guard would be the perfect end to the spring for a number of the schools involved.
While his numbers weren’t jaw-dropping at Virginia, Thompson is the type of ballplayer who can practically play all three positions on the perimeter. He can create for both himself and others, make shots when given the chance and also defend the basketball. VCU was the perceived leader for him in recent weeks, and nothing has changed of late. However, as the process has carried on, ETSU and Western Kentucky have nudged their way into the mix. Butler was also in pursuit until they landed high school guard Aaron Thompson.
It seems as if Darius Thompson would rather play for a non-power conference program, but one that will have the chance to win a few games in March. VCU remains the team to beat, but ETSU and WKU could also be the landing spot for the Virginia transfer, who could change the league races for any of the programs involved.