Twitter Tuesday: Indiana, North Carolina, Pitt, Ohio State
STARTING FIVE: Takeaways from the National Hoopfest
In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, we take a deep dive into the potential of an elite class at Indiana, North Carolina's recent visitors, Pitt’s chances with Kofi Cockburn and the next stars to play in the Atlantic-10 Conference.
The important word here is ‘take’ because Archie Miller would love nothing more than to add both Keion Brooks and Trendon Watford. Two more five-stars to go along with another in Trayce Jackson-Davis? Hoosier Nation would be celebrating all across the state.
Now, what are the chances of this happening? Minimal at best. We broke down the recruitment of Watford on Friday as he cut his list to four with the Hoosiers making the list. They will host him for his final official visit, which could definitely help, but Alabama and Memphis may have the upper-hand in this one.
With Brooks, I like where the Hoosiers sit with the in-state star. He is down to a final six but Kentucky and North Carolina seem to be Indiana's primary competition. Brooks is not too far off from making a commitment and it would not be surprising at all if he joined the Hoosiers.
Kansas should still be seen as the top threat for Matthew Hurt and the five-star forward will take an official visit to Lawrence in February. However, others in the race have found momentum of late, including Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina. I am not ready to say that any of the three have overtaken the Jayhawks, but they are gaining ground.
North Carolina had its chance to host Hurt on an official visit over the weekend as the Tar Heels' worked to impress the five-star and outlined how he might be used in Chapel Hill.
Speaking of visits to Chapel Hill, five-star junior Isaiah Todd has unofficially visited North Carolina twice in the last two weeks. It does help that Todd relocated for his junior year and is now less than 30-minute drive from campus, but the Tar Heels have placed a heavy priority on him. Todd is not expected to make a commitment anytime soon, but North Carolina will remain a major presence in his recruitment until his decision is made.
While Pitt made the final five for Kofi Cockburn and his first visit of the 2019 calendar year could be to Oakland, I would not get my hopes up if I was a Panthers’ fans. The top-30 center has already taken an official visit to UConn and will head to Illinois on Dec. 28. Kansas and St. John’s make up the remainder of his list of finalists but this one seems to be more of a reach for the Panthers.
However, all might not be lost as Rivals150 center Qudus Wahab is not far from his decision which will definitely come before Cockburn gets to making his own. Jeff Capel would love to add both, but by snagging Wahab in the coming weeks, it would fill a frontcourt need.
Ohio State just missed on Zeb Jackson as the Rivals150 junior committed to Michigan, but all is not lost in Columbus. Chris Holtmann and his staff have accomplished great things on the recruiting trail thus far and I would expect that to continue during the 2020 cycle.
Holtmann was on hand last week for top-35 wing Earl Timberlake and the Buckeyes could begin to heat things up with him. They’re also involved with Cam’Ron Fletcher, another four-star small forward with a world of upside. I do not feel Ohio State has a great chance with B.J. Boston but I do feel pretty comfortable about their odds with Ethan Morton. The Buckeyes would be in his top-five if he were to narrow things right now, though his recruitment is on the backburner while he completes his high school season.
I am all for giving a league like the Atlantic-10 some love. That league is in limbo to a degree as it is difficult to look at the conference as a high-major but it is also not a mid-major. When factoring in the league's broad geographical reach and how a few of its member programs are geared more toward the academic side, it's difficult to pin-point a handful of prospects that will end up playing Atlantic-10 basketball.
However, Hassan Diarra has become a priority for half of the league, but he could see his stock really take off this summer and become a Big East-level type of recruit. The same can be said for Dyondre Dominguez as he has heard his fair share of overtures from nearby ACC and Big East programs, though the A-10 is heavily invested in his recruitment.
Myles Stute, Trey Hall, Myles Wilmoth, Oumar Koreissi, Elijah Taylor, John Hugley and Kareem Reid are just a few others that are hovering on the Atlantic-10 line. They could see their stock soar to the highest level this summer, or a league member could win out due their early investment in each of their recruitments.