Twitter Tuesday: Kentucky, Kansas, Villanova, UConn
In this week's Twitter Tuesday mailbag, we take a deep dive into Kentucky's early period chances, examines how Kansas might address its frontcourt, see if Villanova can add another five-star prospect and evaluate where things sit with Precious Achiuwa.
Right now it looks like Kentucky is behind in multiple recruitments. Will they add a player in the fall signing period?— Michael Padgett (@mpadge88) November 11, 2018
I do not see that happening. While Kentucky still boasts a top-10 class this fall, the program doesn't look to be in prime position to add another prospect during the early signing period. The Wildcats have several targets left on their board - e.g. Vernon Carey, Isaiah Stewart, James Wiseman and Jaden McDaniels - but those prospects will either sign late or aren't expected to ink with Kentucky.
Carey and Stewart are not far off from making commitments, but they will likely not sign this week and, besides, Kentucky is not a favorite for either. McDaniels just visited the Wildcats but could see UCLA in the coming days and is not expected to sign this week, either. The wild card here is Wiseman. He could end his recruitment in the near future, but most of the talk surrounding him is centered around Memphis.
We could be looking at Kentucky entering December with Carey, Stewart and Wiseman committed elsewhere and John Calipari's program looking for other options in the frontcourt.
Kansas is in the mix for 3 PF’s - Hurt, Nnaji and Lawson. Where do you see those three ending up?— Chuck Johnson (@NCAARoundball) November 12, 2018
Five-star Matthew Hurt seems to be far from a decision. He has yet to narrow his list or schedule any official visits but if I had to make a prediction right now on where he lands, I would pick Kansas. The Jayhawks have been a heavy presence throughout his recruitment dating back to his freshman year and while Duke, Memphis, Minnesota and North Carolina may be difficult to beat, I will stick with Kansas.
Zeke Nnaji is about ready to call it a day, but not before he visits North Carolina this weekend. Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Purdue and UCLA make up his final five, but this one is a total toss-up. I would not be surprised one bit if he were to end up at any of his finalists. There's no clear front-runner here and a visit to North Carolina could change things entirely. Nnaji is set to commit on Nov. 23 and my expectation is that he won't end up in Lawrence.
Finally, Chandler Lawson, whose two eldest brothers currently star in Lawrence, is expected to commit on Wednesday. While the Jayhawks are involved, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Ole Miss and Oregon remain in the mix with the Yellow Jackets receiving most of the buzz (no pun intended) in recent days.
Best guess on where Jeremy Roach or Isaiah Stewart land? Nova fan looking for clarity.— Everyday, B (@DP_Ever_Since) November 12, 2018
I don't like Villanova’s chances with Isaiah Stewart. The top-five prospect is expected to visit Duke in the weeks ahead and will be done with all of his official visits after that. He has already been to Kentucky, Michigan State, Syracuse and Washington, and while Indiana and Villanova sit in his final list, you can do the math here and see that the Wildcats are all but out of the race.
On the other hand, I feel much better about Villanova's chances with Jeremy Roach. The Wildcats were the first to prioritize the junior prospect and he visited program at the beginning of the month. Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina make up the remainder of his school list. I expect Roach to make a commitment earlier than most of his peers in the 2020 class, with Duke and Kentucky being the two front-runners at this point. Villanova is not far off, though, and the Wildcats' recent track record with lead guards and winning at the highest levels definitely helps their cause.
Precious to Uconn??— Connor (@connor_griffin) November 11, 2018
There is still a long way to go with Precious Achiuwa's recruitment and it would not be a surprise to see him become one of the last 2019 prospects to commit. He has yet to name a group of finalists, nor has he taken (or even scheduled) his allotted official visits. Achiuwa is not expected to take any visits until after his season is over, which would then most definitely push his college commitment back to the spring.
Of the programs that we know are involved, Florida State, Kansas, Memphis, St. John’s, UCLA and UConn should each have a chance with him. It is still a bit too early to identify a front-runner, but the Huskies have a good connection with Achiuwa as UConn assistant Kimani Young once was a member of Achiuwa's New Heights travel program. Beyond that, and not many programs have made Achiuwa more of a priority than UConn. Look for the Huskies to remain involved but also for other programs to jump into the mix in the coming weeks.