Twitter Tuesday: Kentucky, Oklahoma, Purdue, more
This past week, we saw Syracuse score in a big way, thanks to its first five-star commitment since 2014: top-five sophomore Dior Johnson. The Orange weren’t alone in celebrating recruiting wins, however, as Florida State, LSU and UCLA also landed some top talent. In this week’s #TwitterTuesday, we project which programs might be next, including Kentucky as the Wildcats attempt to finish off their roster for next season. We also delve into such others topics as the ongoing recruitments of Carter Whitt and Karim Mane, along with the efforts of Oklahoma and Purdue in regards to their 2021 classes.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
I will say definitely one, but who that will be remains up for debate. What we know right now is that Kentucky really wants to add to its frontcourt, which is why it has placed such a heavy priority on Clifford Omoruyi. The top 50 center has not visited, but an official visit is expected to be taken in the coming weeks after his high school season completes. Arizona State, who will bring Omoruyi to campus next weekend, and Rutgers are the most talked-about landing spots outside of Lexington for him.
Kai Sotto is still a target for Kentucky, as is Greg Brown. The latter just took his final official visit to Michigan over the weekend, but Memphis and Texas remain the most talked-about landing spots. However, his recruitment remains a fluid one leading into the spring.
One route that Kentucky could take again this spring, whether it lands a high school target or not, is the grad-transfer realm. Nate Sestina and Reid Travis may not have lived up to preseason expectations in recent seasons, but an older, more experienced big body would add greater depth and maturity to Kentucky’s roster. Look for Kentucky to be a consistent talking point this spring with some of the top available grad-transfers, as I have already heard the Wildcats tossed around with some potential fifth-year guys.
I am not sure that I can go there just yet, primarily because Carter Whitt does not even know what year he will enroll in college. The top 75 junior just took official visits to Indiana and Nebraska last week, and he will head to Virginia Tech this weekend. He is also working on a date for Ohio State. Marquette, NC State, Notre Dame and Wake Forest are also heavily involved.
From the looks of it, one would assume that Whitt would be hellbent on reclassifying into the 2020 class because of the onslaught of official visits. Not so fast. Whitt is giving his due diligence to the schools recruiting him, and he is still deciding whether or not he will enroll in college this fall. My guess is that with the major need for someone in his mold by practically every school recruiting him that he eventually decides on a reclassification.
When it comes to leaders, NC State was the frontrunner earlier in the process, but things may have changed since then. No one clearly stands out right now, so it would appear that his string of visits could decide where Whitt ends up - and as soon as this fall.
I spoke with Karim Mane last week and the Canadian is in good spirits. A badly bruised foot sidelined him for a portion of his prep season, but he is now back on the floor. He has a few more regular season games remaining before the playoffs begin.
In the meantime, Mane hasn’t been one to focus a whole lot on his recruitment. He took an official visit to Marquette on Jan. 4, and at it appeared he was close to committing, but Mane isn’t in much of a rush. Coaches from Georgetown, Memphis and Michigan State have been in to see him in the past month, and Alabama and Maryland are also involved.
Look for Mane to potentially take all of his remaining visits before deciding. He could be one of the final top-tier prospects to commit in the spring. The NBA also remains an option, though there is a much better chance that Mane is playing college ball in the fall.
Oklahoma has jumped out to a head start with its 2021 class, and over the weekend the Sooners became the first to host five-star guard Manny Obaseki for an official visit. Obaseki is not anywhere near his college decision, but OU is definitely in a great spot for him. Texas A&M and OU might be the early leaders, but Arkansas, Ohio State and Texas Tech are also in the mix.
As for KJ Adams, I don’t love Oklahoma’s chances with the four-star forward, but the Sooners are in a good spot with Trey Alexander. Bijan Cortes was a good start for Oklahoma, but more should be expected, and I would not be surprised if a top 25 class comes together after the Early Signing Period in November.
Purdue doesn’t need a whole lot in the 2021 class, as the Boilermakers will lose just Nojel Eastern and Matt Haarms to graduation. Now, much could change between now and the fall of 2021, but a smaller class and the early work the Boilermakers completed with their 2020 class has allowed them to target select prospects.
One is Harrison Ingram, arguably their top target in the 2021 class. They were one of the first to prioritize Ingram before he saw his national breakout, but they remain in catch-up mode with Stanford sitting as the leader. Kansas, North Carolina and Texas Tech are also seen as strong contenders.
I would expect Purdue to begin its 2021 class in Indiana. The Boilermakers might be the leader for Trey Kaufman, who would be the perfect player to fit in the Boilermakers' frontcourt. Meanwhile, Blake Wesley would help Purdue in the backcourt, and both of those players sit atop Purdue’s recruiting board and they see the Boilermakers in a good light.
Max Christie is someone Purdue has continued to recruit, as are Caleb Furst, Chet Holmgren and Luke Goode. Just as it has in past years, look for Purdue to get on the board in the 2021 class earlier than most other programs.