Not much has happened within the recruiting world since last week outside of the commitments celebrated at UConn, Washington and Michigan State in recent days. However, with a loaded slate of visits this past weekend, all it takes is one domino to fall before an entire string hits the deck. In this week’s #TwitterTuesday, we assess where Kentucky sits with its 2018 class, the recruitment of Ayo Dosunmu and Noah Locke, and what Villanova does in solidifying the point guard position.
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Other than Quickley who do you expect Kentucky to land in the fall?— Michael Padgett (@mpadge88) September 10, 2017
Kentucky remains empty-handed in 2018. Unlike past years, this season’s pool does not boast a ton of one-and-done talent, but John Calipari and his program will likely not have to wait much longer for its first commit.
As Michael had stated, it would be a giant surprise if Immanuel Quickley, a five-star 2018 guard, does not commit to UK. He was scheduled to visit Miami this past weekend before Hurricane Irma changed his plans. That could hinder his college commitment plans as he may want to visit the Hurricanes before coming to a decision. He will head to Kentucky this weekend, that being the final visit that he had originally planned. By the end of the month, the elite playmaker and improved shooter could be a Kentucky pledge.
Who else might join him in November? Could UK head into the winter with just one 2018 class commitment? The latter is possible, though not likely. There is no one else that the Wildcats would love to add to their roster than Zion Wlliamson. There is an inkling that he could commit and sign early, all of which bodes well for the bluebloods in Lexington, though Duke and UCLA are the lone two programs to have solidified official visit dates with him.
Three others to keep tabs on include Keldon Johnson, R.J. Barrett and Quentin Grimes. Johnson, a 6-foot-5 scoring wing, recently pulled in an offer from UK and while he has scheduled four official visits, all of which will be completed by the end of the month, the Wildcats could pursue him later into the fall, leading to a November signing.
Barrett, the top-ranked member of the 2018 class, has a final five set which includes UK, Duke, Oregon, Michigan and Arizona. He will complete visits to each program by the end of the month, just like Johnson, where a commitment this fall is likely. UK remains heavily in contention and seeing that Duke, Michigan and Arizona have already taken wing commitments in the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Wildcats may continue to gain ground.
Kansas remains the strongest favorite for Grimes. The 6-foot-4 scoring guard hosted staffs from KU, UK, Texas and Marquette this weekend for in-home visits. Official visit details have not been released just yet, though it is expected that a fall signing is in the cards.
To think that Kentucky will swing and miss on Williamson, Johnson, Barrett and Grimes this fall would be unprecedented and while they could head into December with just one signing, I am a firm believer that they will add at least one more elite prospect in the coming months to go along with Quickley.
What's the latest with Ayo Dosunmu? Xavier & Illinois were the reported favorites before but now USC & WF have officials (+ Ayo's in-homes).— ChaosDeac (@ChaosDeac) September 11, 2017
Ayo Dosunmu, a five-star lead guard in the 2018 class and one of the best prospects to come out of Chicago within the past five years, cut his list to a group of 11 last month, one that includes Wake Forest, USC, Illinois, Xavier, UConn, Creighton, NC State, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Memphis and New Mexico. While he has set two official visits for USC and Wake Forest, who really has a chance with the Rivals150 prospect?
This week, head coaches from Illinois, Xavier, Wake Forest and Memphis will head to the Dosunmu household for in-home visits. Just as ChaosDeac had stated, much of the talk surrounding him was based around Illinois and Xavier. However, no scheduled visits to either has been noted, so what gives?
For Illini and Musketeer fans, I wouldn’t get too worried. Illinois and Xavier remain the two programs to beat as each has invested a ton of time and effort in the recruitment of Dosunmu. However, USC and Wake Forest should also be considered as potential landing spots. Who else on his list, outside of this group of four, could Dosunmu realistically commit to?
Kansas was in the hunt for him for a while and having Charlie Moore, a former teammate of Dosunmu’s at Morgan Park High School, on its roster, does not hurt its cause. However, it does look as if it has focused more of its attention on Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes heading into the fall months.
UConn, Creighton, NC State, New Mexico and Oklahoma State, though they remain on his list, are behind in the pursuit of Dosunmu. Memphis may be the lone dark horse in the race for Dosunmu but even the Tigers have a lot of ground to make up.
Expect for Dosunmu to visit USC this weekend and Wake Forest the final weekend of September with Illinois and Xavier solidifying dates for visits that will take place by the end of October. Look for Dosunmu to sign in November.
What are the odds Wake lands a commitment from Mucius, Laszewski, or Devoe shortly after their OVs next weekend? Which is most likely?— WFU Sports Stats (@DeacFan3) September 10, 2017
Wake Forest is in a great spot with its 2018 class. It struck earlier in the summer with the commitment of playmaking wing Sharone Wright, but really cashed in two weeks ago as Jaylen Hoard, a top-30 forward, committed to the ACC program. The Deacons remain in the hunt for one or two more this fall and next weekend, Danny Manning and his staff roll out the red carpet for their top senior recruits.
Michael DeVoe, Nate Laszewski and Isaiah Mucius, each members of the Rivals150, will hit Wake’s campus next weekend for an official visit. Mucius, a 6-foot-7, long and versatile wing, is fresh off of his visit to Xavier. The Musketeers and Deacons are the only two programs to have set an official visit with the top-100 prospect, where a commitment to anyone but those two would be an absolute surprise. Wake Forest has been in the mix the longest, though Xavier may have an even bigger need at his specific spot on the floor thanks to the departure of seniors Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura next spring. It is a toss-up between the two for his commitment.
Laszewski, just like Mucius, was busy this past weekend as he took his first official visit to Notre Dame. The Irish may be the favorite for his services, though Wake Forest has remained steadily in the mix, along with UNC, a program that he will visit the weekend after Wake. While Laszewski would fit in seamlessly within the confines of Manning’s offense, of the three visitors, he is the least likely to play for the Deacons.
While Laszewski and Mucius bring major value on the wings of the floor and in the frontcourt, DeVoe is a playmaking guard with tremendous upside, all of which has been valued greatly by the Deacons. After visiting USC this past weekend and with Florida, Ohio State, and several others in the mix, this one is Wake’s to lose. The hiring of Jamill Jones as assistant, a one-time member of the UCF men’s basketball staff, has enabled for Wake to pick up major ground with DeVoe thanks to his prior connections with the top-75 guard dating back to his time on Orlando.
All three are close to coming to a college decision, though I see DeVoe as the likeliest of visitors to commit.
What is your thoughts on the Ignas Brazdeikis and Noah Locke recruitments going forward? Any favorites?— Mark Briggs (@briggs48867) September 10, 2017
Two of the top performers from the July evaluation periods, Noah Locke and Ignas Brazdeikis, are not short for college suitors this fall. Each have claimed over 20 scholarship offers and though Locke has narrowed his college list, Brazdeikis remains open to everyone, though he has set three official visits.
Locke, a 6-foot-2 scoring guard and one of the top shooters in high school ball, just finished his third official visit this past weekend, a trip that took him to Xavier. He has already visited Ohio State and Providence, while he will head to Michigan next weekend and Florida the following. What all does this mean? A commitment for Locke is likely in the cards in October. Not one program is a clear frontrunner currently as each offer something different to the Team Melo product. However, when push comes to shove, Michigan may have a smidgen of a lead, something that bodes well for the Wolverines heading into his trip to Ann Arbor next week.
Brazdeikis, while he is not ranked at Rivals since he plays his high school ball outside of the Unites States, should be perceived as a top-40 prospect. The lefty is an elite finisher and should have no troubles leaving an immediate imprint on the college game. This past weekend, the Canadian visited Michigan for his first official visit; next weekend, Vanderbilt will host him before he heads to Florida to finish the month.Michigan and Vanderbilt are on the strongest of ground for the lefty forward. The Wolverines and Commodores may have a nose of a lead on their peers as Bryce Drew’s program has been the dark horse for him throughout, despite him wavering on originally reclassifying into the 2017 class this summer.
How does Villanova end their 2018 class? Do they get Carey, Duke, someone else?— Frank (@Frank35452276) September 10, 2017
Villanova made noise early this summer coming in the form of Rivals150 prospects Cole Swider and Brandon Slater. Both versatile prospects that can play more than one position on the floor, Swider and Slater should be two more ballplayers that uphold the premier culture that Jay Wright has established on the Main Line. However, the primary need for the Wildcats remains at the lead guard spot and after missing on Jahvon Quinerly and bowing out in their pursuit of top-50 guard Elijah Weaver, where might they head next?
While there is not an immediate hole to fill at the point guard position as Jalen Brunson is just entering his junior year, there is a remote chance that he leaves a year earlier than expected, thus creating for a void at the most important position on the floor.
On Saturday, the first day that coaches can evaluate this fall, Wright was on hand for top-50 guard David Duke. A masterful playmaker and elite defender, Providence and the Wildcats remain the two favorites and Florida and Virginia Tech will receive visits this month.
If Duke does not announce his allegiance to Villanova, Jalen Carey could receive more attention. A 6-foot-2 guard from New Jersey, Carey recently visited Miami, UConn, and, this past weekend, Syracuse. The Orange have been the most talked about of landing spots for the top-50 guard, though it would be foolish to not consider the Huskies or Hurricanes as his potential place of play. However, Villanova could work their way into the mix and set up an official visit with Carey, though there has been talk about a pending commitment.
If Villanova is unable to land either Duke or Carey, where might the Wildcats go next? Most likely, they could attempt to lure a 2019 class member to reclassify into the 2018 class. Jalen Lecque, a late-blooming guard in 2019 who reclassified a year back in March, could become a vital recruit for Villanova. While all signs point towards his college enrollment in the fall of 2019, Wright and his staff could work their way into the mix and sell the idea of Lecque running his team’s offense during his freshman campaign next year.
Just like Lecque, combo guard Bryce Wills has the playmaking abilities and the feel for the game to run some point in spurts. Originally a member of the 2018 class, Wills could be a wildcard for a number of programs that strike out at the point guard position this fall and winter. He is someone to keep an eye on.