Twitter Tuesday: Kentucky's class; Jaden Springer; Duke; IU
We are less than a month away from the beginning of the new college basketball season, but much more work must be done on the recruiting front before the ball gets tipped.
In this week’s #TwitterTuesday mailbag, we discuss the how Kentucky completes its 2020 class, Tennessee’s next five-star commitment, the latest on RJ Davis, Cade Cunningham’s commitment timeline, Duke’s frontcourt pursuit and Indiana’s in-state pursuit in the 2021 class.
STARTING FIVE: JUCO standouts, Big 12 school on verge
I will say two for sure. I am going to continue to stick with my prediction of Devin Askew to Kentucky. It is not that I am slighting opportunities at Louisville or Memphis’ but rather the Wildcats’ pitch and their hole at the lead guard spot is exactly what Askew seems to be looking for in a college landing spot. Then again, Askew will have to reclassify into the 2020 class if he does hope to fill their playmaking need, which is a decision that I would expect to be made at a later date.
Isaiah Todd, as we know by now, is no longer considering Kentucky, I don’t see Greg Brown in the cards for the Wildcats, and Scottie Barnes is more of a Florida State-Oregon lean with the Seminoles as my bet to land him. That brings us to Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Jackson and Cliff Omoruyi.
Kentucky is going to do their all with Cunningham this weekend but I will take the field on this one. Therefore, landing a frontline producer is of the utmost importance, which is why Jackson or Omoruyi will be the one to do so. Jackson will commit first with Alabama and Syracuse involved, with Omoruyi set to decide in the spring. Also, keep an eye on JJ Traynor who will take a visit to Lexington this weekend and is also considering Cincinnati, Louisville and Western Kentucky.
Yes, Tennessee is definitely the favorite and I would expect a decision soon seeing that he has completed all of his official visits. While UT has been discussed as the heavy favorite in recent weeks, I will still not underrate Memphis or Michigan’s chances. Sources have told me that Springer has taken a great liking to the Wolverines and it really would not be a total shock if he were to choose them.
Still, at the end of the day, all signs point towards Tennessee. It hosted him, along with their two other top-35 commits, Keon Johnson and Corey Walker, over the weekend, which should make it difficult to turn the Vols down.
RJ Davis is down to a final four that features Georgetown, Marquette, North Carolina and Pitt. He has visited everyone but UNC and will head there this weekend, which will complete his official visit tour. I would expect for a commitment to be made shortly thereafter which would lead to a signing in November.
Where he will commit to remains up for debate and while I felt fairly good for Pitt’s chances just days ago, recent whispers have circulated around Davis landing at Marquette. His recruitment has been fluid and I would not count out any of his finalists. Maybe he is swayed towards the Tar Heels during his visit to Chapel Hill, or maybe he resists both Marquette and Pitt, and commits on Georgetown. Things are coming to a close with Davis and I would expect a decision shortly after his trip to UNC with momentum in favor for Marquette.
No. No one is going to rush Cunningham and his decision and every school, even Kentucky and North Carolina, will make sure their respective scholarship count works because he is that good. Cunningham is the difference between contending for a league title and being regarded as the national title favorite. He is that good. Guys are better playing next to him and they know that, which is why, whenever he told me last week that he had a select group of guys that he could get to go and play with him at various colleges, ala LeBron James style, there was credibility behind it.
Cunningham is rather stressed by his college decision and why wouldn’t he be? Never have we seen someone of his ilk have a brother hired at a high-major program and a commitment to not immediately follow.
He is wide open with the recruiting process and while he is stressed some, I also believe that it will be more about making the right decision and not rushing things. If that doesn’t play out according to how UNC might like it, then so be it; he will just look seriously elsewhere for his college landing spot.
I would be surprised if they were to not land Mark Williams. The top-40 center just visited Michigan over the weekend, and has already been to the campus at UCLA. Duke will be the last to host him on the weekend of Nov. 9 before he commits. The Blue Devils have hit a number of marks this fall, whether it was at the lead guard spot, shot making department, frontcourt versatility, and toughness, but they have yet to notch a true center commitment. Williams would fill such a need.
It remains to be seen where they sit with Hunter Dickinson, though. They offered him before receiving the commitment from Jaemyn Brakefield but, what I have been able to gather, is that the Blue Devils will host him for its midnight madness weekend on October 18. Michigan might currently sit in a great position, but his visit to Durham could change things.
For Jonathan Kuminga, might Duke continue to recruit him? Yes, but the chances of him reclassifying and enrolling at the blue blood next fall is not likely.
By the time next fall arrives, Archie Miller will have signed three full classes as the head coach at Indiana and in each cycle, he has brought at least two in-state natives to campus. Expect much of the same in the 2021 class.
Khristian Lander just took an official visit to the Big Ten program over the weekend and IU is in a great spot. Louisville is their strongest competitor at this point. He is their top target in the 2021 class and will continue to be until he commits.
In the frontcourt, Trey Kaufman and Caleb Furst is of their greatest priority. Each visited IU over the weekend and I would expect for Kaufman to land somewhere in the Big Ten with the Hoosiers and Purdue sitting good. Furst, on the other hand, just took an official visit to Virginia and I believe that it will come down to IU and UVA for him. His travel teammate, Luke Goode, is someone to keep an eye on, as is Blake Wesley, a South Bend native that is regarded as one of the best scoring guards in the junior class.