Twitter Tuesday: Louisville, Illinois, Pitt, more
The top names of the 2019 class have started to make a move with their recruitments. In this week’s #TwitterTuesday, we take a deeper look at Pitt’s pressing need in the frontcourt, Illinois’ chances with its top 50 targets and the state of Louisville's program.
The recruitment of Qudus Wahab is still ongoing as the Rivals150 center has yet to narrow his school list. He has been stuck on a final 12 for several weeks, but I expect him to publish a final five in the coming days with the Panthers on it.
From there, things remain blurry. Pitt has made up major ground in his recruitment since June as Jeff Capel has seen Wahab twice already since the fall evaluation periods began. Virginia Tech, UConn, Georgetown, VCU and Louisville are just a few others in contention, but much more time needs to be given before a favorite emerges.
On the other hand, I feel much more comfortable forecasting the recruitment of Anthony Walker. The Rivals150 forward spent his first official visit on Pitt two weeks ago and just saw Rhode Island last weekend. Kansas is up next (unofficial), though it has not offered. URI has invested a lot of time with him, as has VCU, but Miami may be the stiffest competition for Walker, though do not discount the Rams.
From where things sit, I see Pittsburgh as the landing spot for Walker, a 6-foot-9 forward that would impact the program from day one. Wahab is a bit further behind and though I do expect for him to sign in November, he has yet to schedule his official visits and doesn’t seem to be in much of a rush to do so.
Illinois just had 3 big time recruits on campus. How did it go, and who do you see them landing of those 3?— Margarita Jake (@MargaritaJakeHH) September 24, 2018
It was one of the most important weekends of the Brad Underwood era in Champaign as the Illini hosted three top 50 prospects from the 2019 class. Let’s take a quick look at each prospect and his respective recruitment.
Oscar Tshiebwe is down to a final four as he has already visited Baylor and is off to Kentucky and West Virginia before coming to a decision. Illinois is playing from behind and while the Illini made his final list, his commitment to the Big Ten program would be one of the biggest surprises of the fall.
Terrence Shannon formerly committed to DePaul before quickly backing off of his pledge. He has already visited Texas Tech and while he is finishing his high school career at IMG Academy in Florida, the Illinois native returned home this weekend and greatly enjoyed his visit, as he told OrangeandBlueNews.com. No other trips are scheduled for the time being and while Florida State had gained most of the talk following his DePaul decommitment, Illiniois may now be in the pole position.
EJ Liddell is the closest to his college decision. He has already visited his other finalists in Missouri and Ohio State, but selecting the favorite for him remains difficult. Mizzou just took the pledge of his good friend and former travel teammate, Mario McKinney, on Monday, as the Tigers and Ohio State may be a nudge ahead of the Illini.
In terms of get-ability rate, it goes Shannon, Liddell and then Tshiebwe.
Do you truthfully believe that Louisville basketball is back?— jay (@ranchpizzas) September 23, 2018
Where did they go? I get it, I get it. But really, there has been no slippage on the recruiting trail beyond last year, a spurt in time that was more of a minor hiatus than anything else.
It is rather amazing what Louisville has done already in the 2019 class, where Chris Mack hit the ground running at his new digs. Mack and his first year coaching staff precisely pin-pointed the specific needs of the roster it was inheriting. From there, they went out accurately attacked the recruiting trail of which has paid major dividends in recent weeks
While the Cardinals were stung by the commitment of Rocket Watts to Michigan State on Saturday, earlier in the day, they celebrated the commitment of Rivals150 wing and the top local talent, David Johnson. Throw him next to Josh Nickelberry, Jaelyn Withers and Samuell Williamson, each highly regarded seniors and members of the Rivals150, and there is a lot to look forward in Louisville.
The Cardinals also remain a strong contender for Tyrell Jones and are seen as the leader for top-60 big man Aidan Igiehon. Mack left Xavier as the second winningest coach in school history and has already made a giant move to put the Cardinals on the fast track to ACC stardom. Do not expect anything different moving ahead.
How soon before patrick Williams makes decision?— Coach D (@CoachDreiling) September 23, 2018
No one really knows. The top-50 wing out of North Carolina has been a man of few words throughout the years and nothing has changed as the recruiting process has heated up.
NC State hosted Williams earlier this month for an official visit as Kevin Keatts and his staff has kept their sights on him since they were first hired a year ago. They also offer close proximity to the Charlotte native and should be seen as one of the favorites for him.
However, Florida State snuck Williams in for an official visit this past weekend and, behind closed doors, the Seminoles are thought of as a top contender. They need three more this fall before they can wrap up its 2019 class and should be seen as the program to beat.
Arizona, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Texas are heavily involved, too, and while each would love to snag Williams' pledge, FSU is in the driver's seat. He could decide to wait the process out or he could decide that Tallahassee is where he is meant to be, thus leading to a much earlier commitment than many had assumed.