Twitter Tuesday: North Carolina, Pitt, Virginia Tech, Kansas
In this week's Twitter Tuesday mailbag, Rivals.com Basketball Recruiting Analyst Corey Evans examines R.J. Davis’ impact on North Carolina’s 2020 recruiting class, looks at a possible commitment date for Cade Cunningham commit and more.
Rivals Roundtable: Who will be the next five-star to commit?
R.J. Davis' commitment to North Carolina on Monday could directly impact Bryce Thompson. However, it seems as if Roy Williams will continue to pursue Thompson. I will say, it is going to be a little more difficult to recruit Thompson now due to UNC's backcourt numbers.
Where North Carolina might place even greater value is in a versatile wing-forward. The program's best bet would be Ziaire Williams, but his decision is not expected anytime soon. If not Williams, Puff Johnson, the younger brother of former North Carolina standout Cam Johnson, would do. He is scheduled to visit Chapel Hill on Nov. 2. Greg Brown would be an awesome addition, but he is more of a long shot for the Heels.
Finally, while North Carolina is just about done with its backcourt, it would obviously not turn down a commitment from Cade Cunningham. If he gives the Tar Heels a yes, they would take him and happily figure everything else out.
MORE: Davis' commitment
The Thanksgiving Hoopfest event takes place after the Thanksgiving holiday in Duncanville, Texas. That's not too far away from Cade Cunningham’s hometown, and the event will serve as a homecoming of sorts for the Montverde Academy (Fla.) standout. Heading home and revealing his college decision in front of the people that helped raise and support him might be something that piques Cunningham's interest.
Considering Thanksgiving Hoopfest will run after the Early Signing Period from Nov. 13-19, Cunningham could either secretly sign early and keep things under wraps before announcing, or opt to not sign until the April late period.
Cunningham's college destination is the biggest question mark. While Kentucky has garnered most of the talk lately, Oklahoma State is still in a great spot. Florida, North Carolina and Washington have to be mentioned as well.
Pitt in a precarious situation with Davis off the board. The Panthers can go a number of directions from here but first, understand that Davis was a major want because of the potential of Xavier Johnson to depart for the NBA after this season. If Johnson does return, the need is not as great. Pitt could wait things out and see who decommits following the coaching carousel in the spring, but knowing Jeff Capel, he will not wait that long.
The junior college ranks could be one route he takes, or he could see what else he can find on the high school level. The Panthers have remained in touch with Shakeel Moore, though he is more of a scorer than a facilitator. Earl Timberlake is a giant playmaker and would fill that need if he does choose the Panthers. If Capel's program misses out on both, it could jump into the Jalen Terry sweepstakes following his Michigan State decommitment.
P.J. Hall is priority No. 1, 2 and 3 for the Hokies. The four-star power forward just visited the ACC program last weekend and after canceling his visits to Georgia Tech and Tennessee, and with Florida now out of scholarships, his commitment this Thursday afternoon will come down to Clemson and Virginia Tech.
If he does choose the Tigers, the Hokies might wait things out further. They are not involved with a whole lot of others and wanted to make it evident to Hall that they were all-in on recruiting him for their power forward opening.
Xavier Foster does have the Hokies in his final four but it would be one of the fall shockers if he were to choose them. Jalen Haynes is someone that Virginia Tech has kept its eyes on and could potentially visit down the road. Outside of those two, look for the Hokies to check in on other capable big men available this fall, hit the junior college ranks or wait things out until the spring.
I am not sure who said that Kansas would struggle on the recruiting front. In recent weeks, I discussed the idea that the Jayhawks would have to change their recruiting ways because I didn’t see a five-star choosing the uncertain immediate future of the program over others with comparable cache.
We saw it last week with Isaiah Todd choosing Michigan over Kansas. The Jayhawks still had a good string of days with the addition of top junior college talent Tyon Grant-Foster and four-star center Gethro Muscadin. Those are exactly the type of prospects that I suggested that Kansas should pursue – top junior college talent and/or high school prospects that could develop over time.
Now, if the Jayhawks can beat out North Carolina, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for Bryce Thompson, that will change some things. Thompson has options galore but if he does decide on Kansas despite of the NCAA issues, it could go down as one of Bill Self’s best recruiting jobs.
Not a whole lot has changed with Greg Brown. His timeline for a commitment remains in place for the spring and five programs vie for his signature. Brown's next visit will take him to Auburn on Nov. 29, and he has already taken visits to Texas and North Carolina within the past year. He will visit Memphis on Jan. 4 before likely completing his visit tour with a trip to Kentucky on Jan. 10.
From there, Brown will play out his senior season, get an even better feel for how each program’s roster construction might look next fall and then make his decision. Texas has been the most discussed landing spot for him, though Memphis has picked up some ground. I wouldn’t discount Kentucky’s chances entirely, either. I would be surprised if he lands at Auburn or North Carolina. For now, Texas and Memphis have the inside track.