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Twitter Tuesday: Point guard dominoes, Bagley, Missouri, UConn

The second evaluation period has come to a close, and with just one more week until the class of 2018 finishes their travel careers, we answer your questions in this week’s #TwitterTuesday mailbag.

We assess the first major point guard domino to fall, Marvin Bagley’s reclassification and what might be in store at UConn and Missouri.

WHAT WE LEARNED OVER THE WEEKEND: Atlanta | Summer Jam | Hardwood Classic

Darius Garland
Darius Garland

Brad brings up the subject of the point guard position as it pertains to the upper crest within the 2018 class. There is no clear-cut top lead guard prospect this summer, but there are a handful of top-tier recruits that some of the very best programs are fighting for. Who might be the first to jump off the board and in doing so create a major domino effect?

There have already been a few top-100 guards to come off the board including Javonte Smart, Courtney Ramey, Brandon Williams, Tyger Campbell and Prentiss Hubb. A major group remains, however.

Immanuel Quickley has set three official visits that will take him through mid-September, though many believe that the five-star guard is a heavy Kentucky lean and John Calipari could make a push for an earlier commitment than what might be expected.

We broke news on Saturday that Jahvon Quinerly, another top-20 guard, will visit UCLA the first weekend of October. While some believe that he could have committed to Arizona during his visit last month, his recruitment could last a bit longer.

Elijah Weaver has set three visits that, just like Quickley, will take him through the middle of September. USC, Florida and Ohio State have each solidified dates, so his commitment might still not be made until the fall.

That brings us to Tre Jones, Darius Garland, Ayo Dosunmu, Devon Dotson and David Duke. Dosunmu and Dotson are likely to go through a few visits, keeping them on the market a bit longer. Duke could surprise some and make a commitment out of the blue, similar to what his teammate, A.J. Reeves, did in June. Garland just narrowed down his list of schools to a group of six. Jones has continued to hear from a plethora of programs nationwide, though many believe that he is headed to Duke.

All caught up now? It is confusing, yes, but if there is a guess of who begins the point guard dominoes, Duke, Jones or Quickley would be strong guesses.

The college basketball landscape was thrown into a loop last week with the possibility of Marvin Bagley’s reclassification into the 2017 class. The best high school prospect that the game has seen in recent years, Bagley is the type of program-changing ballplayer that can get any type of contending team over the hump and immediately make them a national championship favorite. The five-star is super skilled, talented and productive power forward who can lead the break, score from each level on the floor and is an elite rebounder in traffic.

USC, Kentucky and Duke are the likeliest of landing spots for him. This past weekend, Bagley visited Duke for an official visit, and the Blue Devils sit in the lead for him.

USC should not be slighted, however, as the Trojans have gained ample ground in their pursuit to the point that they are nipping at the heels of the Blue Devils. Bagley could take an official visit to USC in the coming weeks.

Kentucky solidified, once again, the top-ranked class in 2017. They would absolutely love to add someone of Bagley’s caliber to a roster full of premium athlete and versatile wings. However, USC and Duke are the favorites, and the likelihood of the five-star reclassifying into 2017 next month and attending college in the fall gets better by the day.

If that happens, Duke would immediately become the national championship favorite. The same could be said for Kentucky if the Wildcats land the talented prospect. If Bagley chooses USC, the Trojans should be seen as another threat to cut down the nets; pairing Bagley with Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu would be give the Trojans the best frontcourt in America.

UConn target Jalen Carey
UConn target Jalen Carey

UConn has not struggled to land top-150 talent in recent years, but finding the proper fit and those that can excel in Storrs has been a bit of an issue. Kevin Ollie has righted the ship, and this coming season should bring better days for the Huskies program.

However, the class of 2018 is a big one, and with the possible early departures of Jaylen Adams and Terry Larrier on the table, what might UConn need to do to have a successful year on the recruiting front?

Priority number one is Jalen Carey, an old school type of guard known for his toughness, scoring streaks, and high-motor abilities. Syracuse, Miami and Kansas are the other primary favorites, but things have been tracking toward a battle between the Orange and the Huskies. Carey must become a UConn commit for the Huskies to have a good year.

Alongside Carey is Montez Mathis, a top-100 guard that is down to a final six. The talk of late, however, has surrounded Rutgers and UConn. The Huskies, thanks to the recent hiring of assistant coach Raphael Chillious, may be in the driver’s seat. Landing someone like Mathis, a 6-foot-4 power scoring guard that can fill it up in a hurry, would create a killer one-two combo in the backcourt for years to come alongside Carey.

Anything to go along with Mathis and Carey would just be icing on the cake. Kevin Ollie was in Milwaukee this past weekend and offered improving small forward Aaron Henry, though some of the better Midwest programs have already put in a lot of time and effort with this one. Finding a replacement for Larrier, a VCU transfer, is vital, though.

Mario McKinney
Mario McKinney

Missouri basketball has been a bottom feeder in the SEC in recent years, but upon the the Tigers have hit the ground in a full out sprint since hiring Cuonzo Martin thanks to the commitments of Michael Porter, Jontay Porter and Jeremiah Tilmon. While they still have some work to do in the 2018 class, where might the Tigers be leaning early on within the 2019 class?

Martin has been vocal about creating a pipeline between the talented St. Louis area and Columbia, and the Tigers have jumped all in on top-75 guard Mario McKinney. The 6-foot guard is a freak of an athlete and is someone that plays a very entertaining brand of basketball. The Tigers’ staff has been present at many of his games this month showing just how much they value the rising junior.

Even closer to home is top-100 wing Isiaih Mosley. A 6-foot-5 small forward, Mosley is a hard playing junior that can shoot and defend. The native of Columbia, Missouri is a must get for the Tigers and while his recruitment is just picking up steam, a commitment to Mizzou should come as no surprise.

Francis Okoro is another to keep tabs on. The top-30 forward, who plays for the same travel program as McKinney and Tilmon, is someone that the Tigers have started to prioritize. Along with Okoro, Marcedus Leech and Malik Hall, two wings that recently hauled in Kansas offers, remain on Missouri’s radar. Hall and Leech will both lead national recruitments.