Twitter Tuesday: Quentin Grimes, Florida, Wendell Moore, Miami
Five-star guard Quentin Grimes is down to a final four of Marquette, Texas, Kentucky and Kansas and is expected to make his choice in the coming weeks and sign during next month's early signing period.
For most of the spring and summer, Kentucky and Kansas were seen as the heavy favorites.
Kansas, which just secured the commitment of five-star lead guard Devon Dotson, has been adamant about adding two capable ball-handlers during this recruiting cycle. Dotson checks one of the boxes while Grimes would surely knock out the other.
There remain a few more questions with Kentucky as, for the first time in a while, the Wildcats might not lose as many freshmen to the NBA following the season. UK has already nailed down five-star lead guard Immanuel Quickley, but John Calipari has made it clear that he would love to add someone like Grimes to his backcourt.
Outside of UK and KU, Marquette and Texas have gained major ground with Grimes in the past few weeks.
Steve Wojciechowski and his staff in Milwaukee have recruited Grimes extremely hard and made sure to be a major presence at his travel games this summer. There are no major connections between the Big East program and Grimes, but the Golden Eagles have made him a clear priority and are selling Marquette's potent offense to the Texan.
It's worth keeping tabs tabs on Texas in Grimes' recruitment. The Longhorns have done major work under Shaka Smart at keeping the best in-state talent home. Texas desperately needs a go-to alpha dog scorer, and Grimes definitely fits that bill. The Longhorns remain the dark horse for in his recruitment.
Florida has put together one of the most lethal backcourt tandems in the 2018 class with the commitments of Andrew Nembhard, arguably the nation's top passer, and Noah Locke, arguably it's top shooter. How might the Gators finish up their class this fall?
Moore, a skilled, talented and ultra-versatile small forward prospect, is the type of recruit that the Gators are looking for. He is capable of playing four positions on the offensive end and three on the defensive side. Moore, who visited Florida at the beginning of September, is also considering Oklahoma and Georgia. He could make a surprise commitment at any time, or take his recruitment into the winter months.
Johnson is the prospect that is most likely to land with the Gators. He is one of the toughest wing defenders in the 2018 class and has shown that he can be a productive ballplayer while never being labeled as ‘the guy.’ The four-star Rivals150 wing is down to a final four of Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and Florida. Johnson is expected to make a commitment in the coming weeks, and the Gators may be the slight favorite for his signature.
Wendell Moore has not been short of college interest or offers. The 6-foot-5 wing sports elite length, has improved his ball skills and is extremely versatile on the court. Born and raised in North Carolina, Moore has been a priority for some of the best programs in the region ever since he first stepped foot onto a high school playing floor.
Wake Forest, located less than a two-hour drive from his home, has made Moore a priority. Danny Manning has not been afraid to go after highly-ranked prospects and has landed top-50 recruits in consecutive recruiting classes. However, landing Moore would be Manning’s biggest recruiting coup to date because of the stiff competition that he is facing from the other in-state programs.
Duke just offered Moore two weeks ago and the Blue Devils, while they still have some time to go before they finish out their 2018 class, would love nothing more than to lock down the top-50 junior.
North Carolina may arguably be the best program in America at constantly nailing down commitments from prospects out of the younger classes. The Tar Heels have already notched the verbal commitment of four-star 2019 guard Jeremiah Francis and there has been a growing sentiment that they could do just the same with Moore.
Kansas just offered, and Maryland, NC State and several others continue to pursue him, but the Tar Heels remain the favorite for Moore's commitment. That pledge that could happen a bit earlier than expected, though the recent offer from Duke and the continued pursuance of Wake Forest could slow things down some.
While coach Jim Larranaga has received a federal grand jury subpoena, the feeling inside the program is that nothing will come out of it. Unfortunately, the negative ramifications of it have already been felt on the recruiting trail.
Before the FBI sting, the Hurricanes were within the final two for top-five wing Nassir Little, a five-star prospect that would have immediately left an imprint on the program next fall. However, Little swiftly moved through the process by erasing Miami off of his list before committing to North Carolina two weeks later.
During the same time frame, Jalen Carey, a top-50 guard in the 2018 class, was down to a final three of Syracuse, UConn and Miami, with the Hurricanes viewed as the major dark horse in his recruitment. Both the Orange and Huskies were concerned that Miami would be the final landing spot for him. Fortunately for Syracuse, the inclusion of Miami in FBI documents immediately knocked the Hurricanes off of his list and Carey ultimately committed to the Orange.
Eric Ayala had just visited Miami before the FBI investigation. The Hurricanes had gained enough traction with him that there were whispers that the IMG guard might ultimately end up in Coral Gables. He then visited Oregon and Maryland before committing to the Terps two weeks ago, another gut punch for the Hurricanes.
It is easy to see now that the FBI busts have done enough to negatively impact the Miami basketball program, regardless of whether anything else comes out of the investigation. Add in the fact that Miami could lose its entire backcourt after this season and the need for a quality, deep class remains at hand, something that may be too difficult to patch together this fall.
What Miami does have going is that the program remains in contention for Rivals150 wing Saddiq Bey, a versatile senior that was a heavy Hurricane lean a month ago. Miami has overcome some of the negative side effects of the FBI investigation as it is hoping to scratch out the commitment from him. The Hurricanes also made the final eight for top ranked 2019 big man Vernon Carey Jr., a local talent whose father starred on the football gridiron during his own collegiate playing days.
We are getting a lot of questions about four-star guard Tyger Campbell in light of his surprise visit to Purdue this past weekend. One of the top facilitators and playmakers in high school ball and a one-time DePaul commit, Campbell, while he is not an elite NBA prospect, he may rank as a top-10 type of recruit when it comes to four years of production.
Originally a member of the 2019 class before reclassifying a year up during his commitment to DePaul this spring, Campbell sports all of the physical tangibles and abilities to walk into a high profile program, start from day one and contribute to his team’s pursuit of a conference championship and beyond. While he is not an explosive guard or known for his scoring abilities, his consistent production, passing skills and ball security is as good as it gets for this level, something that Purdue would love to add to its roster this fall.
The Boilermakers will see PJ Thompson, a lightly recruited guard during his high school days who turned into a four-year contributor, graduate after this season. Replacing him is a major need and with the potential national emergence of Carsen Edwards, someone that is best used in a scoring capacity, the Big Ten program needs to find a point guard this fall. They could place Nojel Eastern on the ball in spurts in the future, a 6-foot-6 wing with an underrated passing acumen, but completing the recruitment of Campbell or top-50 guard Courtney Ramey would be a major victory for Matt Painter’s program.
While Purdue was the first program to host Campbell for an official visit after his decommitment, it is not alone in their pursuit of the nifty guard. UNLV, New Mexico and Missouri had kicked the tires with him, but it is DePaul that remains their heaviest competition, with Maryland keeping a hopeful eye.
DePaul remains heavy in the race for Campbell and while a re-commitment rarely ever happens, the Blue Demons remain on solid footing. The hiring of former La Lumiere School head coach Shane Heirman, who now serves within an assistant coach capacity on Dave Leitao’s staff, has kept the Big East program in the hunt. DePaul has silently put together a sneaky good team full of transfers and under-the-radar high school prospects; all that they are missing is a playmaking, table-setting guard like Campbell, a sell that they are outlining to him.
Maryland, a program that recently notched the commitment of Rivals150 four-star guard Eric Ayala, was expected to host Campbell for an official visit two weeks ago. The commitment of Ayala changed some things while they have more of an eye on the wing position as they remain a strong contender for five-star wing Keldon Johnson, and a true center as they are a heavy pursuer of five-star center Moses Brown. They may remain in the mix for Campbell that is if he decides to take his recruitment into the winter, though both Purdue and DePaul would love for him to call it a day and sign in three weeks.