Basketball Recruiting - Twitter Tuesday: Top five classes, Josh Green, Wendell Moore
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Twitter Tuesday: Top five classes, Josh Green, Wendell Moore

RANKINGS: 2018 Rivals150 | 2019 Rivals150 | 2020 Rivals150 | 2018 Team | 2018 Position

In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, we throw out some 2019 team rankings projections, dive into North Carolina's pursuit of Josh Green, break down the dynamics of the American Athletic Conference and discuss why Wendell Moore is still an uncommitted prospect.

ERIC BOSSI'S STARTING FIVE: What's up with Khalil Whitney?

Tyrese Maxey
Tyrese Maxey (Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated)

This is a tough one. I will throw out four programs in the best spot for a top-five finish and six wild cards for the final position.

Duke: The Blue Devils will land at least one of their big men targets and are in a good spot for Bryan Antoine and Wendell Moore. Duke also has a decent chance with top-five forward Matt Hurt.

Kentucky: Another year, another recruiting cycle where the Wildcats finish with a top-five class. Tyrese Maxey and Dontaie Allen are already in the fold and Kahlil Whitney could be next. Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis both list UK as a finalist, and it's hard to imagine the Wildcats missing on both Vernon Carey or James Wiseman.

USC: The Trojans already boast commitments of four top-75 prospects and should land another Rivals150 before the 2019 class is put to bed. Mark it down, the Trojans will finish with a top-five class.

Villanova: The Wildcats could finish with a top-flight class or they could be left scrambling this spring. They already hold the commitments of two four-star prospects and have a fighter’s chance with Isaiah Wong, Scottie Lewis, Bryan Antoine, Nico Mannion and Isaiah Stewart.

For the fifth spot, it is a total toss-up and could be any one of these programs if they land a majority of their targets. Memphis, UConn, Indiana, Michigan State, North Carolina or Kansas.

North Carolina thoroughly evaluated Josh Green over the past several weeks and has, finally, decided to jump in with an offer. Do I believe that the Tar Heels will eventually land him? It's still too early to tell, but the offer piqued Green's interest and North Carolina is a stronger contender for his signature.

The next step for Green is narrowing his list of schools to a group of five or eight, just as others within his class are currently doing. Green will head to IMG Academy in a few weeks for his final year of high school ball, so I would expect for this list to be published beforehand so that he can thoroughly talk over all of the schools in contention with those closest to him.

Among the schools in the best position for Green include Arizona, USC, Oregon, UNLV, Michigan and Villanova, though you can probably throw North Carolina into that group as well.

Penny Hardaway
Penny Hardaway (AP Images)

Great question here and it could not have come at a better time where, while the AAC has become stronger from top to bottom in recent years. the upcoming year brings more questions than answers. How does Dan Hurley fair at UConn? Does Wichita State remain sturdy despite its recent departures? What about Temple and the final year of Fran Dunphy in Philly? Most of all, does Penny Hardaway become a success story at his alma mater?

Hardaway has had no worries going after the very best on the recruiting trail. There was no question that he was going to get his within the Memphis city limits, but what about those from outside of his home base? While he has yet to land them, the fact that, in July, he was front and center for five-star prospects Trendon Watford, Matt Hurt, Jaden McDaniels and Jalen Green, shows that Hardaway’s mission is to go big, as in for the best that the nation has to provide.

How this impacts the rest of the conference remains to be seen but if Hardaway is capable of landing such heavily lauded prospects, the league’s cache improves immensely. It becomes an even more visible league that can be sold to the best of prospects nationally and not be thought of as just a fringe power league.


Wendell Moore
Wendell Moore (USA Basketball)

While Duke remains a heavy favorite for Wendell Moore, I would not say that this is a done deal in any regard. A five-star prospect from Charlotte, Moore has trimmed his list to a final five consisting of Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State and South Carolina.

Moore was a big fan of Duke growing up and while the Blue Devils were the last of the final five to offer, their playing style, fit and the comfort level he has with the program is evident. He has played the past two years with Caleb Stone-Carrawell, the son of recently named Duke assistant Chris Carrawell, and has visited the Durham campus a number of times in recent years.

However, North Carolina was viewed as the heavy favorite for Moore a year ago and there were even whispers that the Tar Heels were about to land his commitment before Duke offered. The same could have been said for Wake Forest as the Deacons have invested the most time and attention in recruiting the local prospect since his freshman year. Don’t discount NC State or South Carolina, either, as Kevin Keatts has already done wonders on the recruiting trail and Frank Martin has been no slouch in that regard.

At the end of the day, do I believe that Moore ends up at Duke? I do, but this is far from a finished recruitment as all five finalists have a legitimate chance at his commitment.