Basketball Recruiting - Twitter Tuesday: UCLA, Khristian Lander, Kerwin Walton, Mike Brey
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Twitter Tuesday: UCLA, Khristian Lander, Kerwin Walton, Mike Brey

Josh Christopher
Josh Christopher (https://rivals.com)

This week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag is filled with discussion about five-star seniors Josh Christopher and Ziaire Williams, Jalen Suggs’ professional opportunities and more.

Starting Five: Moncrieffe sets decision, Cronin breaking through at UCLA

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75


I don’t. I had a pretty good feeling just a month ago that Josh Christopher, despite my belief that Michigan was the program to beat, would visit all of his finalists before committing. That might not be the case any longer. Christopher's commitment might not be too far away and the feeling is that Michigan is on the precipice of adding the five-star to its 2020 class.

On the Ziaire Williams front, there is always a chance he visits UCLA, but most of the talk has hovered around Arizona and USC. Others involved include North Carolina, Oregon, and Stanford.

Furthermore, for as much Bruins fans hope that UCLA's turnaround this season might pique the interests of top 2020 recruits, it's so late in the process that it will have very little impact.

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He is college-bound unless something unforeseen happens. Yes, Jalen Suggs has continued to investigate the professional path, but Gonzaga should still expect to have him on campus in the fall.

For one reason or another, Suggs never had the options or college interest that many others like him usually do. Whether it was because of his exploits on the football field or that some believed that he would skip college and play professionally, the end result is Mark Few’s biggest recruiting win to date.

I'd say there's an 85-percent chance that Suggs will be running the show for the Zags next season.

Yes, it definitely remains a possibility. Khristian Lander has already taken official visits to Indiana, Louisville and Michigan, the three suitors for his commitment. Memphis is heavily involved, too. Despite the visits, he is still is likelier to remain in his original 2021 class.

That could all change this summer but Lander is set on playing this summer on the Nike EYBL circuit. Each program recruiting him would be more than fine taking him in the 2020 class, though Memphis has less of a need compared to all others. Don’t be surprised if his suitors push further for his enrollment in the fall. Louisville may sit ahead of all others with the top-20 junior.

William Jeffress
William Jeffress

I expect William Jeffress to commit after the high school season. The playoffs begin this week for Jeffress and there is a chance that his Erie McDowell bunch makes a run to the state title. The hold-up is that he has not taken a single official visit and would like to take a handful before deciding.

Now a member of the 2020 class after officially reclassifying a few weeks back, Jeffress is just now beginning to look at his recruitment. If there is an early leader in his recruitment, it appears to be Pitt. The Panthers have hosted him the most compared to any other program and his relationship with Jeff Capel and need in Oakland is evident.

Look for official visits to be taken next month leading to a commitment and signing in April. Jeffress could also visit Baylor, Marquette, Michigan, Penn State, Stanford, Syracuse and Vanderbilt.

I caught up with Kerwin Walton last week and, sorry to tell you, nothing has changed since the early signing period. He has completed all of his official visits but he is in no rush to make a decision.

Walton even cited what Matthew Hurt, a former travel program teammate, did last year. Hurt waited out the college season, looked at what happened rosters around college rosters and assessed various systems and coaching types before committing. Walton will probably take a similar route.

A final school list has not been formulated but a group consisting of Arizona, Cal, Creighton, Iowa State, Miami, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas and Vanderbilt remain involved. Arizona garnered most of the talk in the fall and while the Wildcats can be considered one of the leaders, predicting his ultimate landing spot has become more and more difficult the further away that he has gotten from his visits.

I understand the opinion that Mike Brey is reaching his end at Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish inch toward their third-straight season without an NCAA Tournament berth, but I would sit tight for a little longer. Don’t forget, Brey led Notre Dame to back-to-back Elite Eight runs just five years ago and had a team last season ravaged by injuries. The Irish have not recruited as well as they might have liked, but also enrolled a top-25 class in 2018 and will return a promising core next season.

No, I am not saying that another Elite Eight run is in the cards for Notre Dame next season, but I do believe that a turnaround is in store. Next year will be a big one for the Irish and Brey probably knows that, too.

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