Twitter Tuesday: Villanova, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas
In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, we look at the recruitment of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, the ramifications of Vernon Carey’s visit to Duke and wonder who might answer Kentucky’s questions in the frontcourt.
How probable is it that Nova lands JRE?— Dylan Blanchard (@dccb31) October 21, 2018
The recruitment of top-10 forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is nearing an end. He has completed visits to his final five of Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Villanova. The five-star prospect has been a heavily coveted and recruited target since his underclassman years and little has changed since then. Could Villanova land him? It has a better chance than what people originally thought.
The son of Lester Earl, who played at Kansas in the 1990s, Robinson-Earl grew up surrounded by Kansas fans and attended a number of games and practices during his childhood. He made the move to IMG Academy in Florida this fall but many still believed that he would return back to the Sunflower State and suit up for the Jayhawks next season.
Villanova appears to have made a strong run and put itself into legitimate contention to win Robinson-Earl's commitment.
Jay Wright and his staff have apparently done a phenomenal job recruiting Robinson-Earl and this race has become a tough one to call.
How did this weekend go for Duke with regards to Vernon Carey Jr?— Wade Bosley (@WadeBosley16) October 21, 2018
By all accounts, Vernon Carey’s official visit to Duke over the weekend was a rousing success. While he was joined by five-star juniors B.J. Boston and Jalen Johnson, this weekend was all about Carey and how he could flourish under the tutelage of Mike Krzyzewski.
Carey, who has already visited Kentucky, will stay home next week and see Miami for the umpteenth time, though this will be an official visit. He still plans to visit North Carolina next month and a final official to Michigan State remains in the works.
Duke was the heavy favorite in the early spring but a lot has changed since then. The Spartans look to be the favorite at this point, but the Blue Devils made up major ground over the weekend. Carey's recruitment now appears to be a 1A and 1B type of situation. That is crucial since Carey’s commitment is expected to be made before the turn of the calendar and the need for interior star power is a pressing concern for Duke.
Kentucky is likely to lose 2-4 big men next year, so which big men in the 2019 class do they get?— Jason 🅥 (@Darezay) October 21, 2018
That's the million-dollar question in Lexington, isn’t it? This has been some sort of recruiting cycle already where we have seen Duke miss on a few of its top backcourt targets and Kentucky has done just the same in the frontcourt.
Just this past weekend, Oscar Tshiebwe picked West Virginia over Kentucky. That leaves Carey, Isaiah Stewart, James Wiseman and Jaden McDaniels firmly on the Wildcats' board. Of the group, none are strong leans toward Kentucky, a rather perplexing thought for the typically dominant Wildcats on the recruiting trail.
Could the program swing and miss on all of them? Crazy as it sounds but yes. Michigan State and Duke seem to be more likely for Carey; Michigan State, Duke and Washington seem to be more likely for Stewart; Memphis is the primary hurdle to overcome for Wiseman; McDaniels, though the Wildcats are in his final five and yet to have even offered, might be hard to pluck off of the West Coast as San Diego State and Washington have gained most of the talk.
There has been whispers that Kentucky has expressed interest in five-star forward C.J. Walker and it would not surprise me to see the Wildcats get involved with Kofi Cockburn and Precious Achiuwa. I also wouldn't be shocked if Kentucky hit the grad-transfer market again, just as the program did last spring with Stanford’s Reid Travis.
How does the FBI corruption scandal impact Kansas?— Josh Williams (@joshwilliams724) October 21, 2018
The thought that Kansas could be hit by NCAA penalties after allegedly being in the know regarding potential payments to Zion Williamson and payments to Silvio De Sousa is purely speculation at this point.
The NCAA can't do anything until the government allows it to use specific documents and findings that might help it advance an infraction case against Kansas. While it would be reckless and premature for anyone to speculate on potential penalties, it's safe to assume that rival programs are using last week's news against the Jayhawks in recruiting.
USC, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Auburn and Louisville were directly hit by the FBI investigation into the sport last September but, in the span of a year, those five programs have each moved forward and are sitting in the top 15 of the 2019 Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings. I wouldn’t expect for anything to be different for Kansas this fall.