Twitter Tuesday: Washington, Indiana, Duke, Terrence Shannon
STARTING FIVE: Michigan State and UNC rising, Kansas' visitor and more
In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, Rivals.com Basketball Analyst Corey Evans takes a stab at questions about Washington’s recruiting momentum, Indiana’s chances with Keion Brooks, Duke’s backcourt issues, the hold-up with Terrence Shannon and more.
is Washington building recruiting momentum heading into the 2020 class— Ryan Curtis (@RCcola28) February 24, 2019
There is no doubt about it. What Mike Hopkins has done since taking over at Washington is one of the best coaching jobs of the last few seasons. Very rarely does a program lose someone of Markelle Fultz’s stature and actually improve, which is exactly what the Huskies did last season. The year-to-year improvement was largely thanks to the quick work that Hopkins and his staff did by enrolling Nahziah Carter and Hameir Wright and keeping the commitment of now all-league guard Jaylen Nowell.
The Huskies took another big step forward with their 2019 class by signing Rivals150 guard and local talent RaeQuan Battle, securing Kentucky transfer Quade Green and then landing a pledge from five-star Isaiah Stewart. Adding Jaden McDaniels would be the cherry on top of an astounding class.
Washington definitely heads into 2020 with momentum and its class could be kick-started by five-star wing Marjon Beauchamp, who was on campus on Saturday. The Huskies are also in a great spot with top-40 juniors Daishen Nix and Julian Strawther.
Does IU have a shot at KBJ?— HOOSIERVILLIER (@ThomasVillier) February 24, 2019
Yes, do not count out Indiana when it comes to Keion Brooks. The five-star, who is down to a final five that features Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Purdue and North Carolina, made noise last week with a visit to Lexington for UK’s game against Tennessee. From there, the thought was that Kentucky was the team to beat and that a commitment was imminent. While the Wildcats have definitely made up some ground, this recruitment is not quite over just yet.
I am not willing to give up on Indiana with Brooks. He, like most other elite prospects, wants to be put into the best spot to succeed in college before hopefully earning an NBA paycheck. Whether he selects the blue blood path that John Calipari can offer or the home-state option where he could play alongside good friend Trayce Jackson-Davis remains up in the air. But Indiana is still neck-and-neck with Kentucky, though one should not discount Michigan State, either.
The off-guard spot is the least of Duke’s concerns for next year. The Blue Devils will enroll one of the top shot-makers in the 2019 class in Boogie Ellis, have a complete utility guard-wing in Wendell Moore that can patch any hole on the perimeter and, just as we saw on Saturday, a more than capable scoring punch in Alex O’Connell. Where Duke might have some issues is at the point guard spot if Tre Jones decides to leave early for the NBA after this season.
The Blue Devils just made the final five for R.J. Hampton, a five-star junior that has the chance to reclassify into the 2019 class. Outside of Hampton, there is no one that could fill the possible void at the 1, which makes their recruitment of him that much more important. If they can secure Hampton, he, along with Moore and Ellis should be sufficient enough talents in filling their backcourt needs, which would give Coach K another potential Final Four team next season.
What’s going on with Terrence Shannon?— Hoyastradamus (@hoyabreakdown) February 24, 2019
Top-60 wing Terrence Shannon had remained vocal about staying patient with the recruiting process this winter and is set on a group that consists of Florida State, DePaul, Georgetown, Illinois and Texas Tech. There has been a lot of talk about one of the home-state programs, DePaul and Illinois, being his eventual landing spot. Florida State had gained a ton of traction this fall, too, and Georgetown has long been viewed as a dark horse in his recruitment. Despite all of that, it looks as if Texas Tech has taken the pole position for him. There is still no timeline for a commitment, and while the Red Raiders could wrap this up in the coming weeks, his remaining finalists continue to pursue him.
I do believe that Florida ends up making another move or two this spring with its 2019 class but if you’re looking for names, I can't help you yet. The Gators had remained stagnant in recent months after signing one of the best classes in America this fall and using up their scholarship allotment for next season. While we don’t know who could be leaving UF earlier than expected, more times than not, roster attrition of one sort or another happens. This would allow Florida to add to its roster by snatching up a decommitment or hitting the transfer market. There is no clear-cut available senior that might solve the Gators' frontcourt issues, but they will still make a move or two this spring.