Twitter Tuesday: Ziaire Williams, Lance Ware, Penn State, Pitt
In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, Rivals.com Basketball Recruiting Analyst Corey Evans take a look at the ongoing recruitments of Ziaire Williams and Josh Christopher. Also, he gives an update on Kentucky-bound Lace Ware and discusses what Penn State and Pitt can achieve with their 2021 classes.
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Don’t count on it. While Ziaire Williams has kept North Carolina on his list and there is still a slight chance that the Tar Heels could swoop in at the last minute and snag the five-star, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
North Carolina is currently full on scholarships for the 2020-21 season and the feeling is that Williams will remain on the West Coast if he decides to attend college.
My FutureCast selection remains set on Arizona for Williams. Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and USC are also involved, with the Cardinal and Trojans sitting in the best spot for him compared to Ducks and Bruins. While I am not entirely confident on my prediction, recent talk has centered around USC for the five-star.
However, keep tabs on Williams choosing the professional path. Such talk has yet to dissipate and while he is far from making a decision, there is actually a better chance that he skips college entirely compared to committing to North Carolina.
No, Josh Christopher was always going to visit Arizona State, just as he will likely visit Missouri and UCLA, before he comes to a college decision. Prior his trip to ASU, Christopher visited Howard in the early fall and Michigan in November.
My FutureCast selection has remained set on Michigan for a few weeks and I am sticking with that prediction for now. I should say, though, while I believed that it was more of a battle between the Wolverines and UCLA, recent talk has centered around Arizona State and Michigan.
He is not expected to make a commitment any time soon, so a lot could still change before he makes his final decision. Michigan is in the best spot but Arizona State has picked up ground and it would never be a safe idea to discount his other finalists, Missouri and UCLA.
There is a strong chance. Lance Ware has only gotten better throughout the past few years which is exactly what you’re looking for out of a prospect. Ware has never lacked for the talent or the production, but rather it has come down to consistency. Well, up against the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 class on Saturday, Evan Mobley, not only did Ware not back down, but he arguably won the match-up with the future USC standout.
Ware sits as the 33rd best prospect in the 2020 class and is only a few spots away from earning a five-star rating. It is going to be close with whether he receives that final star but, just as my fellow analyst Eric Bossi pointed out over the weekend, the need for someone like Ware at Kentucky should not be understated. He is someone that bring some passion to the frontcourt, can produce in the half-court setting and actually have a few plays run through him, all of which is what John Calipari wants in his big men. Ware is going to be a good one for the Wildcats.
Penn State could be in for another bigger year with its 2021 class which is why the Nittany Lions have thrown out some a large net on the current crop of juniors. Stevie Mitchell is someone that is relatively in Penn State's backyard and the program was one of the first high-majors to offer the Rivals150 prospect. Jalen Warley is seen in a similar light and while his recruitment has gone more towards the national end of the spectrum already, the Nittany Lions have done their due diligence with the top-50 prospect. Rahsool Diggins is another out of Philadelphia that PSU is in a decent spot with.
Two that have connections to the program is Gabe Dorsey, whose brother, Caleb Dorsey, signed with the Nittany Lions earlier in the fall, and John Camden, whose sister is a freshman on the girl’s team at Penn State.
Jaylen Blakes, Jack Molloy and Elijah Hutchins-Everett are a group of others PSU has their eyes on. With at least three scholarships to fill in the 2021 class, the Nittany Lions will be active in the coming months.
It is still a bit early to throw out a credible prediction for Pitt’s 2021 class seeing that it is not even done with its 2020 class. However, the Panthers have done a good job of getting involved with a few of the better prospects within its target regions which could lead to another strong group to follow its 2020 group.
Don’t forget, Pitt celebrated the commitment from top-25 sophomore Jalen Hood-Schifino last month and it would come as no surprise if he decides to make the move a year up and reclassify into the 2021 class. Either way, the Panthers need to add further which is why they are one of the few standing out with breakout guard Jalen Warley. Another to keep an eye on is Bryce McGowens, a four-star junior who is the younger brother of standout guard Trey McGowens.
The frontcourt remains a major need for the Panthers and they have done a fine job of laying the proper foundation with Nnanna Njoku, Mac Etienne and Adama Sanogo. They should have a chance to host each on an official visit and it is within reason for one of the three Rivals150 prospects to end up at Pittsburgh in the fall of 2021.