Basketball Recruiting - Wednesday Leftovers: Hampton's future, Pitt looks ahead, Virginia, KU
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Wednesday Leftovers: Hampton's future, Pitt looks ahead, Virginia, KU

RANKINGS: 2019 Rivals150 | 2019 Team rankings | 2019 Position rankings

2020 Rivals150 | 2020 Position rankings

Top 75 of 2021

R.J. Hampton
R.J. Hampton (USA Basketball)

A few more topics to get to in this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers including the reclassification of RJ Hampton, Pitt’s ideal 2019 class, Virginia’s recent pick-up, how Kansas responds this spring, and what Mike Anderson and Nate Oats can do in the coming weeks to enjoy success at their new jobs.

MORE: Twitter Tuesday mailbag | Anthony to UNC

RJ Hampton, a five-star guard in the 2020 class, is already down to a final four that consists of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis. For the Jayhawks to defeat the others, they need the proper roster construction.

Hampton is someone that wouldn’t mind having the ball in his hands. Duke has Tre Jones returning and just landed Cassius Stanley on Monday. Furthermore, they haven’t really recruited Hampton a whole lot so their chances with him are nearly non-existent.

Kentucky can offer the one-and-done path and bright lights, but with a fairly crowded backcourt returning and also enrolling, the Wildcats might be on the outside looking in, though John Calipari is expected in to see him today. Memphis stands in a great spot with Hampton, but the idea of playing for a legendary coach in Bill Self, the need for a star talent that he represents, and a fairly wide-open backcourt assuming that Quentin Grimes does not return, and it is looking good for KU.

Hampton does have to gain the proper credits this summer to become eligible to enroll this fall, but if everything aligns properly, the elite talent will be Lawrence-bound.

The ideal class for Pitt? It would definitely start with Khadim Sy, who is in the running for the top junior college center this spring and would immediately stabilize Pitt’s frontcourt. From there, Olivier Robinson-Nkamhoua would add even more talent to its depleted frontline. The Finnish forward visited Illinois and Pitt this month and will head to Tennessee in two weeks. A decision is expected shortly thereafter.

They are involved with Jahvon Quinerly and could potentially receive an official visit from him. They did miss out on UC-Irvine guard Max Hazzard, but a name to keep an eye on is Jaevin Cumberland, a grad-transfer guard from Oakland.

Sy and Nkamhoua would be the ideal frontcourt tandem and landing Justice Sueing would add another dimension to their budding roster. A standout at Cal the past two years, he would have to sit out next season but he would be put to quick work beginning in the fall of 2020; he visited San Diego State over the weekend and is also considering Miami, Ohio State and Seton Hall, along with the Panthers.

What it does is give Virginia another versatile and talented forward that should work well in Charlottesville. He is also an insurance policy for the recent NBA departures where, if Mamadi Diakate does remain in the draft, McKoy would fill some of their needs in the frontcourt. Best case, though, is that Diakate returns, McKoy can be brought along more slowly, and then replace Braxton Key once he graduates next spring.

In the 2020 class, the focus remains in the frontcourt, despite the commitment of McKoy. Multi-positional ballplayers Johnny Juzang, Terrance Williams and Henry Coleman can be found high atop UVA’s recruiting board. The backcourt is also crucial as Reece Beekman and Keon Johnson are two important targets of Virginia’s, though they do hold the commitment of reclassified guard Carson McCorkle.

The Jayhawks need to hit its mark in the frontcourt and they have a good shot with Precious Achiuwa and Tristan Enaruna. The latter is the likelier of the two as he will begin his official visit tour in the coming days, seeing the campuses at Creighton, Kansas and Miami; a commitment is expected shortly thereafter.

Achiuwa has visited Kansas and UNC, and this weekend, completed his trip to Memphis. The Tigers have been the talk of late and it seems that Penny Hardaway might have a chance at snagging the five-star. If that is the case, Enaruna is a must and a transfer pick-up would not come as a surprise either, as Kansas has been active there in recent years.

I do, but it is vital that he lay the appropriate groundwork with the powers that be in the region. Whether it is with the local powerhouse high schools Christ the King, Long Island Lutheran and Archbishop Stepinac, or at the travel ball level with the PSA Cardinals, New Heights, NYC Jayhawks and New York Rens programs, each have become known for producing premium talent on a consistent basis. So if he can strike a chord with the right people, then, yes, success should be on its way.

In doing as such, the right staff make-up is crucial to his long-term fate in Queens. If he can hire respected coaches that have strong ties to the northeast, and develop a unique playing style, which he seems to be leaning towards the 40 minutes of hell that his Arkansas teams displayed, and develop a foundation to build upon, then yes, Anderson can find success at St. John’s. Just because he wasn’t the program’s first choice does not mean that he doom to failure right from the start.

New head coach Nate Oats did major work during his first month on campus in retaining John Petty and Kira Lewis, their top two standouts from last season as they were expected to transfer. Alabama then landed WVU guard Beetle Bolden and have remained active in recruiting some of the top class of 2020 prospects this spring.

However, they have made in-roads with Jahvon Quinerly and RJ Cole, arguably two of the top-10 sit-out prospects available this spring. Alabama has already met and while they will not land both, they have a shot at enrolling one, giving the Tide the ideal replacement for Lewis after next season, which will likely be his last at Alabama before heading off into the NBA Draft.