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Wednesday Leftovers: Kentucky; Chaundee Brown; more

John Calipari
John Calipari (AP Images)

We are almost done with the recruitments from the 2020 class, thanks to Will Jeffress’ decision Tuesday to commit to Pittsburgh. That means the focus will turn to the class of 2021 in the months ahead. In this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, analyst Corey Evans questions pertaining to Kentucky’s frontcourt woes, the latest scuttlebutt surrounding Chaundee Brown and Marcus Santos-Silva, a prediction regarding Ryan Conway’s commitment and more.

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2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75



Listen, Kentucky NEEDS at least one frontcourt addition, and unless the Wildcats land a standout transfer, just one plug-in player will not suffice. This is easily the most inexperienced team that John Calipari will ever have at Kentucky, and while I am fairly optimistic about the the backcourt I do have my concerns with its interior play.

Lance Ware is going to be good, but he likes to do most of his damage between 8 and 12 feet. Cam'Ron Fletcher is more athlete than half-court producer. Keion Brooks is still best reserved for the small forward spot and, lastly, Isaiah Jackson is more respected for his defensive prowess. That is all that UK has in the frontcourt, and this for a coach that would rather play big alongside big compared to the small-ball route with just one big man on the floor.

Where the Wildcats go from here remains an uncertainty. Moussa Cisse would be a big help. However, defeating Florida State, LSU and Memphis for his commitment will not be easy. Also, expecting Cisse - someone that should be playing in high school next year - to be a savior is a bit much. So, it's easy to see why Frank Anselem received a phone call from UK last week, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the Wildcats look further at potential reclassification candidates and monitor the transfer portal, which could fill up fast later this summer if the one-time transfer rule is passed.



We broke the news on Saturday that Chaundee Brown, a Wake Forest transfer, has cut his list to a final four and we expect that a commitment could be made before the end of the month. Now focused on a group that features Gonzaga, Illinois, Iowa State, and LSU, the race is a tight one. While there might not be a clear favorite, if I was forced to pick one I would go with the Illini.

Brown grew up in Orlando, which is close to USF. At the time, USF employed Orlando Antigua as its head coach, and he's now an assistant coach at Illinois. The Illini have a major need on the wings after Alan Griffin's transfer and Kipper Nichols' graduation.

While Brown is currently slated to sit out next season due to transfer restrictions, there is hope that he will receive a waiver to play immediately. If that happened, he would complete his college career next season rather than during the 2021-2022 season. Don’t underestimate Gonzaga, Iowa State or LSU’s chances because each have a major void to fill on the perimeter, but Illinois may have the inside track with a commitment only days away.


Marcus Santos-Silva placed his name into the NBA Draft earlier this spring. He then decided to enter his name into the transfer portal, although the rising senior from VCU would currently have to sit out next season due to transfer restrictions. There is some hope that he could either graduate this summer or receive a waiver to play immediately in the fall. He averaged 12.8 points and 8.9 rebounds last season

Where he ends up playing next is still up for debate, but last week he cut his list to a final six of Arizona State, Georgia, Maryland, Ole Miss, Penn State and Texas Tech. All those programs would love to have someone like Santos-Silva, who is a vacuum on the glass and would provide a great security blanket for anyone’s frontcourt.

If there is one program to keep an eye on is Arizona State. The Sun Devils have to replace Romello White who entered the NBA Draft earlier this month, and they need to fill a void down low after missing on Cliff Omoruyi, who picked Rutgers over ASU. Another thing working in ASU's favor is the fact that assistant coach Rasheen Davis, was the primary recruiter who successfully lured Santos-Silva to VCU in the fall of 2017.

Arizona State may have the best connection with Santos-Silva, but that doesn’t mean that Santos-Silva is a done deal for the Sun Devils. He has a variety of schools to choose from and his decision might come down to playing time, location, conference affiliation and the program's system.


Last week, Ryan Conway took the final step toward his commitment by setting a decision date and narrowing his school list to a final six that consists of Marquette, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Stanford and Vanderbilt. The Rivals150 prospect is expected to commit on May 2, and I would be a bit surprised if he doesn't choose Seton Hall.

The Pirates will have a need in the backcourt after next season because grad-transfer Bryce Aiken and rising senior Shavar Reynolds will have exhausted their college eligibility. In would step Conway, and while he is not a quick-twitch guard or a great athlete, he is as sturdy of a lead guard as you’re going to come across in the 2021 class.

Conway is a high-character guard who is all about putting others before himself. He does not come in the Myles Powell mold, meaning that he is not about putting the ball through the basket before all else. Instead, he creates for others, defends at the point of attack and fills his role. Conway would be a solid addition for any of his finalists and should have a solid four-year career wherever he lands.


There was some talk that Trevor Keels was close to a commitment last week, but that didn't happen. I am not sure if Keels will wait until the fall to decide, but I do believe that Villanova is in a good spot, as is Virginia. Duke, North Carolina and Ohio State are three others in the picture.

Max Christie has spoken openly about visiting Villanova, and I don’t expect for the five-star to commit before he takes a trip to the Main Line. Michigan State might be the slight leader, but Villanova shouldn't be discounted, and nor should Duke, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue or Virginia.

Angelo Brizzi picked up an offer from Nova earlier this month, and he could be the next in line in the mold of a Collin Gillespie or a Ryan Arcidiacano. Langston Love is another player that Villanova has its eyes on, though it may be difficult to peel him away from his home state, and Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M have invested a lot into his recruitment.

Trey Patterson would make a solid complement in the frontcourt to already-committed big man Nnanna Njoku. Lastly, Jordan Longino may be the likeliest next prospect to land with Villanova. While some were surprised that Longino held off from committing this winter, chances remain good that he will ultimately side toward the local Wildcats.

Keep tabs on Caleb Houstan, too. He's a five-star sophomore that could reclassify into the 2021 class and he has had some communication with the Wildcats this offseason.



First, let’s not undersell Peyton Watson’s offer list. He already has offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland, Oregon, UCLA and USC. That isn’t too shabby for someone who didn’t receive his first high-major offer until last summer and who broke out as a national-level type of prospect in July at the USA Basketball Mini-Camp.

Is Watson deserving of blueblood offers? Yes, he is all that a program looks for in a high-level wing-forward: He possesses great length, ball skills for his size, the ability to play three different positions (on either end of the court), and he has great character. However, he is also a mighty late bloomer that some programs - including these bluebloods that we speak of - haven’t had the chance to get a great look at since his emergence.

That could change in the coming weeks, if a travel season begins, but Watson may also be one of those players that is hurt by the coronavirus travel ban. If the two live periods would have remained intact for the past two weekends chances are one of the sport’s elite would have offered. Instead, those evaluations were canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. Unless he commits before the summer wraps up, I would be surprised if more national suitors don’t line up for Watson sooner rather than later.