Wednesday Leftovers: Memphis, Bryce Thompson, 'Nova, more
This week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers addresses some questions remaining from Twitter Tuesday. The topics: what Memphis’ recent commitments mean for its future recruiting hopes, the leaders for Bryce Thompson, Villanova’s need for a 2020 point guard, Indiana’s recent misses on the recruiting trail and Ohio State’s recent official visitor.
Not at all, as we just saw with Boogie Ellis' commitment on Monday. The player Tucker's commitment could affect the most is Precious Achiuwa. Tucker is a 6-foot-6 athlete who can play either forward position, similar to what Achiuwa brings to the frontcourt.
Achiuwa is primarily considering Kansas, Memphis and North Carolina. My gut says Kansas, especially with the recent additions of Tucker and Lester Quinones muddling thing some in Memphis' frontcourt. A commitment from Achiuwa is expected on Saturday.
Lastly, RJ Hampton is much closer to a college decision than was expected just weeks ago. Memphis remains in the hunt, but with the amount of fresh faces that will be on hand next season - and keeping in mind Ellis’ recent commitment - Kansas is the school to beat.
That is a difficult one to answer right now. The top 60 guard hasn't been a stranger to the recruiting process, as he took fall official visits to Arkansas, Colorado and Texas A&M, and the last week he spent his fourth official visit on Michigan State.
However, if I were to forecast the future for Thompson, UNC would be difficult to beat if it was to make a hard push. Assistant coach Steve Robinson coached Thompson’s father at Tulsa during his own playing days, giving the Tar Heels an immediate ‘in,’ which is only aided by the program's need for another guard after the likely one-and-done campaign of Cole Anthony.
Kansas is another contender, however, as Bill Self also coached Thompson’s father for one year and the program was the first blueblood to jump into the picture over a year ago. The regional schools definitely have a chance and Tennessee is a dark horse, thanks to the recent hiring of Kim English, who developed a strong rapport with the family when he was on Colorado's staff. The suitors are not in short supply, but if the Tar Heels follow up their offer with priority attention, Chapel Hill might be where Thompson eventually lands.
No, I do not see Jahvon Quinerly returning to campus. That ship has all but sailed, and while his departure could hurt in the long-term - as will the miss on five-star Jeremy Roach - the Wildcats were proactive earlier this spring in landing Chris Arcidiacono, the younger brother of former standout Ryan Arcidiacono.
He might not be Roach, but Arcidiacono is a nice piece that should develop throughout his stay on the Main Line. A year from now, Collin Gillespie should still be on campus and with Arcidiacono entering his sophomore year. Add Justin Moore, who might not be defined as a playmaking guard but does possess the tangibles to fill in where needed, and the Wildcats should have enough in the ballhandling category to get by if they do not want to push for a 2020 lead guard commitment.
If they do, however, maybe they will heat things up with Andre Curbelo and/or Lynn Greer, two of the better prospects found in the area. But, for now, expect Villanova to further evaluate their point guards before making a move.
That might seem to be the case, thanks to the Hoosiers' recent misses on Lester Quinones, Ethan Morton and Harlond Beverly, but it is more of a coincidence. Would it have been great if Romeo Langford established himself as an alpha in Bloomington and led the Hoosiers to the NCAA Tournament? Sure, as it would have relieved some pressure on Archie Miller and given him and his staff another strong selling point to pitch to future five-star targets.
In the end, Quinones simply fell in love with Penny Hardaway’s pitch and the idea of playing next to James Wiseman, while Morton felt like Purdue was the right fit and Beverly came to appreciate Jim Larranaga’s system and Miami's location. Indiana just ran into some bad luck, which coincided with the poor timing of Langford’s up-and-down college campaign.
Ohio State has made up major ground in recent weeks with Keon Johnson, aided by the hiring of Jake Diebler. Chris Holtmann named Diebler an assistant on his staff to replace Mike Schrage, who took the Elon vacancy. Diebler had built a strong rapport with Johnson dating back to his time on staff at Vanderbilt, and the Buckeyes should now be seen as a legitimate suitor. The feeling is that Tennessee and Virginia are the two to beat, and he has already has taken official visits to those programs, though no one has greater momentum with the four-star prospect than Ohio State.