basketball Edit

Wednesday Leftovers: Michigan State, JD Davidson, Alex Fudge

JD Davidson
JD Davidson (Jon Lopez/Nike)

In this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, analyst Corey Evans addresses Michigan State’s need at the lead guard position, suitors for JD Davison, the latest on Alex Fudge and much more.

MORE: Twitter Tuesday | Three-Point Play

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75


Karim Mane
Karim Mane (

I do. Now the question is who will be the guard that will fill Michigan State’s hole in the backcourt? There is hope that Rocket Watts will develop his lead guard skills over the summer, but he remains best in a scoring role. Can Foster Loyer become someone that Tom Izzo trusts for more than just eight minutes per game? How reliable can four-star guard AJ Hoggard be? He is talented and has the requisite abilities, but running the show in high school compared to the high-major level, especially for Izzo while playing in the Big Ten, is an entirely different animal.

All options remain on the table with the graduation of program great Cassius Winston. For now, the Spartans have put all of their eggs into the basket of Karim Mane. The five-star Canadian has entered his name into this summer's NBA Draft, but unless he receives the proper feedback, I expect Mane to attend college in the fall. There is always a chance the G League comes calling, but if college is in his future, I believe that MSU will be the program he chooses.

If Mane doesn't play for Michigan State, I would be surprised to see the Spartans standing pat with their current roster going into next season. The graduate-transfer realm would be the likeliest place they would look. A home run commitment is not needed. Rather, the Spartans just need someone who can pitch in accordingly.



Getting to your second question first: I am not as confident now in my FutureCast prediction for JD Davison as I was, say, four months ago. Sure, Memphis is not going anywhere when it comes to pursuing Davison, and just last week the Tigers completed a virtual tour visit with the top 25 guard. However, others have begun to ramp up their attention toward him, and the longer the process plays out, the less optimistic I am for the Tigers.

The in-state programs, Alabama and Auburn, remained heavily entrenched in his recruitment, and if things were to end right now, I might side with the Tide. That should do nothing to detract from the chances that Georgia, Mississippi State, LSU or Ole Miss might have, and Kansas just jumped into the mix with an offer two weeks ago.

Davison seems comfortable keeping his recruitment open for the summer. For now, I am taking the field over Memphis.


A commitment from Alex Fudge is not likely anytime soon. He is entirely fine taking his recruitment through the summer so that he can develop better relationships with the programs involved and also to see who else might enter his recruitment.

Fudge - who I must say is one of my favorite forward prospects in the 2021 class, thanks to his all-encompassing skill-set, size and athleticism - reminds me of Larry Nance Jr., and he has seemingly broken out this spring without the need for a travel season.

The Jacksonville native has not yet published a school list, but he did tell me last week that Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCF and Virginia Tech are among the programs that have placed a heavy priority on him. If I had to pick the leaders for him, I would lean toward Florida, Georgia Tech and LSU, but a decision is nowhere near happening. In the meantime, look for Fudge to strengthen his relationships with those pursuing him and for a decision to come later this summer or in the fall, after he can take a handful of official visits.


Sam Hauser
Sam Hauser (AP Images)

That is not an easy one because we don’t know the role that Sam Hauser will have at Virginia, and the last time that we saw him his opportunities might have been reduced because he was sharing the floor with Markus Howard at Marquette. Also, we don’t know how the lack of an offseason might affect other players in the ACC. Nor do we know how quickly some of the blue-chip freshmen will settle in to their new digs in the fall.

Still, Hauser is on my short list for ACC Player of the Year, but I wouldn’t say that he is the clear front-runner. Clemson is going to be very good next year, and if Aamir Simms returns, he is a candidate. A dark horse is Georgia Tech's Mike DeVoe, who put together a great non-conference last season. His running mate, Jose Alvarado, could have a say, too. Can David Johnson make the leap as "the guy" at Louisville? Are there enough shots to go around in Chapel Hill for Caleb Love and the monstrous frontcourt that returns Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot and also adds two five-star centers? Lastly, Duke will bring in Jalen Johnson, who could be the next Blue Devil to get it done, and don’t sleep on Wendell Moore.

Hauser will be my pick, but low-possession games that the Wahoos have become known for will play a part in his relatively average numbers compared to other player-of-the-year contenders. If not Hauser, Johnson or Moore from Duke, Clemson's Simms and Louisville’s Johnson would be next on my list of candidates.



This is a total guessing game at this point, but DJ Carton is definitely going to push for a waiver that would allow for him to play immediately for Marquette in the fall. However, as we have seen in recent years, there is no clear distinction between who receives such a waiver and who doesn’t. Even further, thanks to the recent hike in transfer numbers and various other hurdles that have arisen due to the coronavirus, there is a chance that Carton’s waiver request won’t be answered until sometime during the college season.

I would be surprised if Ohio State held up its end in aiding Carton’s hopes of playing immediately. His services would definitely be welcomed at Marquette due to the loss of a program great in Markus Howard, but for now it remains a toss-up as to whether or not we will see him on the floor in the fall.