Basketball Recruiting - Wednesday Leftovers: Villanova, Max Christie, Arizona, more
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Wednesday Leftovers: Villanova, Max Christie, Arizona, more

Max Christie
Max Christie (Courtesy of USA Basketball)

We're back for another round of Wednesday’s Leftovers, and there is much to sink our teeth into as the recruiting world continues to spin. Today, analyst Corey Evans assesses Villanova’s potential 2021 class, the top suitors for Max Christie, Arizona’s recruiting board this spring and much more.

MORE: Three-Point Play | Twitter Tuesday

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75


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Yes, I would say that is how the Wildcats would like for it to play out. Nnanna Njoku was a great start for Villanova earlier in the year, and he should be a quality four-year contributor on the Main Line. He will also be the immediate replacement for Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree once he graduates in the spring.

From there, if Trey Patterson does in fact commit to the Wildcats on Thursday, Villanova should feel pretty good with where it sits in the frontcourt. Filling the massive void that Collin Gillespie will leave after his senior season will not be easy, but a mixture of Jordan Longino and a playmaking lead guard would definitely help along the perimeter.

That is not to say that Longino is going to be easy to be had, as many had presumed that he would have committed immediately after receiving the Nova offer months ago. However, very rarely do we see local Philadelphia kids decline such an offer and leave the area. If not Longino, Villanova sits in somewhat of a good spot with Trevor Keels and Langston Love, so it is not as if it is Longino or bust at the 2-guard spot.

Finally, landing a quick, playmaking guard is a need, which is why Rahsool Diggins and Stevie Mitchell each hold Villanova offers. The Wildcats just jumped into the picture for both, and they are one of the few to beat for each. Angelo Brizzi is another the program has handed out an offer to in the backcourt.

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No, far from it. That is not to say that I don’t see Duke and Michigan State as two of the top competitors for Max Christie’s commitment, but his decision is still months away and much has to play out before that decision is made. Christie has been rather adamant that he will make his commitment in the fall and that official visits will be completed beforehand.

My FutureCast for Christie sits on Michigan State, so yes I do see MSU as the leader for him at this time. Duke is definitely in the race, but don’t shortchange Ohio State and Purdue’s chances, and his mother played for the local Northwestern program. Villanova and Virginia are two others that remain in contact, though if Christie leaves the Midwest, I see him going to Duke.

Until further visits can actually be taken, looking at Christie’s recruitment as a two-horse race would not be accurate.

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You are correct. Arizona has been a bit trigger happy with scholarship offers for the 2021 class, though the Wildcats are not slated to lose much after next season beyond Terrell Brown and Ira Lee. Of course, transfers and/or early NBA departures could hit the program, which is another reason why Arizona has spread such a large net this spring.

This fall, the Wildcats will enroll six foreigners, and going overseas again next year could be in the cards. In the meantime, the Wildcats have laid the groundwork with the some of the very best along the West Coast.

Arizona has become a consistent landing spot for at least one five-star every fall. If that is to be the case again next year, Jaden Hardy, Nathan Bittle, Paolo Banchero or Peyton Watson will pick the Pac-12 program. I don’t like the Wildcats' chances with Hardy or Banchero, and they could be playing catch-up with Bittle, which is why Watson might be their best chance of the four.

Beyond the five-star realm, Nolan Hickman, KJ Simpson and Jahmai Mashack are three others to monitor. Of course, Sean Miller has done a tremendous job of keeping the best talent in state, which is why D’Marco Dunn and DaRon Holmes are priority targets for the Wildcats, though each will be completing their high school careers along the East Coast beginning in the fall.

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Maryland offered James Graham over a month ago, but since then the Terps have landed two commitments in the frontcourt (or wing), which could make it that much more difficult to land the three-star. There is always a chance, but I don’t see it in the cards with Graham because the need isn't there as much anymore.

As far as Jalen Warley goes, it helps that recent Maryland commit Ike Cornish is a travel teammate of his on the Team Durant 17-under squad. Of course, that is not going to lead to his commitment, but it does help. However, it is still a bit early to predict the favorite for Warley but the Terps should have a chance in the end. Warley released his top 10 earlier this month, but a decision is not expected until the fall after he takes visits.

Of the two, Warley is a much more needed pick-up in College Park. The Terps are looking good with Cornish and Julian Reese in tow. Replacing graduating guard Darryl Morsell with Warley would be exactly what is needed.

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I take it you're an NC State fan, so you should be pleased that the Wolfpack are heavily in contention for both of the four-star prospects.

Mike James has seen his recruitment soar in recent weeks, but Texas A&M was one of the first - if not the first - to prioritize him. He has already taken an unofficial visit to College Station, and the Aggies made sure to check in on James at a number of his high school games and practices prior to the pandemic. Others involved include Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma State and USF.

Quincy Allen is another prospect who has seen his scholarship count increase this spring. He doesn’t appear be nearing a commitment, but I could see a cut list coming soon - and with the Wolfpack on it. I would count NC State among the early leaders. Others that have continued to actively recruit the four-star wing include Colorado, Clemson, Louisville, LSU, Marquette, Miami, Michigan, Pitt, Seton Hall and Virginia Tech.

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I still believe that we are some time away from Mac Etienne’s commitment and that he is also a 50-50 candidate to reclassify into the 2020 class. I am on the side that he will move a year up and play in college in the fall, but that is just an educated guess.

Many of the those in the chase for Etienne would love to have him in the fall. He could be the final piece for several programs' roster-building needs, thanks to the size, production and all-around skill set that he brings to the frontcourt. Speaking of suitors, Etienne has visited practically all of the programs near his New England locale, and he has also taken an official visit to Illinois, a school that is among his top suitors. Others heavily involved include Louisville, Marquette, Miami, Syracuse and UCLA.