Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on James Wiseman, UNC, more
We may have missed some of your questions in #TwitterTuesday but we made sure to get back to a few of them in today’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, including those pertaining to the recruitments of James Wiseman, Anthony Walker and Quincy Guerrier, and how UNC and Pitt could fare this fall with their top frontcourt targets.
I will take the second question first and say that I do not believe that James Wiseman signing early – something that he told Rivals’ analyst Eric Bossi over the weekend that he planned to do – really favors anyone. But if it would, my guess is that it would help Memphis and Kentucky. Those programs have the best relationship with Wiseman, and if he delayed into the spring it would allow his other finalists to get to know him better and sell their programs more thoroughly throughout the college season.
As to where he ends up, I still say Memphis, but if you are asking how confident I am in such a prediction, with 10 being the most confident, I would give it about a three. No one should ever discount Kentucky as long as John Calipari is coach, especially when it comes to someone he has prioritized for the past two years. If there is a darkhorse, it would be Kansas. Bill Self has come up with out-of-nowhere commitments every now and again, and this feels a bit like the Andrew Wiggins situation, though I still don't see Wiseman picking anywhere but Memphis or UK.
With Roy missing out on Green and Moore who if anyone does he have the best chance of signing at the SF position from this class and is there any chance Cole Anthony commits before the Spring?— bh-unc-fan (@bdheelfan) October 7, 2018
UNC is going all out on the combo forward-wing position this fall, and the Tar Heels could use someone in the mold of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl on the perimeter in specific lineups. However, Robinson-Earl is best used as a super-skilled power forward who can be a major weapon in the half-court setting. Villanova, Arizona, Kansas and Notre Dame are his other finalists. If not Robinson-Earl, the perfect 3-4 type would be Matt Hurt. Just like JRE, Hurt is best used a dynamic power forward, and he is someone that UNC continues to have a strong chance with, though his commitment won't likely come until the spring.
Speaking of the spring, that's when Cole Anthony plans to make his own college commitment and signing, he told Rivals' Eric Bossi in Colorado Springs this weekend. It should be noted, though, that after Sunday he will have taken three official visits to the programs that are thought to be the top contenders for his commitment (Oregon, UNC and Notre Dame). Oak Hill Academy is known for having its players sign early, but Anthony is of a different mold, and he holds all of the leverage due to the dearth of elite lead guards available this fall – in addition to his elite talent.
Does pitt have a chance with akok or cockburn— Reed Rosenberg (@reedr2323) October 7, 2018
The recruitment of top-30 center Kofi Cockburn is a bit muddied at the current moment and while he cut his school list last week, no visits have been scheduled. However, Pitt did make the list and continues to make a push for the big man, and head coach Jeff Capel was in to see Cockburn as recently as two weeks ago. Akok Akok’s situation is clearer, as the top-35 forward is down to a final five of Providence, Georgetown, UConn, Syracuse and Pitt. While many believe that the Friars, Huskies and Orange are the three to beat, do not discount the Panthers here. They are much more involved with Akok than many think, and while it would still be a surprise to see Akok commit to the ACC program, his visit to Oakland could change things in the coming weeks.
Do you think Anthony Walker has narrowed his choice down from his five official visit schools? If yes, who do you see as the remaining possibilities?— Dave Cotter (@cotter_dave) October 7, 2018
Rivals150 forward Anthony Walker has already visited Illinois, Pitt, Rhode Island and Miami and he will see VCU in two weeks. By Oct. 20, his visit tour will be complete, and I can see a commitment happening toward the latter portion of the month. Rhode Island and VCU had much of the momentum with Walker earlier in the year before his breakout in July, which resulted in some of the power-level programs putting a greater priority on the Baltimore native.
As things stand now, Miami and Pitt may be the two to beat. Each ACC program is in the hunt for a number of bodies in the frontcourt this fall and it would be a surprise if he didn't choose one of the two schools.
Does Illinois have a chance with Quincy Guerrier? Seems like a perfect fit for Brad Underwood's system.— Joe D. Wallis, Jr. (@JoeDWallisJr) October 7, 2018
Illinois definitely has a shot at Quincy Guerrier, a four-star forward out of Canada who just took his official visit to the Big Ten program this past weekend. He is down to a final list of three which includes the Illini, Oregon and Syracuse, and seeing that he has already visited each of his finalists, a college commitment is not far off.
Guerrier will take more of an unconventional approach to college, as he plans to enroll mid-year in a few months and could actually be playing for either of the three programs at the turn of the calendar year. Regardless, much of the talk with Guerrier has surrounded the Orange and the Ducks. Illinois is fighting a bit of an uphill battle, but compared to many others, it is at least in the fight. A few good days in Champaign could have pushed the Illini closer to the other two in contention.
Corey,— UConn6thBorough (@conn6th) October 7, 2018
Walk us through the Official Visit process. With the NCAA allowing additional OVs, does this place an added burden on coaches considering how much work is involved in the process? Is there a cap on how much of an expense these OVs can cost? Love your work! Go Huskies.
Great question, and we appreciate the compliment here at Rivals.com! While many fans get excited about a specific prospect being on campus or a slew of official visits being taken to their favorite program, what gets swept under the rug is just how time-consuming and mentally draining these official visits really are.
For 48 hours, the coaching staff is with the prospect and his family from sun up and until sun down. The staffs have to be on their toes when it comes to addressing the school that employs them and also the program that they are selling. When these visits take place near or during the regular season, it just adds to the many things a college coach has to do on any given day. This isn’t a field trip for the prospect, but more of an educational tour detailing why the respective program is the best fit for him.
If the college coach isn’t at his best, the recruit is likely going elsewhere. Throw a handful of these visits in consecutive weeks, and it is easy to understand the mental burnout and fatigue that a college coach can go through.