Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on Oklahoma State, Bama, ACC
Many Twitter Tuesday questions remain for this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, including the ongoing recruitments of Jalen Wilson and Kerry Blackshear, Oklahoma State’s chances with five-star Cade Cunningham, Alabama’s most recent transfer win and the ACC’s supremacy next season.
From all indications, Jalen Wilson’s official visit to Kansas could not have gone any better. There is a void at the small forward spot and with Wilson’s ability to slide up or down a position and with the recent transfer of Quentin Grimes, an even bigger opportunity might be available to Wilson than previously thought. Kansas is deficient in the perimeter shot-making department, a role in which he could definitely help.Toss in the fact that KU was a favorite school of his growing up and the Jayhawks may be difficult to beat.
However, the good news for North Carolina is that he made it through his visit without committing. And while there is a hole at the small forward spot at KU, an even bigger one is present at UNC. Justin Pierce, a William & Mary grad-transfer, is going to help, but he can only do so much. Furthermore, Wilson would allow Roy Williams to change up his lineup packages, thanks to his versatility.
In the end, Kansas is where I believe he will end up. The Jayhawks have much to offer, but his heavy interest in the program before it had even begun to recruit him might be too much for UNC or his previously expected landing spot, Michigan, to overcome.
Kerry Blackshear will not be heading overseas this fall. Instead, the Virginia Tech grad-transfer will be on a college playing floor for one last season. Two weeks ago, Blackshear was edging toward going pro, even if that took him overseas. But he did not receive the proper NBA feedback that he was after, so he decided to return to college.
Where his final year of college ball takes place remains to be seen. First-year Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young would love to have him back, but that might be difficult. Instead, Florida, Kentucky and Texas A&M have the best shot. Michigan State is also a dark horse, and while visits have yet to be set look for Blackshear to schedule two or three official visits to be taken in the coming weeks and a decision to be made shortly thereafter.
Yes, the noise that you hear connecting Oklahoma State and five-star guard Cade Cunningham is real and legitimate. While he is nowhere near a college decision (he just recently released his top 10 last week), the Cowboys are in a great spot for him. No one has a greater history in recruiting Cunningham than Mike Boynton and his staff, as OK State was the first power conference program to offer him, which came during his freshman year and before all of the big hitters entered the mix.
Others, including Duke, Kansas and Kentucky may be difficult to beat, but Cunningham is one of the more mature, well-thought out type of kids who will not be wowed by the name of a program but rather for what it can offer and the opportunity that it presents. Oklahoma State will be in the thick of it until the end.
A few weeks ago we discussed that Alabama was heavily involved for two of the top transfer guards this spring, Jahvon Quinerly and RJ Cole, and that we believed that they would land one of the two. That came true on Sunday as Quinerly gave his commitment to Nate Oats’ program, one week after his official visit.
How Quinerly fits at Alabama remains to be seen, primarily because we have not had the chance to see who the real Jahvon Quinerly is in college, as he was a shell of himself last year compared to his days in high school. Furthermore, Oats has said that he wants to play fast but he has yet to coach a game at Alabama. Still, Quinerly is a super-talented guard that was rated as a five-star prospect for a reason. There is even a chance he could suit up for the Tide next season, as he could potentially receive a waiver to play immediately. If he does, a backcourt of Quinerly, Kira Lewis and Beetle Bolden, along with John Petty in the fold, could make Oats' first season in the SEC a good one.
Three? I think that two is pushing it, as both Duke and North Carolina have plenty of questions facing them, thanks to a large drain of talent. Furthermore, Louisville is going to be really good, don’t get me wrong, but the Cardinals will have to take another giant leap and also be prepared every night for their opponent’s best because they are no longer the plucky underdog.
All three programs will be battling programs such as Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Memphis and Michigan State for such a seed. In the ACC, three one seeds coming from it is even more difficult thanks to Duke and UNC playing each other twice, which could hurt one or the other in the win column.
Is it possible that all three could receive such a bid? Yes, as each should be found in the top 10 of most preseason polls this fall, but a lot will have to go right for all three to become No. 1 seeds in March.