Basketball Recruiting - Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on RJ Hampton, Louisville, Pitt
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Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on RJ Hampton, Louisville, Pitt

RANKINGS: 2019 Rivals150 | 2019 Team rankings | 2019 Position rankings

2020 Rivals150 | 2020 Position rankings

Top 75 of 2021

RJ Hampton
RJ Hampton (

In this week’s edition of Wednesday’s Leftovers, we get to a few more pressing questions, including who the real favorite is for RJ Hampton, where Trendon Watford ends up, Louisville and Pitt’s upcoming recruiting wins and how Kentucky might surpass Duke in the team rankings.

MORE: Roundtable on the final 2019 rankings

No. Duke is practically out in the sweepstakes for RJ Hampton. While the addition of Hampton would automatically make the Blue Devils' backcourt 10 times more dynamic, they have invested little to no attention in recruiting him in recent months, which is why they are no longer on his final school list. That's primarily due to the return of Tre Jones at the point guard position. Texas Tech is a long shot for Hampton, so this looks like a three-team race for him.

Kansas, Kentucky or Memphis will ultimately land his commitment, and while many believed that it was down to KU or Memphis, Kentucky has picked up some ground in recent weeks. I still believe that Kansas will be where Hampton plays his lone year of college, as the numbers in the backcourt hurt UK some, but the Wildcats' recent pitch and the platform that they can provide has piqued Hampton’s interest. Memphis remains in the picture, but Kansas is the leader for now.

My gut instinct? LSU. The Tigers lost major some traction when Will Wade was placed on suspension, but they seemingly picked up right where they had left off when Wade’s suspension was lifted. Many believed Watford was nearing a Memphis commitment during LSU's rocky times. However, when he postponed his commitment two weeks ago it gave LSU the time and opportunity to get back on more stable ground. Alabama should be seen as a dark horse and the idea of playing for the state school and for an up-and-coming coach in Nate Oats has piqued Watford’s interest. But LSU might just have enough ammo to get over the hump and land a much-needed commitment this spring.

Chris Mack did a phenomenal job of wrapping up a Top 10 2019 class early in the process, which allowed the Cards to get a leg up with its 2020 class. In doing so, the Cardinals should again secure a highly ranked recruiting class this fall

Last week, they offered DJ Steward and AJ Hoggard, both members of the Rivals150. In speaking with Steward, the Chicago native was thrilled about the opportunity. This is not a done deal for the Cards, but they are now a legitimate contender for his services. However, they’re also in a great spot for Deivon Smith and Caleb Love and they have a strong chance in securing at least one of the four players' commitments.

They are also working on a few frontcourt prospects and have found quality traction with Jaemyn Brakefield, Earl Timberlake and Hunter Dickinson. Landing all three is a bit of a reach, but Brakefield or Timberlake are well within the Cardinals' grasp.


Pitt is hoping it can scratch out at least two more commitments in the coming weeks. The Panthers must fill one of their frontcourt needs,and could do so with Khadim Sy or Justice Sueing. The latter just visited Ohio State over the weekend, and the Buckeyes and San Diego State are the two to beat. Sy is considering Arkansas, East Carolina, LSU, Ole Miss and Pitt, but it's hard to say which way he might be leaning.

Guard options will come via transfer, as the Panthers are involved for Villanova’s Jahvon Quinerly and Oakland’s Jaevin Cumberland. Quinerly would have to sit out next season, but Cumberland will be allowed to play immediately as he will come as a grad-transfer. Oregon is the team to beat for him.

In the 2020 class, the Panthers just offered three-star forward Jalen Bridges and would love to take him this spring, but he told this weekend that he will enroll in the 2020 class. His travel teammate, Donovan Johnson, is a top priority of the Panthers, as is local star Ethan Morton. Also keep an eye on Cliff Omoruyi, RJ Davis, DJ Gordon, Earl Timberlake and John Hugley.


For Kentucky to catch Duke in the team rankings, the Wildcats would have to land RJ Hampton and one more highly rated prospect this spring. While Hampton was thought to be a reach for the Wildcats, there actually is a chance that UK could snag his commitment. They remain in catch-up mode, but there is a chance.

Along with him, the Wildcats could potentially attempt to reclassify Top 10 junior N’Faly Dante. They are also in the final group for Jaden McDaniels and while, at one point in time, a decision in favor for UK was a remote possibility, a commitment to Kentucky is much more realistic now.

It's never be wise to bet against John Calipari on the recruiting trail, and with the amount of ground that they have made up with Hampton and McDaniels in recent weeks, the Wildcats could find a way to walk out of the spring as the winner in the recruiting market.