Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on Texas Tech, Georgia, Duke, more
It's been a busy few days on the recruiting trail, as a number of Rivals150 prospects have come off the board. With that in mind - and thanks to some of your questions - we assess the recruiting boards at Texas Tech, Georgia and Clemson, Duke’s dilemma this fall and the recruitments of five-stars Jaden McDaniels, Scottie Lewis and Cole Anthony.
Gut feeling on where Jaden McDaniels ends up?— Ryan Payne (@RyanPayne32) September 23, 2018
My gut? Washington.
Jaden McDaniels is someone that goes to the beat of his own drum and he could be the final piece to Mike Hopkins’ reclamation project in the Pacific Northwest. UW already holds the commitment of two of his travel teammates, Marcus Tsohonis and Raequan Battle, and placed a priority on McDaniels before many others even knew who he was.
However, do not discount his other finalists in UCLA, Texas, Kentucky or San Diego State, the latter a school where his brother currently stars. If McDaniels does decide to wait until the spring to sign, that might give Kentucky an even better chance to make up ground, as they have begun to place greater attention in recruiting the five-star and were able to make his final five without even offering.
ready to predict Florida or UK for Lewis yet? or is it still too close to call?— Neal (@AnonymousNeal) September 24, 2018
I am going to say Florida for Scottie Lewis, but I remain adamant that this is not a done deal in favor of the Gators. Many believe that a UF pledge was in the cards following the commitment of his teammate and friend, Alex Klatsky, earlier this month but that is not the case. I would give the Gators a 60-40 edge over Kentucky, but Lewis has always been about doing things his own way. I am more confident of a commitment being near, since he is down to a final two, has completed all of his visits and could feel a bit rushed with many of his teammates (Klatsky, Bryan Antoine and Jalen Gaffney) having just committed within a two-week time frame.
Bacot will be visiting UNC with Mr. Coke Anthony next weekend. You think UNC is Cole’s leader and could he commit before his original spring statement?— bh-unc-fan (@bdheelfan) September 23, 2018
This past weekend was important for North Carolina, as it hosted five-stars Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Josh Green, but this upcoming one is just as vital, with Cole Anthony and already-committed big man Armando Bacot heading to Chapel Hill. Anthony will be taking his second official visit, as he has already seen Notre Dame, and I see the ACC powers as two of the top contenders for his commitment. The Tar Heels want to add a star-studded guard this fall, and they’re hoping that Anthony is the guy. However, I do not see him signing early and really, there is no reason for him to do so. The power is in his hands: He is the top guard prospect in the 2019 class and by waiting until the spring to sign, he has the chance to see how each program in pursuit fares this season, who decides to leave for the NBA afterwards and if any newcomers eventually enter his recruitment.
Rank the following bigs in terms of who UK is in best position with vs. worst position with at the moment: Stewart, Carey, Wiseman, and Hurt.— Neal (@AnonymousNeal) September 24, 2018
3. Vernon Carey Jr.: The Wildcats have made up major ground, though they still have more work to do.
4. Matt Hurt: There's no rush here as the blueblood recruitment of Hurt lingers.
Who from the 2019 class do you think Texas Tech has a good shot at landing?— WreckEm Tech (@RedRayderz01) September 23, 2018
Two come to mind for the Red Raiders this fall, as Jahmius Ramsey and Antwan January are the likeliest to pledge. By the end of the weekend, each will have officially visited the Lubbock campus and include Texas Tech on their final lists. Ramsey has already visited Louisville, though its backcourt is a bit cloudier now, thanks to its success on the recruiting trail. Miami, Indiana and Oregon are among the others involved.
January is fresh off of his official visit to New Mexico, and will begin his tour of the Texas Tech campus on Friday. Ole Miss, Florida State and a handful of others remain involved, but this one could be leaning towards the Red Raiders, giving Tech a skilled and well-built piece in the interior.
Where does Clemson turn to for a PG after missing out on James? Same with Georgia and David Johnson?— Brad Cavallaro (@BradCav2) September 23, 2018
Clemson has the commitment of Chase Hunter already, and while he is more of a scorer first, he does give the Tigers some wiggle room in the backcourt as to how they might complete their 2019 class. They missed on Josiah James, but they will host Rivals150 guard Al-Amir Dawes this weekend and remain involved with three-star guard Joel Brown.
Georgia swung and missed on David Johnson, as the Rivals150 wing decided to remain at home and play his college ball at Louisville. Do not expect Tom Crean to do anything drastic, but instead change course some and investigate the next best route to attack. The Bulldogs did offer Rivals150 wing Gerald Drumgoole earlier this summer, and will host Toumani Camara, an emerging talent out of Florida, this weekend. Each would fill a major need for the Bulldogs beginning next year and beyond and lessen the sting that was their miss of Johnson.
How much of Duke’s recruiting “struggles” are simply the fact that Capel is gone?— Michael Padgett (@mpadge88) September 23, 2018
A very fair question, and one that we actually covered some this weekend in the Rivals Roundtable. Regarding the departure of Jeff Capel to Pitt, I guess that you can derive some of the recent failures for Duke’s missteps on the recruiting trail to Capel not being on staff any longer. He was a key figure in the recruitment of Jahlil Okafor, Jayson Tatum and RJ Barrett, and he was someone that helped usher in the one-and-done era in Durham.
However, let’s not understate the abilities of Nate James and Jon Scheyer, each of whom have had their own wins on the recruiting trail in Zion Williamson, Luke Kennard and Cam Reddish. Sometimes, programs just miss, and Duke is going through that rough stretch. I expect the Blue Devils to wade through the next few weeks and find their way back into the top 10 of the final rankings in the spring.