Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on UNC, Iowa State, Texas Tech
This week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers bag is loaded with questions. There is no better time to take a look at the must-get targets for North Carolina, suitors for Josh Hall and RJ Davis, Iowa State’s recruiting board, Texas Tech’s chances with Nimari Burnett and my two cents on Florida’s Scottie Lewis.
That is a great question, and the easy way out would be to say Ziaire Williams or Greg Brown, because of their versatility and talent level. However, after looking at North Carolina’s roster, the sneaky - but also accurate - response is Caleb Love or Jaden Springer. Cade Cunningham, of course, would be the home run pick-up. but Love and Springer are likelier, though the Tar Heels are the dark horse for Cunningham, the second-ranked prospect in America.
They need a lead guard badly this fall due to the likely one-and-done campaign of Cole Anthony this year. Anthony Harris can play on the ball in a pinch, but he has more of a Kenny Williams-type of role in mind. Therefore, the Tar Heels need a freshman who can step in from day one and lead, which is why Love or Springer, two super-talented guards in the 2020 class, are must-gets.
Josh Hall told Rivals.com earlier this month that he was not planning on signing early and he was set on taking his recruitment into the winter. He might have such intentions in mind, but he also has two official visits scheduled, and each program will try to change Hall’s mind and have the five-star commit before leaving campus.
This weekend, Louisville will get the chance to host Hall before he heads to NC State on Sept. 6. Both ACC programs are strong contenders for him. From there, Alabama has a good chance, as do a group of others including Kansas, Miami and Texas. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if North Carolina ends up entering the picture if the Tar Heels miss on a few of their top targets. A commitment is not imminent, but there is no shortage of quality suitors that will be hoping to host Hall and then try to nail down a commitment this fall.
R.J. Davis has already taken an official visit to Georgetown and will begin his official visit tour again on Sept. 20, when he heads to Pitt. He will then take an official visit to Marquette the following weekend before completing his scheduled tour at North Carolina on Oct. 11. Maybe Indiana or Kansas sneaks in and snags an official visit, but the four to host Davis are likely the four in the best spot.
Turning down a blueblood in the mold of a UNC is difficult, but Davis is not going to wowed by the name of a school but rather its opportunities. Therefore, all things remain equal in his recruitment and his visits to could clarify a whole lot when it comes down to which school he chooses. I am not ruling out Marquette or UNC, but I also believe that Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) and Jeff Capel (Pitt) are in the best spot with him as his official visits approach.
Iowa State has been rather silent this recruiting cycle, but there is not as big of a need compared to prior years. Prentiss Nixon and Michael Jacobson will each graduate and there is a chance that sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton gives the NBA a shot after this season.
Jaden Walker and Ty Berry are two in the backcourt that Steve Prohm’s staff has had their eyes on. Northwestern may be out in front for Berry, but Walker is expected to visit Ames next month. Selton Miguel just visited USF over the weekend, but not many others have recruited him longer than the Cyclones. The same can be said for top in-state prospect Xavier Foster, who is down to a final four. The perception is that Foster will not leave the state, which would pit ISU against Iowa for him. Chris Moore and Ben Carlson are two other Rivals150 prospects that the Cyclones continue to monitor, and the latter will visit the Big 12 program the last weekend of September.
There is no sure-fire commitment on Iowa State’s board, but looking back at what Prohm has achieved during his time in Ames, he has never been one to struggle with enrolling top- flight talent, whether it has been via the high school, junior college or transfer realms.
They are minimal. Texas Tech’s inclusion on his list of top five programs was the surprise of the group. The Red Raiders have picked up ground, yes, but they still have much more to go before they can be considered among the favorites. They did nail down his final trip, but they will also have to absolutely knock it out of the park to land him.
Michigan is definitely a strong suitor for him, but Alabama and Oregon are two others to watch. I am not slighting Louisville’s chances, either, but the Tide and Ducks have a little more going for them in their pursuit of the do-it-all guard.
I have been able to cover, evaluate and get to know Scottie Lewis dating back to his ninth-grade year, and now that he is finally on a college campus the rest of the nation should be excited about seeing him. There is not a more outgoing, authentic person than Lewis, and he should infuse optimism and toughness into his new team.
While he is not a great jump shooter and is more known for his energy and defensive prowess, Lewis is a perfectionist and it shows. He shooting was much better earlier this month at the Nike Skills Academy and he is an underrated playmaker. Lewis is a lethal athlete around the basket and an instinctive, long-armed wing who defends multiple positions. Lewis should be an ideal fit next to shot-makers such as Noah Locke, Tre Mann and Kerry Blackshear, and he is a primary reason why the Gators could be a Final Four contender. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis was Mike White’s first one-and-done.