Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on UNC, Kansas, Baylor, more
We have another loaded slate of questions to address in this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, including North Carolina’s appeal to recruits, how Kansas completes its roster for next season, Baylor’s ceiling going forward and how North Carolina and NC State add to their 2020 classes.
Not really. It might seem as that is the case, thanks to Anthony Harris committing to North Carolina just hours after Anthony’s commitment on Wednesday and then Charleston Southern grad-transfer Christian Keeling committing to the program Friday. UNC has had its misses in recent months and years on the recruiting trail, but this is still the program that enrolled five-stars Coby White and Nassir Little last fall and already holds the commitment of top 30 junior Day’Ron Sharpe.
Carolina is always going to be Carolina. The legacy of the program is too good, which is why many dream of suiting up for the blueblood program. UNC might not be Duke or Kentucky, but it is not far behind, no matter the string of recruiting misses it endures.
It is not likely. Kansas would love to make that happen, but its best bet would be in snagging one of the two and then further filling its frontcourt needs.
The Jayhawks' backcourt next season is not empty, as Devon Dotson, Marcus Garrett, Isaac McBride, Christian Braun and possibly Quentin Grimes make up a very solid and multi-dimensional perimeter group. Along the frontlines, KU must fill its forward need with either Precious Achiuwa or Tristan Enaruna - and possibly Stephen F. Austin grad-transfer TJ Holyfield, who will decide in the coming days between Illinois, KU and Texas Tech.
Kansas and Memphis are the two to beat for RJ Hampton. He officially made the move into the 2019 class this week. Kyree Walker is more of a toss-up regarding his move into the 2019 class. Kansas is fighting with a bevy of others for his services and while it is conceivable that the Jayhawks could land both elite talents, the chances of them doing so are very, very minimal.
Baylor could potentially win the Big 12. Most thought the Bears were going to be a basement dweller in the league last year, but Scott Drew drained every ounce of abilities out of his team en route to a top 5 finish in arguably the most competitive conference in the nation.
Next year, Kansas is still Kansas, and Texas, Texas Tech and WVU each have a chance to make a run. However, the Bears bring back practically their entire roster. They will have a healthy Tristan Clark in the post and they will see guards MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell join the brigade. Toss in the enrollment of Rivals150 wing Jordan Turner and another offseason of development for Mario Kegler, Jared Butler and Mark Vital and the Bears could be in contention for a Big 12 regular season title and a potential top 4 seed in next year’s NCAA Tournament.
North Carolina has already secured the commitment of five-star junior Day’Ron Sharpe and the Tar Heels would love to add another versatile and talented wing-forward. Keeping that in mind, Ziaire Williams would be my best guess and also a tremendous fit. The five-star junior visited the Chapel Hill campus this winter and came away impressed by all that Roy Williams had to offer. Stanford has a solid chance, too, as Williams is a very intellectual, forward-thinking person who boasts elite-level grades in the classroom. The fact that the Cardinal have found success in recent years with prospects in his mold and their close proximity does not hurt. But North Carolina has the positional need that he could fill, and the program's pedigree might be too difficult to pass up.
NC State will land one of the two. Jalen Cone just completed his official visit to Virginia Tech, but the junior has quickly become a priority for the Wolfpack in the wake of the news that he could reclassify into the 2019 class. Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Wake Forest are the stiffest competition for him, but with NC State potentially losing Jalen Lecque to the NBA and its close proximity to Cone, chances continue to improve by the week.
Josh Hall is a super-talented forward who has begun his national emergence. Florida, Kansas and Texas have offered in the past two weeks. Hall likes the idea of playing close to home, which is another strong selling point for NC State, but, of the two, Cone is the likeliest to play for the program and he could be playing for the Wolfpack as soon as next season.