Basketball Recruiting - Wednesday's Leftovers: Harrison Ingram, Trevor Keels, Michigan
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Wednesday's Leftovers: Harrison Ingram, Trevor Keels, Michigan

Trevor Keels
Trevor Keels (Courtesy of @HoophallClassic)

Commitments and final lists continue at a surprising rate for some of the nation’s best. Wednesday's Mailbag is loaded with questions, including potential landing spots for Trevor Keels and Harrison Ingram, what Michigan does at the lead guard spot, and much more.

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2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75

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Man, a lot of questions about Trevor Keels this week, and for good reason. There is some question as to how much of a chance Villanova has with the five-star after landing Jordan Longino and Angelo Brizzi last week, but Keels confirmed with Rivals.com that his Nova offer remains on the table and that Jay Wright would love to have him, which would solidify the Wildcats’ top class nationally.

But landing Keels is easier said than done, and while Villanova was potentially on the cusp of his commitment earlier in the spring, he has given no reason to believe that he is anywhere near deciding. Villanova will now have to do a little damage control as far as the number of bodies that it could have in its backcourt, but if anyone can do it, it is Wright, thanks to his track record of success and development in recent years, along with his guard-happy system.

That won’t stop others such as Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, UConn or Virginia from pursuing him. Duke appears to be the leader. The Blue Devils have not offered a whole lot of prospects in the 2021 class, with Keels being the only guard-wing that they have offered.

Maybe the Blue Devils strike out, but it appears that Duke has centered on Keels as the guy they want the most in the backcourt. Very rarely does Coach K miss on someone that he really, really wants.

OSU may be out after taking Malaki Branham, which could also be the case for UConn if Jordan Hawkins commits to the Huskies.

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Far from it. Listen, I am not saying Stanford will not land Harrison Ingram, but things are far from over in the race for the five-star. The way I see it, there are three tiers for Ingram: the favorites are the Cardinal and Purdue; the keep-an-eye on group that includes Michigan and North Carolina; and the duo in catch-up mode that is Harvard and Howard.

Purdue and Stanford have waffled back and forth as the leader for Ingram in recent months. Isa Silva’s presence on the Cardinal’s 2021 roster should definitely help as should the continued ascension of the program. However, Purdue has recruited Ingram just as hard.

North Carolina has remained in the third spot for some time, while Michigan has found the most traction since offering earlier in the spring.

I respect Ingram for throwing the prestigious Crimson on his final list, along with an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in Howard, but having never visited either program and potentially not having the chance before he commits does not help two schools that are already playing from behind in the race for Ingram.

A commitment date has not been set, but I do expect Ingram to sign in November, with intrigue not short to come by until then.

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The latest talk has surrounded Florida State winning out with Jalen Warley, but things are not over when it comes to Michigan’s chances with the top 25 guard. If FSU does, in fact, land Warley, then Carter Whitt becomes an even bigger priority for the Wolverines. Whitt just received his Michigan offer last week, and he told Rivals.com shortly after that he was close to narrowing his school list, but he isn’t near a commitment.

Another alternative that Michigan could pursue is Frankie Collins. The four-star guard is one of the best available guards that has continually heard from the Wolverines but has not received the coveted Michigan offer. When the Wolverines missed on Angelo Brizzi, they immediately offered Whitt. The same could happen if they miss on Warley this weekend, which could lead to an offer to Collins.

Whitt and Collins would be the lone two primary ballhandlers that Michigan would then be chasing. Harrison Ingram is someone that the Wolverines could look for as a playmaker, too. If none of those three pan out, expect Michigan to keep the scholarship and monitor things this winter and then look at the transfer portal once spring arrives.

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UConn, but that is not the most confident prediction because things still have to play out some more before a real leader emerges. The Huskies have a major need in the frontcourt for a rim-running, shot-blocking force, and that need would immediately be squelched if Johnson were to pick the Big East program.

Johnson's decision will not come easy, though. His stock has soared in recent months, and some of the very best throughout the Northeast see him as a heavy priority. Whether it is Providence, St. John’s, Syracuse, Miami or Pitt, the competition for him remains fierce. I am going to stick with the Huskies, which would give UConn one of the best back-line defending teams in America, thanks to the young frontcourt that would be in place if Johnson enrolls in Storrs a year from now.

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There was some concern in Memphis earlier in the spring when the Tigers had yet to land a single high school prospect in the 2020 class. The situation seemed more dire when Mike Miller, one of the top assistants in the sport, left the coaching staff. Well, Memphis then went on to win the recruitment of the best shot-blocker in the class in Moussa Cisse before celebrating the recruiting win of top-20 guard Arterio Morris, a tremendous talent in the 2022 class.

Looking to the 2021 class, many questions remain unanswered. Will Landers Nolley and/or DeAndre Williams will be ruled eligible this season? Which underclassman will opt for the NBA in the spring? At the moment, Memphis will not lose a single player from its roster after the season, but that likely won’t hold up in the long run, which is why Hardaway and his staff have been diligently pinpointing prospects to target.

Among those players are Sam Ayomide, Charles Bediako, Moussa Diabate and Chet Holmgren in the frontcourt. Of the group, I like the Tigers' chances the most with Ayomide. Regardless, the center spot might be the most crucial for the Tigers, seeing that Cisse is the likeliest of the Tigers to enter the draft in the spring.

On the wing are John Camden, Josh Minott, James Graham and Deebo Coleman. Florida State is practically out of the running for Minott and Graham, which should definitely help the Tigers. Coleman is a Memphis native that the Tigers have begun to pick things up with, and Ayomide lives with Camden, so a package deal is not out of the equation.

Backcourt contenders include Jalen Warley, JD Davison, Hunter Sallis, Kennedy Chandler and Carter Whitt. I don’t feel great about Memphis' chances with any of the five, but then again a lead guard is not a must as long as Alex Lomax and Damion Baugh return next fall.

With Ayomide replacing Cisse, Coleman replacing Boogie Ellis (who could make a run at the NBA, too), and a Minott or Graham thrown in, the Tigers would have a strong three-man group before moving on to the transfer market in the spring.

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