Wednesday's Leftovers: Josh Christopher, Oregon, Arkansas
Hump Day has arrived, which means another Wednesday’s Leftovers is here. In it, we discuss the finalists and a potential leader for Josh Christopher, KJ Martin’s professional intent, and the latest recruiting efforts for Arkansas and Oregon in the 2020 class.
Rumors have begun to swirl around Josh Christopher and we were the first to break the news that Michigan now leads for him. The five-star has taken just two official visits thus far, that being to Ann Arbor in November and also to Howard in the fall, though the latter’s chances are very slim. Furthermore, things could definitely change between now and his decision once he visits the remaining programs on his list.
Speaking of, I would look for his visit tour to begin again soon. Christopher and his family have been rather adamant that they would like to see each of his finalists during the college season. The others involved include Arizona State, a place where his brother plays, Missouri and UCLA.
The Bruins had been the thought-of favorites since the summer and while they are definitely heavily in the mix, Michigan may have done the best job with him on the recruiting front of late. Recent commitments from Hunter Dickinson and Terrance Williams have only helped their cause.
Expect for Christopher to visit his remaining finalists, keep his recruitment open until the spring and then sign during the late period following potential NBA defections that might hit any of his final schools.
Very slim. Here is an exchange I had with Martin this season regarding the chances of him playing professionally next year, compared to attending college.
CE: Say that you don’t get the feedback that you are looking to hear in the spring, is college still going to be an option for you?
KJ: I think the overseas thing would work better. It was just that this past year, it was kind of late, so it wasn’t going to be the right situation. Next year, they are saying that if I want to go, I could do so.
CE: So, for you, it is NBA, NBL and then, last resort, college?
KJ: Yeah. College really isn’t even on my list.
Now, there is always a chance that, if Martin doesn’t get the professional feedback that he is looking for, that he takes a closer look at college. He is fully eligible someone of his stature that is available late in the year and playing a position that remains such a major need, would allot him more than worthwhile suitors.
However, don’t expect for Martin to change plans. He remains set on beginning his professional career in the fall, whether it is overseas or domestically.
Oregon currently sits without a single commitment in the 2020 class; the chances of that remaining the case all of the way until the fall is very, very slim. The Ducks have become known for an impressive recruiting win every year so not only will they add a piece or two in the coming months, but there is a strong likelihood that it will come from one of the better prospects available.
Who that might be is not quite clear but they are involved for a few of the top seniors available including Jalen Terry, a top-50 guard, will announce his college decision on Friday. Distance was thought to be a factor for the Michigan native but the Ducks have picked up some momentum; Louisville and LSU are also involved.
Jalen Green will commit sometime in the spring with Oregon on his final list; overcoming Memphis could prove to be too difficult, but the Ducks should not be discounted. Auburn and USC remain in contention, too.
Oregon will also host five-star wing Ziaire Williams in the coming weeks, while Arizona, North Carolina, Stanford, UCLA and USC continue to prioritize. The reclassification of Josh Primo is another option that they could attempt to take, and the transfer realm has always been kind to the Ducks. It should not be forgotten that Eugene Omoruyi and Eric Williams are sitting out this year due to their own transfer into the program.
I really, really like what Eric Musselman has been able to achieve with his inaugural class as the Hawgs’ head coach. Sitting with a top-10 class nationally thanks to the commitments from homegrown talents Moses Moody, Davonte Davis, KK Robinson and maybe the most underrated big man in America, Jaylin Williams, optimism is not in short supply. While it is a strong four-man class, I expect for more activity this spring in Fayetteville.
Rumors continue to swirl around Kyree Walker and if he decides on attending college, Arkansas is one of the few spots that he could end up at. Also, looking at what Musselman achieved at Nevada, while he has been adamant that the high school ranks will be where he relies primarily on his roster construction, don’t expect for him to move entirely away from the transfer realm. He enrolled over 30 transfers during his time at the MWC program and I would expect for the Hawgs to also be in that market.
I would be surprised if Oklahoma did not add another to its 2020 class, but who that might be remains up for debate. The Sooners signed just one prospect in the fall, three-star guard Trey Phipps, and will graduate just one player from its team after the season, Kristian Doolittle. There are no glaring holes on its roster but with the climate that we are in with transfer and/or early departures hitting practically every program each spring, the Sooners have remained proactive with who they could pursue.
They had been in touch with Rivals150 wing Jaylen Clark who has become a heavily monitored west coast target of late with Arizona possibly having the best shot. They have also kept tabs on Canadian junior Josh Primo, who is more than likely to reclassify into the 2020 class.
However, Oklahoma might pick things up in the spring, whether it comes via the junior college ranks, decommitment front following various coaching changes or with a grad-transfer in enhancing its roster with greater experience.