Wednesday's Leftovers: OK State, NC State, Kentucky, more
We have more of your questions for this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, in which we hit on such topics as Oklahoma State’s chances with its recent visitors, how NC State can find success this year, where Alabama, Auburn and Providence sit with their top targets and why Kentucky has struggled with elite frontcourt talent in recent years.
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
Oklahoma State had a HAUL of highly ranked 2020 recruits in Stillwater on Saturday, including Cade Cunningham, Rondel Walker, and JT Thor. What percentage do you give Coach Boynton of landing each of them?— Phillip (@OKTXARPoke) September 8, 2019
Oklahoma State has not backed away from chasing the very best in the 2020 class. Cade Cunningham is priority A, B and C, and while Mike Boynton has a great relationship with him and just hired his brother as an assistant coach, I still don’t think that the five-star is a done deal for OK State. Instead, I will say that it is 50 percent in OSU’s favor, with North Carolina holding a 40-percent chance. Washington is the darkhorse.
J.T. Thor took his first official visit to Stillwater over the weekend, and I give the Cowboys a 50-percent shot with him. Much will ride on Cunningham, though. If OK State lands the top-ranked guard, Thor would likely follow. As for Rondel Walker, he is down to a final five, but Kansas State and Texas are the two to beat, along with Boynton’s bunch. Joining Cunningham, his travel teammate, in Stillwater may further intrigue Walker, which gives the Cowboys a 35-percent shot with the four-star senior.
Where do you think this N.C. State class ends up? Seems like Keatts is getting kids on campus but not closing.— tuffy_1994 (@tuffy_1994) September 8, 2019
I wouldn’t doubt Kevin Keatts on the recruiting trail. The Wolfpack have already landed the commitment of power forward Nick Farrar and have made great strides with John Hugley, a four-star center out of Ohio. There was a thought that he was close to committing following his visit last week, and while he decided to hold off,the Wolfpack stilll sit in a good spot.
Josh Hall was forced to postpone his official visit to NC State over the weekend, but he will visit the ACC program later this fall. One prospect that did visit was Cam Hayes. He just reclassified into the 2020 class, and as long as North Carolina doesn’t offer Keatts should have a strong chance with him. Shakeel Moore, Tristan Maxwell and Cam Thomas are three others to watch, with the latter being the Wolfpack's top scoring guard target.
Farrar, Hugley, Hall and Hayes would make up a very strong class – one that is within reach.
Where does Alabama stand with some of their 2020 targets?— #BeatSC (@aterry65) September 9, 2019
Alabama is out on Earl Timberlake but it is in a good spot with Nimari Burnett. The five-star guard will visit Tuscaloosa on the weekend of Sept. 27. The Crimson Tide are battling Michigan, Oregon and Texas Tech for his services. Josh Hall should visit the SEC program later this year, though his signing is not expected until the spring. Rongie Gordon is an option in the frontcourt, as is Isaiah Jackson. The five-star power forward just visited Kentucky two weeks ago, and the Tide are fending off not just UK but also Syracuse and a few others for his commitment. Look for Alabama to pursue a handful of other wing options in the 2020 class and monitor the junior college ranks, with Burnett the likeliest of the group to ultimately commit to Nate Oats’ program.
Get real with me. What are Bruce Pearl and Auburn’s chances with Jalen Green?— Gene Loblaw (@GeneLoblaw) September 9, 2019
Green just took an unofficial visit to USC over the weekend, and he will visit Auburn, Kentucky, Memphis and Oregon in the coming weeks. The Tigers are definitely playing catch-up with Kentucky, Memphis and Oregon. Bruce Pearl has shown that he can win some of the more high-pressure recruitments, but Pearl's very best might not be enough to lure Green to Auburn next fall.
Who else do you think joins Alyn Breed in Providence’s 2020 class?— PCBB (@PCBBfan) September 8, 2019
I wouldn’t be surprised if Providence lands Earl Timberlake. While it has been difficult to get concrete information out of Timberlake, the Friars have recruited the five-star prospect the longest and have a better chance than many think. Pitt, Seton Hall and South Carolina are three others to watch, but the Friars do have a solid chance. I don’t see his high school teammate, Hunter Dickinson, following him there, nor do I see four-star big men Lance Ware or Xavier Foster committing to the program. I could envision Shakeel Moore or Noah Farrakhan joining Breed at Providence next year. I could also see Silas Mason or DJ Gordon doing the same, but much could depend upon what Timberlake decides.
How can UK haul in all of these SG’s and SF’s and not focus more on their weakness of PF and C ?— Jimmy Womack (@jwomack44) September 8, 2019
I get it. Kentucky has found great success in landing talent in the backcourt this fall, but it is in a difficult spot again when it comes to landing frontcourt talent. Cam'Ron Fletcher is already committed, but he is more of a Jarred Vanderbilt type than a P.J. Washington style of player. This is more about supply and demand. It is not as if UK hasn’t placed the proper amount of attention on the frontcourt. Rather, the Wildcats have passed on some prospects and are facing a class that is lacking premier frontline players.
UK still enters the new season with three quality bigs in E.J. Montgomery, Nate Sestina and Nick Richards. The Wildcats should also find success in some way with Lance Ware or Isaiah Jackson, the attempted reclassification of Paolo Banchero and/or the grad-transfer route in the spring. If there is one thing that is certain it is that John Calipari is going to utilize every avenue available in developing a roster that can compete for an SEC title and a national championship.