{{ timeAgo('2019-10-09 07:22:36 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Wednesday's Leftovers: Pitt, Iowa State, UNC, UConn, more

Dawson Garcia
Dawson Garcia (https://rivals.com)

The mailbag is plenty full, thanks to major activity in the recruiting waters. In this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, we take a greater look into Pitt’s top targets, the Dawson Garcia recruitment, Iowa State’s next potential commitment, multiple-year producers at North Carolina, Big Blue Madness, UConn’s recruiting board, the dominoes of Jaemyn Brakefield’s decision and the top scorers in high school ball.

MORE: Twitter Tuesday mailbag | 3-Point Play | Starting Five on top JUCOs

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

I addressed RJ Davis yesterday in my #TwitterTuesday column, and while the Panthers are in a good spot, I feel much better picking Marquette at this time.

Earl Timberlake has been difficult to read. He will likely make his college decision in early November and will choose from Miami, Pitt, Providence, Seton Hall and South Carolina. The Hurricanes have gained most of the talk of late, but just a few weeks ago I had heard that it was more of a battle between Providence and Seton Hall. Really, I don’t believe that anyone knows, including Timberlake, where he ends up. The next few weeks should clarify a whole lot.

Cliff Omoruyi will not sign until the spring and will have four official visits to take before doing so. He already took an unofficial visit to Pitt but watch for Arizona State here. Rutgers and UConn are two others in a good spot, and don’t underestimate Kentucky, which could make a late run.

Lastly, John Hugley will make his college decision on Oct. 18. NC State, Penn State and West Virginia are involved, but I would bet the house on Pitt, unless something unforeseen happens.

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Indiana is a serious suitor for Dawson Garcia. The recent information I have is that Marquette and the Hoosiers are the two programs that might be slightly ahead. Garcia also made for a surprise decision that he will commit and sign this fall, rather than waiting things out until the spring. Memphis has picked up some traction with him, Minnesota is doing its all to keep him home, and Arizona just enrolled his former travel teammate. However, Indiana is in a good spot and securing the talented forward’s commitment is within the Hoosiers' grasp.

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The Cyclones just hosted three-star senior Dudley Blackwell for an official visit, so I will take the easy way out and select the Florida native. The small forward is a gifted playmaker that brings toughness and athleticism to the perimeter. His recruitment has been a rather fluid one and selecting a clear leader for him has not been easy, but the Cyclones are in a prime spot. Xavier Foster is another who has taken all of his official visits and is not far off from deciding. Providence and Virginia Tech are also involved, but this looks to be more of a battle between ISU and its in-state rival, Iowa.

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If we are talking about the 2020 class, RJ Davis and Puff Johnson are two seniors that I would be all about. Davis is a prolific scorer that averaged over 20 points on the EYBL circuit this summer. He began the travel season outside of the Rivals150 and is now regarded as a top 65 prospect in the 2020 class.

Why might he not be a one-and-done? He has to show that ability to both create for himself and also for others more consistently, plus he doesn’t have great size in the backcourt, compared to someone in the mold of Caleb Love.

Johnson, the younger brother of former UNC standout Cameron Johnson, has continued to make the proper strides in recent years. Ahead of where his older brother was at the same stage, Johnson has to get stronger, quicker and more athletic, but 6-foot-7 shot-makers that can think the game, bring energy to the floor and defend,remain of great value. He will visit UNC on Nov. 2 and a decision will be made shortly thereafter. Arizona and Pitt are also involved.

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I would not expect a heavy list of visitors next weekend for Big Blue Madness. This is the first time that USA Basketball will run its fall mini-camp on the second weekend of October, so it will directly coincide with BBM. John Calipari has been consistent about focusing on a select group for Kentucky's annual event. This year, that group will include Cade Cunningham and Paolo Banchero. Cunningham will take his official visit to UK, so expect Calipari to focus the majority of his attention on the top-ranked senior guard. Along with those two five-stars, JJ Traynor and Brandon Miller will also be on hand. A few other names should also emerge as visitors to UK this weekend.

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I am not sure who UConn might snag in the backcourt. They are out on Niels Lane, LSU has received most of the talk lately with Cam Thomas and momentum is building for Syracuse in its pursuit of Kadary Richmond. I feel better about things in the frontcourt, though. Cliff Omoruyi will remain a top priority through the winter and the Huskies are expected to host four-star center Javonte Brown at the end of the month. He will likely reclassify into the 2020 class and has already visited Kansas and Texas A&M. However, keep an eye on Dylan Cardwell, who will visit the Storrs campus on Oct.17. The Huskies' chances with the ever-improving post based out of Georgia continue to improve.

It makes Louisville and Auburn look for other avenues to answer their frontcourt needs with Jaemyn Brakefield committing to Duke.

Louisville had hoped Brakefield would replace Jordan Nwora after this season, so now Josh Hall is that much more valuable for the Cards. Gethro Muscadin, who is more of a low-post asset than a face-up type in Brakefield’s mold, could visit officially. However, I would expect a string of newer offers to be handed out at the power forward spot. There is now also a greater emphasis on the development of Jaelyn Withers and Quinn Slazinski. JJ Traynor is one name that Louisville has begun to greatly prioritize lately.

For Auburn, replacing Anfernee McLemore is the greatest concern. I don’t give the Tigers a great chance with Greg Brown, which could see them place a greater priority on Chris Moore. Freshman Jaylin Williams will have to show that he has what it takes to fill the small-ball power forward role this season. Either way, both programs may begin to cast a larger net this fall.

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Great question! I am one of the worst decision-makers you’re going to find, so I will throw five out - in no particular order:

Jalen Green is as smooth of a player as you’re going to find. He is an athletic specimen that has only added to his half-court scoring prowess.

Josh Christopher has to become better with his perimeter jumper, but when it comes to putting points on the scoreboard, he does it at a high level.

RJ Davis might not boast elite upside, but if you want a microwave scorer Davis is just that. He can go for 30 points in the blink of an eye.

Jaden Hardy has already proven his worth playing up a year on the Nike EYBL circuit. He is the best scoring guard in the 2021 class and should put up loads of points at the high-major level as a freshman.

Emoni Bates can throw a 40-spot on the scoreboard at any given moment. He is fluid, confident and efficient. Bates is the next "guy" in basketball, and has supported that claim every step of the way.