Basketball Recruiting - Wednesday's Leftovers: Who will have more success, Howard or Hardaway?
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Wednesday's Leftovers: Who will have more success, Howard or Hardaway?

Back for another round of Wednesday’s Leftovers, there is a lot to unpack this week including Villanova’s potential 2021 class and the early success of Penny Hardaway and Juwan Howard at Memphis and Michigan. Other topics such as North Carolina’s likely bounce back next season and the final weeks of Zion Harmon’s recruitment are also on the docket.

MORE: Twitter Tuesday mailbag | Top classes on display at Hoophall

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

Seeing that Villanova is set to graduate not a single player from its team after the season, the Wildcats stayed silent in the 2020 class, though they could pick things back up in the spring if someone like Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and/or Saddiq Bey decide to test the NBA waters.

Meanwhile, Villanova, as you stated, will need a really good group a year from now. I wouldn’t fret because they sit in a very good spot with a handful of its top targets. Trevor Keels is one of them and, as of now, it would seem as if the Wildcats are out in the lead. Duke did just offer and there is still time to before a decision is made, but Nova fans should keep tabs on the versatile guard.

The Wildcats just offered local prospect Jordan Longino. Many assumed that a commitment would follow, but he told me just last week that he is in no rush and it is more about finding the right college home instead of jumping at an offer. However, at the end of the day, I believe Longino will be a Villanova Wildcat.

Langston Love and Max Christie are two others found outside of their locale that they remain heavily involved for, but nearby it is Trey Patterson and Nnanna Njoku. I don’t foresee Jay Wright missing on both.

Regarding Rahsool Diggins, time will tell. He is good enough, but maybe the fit isn’t there. There is a connection between the prospect and program where Diggins attends the same high school as current standout Collin Gillespie, so his situation does require further monitoring.

Juwan Howard
Juwan Howard

Wow. That is a really tough one. Both Penny Hardaway had a top five class his first year on the job and Juwan Howard is tracking to do the same with a group that currently sits fourth in the class rankings and could add again before the recruiting cycle completes.

What is odd this year is that Memphis, after enrolling the nation’s best 2019 class in the fall, has yet to win one 2020 recruiting battle. That is going to change at some point but there is some cause for concern. I do believe in Hardaway as both a coach and recruiter, case in point how he navigated the loss of James Wiseman earlier this year, to go along with an injured Lester Quinones, to not only string together impressive wins, but to also change their entire game plan and gear it around Precious Achiuwa.

However, in five years, if both Hardaway and Howard are still coaching within the college ranks, I might side with Howard. He proved during the early going this season that he can defeat some of the more talented teams in America, has great poise in the coach’s box, can hire a strong coaching staff, and really recruit.

The jury is still out on both over the long haul but when push comes to shove, I will take Howard, though you can’t go wrong with either one.

No and this year won’t really leave that much of an impact on next year seeing that North Carolina has already wrapped up what might be Roy Williams’ best class since he took over. I get the concern in Chapel Hill, that one bad year could lead to a string of more bad seasons, but Williams made it clear that the 2020 class had to be not just a good one, but a great one for UNC and he succeeded admirably.

UNC will enroll three five-stars in the fall, and that does not include two vital shot-makers in Puff Johnson and RJ Davis. The return of a hopefully healthy Anthony Harris, and another offseason of development out of Andrew Platek, Leaky Black, Jeremiah Francis, Garrison Brooks, and possibly Armando Bacot, to go along with its incoming freshmen talent, should be enough for Heels’ fans to forget what they’re currently enduring.

Now, if Carolina didn’t have such a strong class already in hand and was still searching for a handful of others in rounding out its roster for next year, maybe there could be some issues. At the end of the day though, a place like UNC, that would have minutes and opportunities available for the taking, is difficult to decline which is why recruiting to a place that is labeled as a blue blood will not be a hard thing to do even in light of a rather middling season.


Zion Harmon will complete his official visit journey this week whenever he heads to Kansas. The Jayhawks sit as one of his finalists leading up to a commitment date that he has set for his birthday on March 12.

The top-50 junior has already visited Louisville, Maryland, Seton Hall and Western Kentucky. While much could change between now and his decision, WKU has been the program has garnered the most talk regarding where he may land. Not only is Harmon expected to end his recruitment in two months, but there is a strong chance that he makes the leap into the 2020 class.

Indiana definitely has its eyes on a point guard in the 2021 class, those being Khristian Lander and Carter Whitt. However, each could potentially reclassify into the 2020 class with Lander the likelier of the two to do so. Expect for IU to be a strong suitor for him if he does actually enroll this fall.

The frontcourt is a top priority of the Hoosiers class, including Trey Patterson and Caleb Furst, who have both visited. Another in-state Rivals150 prospect, Trey Kaufman, is a major target for Archie Miller’s staff, while Logan Duncomb, a big man out of Ohio, holds an Indiana offer.

Aminu Mohammed, a five-star wing, has visited and the Hoosiers would love to have him, while Blake Wesley is seen in a similar light. Keep an eye on Luke Goode, too, a shot-making 2-guard that hails from the state and is a travel teammate of Furst’s.