Where the top uncommitted prospects could land in late period
The first day of the Early Signing Period has come and gone, and 2019 team rankings have started to take shape. But, with No. 1 player Vernon Carey Jr. being among the 17 top 50 players (12 of them five-stars) still on the board, things are far from settled in the team rankings.
As it turns out there is a relatively small group of schools fighting over the remaining top-50 talent and who they do or don’t land could have a significant impact on the final team rankings. Today we look at the programs that are still legitimately involved with at least two five-stars or three top-50 talents. Where do they currently rank? Who are they involved with? Who do they have the best shot to land and where do things stand?
Current ranking: No. 54
Best shot: Akok Akok
Analysis: Danny Hurley is hoping to hit a home run with his first class and he’s still got a chance to make a major move. The Huskies may be the team to beat for Akok and it’s not a stretch to see them landing two of their three major remaining targets.
Current ranking: No. 16
Best shot: Vernon Carey Jr.
Analysis: By Blue Devil standards, it’s been a bit of a slow start to the 2019 class and they’ve had some high-profile misses. But, they are still right in the mix with the nation’s top player, Carey, and he may be leaning back in the direction of Mike Krzyzewski’s bunch. Landing him or any of their other major targets would give them a chance at a top-five class.
Current ranking: No. 85
Best shot: Trayce Jackson-Davis
Analysis: The Hoosiers' lone signee to this point, Armaan Franklin, is a Rivals150 prospect but he’s not enough to build a highly ranked class. The hope is to keep one of the homegrown five-stars home and both Jackson-Davis and Brooks are looking hard at playing for Archie Miller. Landing either may be enough to push the class into top-30 range.
Current ranking: No. 46
Best shot: Matthew Hurt
Analysis: There’s little question that negative headlines have been impacting the Jayhawks' recruiting efforts. However, Bill Self and Kansas are still thought to be in very good position for Hurt. If the Jayhawks can add Hurt and any of their other top targets, they can still secure a top 10 or better class.
Current ranking: No. 6
Best shot: Keion Brooks
Analysis: When it comes to recruiting, there are different expectations in Lexington where a class ranked No. 6 with two top 10 players is met with a “meh” reaction from the fanbase. It’s strange to see the Wildcats involved with so many highly ranked players but not considered an outright favorite. Until proven otherwise, though, you can’t bet against John Calipari and nobody is going to be surprised if they land one or more of their remaining targets and compete for the top spot.
Current ranking: No. 66
Best shot: Lester Quinones
Analysis: Will Wade put together the No. 3 class in the country during his first year in Baton Rouge in 2018. A repeat of that isn’t looking likely in 2019 but it would be an upset if the Tigers don’t land at least one of their major remaining targets and ultimately put together a class that competes for the top 25.
Current ranking: No. 31
Best shot: James Wiseman
Analysis: First-year coach and Memphis legend Penny Hardaway has had the Tigers in the mix with some big-time prospects but he’s yet to close on a true signature recruit. Wiseman, who Hardaway coached in high school and during the summer, would certainly fit that category and would push the Memphis class into the top 10.
Current ranking: No. 34
Best shot: C.J. Walker
Analysis: It wasn’t too long ago that it looked like the Hurricanes were about to secure a commitment from the high-flying Walker. They may still lead for him as they cross their fingers in hopes of pulling off a huge coup by landing either Carey or Anthony.
Current ranking: No. 20
Best shot: Isaiah Stewart
Analysis: The Spartans are right there in the mix and possibly in the top two for each of Carey, Stewart and Jackson-Davis. Things can always change but it’s tough to envision them whiffing on all three of those guys at this stage in the game. Any of the three gives Tom Izzo a top 10 or better class.
xCurrent ranking: No. 19
Best shot: Cole Anthony
Analysis: North Carolina got off to a hot start landing five-star Armando Bacot in the late summer to go with four-star point guard Jeremiah Francis. Since then, there have been some misses but the Tar Heels remain involved with some big-timers. Anthony would give them the best guard in the country and push them toward the national top five. Add another of their top targets and they could compete for the top spot.
Current ranking: No. 15
Best shot: Cassius Stanley
Analysis: The Ducks continue to recruit well and are looking to push their way into the top 10 or possibly even top five. Walker looks most likely to make an early decision while Stanley looks to be most likely to pick the Ducks at this juncture.
Current ranking: No. 29
Best shot: Precious Achiuwa
Analysis: The Bruins may be involved with more high-level prospects than any other team in the country. There hasn’t been a ton of buzz just yet, but keep an eye out for the Bruins with Achiuwa, who will take his time and whose former summer teammate Moses Brown is off to a great start in Westwood.
Current ranking: No. 55
Best shot: Jaden McDaniels
Analysis: The Huskies got a good one in local four-star shooting guard Raequan Battle. Now, they’d love to pair him with a homegrown star and McDaniels is giving them a hard look. Landing him or Stewart would give Mike Hopkins huge credibility on the recruiting trail.