Sunday, December 16, 2018

Five-star Trendon Watford cuts list to four, sets commitment timetable

Corey Evans • Basketball Recruiting Reprint from
The final step has been taken by 
as he gets closer to making his college decision. One of the top prospects available this winter, the five-star forward has cut his school list one last time with an official visit scheduled for the coming weeks.
Slated as the 17th best prospect in America, Watford is now focused on a school list that consists of AlabamaIndianaLSU, and Memphis. He told why it was time to trim his list another time. “I feel like, with my last list at eight, I feel like these are just the right four for me,” he said.

Alabama: “They were really the first school to start recruiting me. Coach Avery (Johnson), I like him a lot. They have been down with me through this all and there is a lot of loyalty and I like what they are doing there.”
Indiana: “It is like a second home to me. I have been up their multiple times. My brother 
 played there and there is a big family connection. I love what Coach Archie Miller was saying during my in-home visit. I just love what he is doing now.”
LSU: “I took my official visit last month and I enjoyed it. I hung out with the guys and I like how they all are. Coach Bill Armstrong, he is real cool and I have known him for a long time going back to when he was at Ole Miss. I just like what they are doing right now and they are going to be one of the top SEC teams this season.”
Memphis: “I like what he (Penny Hardaway) is doing with the team now. He still has some of Tubby’s guys in there but I like how they are playing and whenever I went down there during my official visit, they were really welcoming and all of the players they were all pretty cool. 
and  , they text me pretty much every day or two.”


Having already taken official visits to LSU and Memphis, Watford will take his third official visit to Alabama on the weekend of Jan. 5. From there, a visit to Indiana remains in the works. “I was trying to visit there for their game against Louisville but I ended up having a game but we just having to plan out a time according to my season,” he said. “We will find a date, though.”
From there, expect a commitment before the spring. “If not late February, then early or mid-March,” he said. “Probably right after my high school season.”
Watford is a super talented and versatile forward that can take on a point-forward role for his team. He is a skilled passer that can score from each level but has the length, strength and toughness to guard all three frontcourt positions.
Wherever he does choose, the respective program will enroll one of the more college ready prospects from the 2019 class and someone that should impact it from day one.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Five-star big man Drew Timme goes for Gonzaga


Reprint from Corey Evans •  @coreyevans_10
Gonzaga made a major move with its 2019 class on Wednesday, thanks to the commitment of five-star forward 
. The top 30 senior selected the Bulldogs over AlabamaIllinoisand Texas A&M, kicking off the Early Signing Period on a high note for Mark Few’s program.
“I’m going to be a Gonzaga Bulldog,” Timme told “The fit and the coaching staff, it is just perfect. They need me, too, so it is not just that they want me but rather they need me. With 
 and   probably going to the league, it is just the perfect fit.”
The idea of doing something different also appealed to Timme.
“I think it is different and with the history and success that they have had, once I went up there, I kind of just knew that, damn, it is a really perfect fit for me. After talking with my family, it just made the most sense with me,” he said. “They have compared me to guys like (Kelly) Olynyk
 and  , just kind of a mix of those guys, and even   a little bit.”
One of the more recruited and coveted prospects in recent months, Timme is one of Few’s greatest wins on American soil on the recruiting trail. A 6-foot-10 power forward who can play a variety of positions in the frontcourt, Timme should fit in seamlessly in Few’s big-man reliant offense. He can shoot, handle, pass and rebound, all of which are elements the Bulldogs have relied upon in their recent frontcourt standouts.
Entering his senior summer as a solid four-star prospect, Timme destroyed his final months on the travel circuit, enhancing his resume as a five-star, national recruit. On the Nike EYBL circuit, the Drive Nation star posted per-game averages of 14.9 points (63 FG percentage), 8.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks.
The signing of Timme only adds further to Gonzaga’s sparkling 2019 class. Next fall, he will be joined by Rivals150 members 
 and  , along with  . The WCC juggernaut may not be done yet, as it is the favorite for  , one of the more coveted international prospects who hails from Mali.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Four-star Corey Walker Jr. drawing interest from coast to coast

Dan McDonald
Reprint from

Over the past year, Corey Walker Jr.  has become one of the more highly recruited prospects in the 2020 class. The explosive 6-foot-7 small forward from Florida has programs all over the country making the trip to Jacksonville to see him at his school.

AuburnBaylorFloridaGeorgia TechLouisvilleMichiganUSC and Xavier are among the schools Walker says are in constant contact with him. He took an unofficial visit to Florida earlier in football season and will be back in Gainesville on Friday one more time to see Gators on the hardwood.

Florida: “Florida was great. I like it a lot. They talk about how I can fit in well there and build the team around me. They’ll let me pick some guys I want to play with if I commit there. I like coach (Mike) White a lot. He keeps it real with everybody, and he’s a nice guy.”

USC: “USC is really good. I feel like for the next four or five years they are going to be really good. They are bringing in some big-time recruits.”
Xavier: “I like them. I like the coaches. I like coach Jonas (Hayes). He’s a cool dude. He talks about how I would fit in with the team and the position I’d play.”


At this point in the process, Florida has to be considered the school to beat for Walker. It is the only school that has been able to get the four-star prospect on campus lately, and he speaks highly of White and his program.
Other programs such as Louisville, Xavier and USC have also put in a lot of work with the No. 30 overall prospect in the 2020 Rivals150, and they shouldn’t be counted out. Walker also appears to be pretty open, so it’s still possible for other schools to come into the picture over the next year.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Kansas State is first high-major offer for 2020 PG Jordan Rawls

Reprint from Dan Macdonald at
Jordan Rawls
Lakepoint Athletic

 started his junior season at Hamilton Heights (Tenn.) off with an impressive showing this past weekend at the CB Hoops Super Jam at LakePoint Sports in Georgia. The 6-foot-2 lead guard exploded for 41 points in his first game of the day and did so connecting on deep balls, getting to the rim, and also dished out some assists to teammates.
Kansas State offered following the event and became the class of 2020 prospect’s first high-major scholarship offer. Georgia TechIowa and Ole Miss have also shown varying levels of interest. His other offers include UMass, FAU, Hofstra and Arkansas State.
6'1" 175 LBS PG


Rawls talked about his newest offer, interest from Iowa, and what schools he would like to hear from.
Kansas State: “I like it. It’s in the Big 12. I’m definitely interested in them since they gave me my first high-major offer. The assistant coach just told me how he likes my game and he couldn’t believe UMass was my first offer.”
Iowa: “They’ve just been recruiting me a little bit. They want to get me up on campus soon for a visit. I don’t know too much about them, but I’m starting to look into them.”
On schools he wants to hear from: “Really any SEC school. I’d like to hear from Tennessee. They are the home state school and I’ve been on campus there a couple times. I’ve talked to coach (Rob) Lanier a couple times. He said he likes my game. He wants me to get stronger to improve my game.”


If Rawls continues to play like he did on Saturday, there will be a long list of high-major programs in pursuit of his signature in the 2020 class. He looked like the type of prospect that should be in the next update of the Rivals150. Kansas State was wise to jump in on him early and he mentioned the possibility of trying to sneak in a visit to Manhattan at some point in the near future. It’s still early in his recruitment though and he maintains he’s open to all schools.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Dishing on Duke, UNC and plenty of prospects

Reprint from - Corey Evans •
We were unable to get to all of your questions in yesterday’s #TwitterTuesday, so we've hit on few others in this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers. We tackle such topics as Duke and UNC’s 2019 class, the recruitment of 
 and assessments of recent Marquette and Missouri pledges.
The past few weeks have not been kind to Duke, a program that isn't accustomed to losing recruiting battles. After seeing 
 select Villanova last week,   did the same today for Tennseee . I do believe that the Blue Devils will begin to cast a wider net in the 2019 class, just as Kentucky has in recent weeks. 

Could the Blue Devils begin to pursue 
 a bit more vigorously? What about  ? There were conversations between the two camps early this summer, and I would not be surprised to see things pick up. They did just offer   on Tuesday night where   and   are two others that had garnered Duke interest in the past. If the Blue Devils are going to make a move on any of the five, expect that to happen in the next several days - before it is too late.
6'5" 185 LBS SG
6'9" 235 LBS PF
I will say that it is about 40 percent, not because I don’t think that they won’t land at least one of the two, but since you asked about both pledging to the Tar Heels, that's a tall order, especially with Kansas in the mix. However, I do feel fairly confident UNC can snatch Green, one of the more versatile and talented guards in the 2019 class, and the Tar Heels are primarily battling with Arizona for his commitment. 
Robinson-Earl on the other hand, is down to a final five, but many believe that this race will come down to UNC and Kansas. I will side with Jayhawks for now, but I do still see good things ahead for Roy Williams’ crew in the months ahead as Green and another potential guard standout should pledge.
6'2" 175 LBS PG
Jalen Gaffney
Nick Lucero/
A three-star guard out of New Jersey, Gaffney is down to a final four for the most part: ClemsonSt. John’sUConn and XavierPitt and Florida were involved, but both have bowed out. Gaffney will spend an official visit on Clemson, but since the Tigers took 
, things could be a bit more muddled (although they would love to take Gaffney). Xavier wants two guards in the 2019 class but, just like Clemson, celebrated the commitment of a Rivals150 guard, 

For now, I like UConn and St. John’s in the race for Gaffney’s pledge. The Huskies moved up their official visit with the well-rounded guard to this weekend and while they did just take the pledge of 
, they do need another guard in the 2019 class. St. John’s will have to wait until next month to host Gaffney, but with where things sit now, I like the Red Storm and UConn, and the Huskies might be pushing for his pledge this weekend.
6'4" 195 LBS SG
Marquette came up with the commitment of 
 earlier this month, and while that did not receive a ton of fanfare, I do approve of the Golden Eagles’ win on the recruiting trail. He entered July with just two scholarship offers, and none coming from a high-major program. Regardless, he is the type of guard that Marquette has been lacking in recent years. Offensive firepower has remained, but defensively the Golden Eagles have struggled. That aspect of their game should be improved immediately with Akanno on hand next year. 

Look at him as a 
-type of guard: tough, competitive, well-built and a big-time defender that wants to do the dirty work. He just missed the new Rivals150 last week, but was given a ranking in the top-50 at his shooting guard position. He should continue to garner positive marks as he enters his prep year at Blair Academy this fall.
6'6" 190 LBS SG
The five-star guard has the potential to evolve into a one-and-done type of prospect after his lone year but the best bet for him might be setting up shop for two years in college before taking a harder look at the NBA. 
What really makes James so valuable is the fact that he is 6-foot-5 and sports a 6-foot-9 wingspan. He is best used on the ball as a playmaker and has a mature, developed skill set. The dilemma is that he is not a consistent shooter from 15 feet and out, and that asset in today’s game is as valuable as ever. That could hold him back some. 
By choosing Tennessee, expect Rick Barnes to give him every chance in the world to flourish immediately, so that he can be an example for years to come that his program is the type of place that elite prospects can go, succeed and then be selected in the upper tier of the NBA Draft.
6'6" 180 LBS SF
Missouri came up with a sneaky commitment over the weekend in the form of 6-foot-6 small forward 
. The Cleveland native will be one of the last to enroll as a class of 2018 prospect, and he will be on Mizzou’s roster for this upcoming season. 

It is not like he was an unheard-of prospect though, as West VirginiaCincinnatiDePaul and a few others had kept tabs on him throughout his prep career. What he brings to the floor is versatility and upside. He is your prototypical athletic wing who can slide between positions, score at the basket and from the perimeter and defend his spot, whether it be as a 2-guard or as a small-ball power forward. He has the talent and abilities to impact the program. If he can put it all together and get his bearings down, look for Guess to be a nice injection off the bench for the next few years.
Ed Cooley
AP Images
Providence would love to add another member from the Rivals150 alongside four-star forward 
, and   could be a guy who would answer a lot of its questions in the 2019 class. However, there is a lot more time to go in his recruitment, as UConnPittMarylandGeorgetown and Syracuse are just a few that have invested a good amount of time in recruiting him. While it's difficult to forecast, I think Providence will miss on Akok. 

Still, the Friars have a puncher’s chance with 
, another well regarded prospect that is more of an interior-based big man. If they don't get either of those two, Gantt might be the only Rivals150 recruit to enroll next fall, but the Friars should have a bevy of talent returning and Ed Cooley could have, arguably, his best roster.