Thursday, September 20, 2018

Dishing on Duke, UNC and plenty of prospects

Reprint from Rivals.com - Corey Evans • BasketballRecruiting.Rivals.com
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.
 11 
NATIONAL
   
STATE
 1 
POSITION
RANK
N/A
6'5" 185 LBS SG
IMG ACADEMY
BRADENTON, FL
CLASS OF 2019
UNDECIDED
 10 
NATIONAL
   
STATE
 4 
POSITION
6'9" 235 LBS PF
IMG ACADEMY
BRADENTON, FL
CLASS OF 2019
UNDECIDED
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.
   
NATIONAL
   
STATE
 26 
POSITION
6'2" 175 LBS PG
WESTTOWN SCHOOL
WESTTOWN, PA
CLASS OF 2019
UNDECIDED
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Jalen Gaffney
Nick Lucero/Rivals.com
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.
   
NATIONAL
   
STATE
 42 
POSITION
6'4" 195 LBS SG
BLAIR ACADEMY
BLAIRSTOWN, NJ
CLASS OF 2019
VERBAL COMMIT
9/6/2018
MARQUETTE
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.
 14 
NATIONAL
   
STATE
 4 
POSITION
6'6" 190 LBS SG
PORTER GAUD SCHOOL
CHARLESTON, SC
CLASS OF 2019
VERBAL COMMIT
9/19/2018
TENNESSEE
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.
   
NATIONAL
   
STATE
   
POSITION
6'6" 180 LBS SF
GLENVILLE ACADEMIC CAMPUS
CLEVELAND, OH
CLASS OF 2018
SIGNED LOI
9/15/2018
MISSOURI
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.
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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.

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