2020 four-star point guard Eric Gaines committed to LSU during his official visit. With Gaines being a late bloomer, he took his official visits to other schools like Dayton, Georgia State, and Saint Louis. Gaines has a chance to play immediately at LSU next season.
2021 five-star point guard Khristian Lander announced his commitment to Indiana on Tuesday night. Louisville, Michigan, and Memphis were the other schools involved in his final recruitment. Lander is currently a junior but the option of reclassifying is not out of the question. Lander said “I’m thinking about going 2020 very strongly but I’m not for sure yet” on an article reported by espn. Lander is currently ranked number twelve overall in the junior rankings in the href=”http://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings/_/class/2021/order/true”>2021 ESPN 60.
ESPN’s number six ranked senior Jalen Suggs committed to Gonzaga on Saturday night. Suggs is the highest ranked commit in Gonzaga’s history. Suggs said, “I think Mark Few (Gonzaga’s coach) is the best coach in the country.” Suggs chose the zags over Florida, Florida State, Iowa State, and Minnesota. Suggs is also considering a season overseas instead of a college basketball career but is still fully committed to be in Spokane at Gonzaga next fall.
Former five-star recruit Quentin Grimes has announced he will be transferring to Houston. Grimes entered the NCAA transfer portal and put his name in the 2019 NBA Draft. It was unlikely Grimes would take his name out of the draft but he did, and ended up choosing a basketball program on the rise in Houston, led by Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. Grimes was ranked number eight in the 2018 ESPN 100 and ranked number two in ESPN’s sit-out transfer rankings (2019-2020 and 2020-2021 transfer rankings). Grimes averaged eight and a half points and two assists in his lone season at Kansas.
The number four ranked player in the 2020 ESPN 100, announced his commitment to Duke on Thursday via Twitter. The top small forward in the class chose Duke over Arizona, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. Johnson, who is from Wisconsin (Nicolet High School) is the second five-star recruit in Duke’s 2020 class, joining point guard Jeremy Roach.
Florida power forward Isaiah Stokes, the younger brother of former Tennessee standout Jarnell Stokes, is transferring after two years of injuries and inconsistency. Stokes leaves Florida after top grad transfer Forward Kerry Blackshear chose the Gators.
LaMelo Ball announced on “The Jump” that he would be heading to the Australia’s NBL and will be playing Illawarra Hawks. Ball was ranked number twenty-one in the 2019 ESPN 100. Ball said, “Australia really made sense to me” regarding his wanting of being the top pick of the 2020 NBA Draft. Because Ball played in Lithuania, his college eligibility was in question.
LeBron James’s sons Bronny James Jr. (age 14) (LeBron Jr.) and Bryce James (age 11) are transferring to Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, California. James’s sons are moving from Crossroads school in Santa Monica to the pre-school through twelfth grade Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth. Dwayne Wade’s son Zaire is making the transfer from American Heritage in Plantation, Florida near Jacksonville. Bronny is a rising freshman while Zaire will be a senior next school year. Other top prospects are looking at joining Bronny and Zaire at Sierra Canyon.
2019 combo guard RJ Hampton, who is ranked number five in the ESPN 100, has chosen the New Zealand Breakers, an Australian pro basketball team over the likes of his three college finalists: Kansas, Texas Tech, and Memphis. Hampton wanted to become a pro early and reach his NBA dream instead of having to go to college. Hampton is the first high profile recruit in history to not go overseas to play ball due to academic concerns as Hampton was an excellent student as he was able to reclassify from 2020 into the 2019 class.
There is always a freshman each college basketball season that is excellent, turns into a social media star, and becomes an NBA draft pick. These past two college basketball seasons we have seen two big examples of that: in 2017-18, Oklahoma Guard Trae Young, and in 2018-19 Duke Forward Zion Williamson. Now, let’s take a look at possibilities for next year’s freshman star.
(These aren’t in any order)
Despite five-star talent around him (Forward Precious Achiwua and potentially Combo Guard RJ Hampton) Wiseman is the top player in the 2019 class. Wiseman could be the catalyst of Penny Hardaway’s successful first season at his alma mater with great rebounding, defense, and ability to hang in the post.
2.Cole Anthony,Point Guard,North Carolina
Anthony may be the most eletric player in this class with comparisons to Russell Westbrook. UNC is losing most of their talent to the draft so Anthony can walk into Chapel Hill and be the leader of this offense on day one for Roy Williams. Expect Anthony to have a high usage rate and lead the Tar Heels to sucess in 2019-2020.
3.Anthony Edwards,Shooting Guard,Georgia
Edwards is a long and tall two-guard who has the ability to ball handle and be a leader to this fairly new Georgia coaching staff. Without much talent around him, Edwards can lead Georgia to great heights and potentially get the good play he needs to be considered the next Zion.
4.RJ Hampton,Combo Guard,Uncommitted
This does depend on where Hampton ends up, but the reclassified combo guard knows how to score and defend. If he ends up at Kansas, Hampton should have the reigns to the offense if freshman guards Quentin Grimes and Devin Dotson stay in the draft instead of heading back to Lawrence. Texas Tech, another of his final three schools, is also losing talent and Hampton could be the catalyst of Chris Beard’s offense in Lubbock. Memphis is the tough one though, because if Little Rock transfer Rayjon Tucker enters the NBA Draft, Hampton will likely go to Memphis but will still be beside two five stars (Wiseman and Achiwua). If Tucker takes his name out of the draft and goes to Memphis, Hampton should enroll at Kansas or Texas Tech and be successful.
5.Josh Green,Shooting Guard,Arizona
It was between him and his future teammate Nico Mannion but the way Josh Green plays is electrifying. He can get to the rim at ease and is very productive on the offensive end. Green, an Australian native, knows how to defend and could very well be in the running to be the next Zion.
Other names to know:Nico Mannion,PG,Arizona;Vernon Carey,Center,Duke;Isaiah Stewart,Center,Washington;Jaden McDaniels,PF,Washington;Isaiah Mobley,PF,USC;Tyrese Maxey,SG,Kentucky;Kahlil Whitney,SF,Kentucky
Matthew Hurt,the number ten ranked player in the 2019 ESPN 100,and the number two ranked Power Forward,has committed to Duke.Hurt joins Center Vernon Carey and Small Forward Wendall Moore as five-stars in Duke’s 2019 class.Hurt chose to play for the Blue Devils over North Carolina,Kansas,and Kentucky.
Center James Wiseman,the top Senior high school basketball player in the country according to ESPN,has been awarded the Gatorde National Basketball Player of the Year Honors according to Rivals.com.Wiseman,from East Memphis high,signed with his former AAU Coach Penny Hardaway’s team,Memphis over Thanksgiving break.