Ranking the Contenders: Michael Foster
Michael Foster, one of the best prospects in the 2021 class, is no stranger to the high-major recruiting process. The five-star standout, who was once committed to Arizona State, was on the edge of another commitment a year ago when Georgia pushed for a decision. Now the NBA's G League initiative could have the best chance out of all of Foster's suitors.
Rivals.com Basketball Analyst Corey Evans ranks the contenders for the top-10 prospect's commitment.
1. G LEAGUE
If there is one 2021 prospect that I would put money on for bypassing college entirely and following in the footsteps of Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd, it's Foster. There is even a chance that he could look for an overseas option but, either way, odds are that Foster looks to the professional realm after he graduates high school. He would give the G League another prominent name to its roster.
Georgia is currently the G League's fiercest competition with the G-League. Foster has officially visited Athens and the Bulldogs have remained a top suitor ever since. Tom Crean focused on the transfer portal this spring when constructing his roster for next season, a year after hitting the Rivals150 often with his first class at UGA. Might Crean revert back toward focusing on the high school realm? If so, Foster is the heaviest Georgia lean of all the five-stars in the 2021 class.
3. FLORIDA STATE
Florida State holds the commitment of four-star wing Bryce McGowens and is in the driver’s seat for top-25 wing Matthew Cleveland. Talent in numbers has become the consistent theme every fall for the Seminoles, and that remains a similar hope for 2021. Leonard Hamilton's program will face a potential need at the power forward position following the likely departure of Scottie Barnes, and Foster would not be a bad replacement. FSU has not really pushed as hard as it possibly could for the five-star but that could change in the coming weeks if mutual interest is shared between prospect and program.
Eric Musselman has done a fine job of remaining involved with Foster after transitioning from Nevada to Arkansas. Like always, Musselman will bring to campus a number of new faces this fall, relying heavily upon the transfer realm to fill a number of roster holes. Arkansas will have to replace Justin Smith and Vance Jackson after the season following their graduate-transfer campaigns, and Foster would blunt that loss if he picked the Hawgs.
Illinois won't have a great pulse on what it can really achieve this season until Kofi Cockburn decides whether to stay in the NBA Draft. If Cockburn returns to the Illini, then it seems safe to assume that next season will be his last in college. This which would create an even bigger need, and a bigger opportunity, along the frontline for a talent like Foster. He is good and capable enough to fill that need if he so chooses. Foster grew up in Milwaukee, and with the Illini investing more time recruiting the West Coast, there are some connections between the program and the five-star. The Illini have more ground to make up but, compared to all other suitors, they could be the dark horse in Foster's recruitment.
Baylor will have to land a few pieces in the frontcourt over the coming months in advance of the upcoming graduations of Mark Vital and Tristan Clark after the season. While the Bears have not been discussed much with Foster, they have remained in consistent contact with him for the past year. Scott Drew will welcome to his program two Rivals150 centers in the fall, and also see Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua regain his eligibility after sitting out last year due to transfer. Much could ride on how the three newcomers fair, but don’t expect for Baylor's pursuit of Foster to diminish. If there is an opening, Drew and his staff will make a larger push.