Rivals Roundtable: Big recent pickups, Skyy Clark, more
Which team’s 2021 recruiting movement in the last week caught the eyes of national analyst team? Plus, its time to take our shot on Skyy Clark. Finally, the NFL is here, which gridiron stars were promising high school hoopers?
MORE: Ranking the Pac-12 jobs
1. What recent 2021 commit caught your eye?
Bossi: I know some in my line of work are going to disagree with me, but I’m really intrigued by Missouri’s pickups of Rivals150 big man Yaya Keita and three-star forward Trevon Brazile, who are both in-state products.
In Keita, Cuonzo Martin and his staff are getting an intelligent, outgoing, hard-playing and rugged big man. He knows his role and is the type that any coach would love to work with. Given the trouble Mizzou has traditionally had pulling Rivals150 talents out of St. Louis, he’s an important win. Down in the Southwest part of the state, Brazile is a late-blooming 6-foot-7 forward with length and upside. He may be a few years away but he has good instincts, plays above the rim and is going to be capable of defending all over the floor. The future is promising for both of these guys.
Evans: You’re not going to find a bigger fan of Jahmai Mashack than this writer and paired with his college landing spot, Tennessee, there might not have been a better match between prospect and program. Sure, Mashack has to round out practically every portion of his game, but that is why he is so exciting … he is already ‘that’ good and he wants to be great.
Paired next to an elite lead guard in Kennedy Chandler, and despite a potential exodus of talent for the NBA after the season, there should still be enough on hand that will make their acclimation to the college game a fluid one. The Vols still have further work to do as far as the center position is concerned but for now, success in 2021 should only help Tennessee to remain among the best in the SEC and all of college hoops in the coming years.
McDonald: Stop me if you have read this at any point during the Mark Few era, but Gonzaga landed a skilled four-star forward in Ben Gregg. Few and the Zags seem to have created an assembly line for highly skilled forwards that come in, wait their turn and produce. Gregg looks to be next. A good athlete who can shoot, he’ll help replace Corey Kispert next season.
2. Prediction time for five-star Skyy Clark. Go.
Bossi: Clark’s recruitment has certainly been a wild ride. The skilled floor general has cut lists, expanded them, moved across the country and all of this is after initially committing to DePaul as an 8th grader! Now he’s down to Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina and UCLA and cases could be made for any of the four.
There has been some serious buzz for UNC lately but as of today I’m going to stick with Kentucky. Should he end up going to 2021, then I like the Heels chances. Then again, I don’t think anybody would be surprised by another twist in Clark’s recruitment.
Evans: It is utter craziness with Clark. Here you have arguably one of the best point guards in the country. He has brought in national suitors into his recruitment, has family in various pockets of America, and could also reclassify into the 2021 class if the college pairing is right.
While practically everyone else in America sees Clark as a done deal for Kentucky, I have backed off such a prediction for a week now and feel as if the five-star is headed to North Carolina. Now, a whole lot can change between now and commitment day which could take place later this month, but I like UNC’s chances and while a move into the 2021 class isn’t a sure-fire bet, I fail to see him not making the move in due time.
McDonald: I'll stick with my Futurecast pack and say Kentucky. I'd feel better about this pick if you could assure me he stays in the 2022 class. There just seems to be a lot of talk about the Wildcats around him, more than any other school. I wouldn't be completely shocked to see North Carolina make it interesting, though.
3. Name a current NFL player you remember scouting as a hoops prospect.
Bossi: I have to go Drew Lock here. Not only is he from the same area as me, Kansas City, but he quarterbacks my favorite team, the Denver Broncos. A shooting guard during his high school days, Lock is one of the best shooters that I have ever seen in Kansas City and he competed with a serious edge to his game.
Evans: Well, he did choose hoops, as far as college is concerned, which brings back great memories for VCU fans. Mo Alie-Cox, who was just a monster for the Rams, was even more dominant before he hit the floor on Broad Street. Running with the Fairfax Stars, I will never forget the terror that he brought to the opposition thanks to his gargantuan wingspan and the ferocity that he went about playing the game.
It treated him well when he made the leap to VCU which set him on path for an Atlantic 10 Championship before being scooped up by the Indianapolis Colts. He hasn’t had the greatest of careers, but the fact that he could successfully make such a move after playing four years at VCU on the hoops side just reflects how great of a talent and athlete the Virginia native really is.
McDonald: We've had quite a few of those here in Georgia, but Lorenzo Carter is the one that stands out the most. He was an interior presence on some really good teams at Norcross High School (New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon was also on those teams) and with the Georgia Stars. He's always been a really explosive athlete and really strong, two traits that made him really effective on the boards.
We saw a little bit of his bounce during his time at Georgia when he blocked the field goal in overtime that helped the Bulldogs knock off Oklahoma in a ridiculous Rose Bowl game. If the current New York Giants linebacker had chosen to commit to being a full-time basketball player, it was definitely within reason to believe he could have been a mid-major college basketball player.