Rivals Roundtable: Live period, coaching hires, rankings
With 2023 rankings scheduled to release on Wednesday and the college coaching carousel seemingly done spinning for the offseason, Rivals.com analysts Rob Cassidy Jamie Shaw and Dan McDonald get together for a three-question roundtable about a host of hoops topics.
2023 Rankings: Top 30
1. Which player do you expect to see his offer list grow exponentially when college coaches get eyes on him during the live period?
Cassidy: I’ll take a deep sleeper of sorts here and go with Florida-based prospect Brenen Lorient. Word on Lorient is starting to get out locally, and the 6-foot-8 forward looked like a high-major prospect when I last saw him at a Hoop Exchange event in Orlando this spring. He has a handful of mid-major offers as things stand, but his length, motor and ability to score at all three levels will likely earn him more opportunities when college coaches get eyes on him.
McDonald: Aidan Hadaway, who recently jumped into our Rivals150 in the 2022 class, added his first high-major scholarship offer from Georgia a couple weeks ago. The 6-foot-8 forward out of Georgia is one of the prospects I have received the most questions about the from college coaches over the past couple months. When his team takes the floor in the team camp this weekend with college coaches in the gym, look for him to have plenty of high-major programs tracking him closely.
Shaw: Ven-Allen Lubin. There is something here about production that really shines brightly for Lubin. Standing around 6-foot-6, Lubin is a strong-bodied, long-armed forward who produces stats on both ends of the floor. He currently carries six offers, but he has not received one since Georgia State offered in December. Playing this summer with the SE Elite (Fla.) 3SSB program, Lubin will have a lot of eyes on him. There is a lot to like with his explosion, his tenacity on the boards, and his ability to straight line drive directly to the rim. Currently at No. 119 in the 2022 RIvals150, expect coaches to like what they see when watching him live in the coming weeks.
2. Now that the coaching carousel seems finished spinning, which new hire do you think will have the best debut season?
Cassidy: I’ll hitch my wagon to Chris Beard based on his roster and his track record. Beard has spent his career doing more with less on his way to turning Texas Tech into a national power. These days, he’s equipped with high-profile players and a roster that boasts some serious transfer portal fire power in Christian Bishop (Creighton), Timmy Allen (Utah), Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt) and Devin Askew (Kentucky).
McDonald: I just trust that whenever Chris Beard takes a new job that he’s going to crush it in a hurry. He did it at Arkansas-Little Rock and he did it at Texas Tech. Texas is an even better job and he has a roster that he can take a long way this year. I expect the Longhorns to be one of the top programs in the Big 12 right away this year and for years to come with Beard at the helm.
Shaw: Chris Beard. For starters, in his six seasons as a Div. I head coach, Beard has won 142 games and made it to five NCAA tournaments, so he walks into the program with a winning pedigree. Secondly, Beard has hired a top notch staff to join him. Rodney Terry won 163 games as a head coach in 10 seasons. Jerrance Howard comes to Texas from a wildly successful run at Kansas and Ulric Maligi was with Beard at Texas Tech for the previous two seasons. Thirdly, it is the talent that Beard has on his roster. Beard's Longhorns return two of three double-figure scorers off last year's team. They also bring in some experienced college talent, including Kentucky transfer and former top-35 prospect Devin Askew, Vanderbilt transfer Dylan Disu, Creighton transfer Christian Bishop and Utah transfer Timmy Allen each coming in. The culture, the coaches, the talent, it is all in place for Beard to have a successful debut season in Austin.
3.Which class of 2023 prospect are you pushing to have a lofty debut in the rankings when they update on Wednesday?
Cassidy: I’ve long been extremely high on Marvel Allen and think he’s one of the premier guards in this class. I come away from each viewing of him more bullish on his upside and think he has the qualities and motor of a top-10 prospect. Allen has long been a true three-level scorer but he’s become a more complete facilitator this year.
McDonald: Bryson Warren is one prospect I really like in the 2023 class and think he should push for five-star status long term. The 6-foot-2 guard out of Arkansas is a really talented bucket getter and can run a team from the point guard position. He’s such a consistent player and I love his ability to fill it up from three-point range. It’s not hard to see why Arkansas, Auburn, Kansas, Memphis, Oklahoma, Tennessee and many other high-major programs have already jumped in with scholarship offers.
Shaw: While I think JJ Taylor is the obvious answer here, there are a few 2023 prospects I saw over the past five or six months who I pushed to be inserted high in the updated 2023 rankings. Along with Taylor, you have Aaron Bradshaw, Justin Edwards, Marvel Allen and Bryson Warren who each should enter as top-25 prospects in the class. Bradshaw has the length, touch, explosion and ability to run that is simply unique, and desired, in basketball today. Edwards has been a dominant force all summer, as a 6-foot-7 wing who can score at each level. Allen is a 6-foot-4 combo guard who can get a team into sets or carry them scoring buckets in a major way. Warren is a 6-foot-2 point guard who has great length, sees the floor at a high level and lives in the paint. I am very excited to get these 2023 rankings out for the fans to see.