Basketball Recruiting - Starting Five: Alabama, Houston, NC State acquire more talent
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Starting Five: Alabama, Houston, NC State acquire more talent

Alabama, Houston and N.C. State all picked up key additions over the weekend. In this week's Starting Five, a look at what each program is adding plus a look ahead at some upcoming commitments.

MORE: Class of 2021's most entertaining player


2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team



Since the arrival of Nate Oats and his staff in Tuscaloosa, they have turned Alabama into a forced to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail. They struck again on Sunday when they landed four-star wing Jusaun Holt from the Atlanta area.

In Holt, the Crimson Tide landed a guy who may be one of the top defensive wings in the country. He plays hard, his instincts are there and he is able to switch all around the perimeter defensively. On the offensive end he's a sneaky athlete, has a nose for the rim on drives, makes mid-range shots and has potential as a deep jump shooter.

Holt needs to add strength, but the will is there and Alabama had to put in some serious work to land him after he looked to be a near lock to Xavier during the summer.

The first member of Bama's 2021 recruiting class, Holt is the fifth four-star prospect (of six recruits) to choose the Tide since Oats arrival.


Kelvin Sampson and the Houston Cougars secured a true rim protector on Sunday when Houston native Ja'Vier Francis decided that he will return to his hometown for college after playing his senior year at Montverde (Fla.) Academy.

A quick-twitch athlete who gets off the floor in a hurry, Francis also has long arms and excellent timing. Those attributes combine to make him one of the top shot blockers in the class of 2021. On offense, he is an opportunistic scorer around the rim, runs the floor hard for transition finishes and he's started to become comfortable attacking other big men off the dribble.

Francis is a kid who is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential and has the tools to eventually develop into a top flight big man in the AAC. He's Houston's third commitment from the class of 2021, joining three-star wing Ramon Walker and three-star combo forward Robbie Armbrester.


At North Carolina State, Kevin Keatts loves speedy point guards who can play in an up-and-down system and have an edge to their game. They got one of those guys in Breon Pass.

Currently knocking on the door of the Rivals150, Pass was also a high-level football prospect but since choosing during the summer to focus on basketball in college he's really been taking his game to a new level. He can make shots from deep, he pushes tempo and he will not back down from a challenge. He'll be one to watch closely over the next year and looks poised for a breakout senior season.

The Pack's third commitment from the class of 2021, Pass joins four-stars Ernest Ross and Terquavion Smith. The trio ranks No. 19 overall in the 2021 team rankings.


It wouldn't be a surprise to see a few more members of the 2021 Rivals150 come off the board this week, but at least two four-stars are set to decide.

Shooting guard D'Marco Dunn comes off the board on Wednesday while small forward Jordan Nesbitt is expected to decide on Thursday.

Ranked No. 91 overall, Dunn began his high school years in Arizona before moving to North Carolina for his junior season. He has a list of seven, but the trio of Arizona, North Carolina and Vanderbilt may have opened up some distance from the rest of the pack. I made a Futurecast for UNC back in May and at this point I'm going to stick with it.

Down to a final three of Illinois, Memphis and Saint Louis, Nesbitt has long been considered somebody that could choose to stay home and we've favored the hometown Billikens for much of his recruitment. Over the last week, though, there have been rumblings that he may be leaning towards leaving his city. Late last week it was Illinois that generated some buzz and then over the last few days there has been much more buzz for Penny Hardaway's Memphis team. This one is definitely up in the air and whoever gets Nesbitt is getting one of the most physical wing players in the country.


The recruitment of Ryan Mutombo seems to be nearing a finish and after some twists and turns, it is starting to look like he will end up where everybody figured he would.

The son of Georgetown legend Dikembe Mutombo, many figured early in his career that Mutombo was a lock to follow in his father's footsteps. However, there was a stretch over the summer where it really started to look like the seven-footer would end up elsewhere. In particular, Tennessee was gaining a lot of steam and I felt good enough about the Vols chances that made a Futurecast for them.

Now, though, it sounds as if Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas have made a strong charge and are back in position to land the legacy recruit. Because of the buzz being generated of late, I flipped my Futurecast to Georgetown.

Mutombo is a big kid who will take up space and he plays hard. He'll need to adjust some to the speed of the college game but there's no doubt he'll help out at Georgetown if he does decide to commit.