Starting Five: Williams visits Duke, Jackson's decision, more
The Early Signing Period is just a few weeks away and big decisions are starting to loom. Top 40 big man Mark Williams decides in just a few days. A preview of his decision, and much more is discussed in today's Starting Five.
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1. FRIDAY DECISION FOR MARK WILLIAMS
Growing into a stronger player on the offensive end who can run the floor and block shots, Williams is a potentially big score. But, for a while now Duke has been considered the leader and I haven't heard anything to suggest that anything has changed. My FutureCast has been for the Blue Devils for some time now and I don't have any plans to change it.
Duke's class is already ranked No. 1 in 2020 and adding Williams would put them in a position that could make them hard to catch by signing day.
2. FIVE-STAR ISAIAH JACKSON DONE WITH VISITS
He hasn't set a date to announce his commitment yet, but it shouldn't be too much longer before we hear from five-star big man Isaiah Jackson about his college future.
I know that there has been a lot of buzz for the Crimson Tide on this one and Jackson could be a huge score for first-year head coach Nate Oats. Previously, I had been favoring Kentucky for Jackson but I've never felt strong enough about any school's standing with him to predict it as his ultimate destination.
I'm still not quite ready to log a pick, but I am starting to lean toward Alabama here. With many of the available five-stars looking as if they could pass on the Early Signing Period, Jackson's decision is going receive a lot of attention over the next few weeks.
3. RESOLUTION SOON FOR KYREE WALKER
We have written before that we weren't expecting to see top 50 senior Kyree Walker in a high school uniform this year and that the focus was on graduating early and finding a school or potentially exploring pro options. But, it was an educated opinion based on what we were hearing from sources.
There's no need to speculate any longer as Walker's father, Khari Walker, confirmed to Richard Obert of AZCentral.com that his son is no longer at Hillcrest Prep and should have a decision soon.
Walker has never released any type of final list and there's still the chance that he could pursue professional options. But, college is most likely in the cards and the two schools I would be keeping an eye on are Arkansas and Western Kentucky. I'd call it a coin flip between the two programs right now. Over the last few weeks, there's been some buzz building for Western.
Is the buzz legit? Is it just talk? Are there schools laying in the weeds that could surprise here? We'll know soon enough.
4. ROOSEVELT WHEELER HEATING UP IN 2021
Big man Roosevelt Wheeler may be as hot as anybody in the class of 2021 when it comes to a recruitment that is really picking up steam.
Over the summer, I thought that the junior from Virginia was one of the most improved players in the country and I've been hearing really good things of late. He's continued to fill out, keeps getting more confident on offense and is really coming out of his shell.
Virginia Tech was the first high major to offer him at the end of the summer and both Miami and N.C. State – where he took a September official visit – soon followed. Over the last month, though, things have really taken off.
Georgetown, Kansas, Providence, Texas A&M and Wake Forest have all tendered recent offers. Wheeler went to Late Night with Roy Williams at the end of September and while North Carolina hasn't offered, the Tar Heels are involved. I'd look for several more offers to be coming soon and I'm expecting Wheeler to turn into a true priority for the majority of the ACC over the winter.
5. HUNTER SALLIS SET FOR FIRST OFFICIAL
One of the biggest revelations of the fall has been how good Hunter Sallis is. As myself and Corey Evans have written, he's a legit candidate for a move to five-star status and in my mind he would move into at least the top five of the 2021 point guard group if we were to redo rankings today.
After fall unofficial visits to Iowa, Iowa State and Missouri -- who have all offered -- Sallis is set to take his first official visit. On the weekend of Nov. 8th, Sallis will head to Nebraska -- where he has been unofficially -- for an official visit with Fred Hoiberg and his crew.
No other visits are set just yet, but Sallis' recruitment is starting to pick up. Oregon has been in plenty and should be by this week. Kansas has jumped in while Alabama, Arkansas and Ohio State have each offered in the last month. Of course hometown Creighton is very involved as well and I'm expecting many more high level programs to come calling very soon.