Three-Point Play: Duke-Kentucky, H.S. bubble, Cason Wallace
In today's Three-Point Play, Rivals.com Basketball analyst Corey Evans examines the latest volley in the Duke-Kentucky recruiting rivalry, discusses the possibility of a high school basketball bubble and reports on the most underrated prospect in the country.
Wednesday's Mailbag: Season outlook; Michigan; North Carolina
2022 Rankings: Top 75
1. THE DUKE-KENTUCKY BATTLE
This time a week ago, the Wildcats were riding a lengthy commitment drought. Meanwhile, their rival in Durham had not one but two five-star commitments, the latest being Paolo Banchero, who picked Duke over UK.
Since then? John Calipari kickstarted his 2021 class with a commitment from Nolan Hickman on Saturday. Calipari also offered two other 2021 prospects, Hunter Sallis and Bryce Hopkins, even breaking a personal rule of never offering someone that he had never seen in person. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Kentucky may be on to something by landing Hickman and offering Sallis and Hopkins. It might not equate to what Duke has in tow already, but the Wildcats could make out OK if Hopkins and Sallis join Hickman in the class.
The Wildcats still have major work to do and need to land a premier big man. Kentucky has begun to show greater interest which turned into an offer last night for Daimion Collins. If Texas assistant coach Jai Lucas does join Calipari's staff, the Wildcats' chances improve thanks Lucas' relationship with Collins and his family.
2. BUBBLE FOR HIGH SCHOOL?
The NBA and NHL are holding their playoffs inside of a bubble environment. The idea has gained traction within college basketball circles for the upcoming 2020-21 season. Now there is some momentum for a high school basketball bubble to be formed.
That is a concept that has been presented to a number of national programs in order to ensure that some type of high school basketball season is played this winter.
Word is beginning to spread that the Grind Session, which is home to a number of national prep programs that do not have to follow any state regulations, are attempting to form a handful of bubbles this fall and winter for its member programs in Arizona, California, Florida and Georgia.
This year, with a number of state high school federations already postponing the start of the basketball season, several prominent prospects have transferred from their local high schools to play in the Grind Session. Don't be surprised if that number continues to grow as the uncertainty surrounding high school basketball grows.
3. WALLACE MAKES A POINT
There is not a more underrated and under-ranked prospect in America than Cason Wallace. He has five-star potential.
The 2022 prospect may not be as athletic as R.J. Hampton, rival Tyrese Maxey's on-court personality or show off a smooth scoring game like Keyonte George, but what he does as well, if not better, than those three is win.
Wallace is not a sexy prospect, but he is as tough as five-dollar steak. His intangibles are Marcus Smart-like. I am not sure what Smart is great at beyond starring in his role and winning, and Wallace embodies that.
Everyone missed on his older brother, Keaton Wallace, who will go down as one of the best basketball players in UTSA history. Cason Wallace may not be the scorer that his older brother is, is but the Richardson High standout most definitely is a next-level guard that can play on and off the ball on offense, guard all three perimeter positions and is the immediate heartbeat for his team.
Texas is absolutely loaded in the 2022 class but Wallace has the chance to go down as the best prospect in the state thanks to his continued progress, intangibles and competitive mentality.