{{ timeAgo('2019-10-29 07:01:41 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Twitter Tuesday: Decisions loom as signing period approaches

Hunter Dickinson
Hunter Dickinson (Jon Lopez/Nike)

We are inching closer to the early signing period, and a handful of five-star and Rivals150 members remain uncommitted. Many have intentions of committing within the coming days, which makes this week’s #TwitterTuesday an important one in assessing how Duke goes about completing its 2020 class, UCLA’s backcourt potential and what Virginia might do next.

MORE: Duke target Williams to decide soon

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

Duke is all about done with its 2020 class and its final targets remain Hunter Dickinson and Mark Williams. Neither are five-star prospects but they are top-50 seniors that would see immediate playing time next season. Williams just took his final official visit over the weekend and will make his college decision on Nov. 1. Duke is battling Michigan and UCLA for his commitment which I believe will be given to the Blue Devils.

Dickinson will likely make his college decision shortly after Williams and if Williams chooses Duke, it would have a direct effect on where Dickinson decides. Michigan remains my prediction but Notre Dame has picked up some talk of late.

Duke was involved for Ziaire Williams but they decided to go separate ways. The only five-star that would be a conceivable Duke target would be Jon Kuminga, that is if he were to reclassify into the 2020 class.

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Daishen Nix
Daishen Nix (https://rivals.com)

Unlike in football, whenever a prospect gives his verbal commitment, the majority of the time, he will sign with that program. This can be said for Daishen Nix, who committed to UCLA earlier this fall and is all but set on signing in two weeks. In doing so, the Bruins will enroll arguably the best passer in America next fall, which is why they are so heavily entrenched within the recruitment of Josh Christopher, a five-star guard that can get a bucket with the best of them.

The five-star guard is down to a final four that consists of Arizona State, Michigan, Missouri, and UCLA; he also took an official visit to Howard at the beginning of the month. Last week, we reported Mick Cronin was completing an in-home visit with Christopher, which reflects the current status of UCLA’s interest in him. While Christopher is all but certain to sign during the spring, expect for each of his finalists to continue to prioritize him. However, I do like where the Bruins sit with the college season approaching.

There is mutual interest between UCLA and Ziaire Williams, but the Bruins are also playing catch-up. North Carolina, Stanford and USC are the most talked about landing spots for him and rightfully so. Arizona and Oregon are two others to watch but I would be surprised if he picks a school that is not named Stanford, UNC or USC, with a decision likely still some time away.

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Virginia had begun to monitor Moses Moody, a top-50 wing, and had also begun to express interest in Jaemyn Brakefield before he committed to Duke earlier this month. Regardless, they will likely either sit things out until the spring to see who might decommit following the rash of coaching changes, hit the transfer market, or the likeliest scenario, roll the extra scholarship onto the 2021 class.

Just because a program has a scholarship available doesn’t mean that they need to fill it. Seeing that Virginia is all about finding the right fit and that they have passed on prospects in recent years that even the best of programs would gladly take makes it even less likely that they are going to recruit a high school prospect at this time due to the dearth of talent that is available.

Look for the Wahoos to make an early push with its 2021 class. Trevor Keels and Efton Reid are highly regarded in Charlottesville, as is Caleb Furst, who just took an official visit earlier this month. Max Christie, Carter Whitt and DaRon Holmes are three others that they have kept tabs on, along with west coast prospects Isael Silva and Peyton Watson, where finding a capable ballhandler and a bigger wing-forward in the mold of a DeAndre Hunter-type looks to be where their focus lays.

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Isaiah Jackson is now finished with his official visits. He visited Alabama over the weekend and, earlier this fall, visited Kentucky and Syracuse. The Orange made a quick run at things but this is more of a two-horse race between the Wildcats and the Tide. What it will come down to is whether or not his visit to Tuscaloosa was enough to make up the necessary ground needed in order to catch up to Kentucky.

No one has placed a greater priority on Jackson than the Tide in recent weeks but whenever Cal comes calling, it is difficult to say no, especially with the Wildcats searching for big men. Expect for a college decision within the coming days which will lead into a signing next month.

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Yes, I would expect a college decision from Earl Timberlake within the next week or so. He is down to a final five that consists of Miami, Pitt, Providence, Seton Hall and South Carolina.

Believe it or not, it remains difficult to select the leader for his services. At one point earlier this year, the thought was that South Carolina was out in front. Things have changed since then and in speaking with various coaching staffs, Miami, Pitt and Seton Hall are brought up the most often. Now, would I be shocked that, whenever it does come time to decide, Timberlake picks Providence? Not at all, but I am going to stick with my current Miami prediction with a commitment that could come at any moment.