{{ timeAgo('2020-01-14 08:07:42 -0600') }} basketball Edit

Twitter Tuesday: Greg Brown, Michigan State, Baylor

Greg Brown
Greg Brown (https://rivals.com)

Wheels begin to turn in the recruitments of some of the top remaining talent in the 2020 class. In this week’s #TwitterTuesday, we do our best to assess the situation around Greg Brown and his final list of schools. Also, we tackle such other topics as Michigan State’s guard pursuit, Baylor recruiting mindset and the latest with Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe.

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2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

No. Kentucky is definitely an intriguing option for Brown, just as it is for practically any blue-chip prospect. The Wildcats sit in his final five and remain in a need of another frontcourt addition. Brown might not be the piece that they are missing, which is more of a true center prospect, yet his type of talent and athleticism could definitely be put to good use in Lexington.

Brown will visit Michigan at the beginning of next month and will then take the remainder of the season to ponder where the best place is for his likely lone year in college. Auburn remains in contention, and while the Wolverines have made a late push, I still feel that this is a battle between Memphis and Texas.

The Longhorns have been the perceived favorite for over a year now but, just as I broke down last week, Memphis, at least in my eyes, has leaped into the pole position. Brown’s relationship with Mike Miller and Penny Hardaway cannot be understated and its early season success despite the loss of James Wiseman has definitely impressed Brown.

Look for a spring signing and one to be made following the various NBA departures. Kentucky is definitely under heavy consideration and his visit to UK did nothing but strengthen their chances but the Tigers and Longhorns might still have the slight upper hand.

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Michigan State really wants another guard, which is why they are making a run at Karim Mane. The five-star guard has continued to take a look at the professional ranks for next year, but has also stayed open to a variety of college suitors. The Spartans were rather late to his recruitment primarily due to the decommitment of Jalen Terry in the fall. Michigan State has further work to complete but could potentially secure an official visit date from him in the coming weeks. Marquette may be out in front but MSU is in the mix alongside Alabama, Maryland, and Memphis.

If not Mane, expect for Michigan State to be active in the spring. As you stated, the transfer route, or more specifically, the grad-transfer route, might be the avenue it takes. It will not be easy to replace Cassius Winston with just one player and while AJ Hoggard will pitch in, as will Foster Loyer and Rocket Watts, an older, experienced body would be appropriate.

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The thing is, Scott Drew had become accustomed to chasing after five-star talent in the early 2010s but changed course towards the latter half of the decade. He came to place a heavier priority on finding the type of top-75 to top-150 talent that fit his system before developing it into all-league performers. The transfer route has also been kind to the Bears seeing that three of its top contributors this season started their college careers elsewhere.

The question now, as you stated, is whether Baylor’s tremendous success this year, should translate to five-star recruiting battles and possible wins. It might get the Bears into the front door of some of the best, but don’t expect for Drew to recruit blue-chip prospects just because he can. Rather, Baylor will remain in contention for the better four-star talent that the senior class has to provide, which is why they will enroll a top-20 group in the fall.

It should be noted, though, that the upcoming classes within the state, is more than promising and that Baylor is in a great spot for such others as Zach Clemence, Langston Love, Austin Nunez, and Vincent Iwuchukwu.

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Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe remains one of the best available forwards this winter and has begun to give greater attention towards his recruitment. He has already visited Seton Hall, a trip that took place in November, and next will be off to Oklahoma State on the weekend of Jan. 26.

The Pokes have continued to be on the look-out for an active and athletic forward that can guard a variety of positions, traits that Moncrieffe possesses. However, OSU is not alone in their prioritization of the Canadian talent. The Pirates remain involved, as does Georgetown, a program that could be the next to host him sometime next month.

Expect for others to work their way in contention for Moncrieffe and attempt to snag one of his remaining two official visits. From there, a signing should be expected in April.

I discussed this in my Evans Seven column last week, but I remain relatively high on what Kansas State achieved with its 2020 recruiting efforts. Arguably the best class Bruce Weber has ever assembled at the Big 12 program, the Wildcats have found it difficult to replace Barry Brown and Kamau Stokes this season, but DaJuan Gordon will be their next great two-way guard and the three guards expected to enroll in the fall should only help their cause.

Nijel Pack, Luke Kasbuke and Selton Miguel are each hard-nosed, tough and have a skillset that should translate to the college game. Pack and Kasubke will be relied upon for scoring, while Miguel and Gordon could evolve into the best defensive perimeter duo in the Big 12 in the coming years.

Davion Bradford completes the class and don’t underestimate all that he should be able to achieve. Not super skilled but big, active and capable of impacting the game around the basket, he should be the ideal backline defender for KSU. Together, the four-man class should get the Wildcats headed back in the right direction.

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