Basketball Recruiting - Twitter Tuesday: Kentucky, Pitt, UCLA, Big East
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Twitter Tuesday: Kentucky, Pitt, UCLA, Big East

In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, we investigate Kentucky’s 2020 hopes, look at Pitt’s latest recruiting win and discuss who UCLA might prioritize in the coming months.


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2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

No one stands out, but I would be highly, highly surprised if Kentucky does not strike again in the 2020 class. Who that might be? That's not quite clear yet.

I expect Cliff Omoruyi to take one of his four remaining official visits to Lexington, but a commitment will not come easy for the Wildcats. I like their chances with him much more than that with Greg Brown who will visit Lexington in two weeks. J.T. Thor is in no rush to make his college decision, but I also expect for him to see Kentucky before deciding.

Keep an eye on Kai Sotto, as the Wildcats might be out in front for him; Auburn, DePaul, Georgia Tech and USC are also heavily involved.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH KENTUCKY FANS AT CATSILLUSTRATED.COM

The commitment from Jalen Hood-Schifino won't have a major impact on Pitt’s 2020 and 2021 classes, but it is still a giant, giant win for a program that been unable to win high-pressured recruiting battles in recent years.

Hood-Schifino is a facilitating guard that checks pretty much all of the boxes. He wins, and his intangibles are off of the charts. Hood-Schifino would have likely been a top target for many of the elite programs along the East Coast, so kudos to Jeff Capel and his staff for getting ahead with the former local talent.

Hood-Schifino’s strength is in his versatility, and he is someone that others are going to want to play with and alongside. He is not sequestered into a specific position in the backcourt but rather, thanks to his size, IQ and abilities, is capable of playing all three perimeter positions. This should make it easier for Capel and his staff to recruit members of the 2021 and 2022 classes.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH PITT FANS AT PANTHER-LAIR.COM

Great question! UCLA is in a bit of a rut right now, but I wouldn’t get down on Mick Cronin and what he can achieve in Westwood. The Bruins’ roster is not at a major void for talent but it also does not possess the personnel that Cronin has come to value.

Two of those that I had the chance to see at The Classic at Damien last week that would be easy, priority targets for the Bruins, when keeping in mind what Cronin look for in a particular prospect, is Jahmai Mashack and Reese Dixon-Waters.

Both members of the 2021 class, Dixon-Waters already holds a UCLA offer, while Mashack has been in contact with the Pac-12 program. The West Coast’s best have already come to value Dixon-Waters thanks to his scoring prowess and defensive potential which make you believe he is going to evolve into an impactful two-way weapon in college.

For Mashack, his recruitment has really yet to begin thanks to an ankle injury that sidelined him for the final month of the travel season. He is built with a blue-collared mentality in mind and his game begins on the defensive end. He might not be as highly rated as others but his fit and intangibles are precise for the Bruins’ new coaching staff.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH UCLA FANS AT BRUINBLITZ.COM

I applaud both Patrick Ewing and Greg McDermott for all that their teams have been able to accomplish during the non-conference portion of the season. Big East play will be a gauntlet this year where there are no longer any gimme-games, yet Creighton and Georgetown look like NCAA Tournament teams especially in light of a rather down ACC this year which should open even more bids for opposing conferences.

For the Hoyas, what they have done since the transfers of James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc is not something that many had not seen coming. The Hoyas have not lost a game since, and have added wins over Oklahoma State, SMU and Syracuse. As long as Mac McClung gets buckets, they continue to play through Omer Yurtseven and Terrell Allen fills up the stat sheet, the Hoyas should be dancing in March.

Creighton has never struggled on the offensive end and that remains the case this year. They have been great of late with wins over Arizona State and Oklahoma, while Marcus Zegarowski has turned into a player of the year candidate. If they can get any sort of frontcourt help, which may come from now eligible Denzel Mahoney, not only are the Jays dancing in March, but they could make a run to the Final Four if things fall right.

I am not sure that there is five-star junior that is near his college commitment but one that is worth monitoring is Moussa Diabate, primarily because he has the chance of reclassifying into the 2020 class. He will likely play on the travel circuit this spring so I don’t expect for a commitment before then, but I also foresee a number of programs pushing for an early enrollment.

A school list has yet to form with Diabate as more programs are jumping into the picture. Whether it is the in-state Florida program, Memphis, Michigan or even Kentucky, Diabate will be a nationally coveted prospect regardless of the year he chooses to enroll. My guess is, though, that the interest geared towards him this winter and spring ultimately tips Diabate into the 2020 class.