Basketball Recruiting - Twitter Tuesday: Surprise freshman classes, Bronny James and more
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Twitter Tuesday: Surprise freshman classes, Bronny James and more

Moses Moody
Moses Moody

In today’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, Rivals.com Basketball analyst Eric Bossi takes a look at some freshmen groups with potential to surprise during the 2020-21 college season, the latest on Jordan Nesbitt, thoughts on five-star Aminu Mohammed, Bronny James place in 2023 and more.

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2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team

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I love this question. We know all about big time groups with multiple five-star prospects headed to Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee. But there are a few others out there that stand out to me.

I know it isn’t going out on a limb to pick a program like Arkansas’ group, but in general I don’t think much of the country realizes how good this group could be. I’m always intrigued when a program has a class of local talent coming in to inject some excitement. The late decision by Isaiah Joe to enter the Draft has made this group, in particular wing Moses Moody, even more important to the Razorbacks and I see some potential for Moody, KK Robinson, Jaylin Williams and Davonte Davis to become a major storyline nationally.

Another that stands out to me is the group that Tony Bennett has coming in at Virginia. Jabri Abdur-Rahim is a potentially big time scorer and Carson McCorkle has some skill and pop in his legs. Both of those guys had injuries as seniors so could be a little bit out of sight and out of mind. Toss in a point guard with the potential to be an All-ACC guy before he’s done in Reece Beekman and you have a group that should fill the exact needs the Cavaliers have. I like their potential a lot.

One other to keep an eye on, especially in the long run, is Kansas State. I feel four-star wing Selton Miguel has the goods to make a significant early impact and Nijel Pack looks like the type of point guard who should eventually thrive in Manhattan. Davion Bradford has tremendous size, Luke Kasubke can score from deep and then you’ve got some athleticism and length in Carlton Linguard and Seryee Lewis. I’m not sure how much they help in year one, but give this group a couple of years together and I feel like they could be pretty problematic in the Big 12.

For any readers who may not know, Jordan Nesbitt cut his list to Illinois, Memphis and hometown St. Louis last week. The tough wing from St. Louis (Mo.) Christian is a bully on both ends of the floor who has risen to No. 46 in the 2021 Rivals150. Currently, Nesbitt is set to announce his college decision on his birthday, Oct. 1.

What we’ve always known with him is that he’s not likely to go far from home and his final three reflect that. From the sounds of it Illinois and Memphis have really turned things up over the past few weeks and they may be gaining some traction. My Futurecast is currently with St. Louis but I don’t have quite the same level of confidence in that being the right choice that I did when I entered my pick about a month and a half ago. I still favor SLU, but this one has tightened up.

When Bryce Hopkins decommitted from Louisville and picked up a Kentucky offer, a commitment was thought to be imminent. I would still favor the Wildcats for the top 30 forward, but it may not be quite as open and shut as it was thought to be. One team that could be a sleeper here is Texas.

Aminu Mohammed
Aminu Mohammed (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

There hasn’t been much movement with the recruitment of Aminu Mohammed in a bit. I wouldn’t necessarily expect there to be any kind of rush for him to get things over with either. The five-star wants to take his time to make sure he gets his decision right.

As for the Hoosiers, they have probably been involved with him as long or longer than anybody else and they’ve built a strong relationship. Indiana has a very legitimate shot. Harvard, Georgetown, Georgia, Kansas State, Louisville, Pitt and Wake Forest are some of the others who have been most active but I couldn’t confidently state a leader right now.

As for the second part of your question, there has been much speculation behind the scenes that Mohammed could look into the pro route, but it isn’t something that he or anybody close to him has been saying much about just yet. I would bet on this recruitment taking some time.

Bronny James
Bronny James (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

That has been a big question. We want to get the 2023 list put together but this year has been a bit problematic since we didn’t have the usual summertime to get out and focus on the now sophomore class like we usually would have. We have spent lots of time watching the video we can, but with players that young, seeing them in person is even more important because they are new to us and there is a big difference in seeing them up close and personal vs. online.

Bronny is a kid who we did get to see quite a bit during his freshman season playing for a loaded Sierra Canyon program. He’s a nice athlete, shows potential as a jump shooter and is an alert passer. Obviously, his bloodlines are incredible. He would have to rank in at least the top 25 or so to start off with.

I suppose Juwan Howard and the Wolverines could chase another wing, I’m just not sure how big of a need another wing is. Looking at who they landed in the class of 2020 and the class they already have of four-star perimeter players Kobe Bufkin, Frankie Collins, Isaiah Barnes and Rivals150 forward Will Tschetter, they look to me to be in “best player available” mode.

They still get linked to guys like No. 1 Patrick Baldwin Jr., five-stars Chet Holmgren and Jaden Hardy among others, but I don’t see any of them happening. Looking at the current board, I do like the chances the Wolverines have with big man Efton Reid. Perhaps putting everything into him may be the best approach. If they are intent on landing a wing, then a full on blitz for Caleb Houstan may be the best way to go as they don’t have anybody with his size, shooting and ability to play either the three or the four in the past few classes.

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