Wednesday's Leftovers: Chet Holmgren prediction; Harrison Ingram leaders
Matthew Cleveland committed to Florida State yesterday. He becomes the latest top-25 prospect to decide and there might be a few others on the way. In today’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, we take a closer look at the ongoing recruitment of Chet Holmgren and Harrison Ingram, where Michigan strikes next and much more.
MORE MAILBAG: Duke's targets, Malaki Branham
Sorry to tell you but I am going to go with Gonzaga. I don’t see them striking out on both Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren and with the latter having a greater connection to the program in good friend and former school and travel teammate, Jalen Suggs, Mark Few has some things working in his favor. Throw in that Holmgren has already visited officially and the Zags have a leg up compared to others.
I don’t foresee an early commitment and there is still some time for the others to make up ground. Memphis and its pro-style offense have intrigued Holmgren, while North Carolina has done the same. Don’t discount Minnesota either, and while the Gophers have had issues keeping the best in the state, Holmgren’s mom worked for the school and his dad played there.
I haven’t heard much as far as an updated final list for Harrison Ingram but I doubt I would be that far off with who was included within his finalists on the Rankings the Contenders article we completed on the five-star last week. If there is one program that I should have included on it, Tennessee would be it, but I also see there being various tiers for the race for Ingram.
Purdue and Stanford take up the upper-tier within his recruitment. Then comes North Carolina, and a mixture of Louisville, Michigan and Tennessee. The Wolverines may have some issues since it has already landed two on the perimeter, but Juwan Howard has continued to make a push. Tennessee is trying to put together the best class in America, which has intrigued Ingram. Louisville wants the home run hit and has centered upon the five-star.
I don’t see it in the cards for UNC, at least with where things stand now. However, its in-state rival, Duke, could make a late run if an offer is eventually made. The Blue Devils have continued their discourse with him and while they sit with AJ Griffin’s commitment, Ingram comes more in the ballhandling variety compared to Griffin’s slashing, scoring attack.
A commitment is not near, which gives Duke time to make up ground. Don’t bet against Purdue or Stanford, but the Blue Devils could have the proper ammo to take their shot.
What a run for Howard and his staff in Ann Arbor. After coming to a bitter end in the 2020 class with Josh Christopher flipping to Arizona State and Isaiah Todd walking away at the eleventh hour for the G-League, Michigan has been on a tear of late. It has received the commitments of three Rivals150 prospects and more could be ahead.
Though none are on the cusp of their commitments, landing another ballhandling guard is a must. Angelo Brizzi, Jalen Warley and Harrison Ingram are all Michigan targets. Villanova is going to be very hard to beat for Brizzi and Ingram might be difficult snag but I like Michigan’s connections with Warley thanks to the presence of Phil Martelli, who coached his father and uncle at St. Joe's, on staff. Miami, Oregon, and Virginia are three to beat for him but the Wolverines will have a shot.
Michigan also needs to replace center Austin Davis after the season. Holmgren included the Wolverines among his final seven, and Charles Bediako holds Michigan high up on his list, too, but keep an eye on Efton Reid. He recently decided to take a prep year in the fall but there is a chance that he could attend college in the fall.
Mike White has to! I get why he geared his offense more towards the half-court last season. Kerry Blackshear was not someone that was going to flourish in an up-and-down system and using him in the half-court accentuated his polished 20-foot-and-in game. The same could be said for Andrew Nembhard. Though he lacks explosiveness, his IQ, passing abilities and ball screen weaponry is among the best in the sport.
Next season is a different story; White implored his coaching staff to bring in ample amounts of athleticism and it could not have fulfilled that request any better. Sitting out this past season was Cleveland State transfer Tyree Applebee and Anthony Duruji, the latter who could rival returning sophomore Scottie Lewis in the hops category. Speaking of Lewis, he may have been shortchanged last season where he is definitely best playing off his instincts and within high-tempo affairs. Throw in Tre Mann, Keyontae Johnson and Omar Payne, and a more free-flowing approach would work in the favor of practically each of its personnel members.
If there is one question on the docket, it is who is going to run the point guard spot. Niels Lane may have a chance, and Ques Glover should pitch in where need be. There could be some high-turnover affairs early on but talent, athleticism and some pop are not lacking on the Gators roster and with depth in tow, getting up and down the floor will be the route that White will go with this season.
You bet. College coaches have not been allowed out on the road since the sport was shut down in the middle of March and ever since, have been salivating at recent game film. While the live periods have been canceled for the remainder of the summer and with there being a decent chance that in-person evaluating could be disallowed for the remainder of the calendar year, live streaming travel games have been the saving grace for us here at Rivals, and for staffs throughout the nation.
There is, of course, a purpose, for why we are watching these travel games. No, we are not placing as heavy of a value on a prospects’ production compared to prior years because we don’t know how often a prospect has been able to get into the gym and what home life is like for everyone, but for those that stand out, we are going to keep in mind whenever it comes to rankings just as college programs are going to keep in mind as far as offering.
Take for instance Matthew Cleveland. The top-25 recruit was more of a solid four-star prospect but has arguably been the most impressive prospect on the travel circuit this summer. He received a bump in the rankings after we had a hole to fill following a recent reclassification. Sean Pedulla, a super savvy guard out of Oklahoma, has seen his stock soar this summer playing with Team Buddy Buckets. He went from a marginal mid-major recruitment to now sitting with an offer from Virginia Tech.
With a number of travel events to come over the next several weeks, expect for recruiting boards to change and new offers to be handed out thanks to the play of those taking part in such events. For coaching staffs not exhausting the live streaming option, it would be like not looking at a textbook for an open book test. Read up because the answers are right there in front of you every weekend.