Wednesday's Leftovers: Mason Miller, Ryan Mutombo, Vols
In this edition of Wednesday’s Mailbag, analyst Corey Evans takes a look at two prospects with stellar bloodlines and whether they will follow in their father’s footsteps when it comes to their own college careers. Evans also addresses how good Tennessee’s class could be and whether or not we will actually have a college basketball season this winter.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
Does Mike Miller's kid end up a Gator when it's all said and done?— Scott Garfinkel (@scottgar0814) July 12, 2020
No, and that is not Florida’s fault. The recruitment of Mason Miller is a wide-open affair, and that became even more so when his father, Mike Miller, left the coaching profession last month. The younger Miller, a Rivals150 prospect, has not devoted much time to the recruiting process. He has taken just one official visit thus far, to Ohio State last year. The Buckeyes remain in the picture, but the commitment of Rivals150 forward Kalen Etzler could complicate things.
Quite possibly the two to beat are Creighton and Indiana. The Blue Jays run an offense that is tailor-made for Miller’s abilities, while IU has developed a strong connection with him. That connection started years ago, thanks to current Hoosiers assistant Tom Ostrom, who worked on Florida's staff when Mike Miller was playing for the Gators at the turn of the century.
TCU, which employs Miller’s uncle, Ryan Miller, as an assistant coach, is also involved. Both of Miller’s parents attended Florida, so the Gators should not be written off, but for now, I am going to take the field over Florida.
Any Ryan Mutombo updates? Is Georgetown considered the frontrunner still?— Aidan (@AidanCurran_) July 12, 2020
I am going to stick with Georgetown, but my confidence is beginning to wane with Ryan Mutombo. It had seemed that it was a slam dunk for the Hoyas with the prospect with exceptional bloodlines, but it doesn’t appear that Mutombo is willing to end his recruitment soon, which should allow ample time for others to work their way into contention.
Of course, there is a solid connection between Patrick Ewing and Mutombo’s father, former Hoyas great Dikembe Mutombo, but this could also be a decision that is left to Ryan Mutombo. If that is the case, don’t underestimate the better academic schools, including Stanford and the local Georgia Tech program. Florida State has become a landing spot for the best centers every year. The Seminoles remain involved for top-10 center Moussa Cisse and have continued to recruit Efton Reid, but the Seminoles are a team worth monitoring.
I know Paolo and Kennedy want to team up. Paolo could go to UK and Kennedy to UT or both team up at either one. Put that aside who does Tennessee have a real chance with between Jabari smith and Paolo?— Kentucky 4L💙 (@kentuckyblue_4L) July 12, 2020
Honestly, both. How crazy would that be? Not only would Tennessee land arguably the nation’s top point guard in Kennedy Chandler, but also Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith. The chances of such a package deal actually working out are minimal at best, but the Vols are not just fodder for both Banchero and Smith but legitimate landing spots for each.
We covered Smith yesterday and while I like Auburn just a bit more than UT, the five-star has trended towards playing next to a premier point guard which the Vols could offer if Chandler were to commit to Tennessee. They’re probably second in the running for Smith where Duke and Kentucky are slightly ahead for Banchero but again, the separation is very slight between the blue bloods and UT.
Banchero has often discussed playing next to Chandler in college. Duke, UK and UT both find themselves on each of their final lists and of the three, Tennessee is the school that has the best chance of making such a package deal happen.
What’s the chance there will not be a college basketball season this fall/winter— mike shaw (@mikeshawazst) July 12, 2020
Mike, if I knew that answer, I would be in Vegas right now ... with a mask on. I must say that no one knows, from the NCAA to the conference commissioners to the coaches themselves. On the football side, it is looking like all of the major conferences will play just league games this fall. What that means for basketball remains to be seen.
One avenue could be following what the Ivy League may possibly do and begin its season on Jan. 1 with no out-of-conference games. Speaking with a number of coaches from the low-major realm on up, most, if not all, have soured on the idea of having a college season, at least as things stand now. The feeling is that having kids on campus in a space where there is no bubble (as compared to the NBA) and in regions where COVID-19 numbers are spiking is not the smartest idea.
Hopefully, a vaccine is approved, or at least better, quicker testing methods are created. And perhaps with some medical advances for treating the virus, a season - or at least a half of one - can be saved. Optimism is not in great supply. This is why so many had hoped for a college basketball commissioner of some kind, one who could step up and set parameters for what can and cannot be done. Instead, coaches have very little to say and do in this situation, and they are relying upon others who are not seeing things on the ground floor like they are on a daily basis.
In a nutshell, I do believe that there will be a college season. Do I believe that everyone will play the same amount of games? No, but even if we're looking at a season that is cut in half that leads to an NCAA Tournament of some kind in March or April, I think all of us would gladly take it.