Wednesday's Leftovers: Texas Tech, five-stars, Roosevelt Wheeler
There were many others questions to answer in this week’s Wednesday’s Leftovers, including one regarding Texas Tech and its chances with two top-15 prospects in the 2021 class. We also took a stab at predicting the next five-star commitment, discuss leaders for Roosevelt Wheeler and Kennedy Chandler and chop up the early work done by Jeff Capel at Pitt.
Three-Point Play: FutureCast picks, Cole Anthony, Kendall Brown
2022 Rankings: Top 75
Chris Beard and his staff are, of course, going to give it their best shot and, as we have seen with prospects such as Nimari Burnett, it is never safe to write off Texas Tech whenever Beard locks in on a target. For now, Stanford is slightly out in front for Ingram, with others such as Kansas, North Carolina and Purdue factoring in as well.
One junior that the Red Raiders have made serious in-roads with is Jonathan Kuminga. The top-ranked prospect in the 2021 class has been unwilling to speak much on his recruitment and whether he will reclassify into the 2020 class. Earlier this winter, he published a top-10 that included the Red Raiders, but more work needs to be done before a commitment takes place. Kuminga’s brother, Joel Ntambwe, is on Texas Tech’s roster and it would be safe to assume that Beard's program will be one of the final teams vying for Kuminga's commitment.
I don’t see any of the available five-star seniors close to committing. Jalen Green and Greg Brown are going to wait things out until after the season, Josh Christopher is likely in the same boat and Makur Maker remains in the wait-and-see stages as to what the NBA might do in allowing him to enter the draft in June or not.
That leaves us with Ziaire Williams who could be the next major domino to fall. Arizona and USC are the top options for him. I don’t see North Carolina having a great chance, nor do I see Oregon or Stanford in the cards.
In the 2021 class, we could see reclassification movement soon which is the route that Khristian Lander might take. The top-20 junior sits as one of the best at his spot on the floor but there is a strong chance that he makes the leap a year up. Indiana and Louisville have been the most talked about landing spots for him, but don’t underestimated Michigan or Memphis’ chances, either.
NC State. The Wolfpack are the team to beat for four-star junior Roosevelt Wheeler. They have invested the most into his recruitment and is the only program to have already hosted him on an official visit. Just two weeks ago, we reported the news that Kevin Keatts was on hand for one of Wheeler's games and I would expect for Wheeler to remain their top big man priority in the 2021 class. Will that lead to an early commitment?
I am not sure but I am fairly certain that the Wolfpack have already laid the groundwork that might lead to the John Marshall High product playing for Keatts in Raleigh. Georgetown, Kansas, Miami, Providence and Virginia Tech sit among the others that have offered. Louisville has also made a recent push as Wheeler is expected on the ACC program's campus this weekend.
While there are no signs that Kennedy Chandler is near committing, most of the talk with the five-star has been with Duke as his eventual landing spot. Now, there is still a whole lot of time to go before he decides and his commitment will not come easy. Practically everyone in America has already offered Chandler and storylines are not in short supply.
Tennessee is definitely a heavy contender, as is Kentucky, and it's never smart to underestimate North Carolina. Don’t forget about the local Memphis program that has practically enrolled all of the top talent that the city has produced since Penny Hardaway took over.
Suitors are not in short supply but if I had to make a prediction, Duke would be it for the nation’s top point guard in the 2021 class.
Very. The fact that Jeff Capel took over a Pitt program riding a 19-game ACC losing streak and now has Panthers sitting in sixth place should tell you all that you need to hear.
Sure, Pitt has yet to win many high-stakes recruiting battles, but it has also developed under-the-radar talent, secured a top-40 2020 recruiting class and already sits with the commitment of top-40 sophomore Jalen Hood-Schifino. I expect the Panthers to continue to climb the ACC’s pecking order thanks to the type of talent that they enroll and Capel’s approach in the coach’s box.
Regarding future top-25 classes, if Capel hits on the right prospects next year, it is attainable. The Panthers are in a good spot with Adama Sanogo and Will Jeffress, are one of the few standing out for four-star center Nnanna Njoku, and could make a run at top-30 guard Jalen Warley. Regardless, I would expect consistent top-40 classes every fall, similar to what was saw in the early signing period.