Wednesday's Mailbag: Mikey Williams, Bama, Georgetown, Virginia
Thanks to a stir of activity on the recruiting front with numerous commitments in recent days and a handful of others ahead, we take a broader look at Mikey Williams and the chance that he attends an HBCU institution. Plus, where Virginia could strike in the 2021 class, the commitment of Kennedy Chandler and latest at Alabama, Georgetown and Michigan.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
With Makur Maker committing to an HBCU, what do you think the chances are now that Mikey Williams does the same? Is it even more likely than before?— Erik Kase (@Eweezy28) July 26, 2020
Mikey Williams has been pretty adamant about attending an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), so I would actually be mildly surprised if he did not eventually commit to one. Very rarely, if ever, has a rising sophomore published a final 10 so early in the process, but that is what happened last week. Of the group, half of them are considered as an HBCU.
A member of the 2023 class, Williams is older for his grade, and with his talent and abilities don’t be shocked if he eventually moved into the 2022 class. In doing so, Williams could begin his college career a year earlier than expected, speeding up his process to the NBA. However, committing and actually enrolling is the question at hand.
Even if he were to reclassify into the 2022 class, two years is a long time in the sport, and newer opportunities could be presented to Williams before his college days could begin. Take, for instance, the new G League initiative: It was nothing but an idea in 2018. And while spending a year overseas before the NBA has been a route others took in the past, it has become more mainstream in the past 12 months, thanks to LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton.
With that all being said, Williams committing to an HBCU would be a landmark day. Seeing that his mother attended Hampton University, there is a little more to Williams picking an HBCU. However, just as questions linger as to whether Makur Maker will actually enroll this fall at Howard, the same discussion regarding Williams will continue until he actually walks on to a college campus.
Right now do you think Virginia is in better shape for Keels or Warley? Also, any info on Efton Reid?— Chris Bukowski (@CB9921) July 26, 2020
That is a tough one, because it's been difficult to get a read on Trevor Keels and Jalen Warley. There was a point earlier in the spring when Keels was close to committing to Villanova, but the Wildcats could face a more difficult path in landing him after its two recent guard commitments. Could that mean Virginia is the team to beat? I am not sure that I would go that far just yet. Keels has not shown his hand as far as when he might commit, potentially because he is hoping that he could visit a few of his suitors before deciding. That could only help Duke, North Carolina and a number of others.
As for Warley, Virginia is believed to be one of the teams to beat. However, I would not discount Michigan’s chances, because assistant Phil Martelli coached Warely’s father and uncle. Miami is definitely another to monitor, and If distance isn’t a factor, Oregon could possibly lure him to the West Coast. I will say that Warley is the likelier of the two to pick Virginia but do keep an eye on Florida State as the Seminoles are lurking with the top-25 guard.
In the frontcourt sits Efton Reid, a top-25 center that we highlighted Sunday. Reid had discussed moving into the 2020 class, but the DMV native will instead prep a year at IMG Academy. The pandemic has made all things more regionalized, which could work in the favor of the Wahoos, but my guess is that if he was to commit to Virginia he would have already done so instead of stringing things out this long, especially in light of the Cavs’ recruiting efforts dating back to his freshman year.
If you had to pick a month when do you think Kennedy Chandler pulls the trigger?— Matthew Maxwell (@_Matty_Ice12) July 26, 2020
August. Kennedy Chandler - or at least those connected with him - has repeatedly denied that he is anywhere near committing. But where there is smoke there is fire, which is the situation with the five-star guard.
The talk in recent weeks is that Chandler is close to committing, and if that is the case it would be to Tennessee. Speaking with various coaching staffs that have been in the running for Chandler, they expect him to end up in Knoxville - and some are waving the white flag to an extent.
However, there is also the thought that Chandler would like to visit all five of his finalists one more time before committing. That is easier said than done in light of the current restrictions on official visits, which could be prolonged well past the Aug. 31. Maybe Chandler does hold off, but whether it is August or November or February, chances are he will end up playing for Rick Barnes a year from now.
Who is Bama in solid position for in the 2021 class?— thomas m (@thomasmac4214) July 26, 2020
After finalizing a top-10 class in America earlier this month, thanks to the commitment and reclassification of Alex Tchikou, Alabama will have to strike in another major way in the 2021 class if it wants to keep climbing the SEC’s pecking order.
Fortunately for Nate Oats and his program, his staff has laid the groundwork with the some of the best players in America. One of those is Charles Bediako, a top-25 center that Eric Bossi addressed last week. The Canadian played travel ball with incoming Tide freshmen Josh Primo and Keon Ambrose-Hylton, and this fall he will play for the same prep program as Darius Miles. Alabama is in a dogfight with plenty of national powers but they are one of the favorites for Bediako.
The Tide also want a playmaking guard, which is why JD Davison, a top in-state prospect, is a primary target for them. They have also continued their discussions with Carter Whitt, Darius Johnson, James White, Chance Moore and Wesley Cardet, a four-star wing with whom they are in a great spot.
While it would be a tremendous group, it is not out of the question that Bediako, Cardet and Davison pick Alabama, with at least one other top-tier transfer selecting the SEC program in the spring.
Who do you see filling Georgetown’s last two 2021 scholarships?— marco mastriani (@marcomastriani1) July 26, 2020
Much could play out between now and next year, and the two scholarships that Georgetown must fill for the 2021-2022 season could actually turn into three of four because of transfers and other situations.
Regardless, Georgetown will definitely be looking to fill a hole along the frontline, which is why the Hoyas are involved with some of the best 4 and 5s in the nation. Mac Etienne, Chet Holmgren, Roosevelt Wheeler, Efton Reid, Jalin Billingsley and Ryan Mutombo have continued to hear from the Hoyas. Billingsley and Mutombo are the likeliest candidates, with the former nearing his commitment on Friday.
After landing Jordan Riley last week (and if Tyler Beard sticks with his decision to attend prep school and then begin his time on the Big East campus), it will be interesting to see where the Hoyas go with their final scholarship. Georgetown has become one of the most active Big East programs in the transfer portal and with the one-time transfer rule likely to be in effect by next year, chances are the Hoyas will go that route, compared to sitting with eight underclassmen on their roster a year from now. If not, keep an eye on Nisine Poplar, Brandon Murray, Daniel Nixon, among others, and even five-star Aminu Mohammed, who calls the area home.
With Angelo Brizzi and Peyton Watson committing elsewhere tomorrow, do you expect Michigan to expand their board? If so, who do you think we should look out for?— mgoblue (@mgoblue_77) July 26, 2020
For now, Michigan will likely stay put. The Wolverines have already landed three Rivals150 prospects, and there are not many specific needs that they have not filled, though they would like to add another ballhandler and a center who would replace Austin Davis after the season.
As far as the ballhandling component goes, Michigan remains involved with the recruitment of Jalen Warley. He hasn't said much regarding when he might decide, so if another offer were to be handed out, it would be to Carter Whitt, a guard that Michigan has remained in touch with lately; Frankie Collins is another that they have their eye on.
Harrison Ingram is still a possibility, and he has the ability to play on the ball at times, thanks to his all-around versatility. He will publish his final six on Saturday as the Wolverines have a good chance of making the final cut.
In the frontcourt, the Wolverines have done the proper work with Efton Reid, Chet Holmgren, and Charles Bediako. I like their chances with Reid the best, but he doesn’t appear to be near a commitment. Just like the ballhandling group, there is not a strong mix of centers in the 2021 class. In either instance, if they miss on any or all of the bunch, the best resort may be to wait until the spring to see what decommitments and/or transfers pop up.