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Just a Minute: Revolving recruiting, NBA Draft chatter, Cam Whitmore

14, Jun 2022

Just a Minute: Revolving recruiting, NBA Draft chatter, Cam Whitmore

The slowed-down pace of summer is here but that doesn’t mean basketball or recruiting are coming to a halt. No, it’s quite the opposite. There is so much happening, in fact, that Just a Minute is back. Let’s get into the revolving door of commitments, the NBA Draft, some players of note and what’s on tap.


Recruiting is funny. It is fluid. In football we see commitment flipping all the time. In hoops, not as much. When a player re-opens his commitment, it means someone else is now a major target. Sometimes it just means a new renter is about to move into the house. Let’s take a quick look at Pittsburgh, Oregon and Syracuse.

Where to start in his recruiting Google map conundrum? Let’s start with Dior Johnson. The much-discussed guard from the class of 2022 is headed to Pittsburgh, a couple of weeks after opening things up from Oregon.

Judging by the chatter on social media. Pittsburgh won the commitment game this late in the game, right? Not so fast. Sure, landing a highly touted commitment in mid-June is a big deal. And Johnson is talented. No doubt about that.

The inconsistency of Dior Johnson’s high school path should have some cause for concern. The talent is there but the lack of days connected to each other for growth in the game and the locker room should make you pause if you’re a Pitt fan.

I’ll see this, he’s no Judah Mintz, who pulled out of a commitment from the Panthers and ultimately flipped to Syracuse. Interestingly enough Johnson was originally committed to the Orange long ago.

I think Mintz is a better player and will have a bigger impact in college. He was outstanding for a very good Oak Hill team and guards who have played for Steve Smith always have success in college. Mintz, a DC-area native, should be one of the best freshmen guards in college hoops next season.

And Oregon? Well, the Ducks are left with an open spot. Kind of. The Ducks, one of the pioneers of the transfer era of college hoops, has a pair of junior college guards coming in and South Carolina transfer Jermaine Couisnard and Colorado transfer Keeshawn Barthelemy joining the team. Let’s be honest, the Ducks will be fine.

Side note: I think the addition of Spanish twins Guillermo Diaz Graham and Jorge Diaz Graham are very interesting for the Pitt Panthers. Very interesting. They are a sneaky talent addition to the frontline for the Jeff Capel’s program.

With the No. 1 pick…

The NBA Draft is less than two weeks away and once again the top picks have some serious star power. We’re in a really good run of elite-level young guys entering the NBA. This year’s top four picks have foundation-building value to them. So, let’s start with my favorite guy in the pool.

While I understand the draw of the rest of the prospects, to me, Smith makes the most sense now and long term as a player you can build around. When you look at the league and the teams in the East that are having success, they have a multidimensional forward. Boston has Jayson Tatum. Milwaukee has Giannis. And so on and so forth. Smith not only has an offensive game that should blend nicely into the pro level but defensively, he has the skill set to eventually match-up with the current hybrid big man star power that we see in the league.

At the floor, he could have a Rashard Lewis career. A quick reminder - Lewis scored over 15,000 points in his career and had three seasons with over 20 points a game. He was a pioneer of big forwards who could shoot and stretch the floor as a face-up player. He was a two-time All-Star over his 16-year career.

With Smith, he gets better at every step of his career. There is no reason to think he doesn’t continually level up at the pro stage.

Notes from my weekly notepad

  • Cam Whitmore may be better than I realized. He was terrific the USA Basketball U18 gold medal run in Tijuana last week. The future Villanova wing scored 30 in the title game. He’s a big wing with big skill set and a major threat out to the three-point line. He’s No. 7 overall on our HoopSeen top 100 rankings for the class of 2022. I’m very interested in seeing how he plays in the new Nova regime. We know Nova can pump out quality pros.
  • A sneaky commitment to keep a close watch on is Alabama’s inclusion of Florida forward Sam Walters. The long and lean 6-foot-10 forward is the kind of player that may not trigger a big response the moment of the pledge but when you see him as a 20-year-old player at the college level with good coaching and skill development, you could be looking at a guy who is showing up on draft boards. Walters paired with Nate Oats is an interesting combo. I like this one for both parties.
  • Queens, a soon-to-be Division I program in the Atlantic Sun conference, landed a key addition in Florida native Elijah Wyche. He was a constant top performer for us on our stage with Florida PRO. He’s a mismatch problem and a multi-positional guy who should give new head coach Grant Leonard some versatility. Queens landed a steal in Jabari Smith from Jonesboro (GA) and turned him into a Division II All-American. While I don’t think Wyche is quite that level he’s a major steal at this juncture of the recruiting calendar.

On tap

I’ll be at the absolutely loaded Section 7 team camp at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Friday and Saturday. The best teams in the West will be on hand for the annual June extravaganza and I’ll be there to see who steps up in front of the college coaches.

There will be coverage on and on my Twitter account this weekend.

Justin Young

Justin Young has been the editor-in-chief of since 2013. He manages the day-to-day operations on the site and in conjunction with our national and regional events. He was the national basketball editor for and a contributing editor at Yahoo! Sports. Young has been earned numerous awards for his work in sports journalism, including the Georgia Press Association Columnist of the Year. His Justin Young Basketball recruiting service has been in existence since 2002 and worked with over 300 schools from all levels. He is the director of HoopSeen Elite Preview camps and our national Preview camp series.