National Signing Day 2017 Roundtable
Now in the meat of the first and early signing period, we do our best to decompress a bit and look back at what has occurred and what might happen in the days ahead. Before the end of the week, we will hit on a number of topics as our panel of analysts will give their insights on some of the topics at hand.
What is the biggest recruiting story and/or steal during the early signing period?
The ACC is the gauntlet of college basketball. The blue bloods will land the best of the best. That won’t change any time soon. So competing with the programs that land the McDonald’s All-Americans year in and year out, the other programs in the league have to strike it rich on the recruiting trail. Sometimes all it takes is one player to change things. Wake Forest may have done that. The Demon Deacons landed Chaundee Brown over Kansas. That storyline didn’t really gain a lot of traction when it happened. It should have. This was one of the biggest recruiting wins of the class of 2017. Brown, a powerfully built 6-foot-5 wing from Florida, continues to grow as a player and will trend upward right into college. Pair him with Bryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods, who will both be juniors when Brown enrolls, and the Demon Deacons have a terrific trio on the wing to work with. –Justin Young
A huge storyline in my eyes is the lack of early commitments from the nation’s top players, which I think is a positive. Players are weighing their options and are not afraid to wait it out and figure out which program is best for them. As of the opening of signing week on Friday, only three of the nation’s top twenty players have committed. While that number will surely rise during the signing period, it is a good sign, as we have seen a number of the nation’s top players in previous classes make decisions and end up in a non-ideal situation. I like what is happening with this class and the overall respect that they have for the recruiting process. I hope this trend continues to happen because it can only be a good thing for the state of college basketball. –Carter Wilson
The biggest storyline for me revolving around the early signing period has to be Louisville. Just a few months ago, some of college basketball’s brightest minds were questioning whether Rick Pitino would survive after the NCAA investigation into the sexual allegations around the Louisville basketball program.
Well, it’s safe to say Pitino is alive and well at Louisville, and the Cardinals’ 2017 recruiting class is simple proof. Louisville holds commitments from four HoopSeen125 prospects, landing them at No. 4 nationally. Malik Williams and Lance Thomas are versatile big men that will allow Pitino to be creative on both ends of the floor with their abilities. Jordan Nwora is one of the most improved players in the country and an effective three-point specialist. Point guard Darius Perry will fit right in with Pitino’s press and up-and-down play.
Despite strenuous waters involving an NCAA investigation, Pitino and Louisville made a statement with their 2017 recruiting class. And make no mistake, Pitino is here to stay. –Garrett Tucker
There are always going to be steals out on the recruiting front. Every year, a program comes out of nowhere to put together one of the best classes across the land. However, it is more about the story that the Pac 12 Conference, as a whole, has created thus far. Sure, Arizona and UCLA have always been known for its abilities on the trail but this year, it has been the likes of Washington, Oregon State, and Arizona State, all of whom have cashed in with at least one top-100 recruit while many others like Oregon and USC have also lured a well-followed recruit to sign early this fall. A couple of years ago, the Pac 12 struggled greatly where Washington, the conference’s regular season winner, failed to get itself into the NCAA Tournament. Leading the conference class rankings, talent and high level play won’t be much of an issue any longer within the Pac 12 and beyond due to the unbelievable run the league has gone on for 2017. –Corey Evans