Last week kicked off the start to the college football season and with it, a bevy of visits coming in the official and unofficial variety took place all across the nation. This week, expect the same where programs like Florida, Colorado, Oregon, and several others host more than just one of their top targets from the 2017 class.
In this week’s Fastbreak Friday, we bring the spotlight to Florida, a program that has already landed two, top-125 senior recruits in the backcourt, but will place their eyes to the frontcourt along with hosting a few elite prospects from the 2019 class. Along with the Gators, we attempt to go perfect with our predictions as Colorado, Notre Dame, and VCU remain on commitment watch.
FLORIDA HOSTS THE PRESENT & THE FUTURE
While some questions had surmounted last year upon the departure of Billy Donovan to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Mike White and his now second year staff in Gainesville have already put together a solid 2017 class featuring two, top-125 guards in Shai Alexander and DeAundrae Ballard. This weekend, the Gators look to the frontcourt in resupplying their cupboard as they host two, super versatile and high upside forwards.
On the football gridiron, Jim McElwain and his crew host the Kentucky Wildcats in the Swamp for a 3:30pm contest on CBS. While the stadium will be filled with a bevy of Gator fans, the basketball coaching staff will be hosting on of its top targets in the frontcourt. With Shai Alexander also on campus, expect for the top tier lead guard to do his very best in dishing out his first assist.
Lance Thomas, a multi-dimensional forward from the state of Georgia, gets a look at what the University of Florida has to offer. Capable of playmaking, defending different spots, and also making the open jump shot, Thomas would be the perfect replacement to junior forward Devin Robinson. USC, Louisville, and Miami make up the remainder of his cut college list, though the Gators seem to have gained some traction with the Norcross High product in recent weeks. Along with Thomas, Herb Jones, a 6-foot-6 wing-forward type from Alabama, gets a 48-hour look at Mike White’s program. After visiting Auburn last week, it would seem that UF is in a good spot for him, a prospect that could flourish down in Gainesville.
Pulling for a commitment from either of the top-125 frontcourt prospects would be a great addition to the SEC program but the Gators also welcome some of the very best recruits from the 2019 class. Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis, both top-20 ballplayers from the 2019 class, hit the Gainesville campus for an unofficial visit over the weekend. They are joined by Alex Klastky where all three Jersey products attend the same high school, the Ranney School, and play for the same travel program in the Team Rio group. Things are far from complete with all three of the sophomore’s recruitments but getting the trio onto campus is a great start.
PREDICTION OF THE WEEK
COLORADO KEEPS THE BEST IN THE STATE
We are now two-for-two with our predictions of the week. We started out predicting Jericho Sims to Texas and the Minnesota native came through a few days later. Last week’s prediction of Darius McNeill landing at Iowa State also occurred; who might be the guy this week? Colorado hosts some of its top prospects from the 2017 class but it is the top in-state prospect that we expect to commit to the Buffaloes before Monday morning arrives.
A member of the USA Basketball family and one of the best utility, glue guys around, D’Shawn Schwartz has been a highly coveted prospect for some time now by Tad Boyle’s crew. The 6-foot-6 small forward is someone that fits like a glove in Boulder due to his size, positional versatility, blue-collared approach, and egoless playing style.
The Buffaloes haven’t been one to enter into high stakes recruiting races but rather find under the radar recruits and develop them into stars within the Pac 12. While Schwartz competes like he has no recruiting profile, he would be a fabulous addition the CU program and one that should instantly improve the talent level and makeup of the entire roster.
Butler, Stanford, Texas and a few others have remained in the mix with Schwartz but we firmly believe that the staff in Boulder will be popping some champagne Sunday evening as they will have kept the top in-state recruit within its borders for the next four years.
FIVE OTHER PREDICTIONS
LUKA GARZA COMMITS TO IOWA
The writing may be on the wall with Luka Garza. After taking a brief hiatus from the recruiting process, the near 7-footer cancelled his planned trip to George and will instead, head to Iowa this weekend for an unofficial visit. He had already used an official visit to the Big 10 program back in the spring where the Hawkeyes have remained a constant in the pursuit of the super-efficient center from the DMV. A commitment could ensue but at the very least, the surprise visit to Iowa City is a major plus for Fran McCaffery and crew.
DJ HARVEY COMMITS TO NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame has not cashed in on a commitment thus far in the 2017 class, though that could change this weekend as DJ Harvey comes to campus. The top-60 wing from the DMV is one of the more talented and versatile prospects in all of America. While it hasn’t been a great few months for the DeMatha Catholic star, he is still a potentially lethal defender and someone that would excel nicely in South Bend. Look for the top tier wing to commit to the Irish before next week rolls around.
LAVAR BATTS COMMITS TO VCU
While we are a bit higher on Lavar Batts compared to everyone else, if the Carolina native were to come off the board this weekend, what a fit it would be, adding another notch to his profile. One of the most electric guards on the east coast, Batts heads to VCU for a 48-hour stint. Clemson is also involved for him but it says here that the top-100 guard could be the next in line for the up-tempo system that has won a bevy of games in and out of Atlantic 10 play.
ABU KIGAB COMMITS TO OREGON
While there hasn’t been a ton of talk surrounding Kigab of late, the 6-foot-6 defensive piece is the definition of an Oregon-type at the small forward position. Someone capable of playing various spots and defending in a similar manner, the Ducks have been ahead of everyone else in their pursuit of the Canadian. This being his first official visit to date and being joined by fellow countryman Lindell Wigginton in Eugene, Kigab might be ready to end things in favor for the Pac 12 bunch.
NATE PIERRE-LOUIS COMMITS TO TEMPLE
While the Owls have been involved with a litany of prospects from all over east coast the past few months, Temple seems to be in a prime spot for Nate Pierre-Louis. The Roselle Catholic guard killed it on the Under Armour circuit this past spring and summer in scoring the basketball and buzz of late has surrounded around a possible commitment from the Jersey native. Visiting the Philly based campus this weekend with Carolina forward JP Moorman, Temple fans should be highly attentive for a commitment to ensue in the coming days.