Fastbreak Friday: Oregon hosts trio of top-60 guards
Things have yet to slow down on the recruiting front as some of the top prospects throughout the land have found their home come the fall of 2017. Now that the weekend is here again, expect for a few more to pop off the board as visits will be aplenty these next few days.
In this week’s Fastbreak Friday, the staff at Oregon brings in three, top-60 recruits to its campus for a 48-hour stay. The Ducks receive the headlines for what is ahead but the likes of UCLA, Indiana and UNC also entertain a visitor or two that can be found atop of their own respective recruiting depth charts. For this week’s predictions, keep an eye on things down at Virginia Tech as the Hokies entertain Wabissa Bede, though others such as Iowa State and VCU could also land a commitment before Monday rolls around.
OREGON READY TO HOST THE BEST
The Oregon Ducks head into the new college basketball season this winter with a giant target on their backs. They are no longer the hunter but rather should be seen as the hunted. After dethroning the Arizona Wildcats for conference supremacy within the Pac 12, Dana Altman and his staff hope to solidify its backcourt for the years ahead this weekend.
While they will finally get the chance to use Dylan Ennis this year, a graduate transfer that was forced to sit out last year due to an early season injury, there may be a gaping hole on the perimeter in Eugene. Tyler Dorsey is thought of as a capable two and done recruit, Casey Benson is a steady junior guard but needs to have the right pieces around him to flourish, and Payton Pritchard is just now entering his freshman campaign. Where could the Ducks go in making sure that they see no drop off next year? Well, this weekend could go a long way in replenishing its playmaking cabinet as they host three, top-60 recruits.
The headliner of the bunch is Troy Brown. The 6-foot-6 senior is one of the most versatile recruits in all of the land and would be welcomed with open arms next year. The Vegas native can practically play all three spots out on the perimeter as he can playmake, finish at the basket, guard the basketball, and rebound it within the bigger bodies in the lane. Alabama, Arizona, California, and a few others remain heavy in the mix for Brown, a blue-chip recruit that will be an instant producer next year regardless of where he suits up.
Along with Brown is an east coast recruit that will descend upon the campus at Oregon for a 48-hour stay as Brandon Randolph takes the cross country flight on Friday. Down to a final four of the Ducks, Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Arizona, the Pac 12 gang seems to be a far-fetched landing spot for him. However, the staff in Eugene will sell the 6-foot-5 wing as someone that can step in and play on and off the ball, similar to how they will continue to use sophomore star guard Tyler Dorsey. Right along with Brown and Randolph will be Daejon Davis joining the duo at UO. The former Washington Huskies commit is one of the top glue, mix and match guards around and would fit like a glove within Altman’s program. Davis is also heavily pursued by Stanford, Gonzaga, and Arizona, though the Ducks may have the best shot with the state of Washington native compared to other two expected on campus.
FIVE OTHER NOTABLE VISITS
Some whispers have caused some panic within the high-major platform the past few days as Kentucky may have jumped a few of its competitors in its pursuit of Tremont Waters. A top-50 lead guard that has vastly improved his decision-making abilities over the past few months, where the native of Connecticut lacks for size, he more than makes up for it in his consistent approach and talent levels. One time thought to be the clear front runner for him, look for Tom Crean and his staff in Bloomington to put their best foot forward with Waters this weekend. The Hoosiers have become known for its litany of guards that can score the basketball and also create for others, hence the need for and its hasty pursuance of the 5-foot-10 floor general.
We recently broke things down for the Big 12 Conference as to where things stand in the 2017 class for its league’s affiliates. While it may surprise some, Iowa State is sitting atop of the conference’s class rankings thanks to the commitments of top-125 recruits Darius McNeill and Terrence Lewis, along with upside big man KeyShawn Feazell. This weekend, Steve Prohm’s bunch takes the spotlight once again as they bring in two, top-100 targets to campus. Lindell Wigginton, an excellent combo guard option and one of the most competitive seniors in all of the land, hits the Ames campus; ISU and Oregon seem to be in a dogfight for the tip top guard out of the Oak Hill Academy program. Joining him will be IMG big man Isaiah Stokes. After visiting Tennessee last weekend, might the Big 12 bunch be able to force the big fella’s hand and receive a commitment from a polished, space eating center from the 2017 class?
The end is near for Xavier Tillman and with it, it would seem like Marquette is in a great spot for the 6-foot-8 center. Michigan State and Purdue are thought to be the other viable landing spots for the top-125 big man but look for the Big East program to make up solid ground this weekend. Tillman, a polished back to the basket big man that competes like there is no tomorrow, is one of the hardest playing big men still left on the market. While Marquette has already added three pieces from frontcourt positiomns in tow from the 2017 class, another big man that can producer within traffic is something that Steve Wojciechowski will never turn down, nor should he.
After beginning his official visit tour last weekend at Kentucky, PJ Washington remains busy as he heads to Chapel Hill on Friday. The power forward, by way of the Findlay Prep program, is one of the best rebounders in all of the land. Kentucky and UNLV seem to be in a great spot for him, though UNC is right there fighting for the big man’s signature. With the pending losses of Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks to graduation, Washington would be expected to step in and immediately leave a giant fingerprint on the blueblood program. Whether he takes that offer is up for debate but what isn’t is the definite need for the premier producer at UNC.
If Oregon is the top place to be this weekend, UCLA isn’t too far behind when comparing the talent set to be on its campus. Bringing in two, top-15 recruits to Westwood is a giant power move for the Bruins. Gary Trent Jr, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard and one of the most polished prospects in all of the land, stays within the state of California and gets a look at what the Pac 12 program has to offer. Duke remains in the driver’s set for him, though UCLA has gained ample ground in recent weeks. Kris Wilkes will join the five-star guard this weekend as the Indiana native has bounced around campus to campus these past few weeks. Indiana and Xavier are thought to be in the lead for him but a good weekend out in the California sun might make Steve Alford’s crew the leader for the versatile forward.
PREDICTION OF THE WEEKEND
VIRGINIA TECH GETS ITS GUY IN WABISSA BEDE
Last week, we hit on five of our six prediction commitments. This week, we do our very best to forecast the next few days ahead as to who we could see coming off of the board following their upcoming visit to a college campus.
In our prediction of the week, Virginia Tech takes the spotlight as they are set to host Wabissa Bede, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from the Cushing Academy program in New Hampshire, who takes his second official visit to date. Butler, Minnesota, La Salle, and UMass are the others in pursuit but might this weekend be all that the New England native needs to see before making his college commitment? We believe so.
A super competitive guard that had a break out summer on the adidas circuit running with the Mass Rivals 17-under squad, Bede is a guy that would fit in seamlessly within the confines of Buzz Williams’ program in Blacksburg. The Hokies head boss has become known for his affinity for tough-nosed, versatile ballplayers that aren’t afraid to scrape and claw every second of every possession, but in the same manner, display the ball skills that allow for them to play multiple positions and on either side of the basketball.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the top recruit of the Buzz Williams era in Blacksburg thus far, is set to hit the school’s campus this weekend for his own official visit. Expect for the top-30 Canadian guard to do all that he can to dish out his first assist as a member of the ACC program in luring another top-100 recruit to join him next year.
Looking ahead, Virginia Tech will lose its star lead guard in Seth Allen. Expect for the ACC program to sell the hole that the Maryland transfer will leave upon his graduation, giving further reason for the Cushing star to make his college commitment following his trip to southwest Virginia this weekend.
OTHER POSSIBLE COMMITMENTS
SEAN MOBLEY COMMITS TO VCU
ISAIAH STOKES COMMITS TO IOWA STATE
PAUL REED COMMITS TO KANSAS STATE
MICHAEL HUEITT COMMITS TO OLD DOMINION