The last weekend of October is, for the most part, the final full weekend of visits prior to the beginning of the college basketball season. Furthermore, the first signing period is quickly approaching as November 9 will kick off a period where seniors can officially sign their letters of intent. Still, there are visits to be taken and a few more commitments to be received in the days ahead.
There still is a litany of elite, top-50 talent left on the board from the 2017 class and this weekend, it is Texas that will play host to two of these premier prospects. Villanova, Pitt, Florida State and a handful of others will join the party hosting some of the best while a few other commitments could be made before Monday morning rolls around.
GIANT WEEKEND AT TEXAS IS HERE
The work that Shaka Smart and his staff has done in Austin has not just been impressive on the hardwood, but the job the Longhorns coaches have done on the recruiting trail has made many optimistic about what can be in the years ahead for Texas. This weekend could go a long way to creating even more headway into potential deep runs throughout March and solidifying the Big 12 program as a place that the best can and should want to play at.
After visiting Duke last weekend for his second trip within a matter of a month, Matt Coleman, the top target for the Longhorns coaching staff dating back to their tenure at VCU, will finally get a shot at the top-50 guard. There have been some whispers of late about the Blue Devils overtaking the Longhorns in sitting in the best spot for the Norfolk native but the next few days might put UT back in prime positioning for the Oak Hill standout.
A big time name ever since he took the reins of the Boo Williams 16-under travel team during his freshman year, Coleman is one of the quickest and best leaders out of the 2017 class. While he does have to become a more reliable shooter from deep and get a bit stronger, Texas has long been in the hunt for the 757 product’s signature. There has been talk about a December commitment, or an early signing in a few weeks; regardless, look for Smart and his staff to throw the kitchen sink at Coleman in hopes of landing its point guard of the future.
Coleman won’t be the only top-50 recruit on campus this weekend as Mo Bamba, a near 7-foot big man with length for days and what might be, the biggest upside out of any prospect in the 2017 class, heads to Austin for a 48-hour stay. While things are just beginning with the New Yorker as he is down to a final seven and is nowhere near a college decision, imagining Bamba joining already committed big men Jericho Sims and Royce Hamm in the frontcourt would cause giant havoc, no pun intended, for the Longhorns next year.
OTHER VISITS OF NOTE
Quite possibly the biggest matchup on the football gridiron this fall within the ACC as Clemson heads to Tallahassee this weekend, Leonard Hamilton and his staff didn’t back away from bringing in their very own, top of the line visitors. Hosting two, top-50 recruits from the 2017 class, Ikey Obiagu, a menacing, shot-blocking big man, and MJ Walker, a capable 3-and-D wing, heads to FSU’s campus for a two day stay. Along with the duo, the likes of junior recruits Rondo Segu and Nassir Little will also be in town, making this the biggest recruiting weekend of the fall for Florida State as they already sit within the 2017 HoopSeen Top-25 class rankings.
Fresh off landing its second top-125 guard commitment from the 2017 class coming in the form of Marcus Carr, the Panthers will hope to land another piece or two in the coming days with its batch of visitors set to be on campus this weekend. Aaron Thompson, the first committed member of the Kevin Stallings era in Oakland, will be in town. Look for the Team Takeover product to throw out his first assist as a member of the ACC program as Felipe Haase, a 6-foot-10 big man with fine pick and pop abilities, will check out what is brewing at Pitt. Along with the duo will be Jared Wilson-Frame, one of the top junior college prospects, a 6-foot-5 swingman that can really score the ball and could produce day one next college basketball season.
While they should be seen as a super dark horse candidate for him, Trae Young will give his final official visit to Oklahoma State this weekend. The five-star lead guard is more than likely to land at either Oklahoma or Kentucky but the Sooners getting the blue chip recruit on campus sure doesn’t hurt its chances to further its stance with the Norman native. Signs are pointing towards a late commitment and signing with the top of the line scorer and playmaker out of the state. A duo of Young and already committed Zack Dawson would cause for quite the premier duo in the backcourt for the OSU program come the 2017 college basketball season. Joining Young on his visit will be Bourama Sidibe, a 6-foot-10 center out of St. Benedict’s in New Jersey, a piece down low that has rapidly improved his skillset as the Cowboys look to be fighting off fellow Big 12 foe Texas Tech for the big man’s signature.
It is an all-important weekend for Andy Enfield’s program this weekend as he hosts two, top-100 recruits from the 2017 class, the headliner being Billy Preston. The 6-foot-8 forward finishing out his playing career out at Oak Hill Academy has always been one of the more talented and better mismatch options since entering the high school ranks. The Trojans have been the perceived leader for some time until, in recent weeks, Kansas jumped into the picture and is now seen as a viable threat for the five-star senior’s signature. Along with Preston will be Lance Thomas, a comparable prospect to the top-20 recruit as the Peach State native can play all over the floor, has a bevy of upside, and with a commitment expected on November 1, for the Pac 12 gang to seal up the verbal from the Norcross High star as Miami, Florida, and Louisville remain in pursuit.
Think it’s a big weekend at Villanova? Just a brief look at the list of visitors from the upperclassmen ranks is enough to assure the Wildcat faithful that the staff at the Big East program has done its very best to solidify its future in Philly. Take a scroll down even further and into the underclassmen crop headed to Villanova and it is downright crazy how much talent will be on hand Friday evening for the program’s midnight madness event. Five-star talents Lonnie Walker, Quade Green, Immanuel Quickley, Cam Reddish, Scottie Lewis, Bryant Antoine and Bryce Wills will all be on hand along with already committed seniors Jermaine Samuels and Dhamir-Cosby Roundtree. The next few days could be the stepping stone to another commitment or two but do expect that Jay Wright and his staff will be doing their all to keep Lonnie Walker, the top-25 talent from nearby Reading, Pennsylvania, close to home as he nears his college decision in the coming weeks.