Fastbreak Friday: UCLA looks to be on commit watch while Georgetown hosts key targets
Believe it or not, the college basketball season is now under way. Sure, the games won’t take place for another month or so, but practices have commenced and coaches have begun to focus more of their time onto the playing floor. Still, there are a bevy of visits taking place this weekend as a few top-50 recruits out of the 2017 class will hit the trail for another look in on a potential landing spot.
This week, there will be several midnight madness events taking place from across the nation but unlike in past weeks, there aren’t any standout visit lists compared to the one that Kansas put together last week. Still, several schools will play host to their top targets this weekend as we give a glimpse at each while also taking a shot at our weekly predictions as Grand Canyon, MTSU, and UCLA could be on the brink of a commitment.
TOP WEEKEND VISITS
The Gators have hit the ground running in the 2017 class and after landing its first recruit in the frontcourt this past week coming in the form of bouncy and athletic forward Chase Johnson, Florida will now look to the post. After visiting Iowa State two weeks ago, Isaiah Stokes, a 6-foot-9 center that is finishing out his high school career at IMG Academy in nearby Bradenton, hits the Gainesville campus for a few days. A fine back to the rim presence that is skilled from 15-feet and in, the Memphis native will be joined by top-50 scoring guard Luguentz Dort and top-100 lead guard Devon Dotson, both of whom are members of the 2018 class.
There hasn’t been a lot of talk of late surrounding Georgetown and while the Hoyas have yet to strike in the 2017 class, this weekend is a giant, giant one for the Big East bunch. JT3 and his crew host two, top-100 recruits, the headliner being Troy Brown. The 6-foot-6 swingman is one of the most versatile prospects throughout all of the land and while nabbing the Vegas native at the time being may be difficult, Georgetown will sell the chance to produce immediately and don’t forget the fact that the institution in DC has been a solid platform for west coast recruits to showcase what they have to offer in recent years. Just making the short trip in joining the five-star recruit is David Beatty, a 6-foot-3 guard out of Philly that leans his hat on his blue-collar mentality and the chip on his shoulder the size of the Liberty Bell.
A lot will depend on how Hurricane Matthew treats the Sunshine State and the city of Miami but at the time being, the U is expected to host some of the top talent from the state and a few others from outside of it. Rayshaun Hammonds will be front and center for 48-hours as the top-50 small forward from the Peach State gets a look at what the ACC crew has to offer. Joining him from outside of the state will be Immanuel Quickley, a top-five guard recruit from the 2018 class and a prospect that recently snatched a Kentucky offer. Taking part in a visit of the campus will also be Scott Barnes, a 6-foot-7 forward from the 2019 class and Emmitt Williams, a 6-foot-7 power forward and one of the most productive big men within his 2018 class. Barnes and Williams both call the state of Florida home as Miami will hope to eke out a commitment from Hammonds and further impress the younger crop hitting the ACC program’s campus.
The Ducks have been hot on the trail of late and while they remain empty handed at the current moment, expect for things to change in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Dana Altman’s crew have brought in a bevy of visitors to Eugene in recent weeks and this weekend is nothing outside of the norm. Ira Lee, a top-75 forward from California, heads to the Pac 12 power and while the Ducks are fighting off the likes of Arizona and Cal for his services, this weekend could change things a bit. Joining him for his final official visit as he plans on committing following it is top-100 wing Victor Bailey. Texas A&M, Tulsa and Texas Tech remain involved but a commitment from the Texas native or Lee would be a fine start to what could be a solid class at Oregon this fall.
The Aggies have put together a top-20 recruiting class thus far but this weekend things could get even better as they host top-75 small forward Brandon Rachal. The 6-foot-6 senior recruit is one of the toughest and hardest playing prospects in all of his class and while he didn’t have the best of summers on the travel circuit, he is someone that, placed around solid talent, should flourish. He has the strength and quickness in guarding the shooting guard spot down to the power forward position, has bettered his mid-range jumper, and with it, can playmake when placed onto the ball. One better believe that Isiah Jasey and TJ Starks, two committed recruits to the SEC crew, will be doing their best to lure the Louisiana native to campus for next year as both in-state prospects will take their own official visit to College Station this weekend.
CODY RILEY CALLS UCLA HOME
While there was some talk about an early commitment from Cody Riley more than a year ago, could this weekend finally be the end to the recruitment of the 6-foot-7 power forward? We think so.
Riley, a hot commodity pretty much since he set foot onto a high school basketball playing floor, is already equipped physically to produce on a college hardwood. The lefty loves to ramp up the physicality with things where he gets to the foul line in heavy amounts and would create a great pairing alongside already committed Bruin big man Jalen Hill as a solid high-low tandem. Sure, the upside from the Sierra Canyon star isn't as great compared to his other top four and five-star peers, but then again, there aren't many more sure fire producers than the west coast recruit.
Last weekend, Riley visited Kansas for the Late Night at the Phog event, a festivity that brought in some of the top upcoming talent from the high school ranks. The lure to play for the Jayhawks has always been at the forefront of Riley's mind as, outside of UCLA, the Big 12 gang in Lawrence is potentially the top suitor for the senior's services.
However, the fact that Riley has been somewhat of a UCLA lean for some time now, that he goes to school right in the backyard of the Pac 12 program, and his ability to produce in a more up tempo system that has been indoctrinated in Westwood, this could be the time and place that Riley calls himself a UCLA Bruin.
OTHER COMMITS TO WATCH FOR
Therren Szmidt commits to MTSU
Damari Milstead commits to Grand Canyon