National Signing Day dominoes ready to fall
Now that we are nearing the early signing period this week, a spurt that begins on Wednesday, we take a deeper look at the dominoes that are due to fall within the next few days. A couple of commitment dates have been set while a slew of others are tracking to an early signing as we give a peek at those ready to name a home for their collegiate playing days.
SHAI ALEXANDER – RANKING: 51 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 14
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: OKLAHOMA, NC STATE, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, FLORIDA, & TEXAS
After backing away from his commitment to Florida a few weeks ago, a bevy of high level programs have made their way into Hamilton Heights in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Their focus? Shai Alexander. The elite, playmaking guard has his best basketball ahead of him and while the process is just now beginning again for him, there has been some talk about an early signing. Where might that be to? Kentucky has taken the recruitment of the Canadian guard by storm as the Wildcats are, more than likely, to land the top-60 recruit within the coming days.
DAVID BEATTY – RANKING: 95 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 14
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: GEORGETOWN, TEMPLE, INDIANA, UCONN, & SOUTH CAROLINA
PREDICTION: SOUTH CAROLINA
Things have been very fluid with David Beatty of late as he narrowed his list of schools at the end of the summer, opened things back up, and then hastily set a commitment date last week. Programs such as Georgetown, Temple, and UConn, all of whom fall within the geographical niche of the Philly native, were, at one time, perceived as the leader for the tough-nosed senior. However, Indiana made a late push but whispers have begun that it is South Carolina that has jumped into the lead for the Imhotep Charter product. Whether he calls the SEC gang home for next year is still in question but at the time being, Frank Martin may have found the perfect embodiment of his coaching mantra at the guard positon in David Beatty.
WENDELL CARTER – RANKING: 1 – COMMITMENT DATE: TBA
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: DUKE, HARVARD, GEORGIA, & GEORGIA TECH
Word has begun to spread throughout the Peach State that Wendell Carter, HoopSeen’s top ranked prospect out of the 2017 class, will make his college decision this week. After completing all four of his official visits that he had set, the thought has been that the battle for the services of the elite interior piece has been down to Duke and Harvard for a while now. From the outside looking in, it would seem that Coach K’s gang would be the easy victor here, though one should believe that Harvard is squarely in the mix. Expect for a commitment in the coming days but still, Duke has the upper hand in this one with the best low post asset out of the senior ranks.
MATT COLEMAN – RANKING: 49 – COMMITMENT DATE: TBA
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: DUKE, STANFORD, & TEXAS
Growing up on the east coast and within the Hampton Roads region, kids dream of playing in the ACC. However, Shaka Smart and his staff, dating back to their time at VCU, zeroed in on Matt Coleman and made him a priority for the past few years. The Longhorns remain heavily in the mix for the product out of the 757, though Stanford has made up ample ground with the top-50 recruit. For some time, Coleman spoke about signing late and committing in December but whispers have started that an end could be near and that the Blue Devils could squeak out another one from the Oak Hill Academy program.
QUADE GREEN – RANKING: 18 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 19
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: KENTUCKY, SYRACUSE, TEMPLE, DUKE, & VILLANOVA
Last week, Green, the best playmaking guard out of the 2017 class, made visits to Villanova and Temple. Yesterday, the Philly native labeled the day that he would end his college recruitment. A prolific scorer up until this past year, Green has leaned various ways throughout his college recruitment. Where he might land is up for debate but at the end of the day, though he won’t sign until the late period as his commitment date falls after the early period, it seems that Syracuse leads by a nose over its peers for the five-star guard.
RAYSHAUN HAMMONDS – RANKING: 40 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 10
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: GEORGIA TECH, MIAMI, GEORGIA, MEMPHIS, UCONN, TEXAS, & ALABAMA
Hammonds, a top-50 small forward with ideal size and an improving set of ball skills, hasn’t seen a ton of media mentions compared to his peers in recent weeks. However, the Peach State native has more than enough talent in tow to make a large dent at whichever program he calls home for next year. Things have been very silent until the past few days and after completing his visit tour, a final trip that was made to the in-state Georgia Bulldogs program this past weekend, signs point towards the Peach State native staying close to home and giving Mark Fox a top-50 commitment on November 10.
JOHN PETTY – RANKING: 27 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 10
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: KENTUCKY & ALABAMA
A two-team race for some time now for the five-star wing out of Alabama, Avery Johnson would love to do nothing more than to keep the top in-state recruit within its borders. Kentucky desperately needs a scoring wing as they will more than likely lose Isaiah Briscoe and Malik Monk to the NBA next spring. Therefore, the opportunity is evident for Petty in Lexington but ever since Avery Johnson took over in Tuscaloosa, Petty became target number one as it looks like the Tide will celebrate the wing’s commitment in the coming days.
NICK RICHARDS – RANKING: 14 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 10
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: KENTUCKY, SYRACUSE, INDIANA, & ARIZONA
A five-star prospect off of the east coast, Nick Richards has been a highly coveted recruit over the past few years. The near 7-footer is graced with excellent mobility, athleticism, and a sturdy motor where he gets up and down the floor without an issue and leaves his mark on the offensive glass. While he might not be up to par with Kentucky past star big man Willie Cauley-Stein, Richards does have similar traits to the current Sacramento King big man. The race for the top-20 recruit has been thought of as a battle between Kentucky and Syracuse for some time now as Big Blue Nation is more than likely to land the big man’s signature this week.
COLLIN SEXTON – RANKING: 8 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 10
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: KANSAS, NC STATE, & ALABAMA
Sexton, the top breakout performer from the travel circuit this past summer, has seen his recruitment go from local, to regional, to national. Over the past few months, the Peach State, known for his prolific scoring skills, has taken various visits all throughout the south and east coast. However, three schools remain and while Kansas took a lead at one point in time, it seems as if Alabama is the landing spot for the top-10 guard, giving Avery Johnson an unbelievable day of extreme highs with the potential commitments of the Pebblebrook High guard and John Petty.
ISAIAH STOKES – RANKING: 96 – COMMITMENT DATE: TBA
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: TCU, FLORIDA, IOWA STATE, & TENNESSEE
PREDICTION: IOWA STATE
Not a lot of attention has been garnered by Isaiah Stokes but that doesn’t mean that the big fella can’t produce early on during his collegiate playing career next year. The brother of one-time Tennessee star big man Jarnell Stokes, the top-100 target has finished his visit tour and is leaning towards a commitment in the coming days. Tennessee and TCU are right there in the mix for the imposing big man but it seems to be a neck and neck race between Florida and Iowa State for the big fella that will finish out his high school playing career at IMG Academy.
GARY TRENT JR – RANKING: 13 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 10
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: UCLA, MICHIGAN STATE, & DUKE
While there has not been a commitment date set for the Minnesota native, there has been a leader for some time for the polished scorer of the basketball. Finishing out his high school career out in Napa, California, the UCLA Bruins jumped squarely into the mix for the 6-foot-5 shooting guard. Michigan State has been there since day one but it has been Duke that sits in the driver’s seat for Trent where a commitment to the former two schools would come as a giant surprise.
LONNIE WALKER – RANKING: 24 – COMMITMENT DATE: TBA
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: KENTUCKY, ARIZONA, SYRACUSE, & VILLANOVA
Walker had been a heavy favorite for Villanova during his underclassman years. Growing up within an hour’s drive of the Big East program’s campus, Jay Wright and his staff made the Reading High guard its top priority but in recent months, other have not only have caught up to the Wildcats, but maybe even surpassed Villanova. Arizona jumped into the lead and remains heavy in the hunt for the top-25 guard. Kentucky, a program that he will visit this weekend, along with Syracuse, remain right there for the explosive scorer of the basketball where a commitment could be in the cards in the days ahead.
PJ WASHINGTON – RANKING: 28 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 10
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: UNLV, UNC, & KENTUCKY
One of the best, if not the very best, rebounders of the basketball out of the 2017 class, is nearing a college decision. He had previously visited Kentucky a few times throughout the fall months and heading to UNLV this weekend, a program located just a few miles from his Findlay Prep institution, it seems that a commitment to Kentucky is in the cards for the Wildcats. While Texas and the MWC school have remained heavy in the hunt for the Lone Star State native, it is pretty safe to say that Washington will call Lexington his home on November 10 and potentially pair with Nick Richards as an elite force on the glass early on at UK.
KRIS WILKES – RANKING: 15 – COMMITMENT DATE: NOVEMBER 13
SCHOOLS INVOLVED: UCLA, INDIANA, & ILLINOIS
Two Big 10 programs and a Pac 12 school remain in the picture for Kris Wilkes, a versatile and talented forward from Indiana that has been a well-talked about name for some time now. Indiana had been thought to be the leader for the combo forward but closing in on an early signing within the coming days, it seems that it is in the cards for Wilkes to head to the west coast for his collegiate playing days. UCLA, a program that already boasts a bevy of talent in the frontcourt, will grab ahold of its top recruit in the 2017 class, giving the Bruins a top-three group nationally this fall.
OTHERS THAT COULD COMMIT
NOJEL EASTERN – SCHOOLS INVOLVED: NC STATE, SETON HALL, MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN STATE, PURDUE, & OHIO STATE
CHARLES O’BANNON JR – SCHOOLS INVOLVED: NC STATE, UCLA, USC, & WASHINGTON
IKEY OBIAGU – SCHOOLS INVOLVED: BAYLOR, FLORIDA STATE, GEORGIA TECH, MARYLAND, & AUBURN