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Basketball Recruiting

Weekend Mailbox: Caleb Houstan, Georgetown's 2021 class, Illini's junior prospects

September 5, 2020

Another week, another weekend mailbox.

I’ll take a look at who leads for Canadian star Caleb Houstan, who could fill Georgetown’s 2021 class and an early look at who Illinois’ pursuing to join their 2022 class.

It’s no secret that Montverde has produced some of the game’s top up and coming high school prospects in the entire country. The most recent star to blossom under Kevin Boyle is none other than Top-10 prospect Caleb Houstan. The former member of the 2022 class announced his decision to reclassify up into the 2021 class and drew interest from nearly 20+ high-major college programs.

The list varies anywhere from Duke to North Carolina all the way to Gonzaga and Alabama. Houstan will have his choice and could go to pretty much any school that he wants. Now, the answer to this question, who are the leaders for Houstan and where could I see a fit?

Unfortunately, these two questions might not correspond with each other. As far as leaders go, in no order, I see Duke, North Carolina, Alabama, and Gonzaga as some of the current leaders for him despite his recruitment pretty much being wide-open.

Fit wise I think Houstan would be a special talent to plug into any of these programs. Being 6-foot-8 and having tons of control on the floor, Houstan has such a unique skill set. You look at the four programs I listed and you could pretty much insert him into any system.

I think ties could also play a factor in this. Alabama has landed Joshua Primo and Keon Ambrose, both from Canada, and like Houstan both of them played for the UPLAY AAU program. Bryan Hodgson has been very influential in this recruitment. North Carolina enrolled Houstan’s high school teammate Day’Ron Sharpe, Duke landed RJ Barrett, fellow Canadian and alumni of the same high school Houstan attend.

It will be an interesting race.

Patrick Ewing has landed three prospects in Tyler Beard, Jordan Riley, and Jalin Billingsly for the 2021 class. Two very underrated guards and then one dynamic forward. Ewing has his sights set on adding at least one more piece to that puzzle, perhaps one of his several Top-50 targets.

Three names come to mind: Efton Reid, Aminu Mohammed, and Ryan Mutombo. You evaluate all three prospects and which one would be most realistic to end up as a Hoya. For me it’s Mutombo and it has been that way for quite some time. There were a few instances where I believed that Florida State and Leonard Hamilton crept in and jumped into the top spot but that has all gone away.

Right now I believe for Mutombo it’s between Tennessee and the Hoyas, as of right now UT has all the traction but the Hoyas aren’t too far behind.

It’s a bit early to make predictions on Illinois’ 2022 class. There are a few names that have been thrown out there, to list some: Jaden Schutt, Isaac Traudt, Mason Manning, Trey Pettigrew, Mark Armstrong, and the big-name, AJ Casey Jr.

Underwood will focus on keeping the top-rated guys in-state, that’s something that the Illini have made a priority is focusing on that in-state 2022 class which is strong. The staff recently hosted Casey Jr. for a zoom call that included head coach Brad Underwood and other members of his staff. The Illini will have to compete with Michigan, Michigan State, Gonzaga, Louisville, Ohio State, Indiana, and others.

Two other zoom calls will and have occurred recently as well. Last night the staff held sharpshooting Top-100 prospect, Jaden Schutt, for a zoom call with the entire staff. He’s drawn attention from nearly 15+ programs and once again, like Casey Jr, will have to compete with many other schools.

Next week they will have a zoom meeting with 6-foot-9 prospect Isaac Traudt who has become a national recruit and has plenty of programs involved and he recently broke down his recruitment with where he mentioned the Illini as a school with heavy interest.

This is a question that has been asked for quite some time. The Hoosiers started pursuing Mohammed a few months back and they haven’t slowed down since. Archie Miller got on a zoom call with the combo-guard and his guardian Shawn Harmon two months ago and told him that he was one of the program’s top priorities, I don’t think that has changed.

They do have some competition in Georgetown, Louisville, Maryland, Kansas State, and others.

Mohammed told he will aim for a November or December decision.


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