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Basketball Recruiting

Jake's Nuggets: The Tale Of Two Bates, Matt McMahon, and UConn.

May 4, 2022

It’s safe to say that the basketball world has proven to be a never-ending stream of information.

Absolute chaos. Something going down every single day.

The transfer portal has been a hot topic over the last few weeks. Players transferring due to NIL opportunities, fit, coaching changes, etc. Last year, the portal eclipsed 1,000 and people went nuts, this year, it had nearly 1,700 names enter.

In addition, the NBA announced nearly 300 early entries for this year’s NBA draft, several of whom also entered the transfer portal while going on with the draft process. Total chaos, but it’s fun and there are a lot of questions being asked.

I take a nab at some of YOUR questions in this week’s edition of Jake’s Nuggets.

This is a question I've been getting asked for the last few days. 

Butler has been making a serious push for weeks. He took a campus visit nearly three weeks ago and there’s been tons of buzz since. I find it also enticing that Butler is bringing in Greg Oden as their player development guy and think that he will be a vocal part of Bates’ development if he does indeed choose the Bulldogs.

In my opinion, this was a Big East battle from the jump. Georgetown didn’t back down from Bates at all and was obviously in final contention – making his final three. His decision comes Wednesday and I wouldn’t at all be shocked if Thad Matta gets his guy.


Once Emoni Bates hit the portal, you could’ve figured that schools like Louisville and Michigan were gonna be amongst the schools he seriously considers. For one, the Cardinals completely restructured staff and now behind Kenny Payne, the Cardinals and his staff are going to be a lethal group on the recruiting trail.

Payne and Bates had established a relationship prior to Bates pledging to Michigan State during his junior year of high school. In addition, the Cardinals do have several spots open and could love the idea of adding Bates who could possibly play the small forward position for them. I think the Cardinals will be deep and use all of their length (Jaelyn Withers, Syd Curry, Devin Ree, Kamari Lands, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield).

I want to start with 2023 prospect Taylor Bol Bowen. That was amongst Matt McMahon’s first offers when landing the job in Baton Rouge. Obviously, he has done very well in the portal and that had to be his first task when arriving, but now that he has begun building his roster, he can focus on 2023 prospects, including Bol Bowen.

I believe the Tigers will still be active in the portal but as far as his first full cycle which is approaching, I feel as if he could land some talented prospects from 2023. 

Carl Cherenfant is also a name to keep an eye on for LSU. I also just learned from a source that he will be on an official visit to Baton Rouge at the end of this month. He's a 6-foot-5 combo guard from Calvery Christian in Florida. He's a lockdown defender and has tons of length at the wing spot, can also score in multiple ways.

I think as of now, Hurley and staff will take things a little slower. You’ve got to be happy with adding a dynamo in Tristen Newton and then shortly after, land Nahiem Alleyne out of Virginia Tech. I think that the staff is going to lock in on landing a stellar 2023 class and now that the portal is closed, they can continue to explore that side of things but they now know there won’t be any more surprises in the portal (at least for now).

They just recently extended an offer to Minnesota native and four-star 2023 prospect Taison Chatman. He’s a 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard, which fits the M.O of a Dan Hurley recruit. He holds offers from Kansas, Louisville, Iowa, Minnesota, and others, but the Huskies have jumped in over the last two weeks which is very interesting.

Oh, and Stephon Castle is amazing to UConn fans. That’s an excellent piece to have. He’s a high-level scorer, athlete, and defender, meaning yes, he does it all. I think starting your 2023 class with a guy who wants to keep building the culture and a guy who’s seen as one of the best at his position nationally, you’re doing something right.

Looking forward to seeing what’s next for UConn.

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