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Basketball Recruiting

Jake's Top Three Wednesday's: Vol.1

August 19, 2020

This week will be the first time I’m releasing my new series: “Jake’s Top Three Wednesday’s” 

It will be posted every Wednesday and will include my top-three nuggets for our free subscribers. I do fully suggest signing up or trying our $1 trial. 

Let’s get it rollin’

The first thing I want to discuss and it is something that I’ve gone public on and have been very vocal about is the Tennessee-Paolo Banchero talks. For the past six months or so I have said that I believe either UT or Gonzaga is my favorite to land arguably one of the nation’s top-rated players. Banchero has built quite a relationship with Rick Barnes and his staff, having several calls with them during the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining consistent contact. 

Another major storyline Banchero broke with me last fall is his desire to want to team-up with arguably America’s top-ranked guard Kennedy Chandler who just recently announced his commitment to Tennessee. This is a duo who would have the potential, along with returners and any other recruits, to win an SEC title and make a push at a national championship.

The two of them took an official visit last fall to campus and according to both of them, the visit went very well. It was the first official visit either of them had gone on.

Banchero told me a few weeks ago that he wasn’t really near a decision and that it has been very hard for him. As those weeks have flown by he’s completed some zoom calls with the most recent one being with the Duke staff.

Could Rick Barnes, one cycle after landing three five-star prospects, land two top-10 prospects?

Memphis’ recruiting cycle for 2021 is now officially underway as they landed four-star prospect Josh Minott last week. That was a pickup that Penny Hardaway was thrilled with (most likely). Minott will have the chance to come in and play right away and have an immediate impact. He’s a 6-foot-8 wing that could run the floor and is effective on both ends. 

Now, they’ve got their sights set on an underrated class that will include several pros. I believe that this class could end up either a four-man or five-man recruiting class.

Last week I talked with Memphis target Jordan Nesbitt. He made the message clear to me that the Tigers have told him and made him one of the program’s top-priorities, if not the top priority at his position. Nesbitt is down to eleven programs but it wouldn’t surprise me if he committed sooner than later and signed early. According to many Saint Louis is a possible favorite but I like the Tigers chances currently.

Two other guys the Tigers are in great shape with are John Camden and Sam Ayomide. Both landed offers from Penny Hardaway this summer and the Tigers have built relationships with both of them and have completed zoom calls with them as well. I fully expect the staff to go all-in on these guys but they will compete with the likes of Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Miami, others for Camden and then Kansas, Seton Hall, Temple, others for Ayomide.

The Harrison Ingram sweepstakes have been cut down to six programs, the list includes Stanford, Purdue, North Carolina, Michigan, Harvard, and Howard. Very interesting list to some but not to me. The goal for Ingram with his recruitment wasn’t to land at the most popular school but to land at the spot that is best for him, if that means going to an Ivy League or landing at an HBCU.

Let’s start off with the HBCU route. Ingram’s parents both attended HBCUs and it is something he said he will seriously consider if it means advancing a family legacy and playing on a major platform and playing for a historical program such as Howard.

Then you’ve got Harvard, Head coach Tommy Amaker offered Ingram after he dropped his first list cut and both sides have mutual interest. Ingram is big on his academics and it doesn’t really get better with Harvard when it comes to that. Amaker has prioritized both Ingram and fellow five-star Aminu Mohammed.

Stanford and Purdue are some of the early favorites to land him. Wouldn’t surprise me if Michigan could end up as the landing spot for him either. Juwan Howard has built a relationship with him that has lasted throughout the summer. Ingram told me recently that he’s still unsure of his decision timetable and that he’s still talking with all of his finalists.

To cap it off, we finally get the college decision from Frankie Collins. After an offer from Juwan Howard, the Wolverines instantly became the favorite for the West Coast prospect. He had Michigan amongst his finalists even when they hadn’t extended an offer to him. We will find out this evening if Juwan Howard seals the deal on yet another 2021 commitment.

James Graham III is also nearing his decision. He and his family decided to ultimately push back his decision date. Maryland was the favorite according to the public. The Terps have gone all-in on him and a commitment wouldn’t be surprising. This is a player who could boost himself into the Top-50 in the 2021 class.

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