June is upon us, which means most programs are focusing primarily all of their attention on the rising senior class after finally completing their respective 2019 classes. In this week’s #TwitterTuesday, we dig deeper into the ongoing recruitment of Kerry Blackshear, Duke’s pursuit of Cade Cunningham, where top-five forward Makur Makur could end up and the most entertaining league race next season.
That is the million-dollar question. Kerry Blackshear has been a busy man of late as he just pulled his name out of the NBA Draft last month after working out for a slew of NBA teams. Since his college season ended, he placed his name in the transfer portal where he has heard from muiltipe programs. Last week, he took an unofficial visit to Florida before then taking his first official visit to Arkansas last weekend. Michigan State, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas A&M are also strongly in the mix, as is Virginia Tech as he could always return to Blacksburg for his final year of college ball. Blackshear is taking summer classes at Va. Tech, but what he does next is anyone’s guess. Blackshear told Rivals.com over the weekend that he is getting a bit worn out by the process and wants to get to his decision. However, he will take an official visit to Tennessee on June 14, and two others could be in the works for Kentucky and Texas A&M. I am not confident that he will get to College Station, but I do like the chances that he will visit Lexington shortly after his trip to Knoxville. Expect for a possible commitment the week after his visit to Tennessee and while much of the talk has centered around Florida and Kentucky, do not underestimate Arkansas or Tennessee’s chances with the best available grad-transfer.
No, it is because Cade Cunningham is arguably the most polished prospect in the 2020 class. The five-star guard is now the second ranked player nationally and is nipping at the heels of Evan Mobley for the top billing. Such prospects commonly end up at blue blood programs and thanks to the maturity of Cunningham and how versatile that he is where he can arguably play four positions on the offensive end, Duke recruiting him is a no-brainer. Now, as you brought up, Jeremy Roach having already committed does cause some issues since Cunningham is best on the ball as a giant playmaker, a spot on the floor that Roach has only known. However, Coach K has found ways to make it work in the past with multiple ballhandlers, which he would definitely be selling again with the Texas native. Roach should be entirely healthy by the time he enrolls next year. Then again, I am not entirely sure that they will land Cunningham as Oklahoma State currently has my vote but the Blue Devils are not too far behind.
We saw Makur Maker, the younger cousin of Thon Maker, make another move up the Rivals150 where is now ranked as the fifth best prospect in the 2020 class. Skilled, tough, capable of making shots and multi-dimensional, Maker has made tremendous strides with his game and skill set. There has not been much said regarding his recruitment, though New Mexico and Washington State were the latest to offer. Some are attempting to flip Maker into the 2019 class and enroll him this fall but he has been unwilling to budge. He believes that an extra year of school prior to college would do him well long-term. Of the programs involved the most often, keep an eye on Oregon as they maybe have prioritized him the most.
I wanted to say the SEC thanks to the infusion of talent into it and the recent coaching hires made by its league members, and the ACC is always a fun one to watch, but how can it not be the Big 12? Plenty of questions are facing a number of its members; can Kansas start a new streak and win the league title? Does Chris Beard keep up with his winning ways at Texas Tech after enrolling the school’s first five-star prospect, Jahmius Ramsey, and a handful of other transfer talent? Is this the year that Scott Drew gets his Baylor Bears over the hump and makes a Final Four run? Was last year’s dismal showing in Morgantown just a minor step-back or a sign of things to come for WVU? Can Shaka Smart get his first NCAA Tournament win as the Texas head coach? There will be storylines aplenty in the Big 12 and it should be a deep league once again.