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Bossi's Best: Ten who could have shined during live evaluations

Jabari Smith
Jabari Smith (Courtesy of USA Basketball)

Had COVID-19 not disrupted everything, last weekend would have been the first of April’s two live evaluation periods during which college coaches could watch prospects from across the country play with their grassroots teams. In this week’s Bossi’s Best, national analyst Eric Bossi takes a look at 10 three-, four- and five-star prospects from the 2021 class who may have turned the heads of some coaches not currently recruiting them.

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2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75



*****

Current recruitment: Offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Mississippi, TCU and others.

How things may have changed: I don’t know how a player as talented as Smith who fits the direction the game is going because of his inside/out game that has made it this far without any blueblood offers - but he has. I’m pretty sure that after a weekend of bombing threes, showing off his low-post game and more this weekend would have seen head coaches from Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and others get more involved.

*****

Current recruitment: Offers from Creighton, Florida, Georgia, Gonzaga, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, UCLA and others.

How things may have changed: Much like Smith above, it’s been a little bit of a surprise that Sallis hasn’t seen more involvement from the top of the college hoops heavyweight division. Already a five-star, I’m sure Sallis would have backed up the hype and by the end of this coming weekend he would have been in the conversation as one of the best 2-3 guards in the class. He would have seen his already-active recruitment turn into a free-for-all.

*****

Current recruitment: Offers from Florida, LSU, Mississippi, NC State, Oklahoma State, South Florida, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Xavier, among others.

How things may have changed: Ranked just inside of the national top 50, Ross is a big, fluid and athletic four-man who has teased with his high-level upside. Based on some junior year film I’ve watched, I think he was on the verge of putting it all together. If he turns potential into production he’s a potential five-star talent and turns into a guy who is a must-watch for head coaches.

*****

Current recruitment: Offers from DePaul, Georgetown, Santa Clara, Utah, Vanderbilt, Washington State and Xavier.

How things may have changed: First of all, I’m at a loss here. How a skilled forward like Sochan - who can play the three and four - isn’t already a Big Ten priority is beyond me. However, the first live weekend would have changed that in a big way, and I bet he would have had most of the Big Ten head coaches heading to see him play this weekend, many after offering during the week.

*****

Current recruitment: Offers from Oral Roberts, Richmond, TCU and Texas Tech.

How things may have changed: The rangy wing drew a lot of praise for his ability to score off the drive and from deep during the 2019-20 season. A weekend under the scrutiny of high-major coaches would have taken Tyson’s recruitment to the next level. If I was a betting man, I would have bet heavy that he would have become a priority target for the majority of the Big 12 and any Texas-based, high-major programs.

*****

Current recruitment: Offers from Houston, Georgia Tech, La Salle, Texas A&M, UAB and Xavier, among others.

How things may have changed: My colleague Dan McDonald loves Armbrester, and after watching him on film I can see why. He’s tough, he’s physical, he has a solid base of skill and he’s a true competitor. A few SEC teams are already on board, but he would have become a target for most of that league - and likely many ACC teams - by the time he took the floor this weekend.

*****

Current recruitment: Recent offers from California, Georgetown and Villanova.

How things may have changed: Look, college programs love shooters and it’s easy to understand why, given the importance of the three-ball in today’s game. Brizzi may be one of the top shooters in the country. Not to mention the fact that many would see that he has received a recent offer from Jay Wright and would want to take a look at him.

*****

Current recruitment: Offers from Appalachian State, East Carolina, Houston, South Florida, Vanderbilt, VCU and Wichita State, to name a few.

How things may have changed: Speaking of shooters, I’ve recently watched game film of Dunn and the 6-foot-3 two guard looks to be another high-level sniper. Toss in some sneaky bounce and the fact that he helped lead his high school team to an undefeated record and you have a guy who was on the verge of a breakout. This weekend, he would have brought out the very best mid-major programs, along with many high-majors looking to make a decision on him.

*****

Current recruitment: Offers from Cal Poly and Southern Utah.

How things may have changed: Here’s another case where I’m really surprised that this young man wouldn’t have entered the spring with many more offers. He’s a big-time athlete, has a developing jumper and at a minimum could be a big-time defender because of his length and athletic gifts. I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have become a major West Coast and Mountain West Conference target with some serious Pac-12 interest.

*****

Current recruitment: No reported offers.

How things may have changed: Johnson may be raw on the offensive end, but he’s 6-foot-9, he can run, he’s bouncy around the rim and he has a great-looking frame to build upon. Guys like him don’t have to do much to attract major attention from coaches - they just need to be seen. Looking at the West Coast, it seems like there are a lot of guys going under-recruited, and Johnson is one of them.