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Cassidy's Predictions: I've Got Five on it

Hunter Sallis
Hunter Sallis (https://rivals.com)

Most elite prospects in the class of 2021 are already spoken for, but more than a few highly ranked and intriguing names are yet to make their college decisions. This week in I've Got Five on it, Rivals.com national analyst Rob Cassidy looks at five of the most anticipated remaining commitment announcements.

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FACT OR FICTION: Duke is playing better because Jalen Johnson left the team

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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WHERE HE STANDS: Holmgren’s recruitment did a head fake or sorts when word got around that the top player in the 2021 class planned to announce a commitment a couple weeks back. That, of course, never happened. Still, the 7-foot star can’t be far away from making his college choice.

WHERE HE’S GOING: Gonzaga seems like the heavy frontrunner, but counting out Minnesota would be unwise. Richard Pitino has known Holmgren since the five-star center was in seventh grade. Holmgren’s father was a Golden Gopher, and the allure of home seems to be stronger in pandemic times. I’d bet on the Zags, but this could be a lot closer than people think.

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WHERE HE STANDS: Baldwin is nearing a decision and is essentially down to a blueblood and a Horizon League team that hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2014. Of course, the five-star forward’s interest in Milwaukee is fueled by the fact that his father is the program’s current head coach. Duke was once thought to be the favorite and remains a very serious option.

WHERE HE’S GOING: The wind seems to be blowing toward Milwaukee. Baldwin Jr. is aware that you can reach the NBA from anywhere and trusts no coach more than his father, who should be able to play to his strengths better than anyone else on Earth. Duke is still an option here, and nobody will be totally floored if Baldwin Jr. selects the Blue Devils. That said, the Panthers are the favorite to win this sweepstakes.

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WHERE HE STANDS: Keels’ recruitment long seemed like a Villanova-Duke battle and the tide seems to have turned a few times over the course of the last year. Virginia rounds out Keels’ top three. Kentucky is now also in the mix, but the Wildcats have some serious ground to make up if they want to be a real threat to steal his letter of intent.

WHERE HE’S GOING: It’s hard to name a solid frontrunner, but Duke seems to have a slight edge as things stand. Nobody really knows how the late offer with Kentucky will impact things. Keels is one of the more difficult uncommitted prospects to predict.

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WHERE HE STANDS: Sallis is high on both Kentucky and Gonzaga. Creighton and North Carolina are also in the mix. No announcement date has been set just yet, but Sallis’ recruitment is unlikely to drag on too much longer.

WHERE HE’S GOING: Gonzaga is the most likely landing spot, as Sallis seems to like the sound of potentially pairing with No. 1 overall prospect Chet Holmgren in Spokane. Kentucky and Creighton are the biggest threats to steal his commitment, but the Zags are clearly the team to beat at this juncture.

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WHERE HE STANDS: Bediako plans to announce sometime in March, but he has not announced a specific date. The four-star center’s final five is comprised of Texas, Alabama, Duke, Michigan and Ohio State. In a recent interview, the IMG Academy star says he plans to see how his finalists do in the NCAA Tournament before making the call.

WHERE HE’S GOING: Alabama seems to be the frontrunner. Bediako’s relationship with Nate Oats and his staff is strong, and the four-star prospect sees the work the program has done with fellow Canadians. Ohio State and Texas certainly have punchers' chances here. Michigan and Duke seem like less likely landing spots.