Ranking the Contenders: Jonas Aidoo
One of the top uncommitted prospects in America, Jonas Aidoo has narrowed his list and is working toward a commitment. And while no date has been set for an announcement, the back stretch of the four-star center’s recruitment has arrived. Let's cuts through the noise and rank the contenders that have a real chance of landing the talented big.
The perceived front-runner, though maybe not by a wide margin, Marquette offered Aidoo back in August, around the time the talented big bust onto the scene as a major national name in the 2021 class. Since then, Steve Wojciechowski and staff have prioritized the four-star prospect and the bond in place seems to be a strong one as the top-100 center moves toward a commitment. The Golden Eagles have two guards in the fold for 2021, but their biggest need is a big man, which remains unaddressed. Aidoo will fill that void perfectly. Marquette is by no means a lock to land his pledge, but -- at least for now -- the smart money is squarely on Wojciechowski’s program.
The Jayhawks offered Aidoo in late October. And while the pandemic has stopped the four-star from visiting Lawrence, Bill Self and company have shot up his list fairly quickly. There’s reason to believe Kansas is a serious player here, and would likely be the front-runner if it weren’t for NCAA issues looming around the program. Kansas may still win out here, but it will take some aggressive closing down the stretch from Self in his staff. All things considered, the Jayhawks have to like where they stand roughly a month after extending an offer.
3. A Program That Hasn't Offered
There’s a chance a late-arriving offer could impact Aidoo’s recruitment. More specifically, things could get mighty interesting if Duke or North Carolina miss on other options and come knocking on the door with offers. Of course this projection is a hypothetical exercise, but it’s by no means impossible. Both in-state powers are in the market for a big and could rapidly and easily bully their way into the thick of the race if they so choose. Is it exceedingly likely? Maybe not, but it’s certainly something on which to keep an eye.
Georgia has been heavily involved with a list of major prospects in the 2021 class but has been unable to land one when push came to shove. It’s certainly possible that Aidoo could be the guy to break the streak of bad luck. Tom Crean’s track record of producing pros is appealing, especially when you factor in that we’re less than a month removed from seeing former Bulldog Anthony Edwards go No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft. That said, winning matters and the fact that the program hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 2015 is certainly a bit of a hindrance.
5. Wake Forest or NC State
There’s a lot for Aidoo to like about Steve Forbes’ program. Wake Forest has built a solid 2021 class and the school’s campus isn’t far from home. That said, a lack of recent on-court success could hold the Demon Deacons back when it comes time to announce. Wake and --to the same extent -- NC State are long shots here but it’s hard to dismiss proximity to home during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.