Rivals Roundtable: Greg Brown, instant impact commits, more
This week in the Rivals Roundtable, Russ Wood, Dan McDonald and Corey Evans have plenty to discuss in the recruiting world. Do they think the local program is the one to beat for Greg Brown? Which recent commit will make the greatest impact as a freshman? And who deserves the biggest bump in the next Rivals150?
1. Who is the favorite for five-star Greg Brown, and who would you name a dark horse?
McDonald: I’d say Texas has the best shot at signing the five-star small forward. Shaka Smart has been recruiting him the hardest for the longest and has the family ties in his favor. If I had to pick a dark horse to keep him away from the Longhorns, it'd probably be North Carolina. The Tar Heels had him in town for the Duke game last year and made a strong impression. This one will be interesting to track over the next several months.
Wood: I like Texas here. Brown lives minutes away from the Forty Acres and he is a great fit for how Shaka wants to play. Then again Brown is a great fit just about anywhere. Auburn is my dark horse – you will never catch me counting out Bruce Pearl.
Evans: Texas is the favorite for now, at least in my eyes. I don’t believe that a commitment is anytime near and would be very, very surprised if he commits before the late signing period in April. The local program has recruited Brown the longest out of any of his finalists and kudos must be given to Smart for taking it upon himself to develop a personal relationship with the phenomenal athlete.
If there is anyone that could step in and take Brown away from Texas, keep an eye on Memphis. The Tigers have developed a great rapport with him and if things go well this season and the roster construction aligns, Memphis could walk away with the signature of the five-star prospect.
2. Which recent commit could make the biggest impact next season?
McDonald: The easy answer to this question would be Evan Mobley to USC, but I'm not taking the easy way out here. I'm going to say Keon Johnson at Tennessee. Rick Barnes has the Vols rolling with commitments already in from Johnson and Corey Walker with the possibility of Jaden Springer joining them in Knoxville. Johnson will make a big difference early at Tennessee.
Wood: I went back and forth on this one between Mobley and B.J. Boston – and decided to go with Boston. He’ll need to get stronger, but Boston’s length, high skill level, ability to score at all three levels and athleticism make me believe that, of the players who have committed thus far this month, he will have the greatest impact during his freshman season.
Evans: Dan couldn’t have said it any better; while Mobley is going to have a great say as to how good USC will be during his likely lone year in college, what Johnson will mean for Tennessee should not be underestimated. He is the ideal wing for Barnes: a hungry, quick-twitch competitor that can complete practically whatever task is asked of him.
The Vols will take a step back this season but once Johnson arrives and if Josiah James is still enrolled, along with Walker in the frontcourt, Tennessee could be quite the out in March thanks to the all-encompassing abilities that the top-35 wing presents on both ends of the floor.
3. Who should see the biggest bump in our next rankings release?
McDonald: I thought Caleb Murphy had as good of a summer as anybody I saw outside of five-star range. His explosiveness and competitiveness are as good as you'll see from anybody. He checks every box you could want from a basketball prospect except the jump shot, but even that is getting better. I like the way he's trending as a player and I see it continuing going forward.
He had a long list of schools jump into the mix this summer such as Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, NC State, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M all put scholarship offers on the table. He has a visit set for South Florida and will likely take others.
Wood: Murphy. He is a good-sized combo guard who can really get to the rim. A capable finisher in the paint, very competitive, as fast as anyone, above-the-rim guy. He is a streaky perimeter shooter but that is fixable. He has scheduled an official visit with USF to begin on Aug. 28. I expect Clemson, Florida, Texas A&M, and Xavier to also get official visits. Georgia Tech is also in the mix.
Evans: I don’t want to be the guy to jump on the bandwagon but Dan and Russ are right, Murphy has to be that dude. The three-star guard was already an elite defender but this summer he showed the capacity to facilitate, score and lead his teams to victories.
Since they covered him for the most part, I will throw the spotlight on Jordan Geronimo. Think about it … a 6-foot-6 small forward with a 7-foot wingspan, over 40-inch vertical, multi-positional defender that can make shots. Add it up and that is exactly what is en vogue today which is why he needs to receive a giant bump from his current standing at No. 135.