Three-Point Play: Karim Mane, coaching carousel, Isaiah Jackson
What’s the latest with five-star Canadian guard Karim Mane? Is the 2020 coaching carousel going to be very interesting this year? That and more in today’s edition of the Three-Point-Play.
Starting Five: NBA Draft uncertainty, recruiting updates
2022 Rankings: Top 75
1. WHAT’S THE LATEST WITH KARIM MANE?
With no NCAA tournament or basketball of any kind to capture our attention, the rumor mill has hit an extra gear this spring. Of late, five-star Canadian guard Karim Mane has been the subject of many rumors suggesting that he could be close to making his decision.
For a quick review, Mane is a powerful and athletic 6-foot-5 scorer off the bounce who can play either point or shooting guard. He saw Maryland as a junior and visited Marquette officially during his senior year. More recently, there has been a lot of speculation that Michigan State is making a move. Memphis, among others, has been trying to get more involved. Last summer, his play with Canada’s U19 team attracted enough attention from the NBA to make skipping college altogether an option.
My colleague Corey Evans was in contact with Mane last week and told me that Mane didn’t appear close to a decision. Monday, I checked in with Mane myself and he indicated that he’s not in any kind of rush.
“As far as my decision, everything’s been put on hold right now,” Mane told me. “I’m just trying to see when I’ll be able to get out and see campuses and then make a decision.”
When Mane is ready to decide, it will certainly be big news. He’s a potential instant impact guy. But for now, any rumors suggesting he’s close to a decision appear to be just that, rumors.
2. COACHING CAROUSEL REMAINS QUIET
Even during the winter when Hot Seat talk was fired up, it didn’t look like many great jobs would be opening. Sure, Texas would have been a pretty big opening had Shaka Smart been fired but he rallied the Longhorns and appears to be on safe ground and we’ll never even know if his job was in as much jeopardy as many fans and writers thought it could be.
Now, with college athletics pretty much shut down while we wait out the coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to see much popping off in terms of high-level firings. Let’s be realistic, throwing away money to buy out contracts or leaving people – even if they make a great deal of money – jobless right now isn’t going to be a very good look.
On top of that, let’s say that a high major did fire a coach. Exactly how is any new coach going to be in much of a position to succeed? They can’t go out and scout for new players or guys to fill out recruiting classes. Most players are off campus and home so relationships with current players can’t be established easily and new coaches can’t work out their teams to see what they have.
It’s just not a good time to be firing and hiring coaches and frankly I’m good with guys keeping their jobs in this time.
That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been some intriguing hires at the mid-major level. Rick Pitino getting hired at Iona certainly moves the needle in a major way and I feel like Wyoming has hired a potential star in Jeff Linder. Andy Kennedy at UAB could be interesting and I like the move UNC-Wilmington made in hiring NC State assistant Takayo Siddle.
But, if you are looking for fireworks and a fast moving coaching carousel, 2020 isn’t going to be the year.
3. SENIOR FILM OF FIVE-STAR ISAIAH JACKSON IS INTRIGUING
I’ve had a lot more time than usual to check out the great work our individual site publishers and writers all across the Rivals.com network have been putting out the last few weeks. In particular, the work my friend David Sisk has been doing at our Kentucky site with his Coach’s Corner series has caught my eye and I most enjoyed what he did with five-star Isaiah Jackson.
The reason I say that is that I’ve been watching some of Jackson’s senior season games here the past few days and I’m really liking what I’m seeing from him.
Jackson still needs to get stronger and he still needs to shoot jumpers with more confidence, but overall I’m finding him to be a much more skilled all-around player than we’ve given him credit for. Sure, his defense and rebounding still stand out. But, he’s looking like a much better passer and skilled scorer around the rim and out to 12 feet than he’s gotten the opportunity to show playing on the grassroots circuit.
Weighing that improved skill level against his need to add more bulk and continue to improve as a shooter is going to be an interesting discussion when we compile our final ranking of the class of 2020 next month. Exactly where he lands, I’m not sure, but I do think he’s in line for at least a little bit of a bump up the list and I feel like his importance to UK’s No. 1 ranked recruiting class has been overlooked a bit.