Twitter Tuesday: Michigan, Will Jeffress, Jalen Johnson, more
A new year has brought a fresh crop of questions for this week’s #TwitterTuesday. Among this week's topics: Michigan's progress on the recruiting trail, Will Jeffress, Jalen Johnson and the recruits Indiana and Oklahoma State hope to add.
Will Michigan land anybody left on their board?— daniel (@HALFCOURTPULLUP) January 5, 2020
Yes, and my guess is that the Wolverines land two more. Michigan already sits with the fourth-ranked class in America and could move up another spot or two if what I see happening actually happens.
Jace Howard, the son of Juwan Howard, is planning on committing later this month. Unless something changes, look for the versatile forward to commit to his father and the Wolverines.
Next, they will bring Greg Brown to campus on Feb. 7 for his final official visit. Michigan’s involvement with him was not widely known, and while the Wolverines have a small chance, it is still difficult to see Brown suiting up for them next year. Memphis and Texas have a better shot. However, I'm betting that Josh Christopher, a five-star guard from California, chooses Michigan.
I changed my FutureCast selection for Christopher over the weekend, thanks to various sources that I have spoken with regarding his recruitment. Nothing is imminent and Arizona State, Missouri and UCLA remain in the way, but Michigan has the momentum, which could create a six-man class and one of the best groups ever assembled in Ann Arbor.
It is a possibility. Will Jeffress, one of the hardest-playing and most versatile forwards in the 2021 class, could have the opportunity to make the leap into the 2020 class because he is ahead with his coursework in the classroom. The question then becomes whether he is willing to make such a jump. And if so, where would he go?
Right now, I would say the chances that he reclassifies into the 2020 class as 50-50. Jeffress is one of the more mature kids you’re going to come across from an emotional standpoint, so he will be as ready as anyone in this situation. His skill set remains a work in progress, but he has made strides with his jumper lately. Physically, I am not going to say that he is college-ready, but he also looks like he has put in some time in a weight room.
When it comes to colleges, Pitt is at the top of his list, but the Panthers have some competition. Baylor is another program that has pushed for his reclassification. For now, expect the four-star to finish his high school season and then take a closer look at his recruitment in the spring. Visits will then be taken, and I expect him to go to Baylor and Pitt, while Memphis and Stanford are just two others heavily involved. From there, it will be on Jeffress to decide whether he is ready for college or wants to spend another year in high school.
Jalen Johnson leaving IMG a good thing, bad thing, or indifferent?— Oliver Baltz (@Oliver_Baltz) January 6, 2020
Jalen Johnson has not been enrolled at IMG Academy for a month now. If I were a Duke fan, I would not be alarmed. While he will likely not play the remainder of his high school season, it is not like the talent has been zapped out of him. This is a 6-foot-8, versatile and skilled forward who found the ideal fit at Duke, the type of prospect that Coach K has leaned heavily on in the past to reap great success.
Might his development be a little stunted? Maybe, seeing that his fellow peers are getting greater in-game reps while he is not. At the end of the day, as long as Johnson enrolls at Duke, there is nothing to be worried about. He is a tremendous prospect that should lead a tremendous college career. He could be the go-to guy for the Blue Devils next season.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that Indiana strikes with all three, though landing both Trey Kaufman and Caleb Furst may be difficult as each share similar skill sets in the frontcourt. Each is a bit ahead in their respective recruitments, as official visits have been taken in the past few months.
Kaufman is a top target for a handful of Big Ten programs, with Purdue sitting in arguably the best spot. The Boilermakers have become known for striking early, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they achieve their first 2021 pick-up with the Rivals150 junior, which is why IU might be better off with Furst. The top-50 junior is a top regional target and has also visited Virginia. The Wahoos have been a difficult program to defeat on the recruiting trail lately but I like the Hoosiers' chances. Butler, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State are among the others involved.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers also have a chance with Khristian Lander. Indiana has done an awesome job of recruiting him, but so have Louisville, Memphis and Michigan. The Wolverines were a favorite of his growing up, while the Cards and Tigers have visited Lander a handful of times this high school season. Also, keep an eye on a reclassification, as IU could be pushing for the early enrollment of the five-star guard.
Who else is OkState looking to get to finish off this 2020 class? How’s the 2021 looking?— OrangePower🤠 (@_OrangeVZN_) January 5, 2020
I would keep an eye on JT Thor still (I know Oklahoma State fans are getting a little antsy with him) and Canadian talent Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe. The two would fill a hole for the Pokes; the Cowboys want a versatile forward that can defend various positions but also bring quality athleticism to the frontcourt. I don’t expect a college decision from either within the next few weeks, but I expect Mike Boynton and his staff to continue to pursue them.
Beyond those two prospects, OK State could be active this spring on the decommitment and/or grad-transfer front. They don’t need a lot, and they might be a piece or two away from contending for a Big 12 title, thanks to the enrollment of elite guard Cade Cunningham.
As for the 2021 class, Oklahoma State is not the clear-cut leader for anyone but - thanks to a talented junior crop in the region - it should have a chance to finish with another strong class. Gerald Doakes, Trey Alexander, Jaxson Robinson and Matthew Stone are a few names to keep tabs on, as are some products based out of Florida, including Alex Fudge, Ernest Ross and Deebo Coleman, the latter of whom is expected to take an official visit to the Big 12 program in the coming months.
Look for the Pokes to pick things back up with their 2020 class toward the latter half of the season and place a greater priority on the 2021 class in the spring.