Twitter Tuesday: Ziaire Williams, Josh Christopher, Duke
In this week’s Twitter Tuesday mailbag, Rivals.com Basketball Analyst Corey Evans dives into the recruitment of Ziaire Williams and Josh Christopher, predicts where Clifford Omoruyi might land and more.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
While five-star Ziaire Williams has never announced a final list of programs he is considering, he has remained a priority for Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon, Stanford, USC and UCLA. We can continue to guess where he might land but the feeling is that it is more of a three-team battle between Arizona, Stanford and USC.
The Trojans had been the talk back in the fall and while they are still heavily involved in Williams' recruitment, Arizona took over as the presumptive landing spot throughout the winter months.
However, don’t underestimate Stanford’s chances. While Williams may not have gotten accepted into the prestigious school just yet, it could be one of the few things holding up his recruitment. The Cardinal may be the major dark horse with the late signing period approaching.
The NCAA's suspension of in-person recruiting shouldn't really impact Josh Christopher. He was not expected to take any other college visits before his commitment and while the new rules in place will not allow for coaches to visit him, it would seem that he has heard and seen all that he would need to make a decision.
Could the distance between home and Ann Arbor be reinforced and be viewed as a slight negative as the world deals with the COVID-19 crisis? Maybe, but Michigan remains the team to beat for the five-star. Arizona State, where his brother plays, is definitely not out of the picture. Missouri and UCLA look to be a distant third and fourth place.
There is no decision date set for Christopher despite there being a belief that April 13 was when he would commit. Instead, with the all-star events now all canceled, it looks like a decision could come at any moment.
That is a great question, but I don't think anyone can offer a credible answer until after the pandemic subsides.
There is no shortage of what-ifs in this scenario. How will scholarships be counted? Who will pay for them? Will roster limits be adjusted temporarily?
I, for one, am all for the extra year of eligibility. That could help someone like Kyle Ahrens, who has been hampered by injuries throughout his career, have a better chance of receiving a quality professional contract offer.
In the end, I don’t have a vote and and, sadly, this probably won't be resolved soon. Some coaches that I spoke to wouldn’t mind such a rule going into place but also compared it to a season-ending injury; unfortunately, that is just life.
My FutureCast selection remains on Arizona State for top-50 center Cliff Omoruyi but I would not bet my life on that that prediction. Auburn has made a late run at things and I wouldn't underestimate Rutgers’ chances.
Omoruyi will make his college commitment on March 29. It would be a surprise if he committed to Auburn, but a Rutgers pledge would not. No program has invested more or recruited Omoruyi longer than Steve Pikiell and his staff. The program's close proximity to his home, along with the Knights' strong season, could be very attractive to Omoruyi. Will it be enough to turn the tide in his recruitment?
Omoruyi's recruitment looks to be somewhat of a toss-up as things head down the final stretch.
Another spring means another group of Duke standouts are set to leave the Durham campus. Vernon Carey is all but certain to hear his name called in the first round of this year's NBA Draft. Tre Jones is not too far behind him, while Justin Robinson, Javin DeLaurier and Jack White have exhausted all of their college eligibility.
The real stay-or-go question marks are Matthew Hurt, Cassius Stanley and Wendell Moore. Moore, the youngest of the bunch, might also be the most intriguing. He possesses many of the tools that NBA teams covet and while his upside is the best of the group, I expect for him to return.
Hurt didn’t put up the numbers that some had expected and a return to the college game is expected.
Stanley is the true wildcard this spring. More than two years older than Moore and a supreme athlete that had some eye-popping moments throughout the year, Stanley could try his hand at the league. If a pre-draft combine still does take place, he would certainly improve his standing thanks to his freakish athleticism. Maybe he takes the leap, or maybe he returns for another run at things, but Stanley is worth monitoring.