Twitter Tuesday: Nate Oats, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi State
BOSSI'S STARTING FIVE: The recruiting wins for each Final Four team
In this week’s Twitter Tuesday, Rivals.com basketball recruiting analyst Corey Evans looks at Nate Oats’ early success at Alabama, discusses Kentucky's offseason, checks in with Tristan Enaruna and more.
How you feel bout Nate Oats recruiting at Bama so far, and what other prospects we might target for 19?— C.J. Thomas - YOUNG FLACKO 2️⃣™️💻 (@nolimitthomas14) March 31, 2019
It is a bit too early to properly grade the work that Nate Oats has done thus far at Alabama. But if keeping John Petty as a member of the program, landing the commitment of three-star center Raymond Hawkins and making Trendon Watford and Kira Lewis his top priority is a measuring stick, then he deserves an A-plus for what he has accomplished a week into the job in Tuscaloosa.
There was a rash of transfers from the program last week following the dismissal of Avery Johnson but it does look as if Lewis returning to Alabama is possible. Petty staying is a giant win and so would be the commitment of Watford. He is the Crimson Tide's primary target in the 2019 class as Oats even went to Destin, Fla., on Sunday, just to see Watford, who was on his spring break vacation. The Tide also offered four-star guard Harlond Beverly on Saturday, a prospect that he had originally recruited to Buffalo.
For now, the original three signees have stuck with the program so there is not a major need in the 2019 class but if Alabama can etch out the commitment of Watford and/or Beverly, and Lewis were to return, the ceiling for the program gets raised for next year and beyond.
Which Kentucky players do you think will stay at school for another year and which players do you think will declare for the draft?— CollegeHoopsCentral (@NcaaCBBCentral) March 31, 2019
Let’s get Reid Travis out of the way as the former Stanford star will be departing the program this spring after his grad-transfer season. PJ Washington is all but gone, and so too is Keldon Johnson. The shot-making prowess and the bravado of Tyler Herro, two assets that the NBA has come to value greatly, makes his exit likely, too.
In the frontcourt, E.J. Montgomery should be back with Kentucky next season and Nick Richards should, too, but given that he is already 21-years-old, he might have his hand forced and attempt to give a hard look at the NBA. Jemarl Baker and Immanuel Quickley will be back unless they decide to transfer elsewhere.
Ashton Hagans is the complete toss-up. His defense and toughness will be welcomed at the next level, but his shot making, or lack thereof, could force his to return.
Any updates on Tristan Enarunas recruiting process?— David Warren (@D_Warren25) March 31, 2019
I spoke with Tristan Enaruna last week and while there is still no rush to make a college decision, he is hoping to begin his official visit tour this month. The Rivals150 prospect is one of the top available seniors this spring and has yet to take any of his five allotted official visits. Enaruna, a native of the Netherlands, had been back home for the past two weeks for spring break which put his recruitment on the backburner some.
While he has not set visit dates, Creighton, Kansas and Miami are three of those that he is expected to visit. Enaruna told Rivals.com that he wants to get by the next few weeks in seeing how certain rosters shake out and which coaches go where before solidifying his visits. Expect for other suitors to enter the picture with visits beginning by the end of the month and a decision likely to come in May.
Indiana Hoosiers: with the transfer of Clifton Moore, one scholarship is available next year (two available if Romeo goes pro). What is the word on who lands in Bloomington?— aluke (@aluke_) March 31, 2019
Indiana wants to add another guard and a skilled big man this spring, whether that comes via the transfer wire or from the high school ranks. With the latter in mind, the Hoosiers have continued to recruit Trendon Watford, a five-star forward from Alabama and the younger brother of former IU standout Christian Watford. Indiana made his final list but I would not bet on the Hoosiers landing him. They do have a decent chance with Harlond Beverly, a four-star guard, that took an unofficial visit to Bloomington last month. Baylor, Georgia, Miami, Michigan State and Xavier are a just few others involved.
On the transfer front, keep an eye on Joey Brunk. The former Butler big man would take care of a number of their needs down low and while he might not be the skilled, versatile forward that they might be looking for, he does provide for major toughness and interior production that Archie Miller would love to have.
Will Mississippi state be any good next year— MAKO (@MPCBulldawgs) March 31, 2019
I don’t see why Mississippi State wouldn’t be any good and really, on paper, should have the chance to compete for a top-four finish in a loaded SEC. The talent in recent years has never been much of a hold-up and it shouldn’t be next season, either. The Bulldogs will lose their leading scorer, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and an ultra-versatile forward in Aric Holman, each to graduation, but if everyone else does return, there is enough in the cupboard that should enable for the Bulldogs to win close to 25 games.
This offseason should make for a giant leap forward with Reggie Perry and Robert Woodard. If Nick Weatherspoon can remain on the floor, along with a solid infusion of talent that their 2019 class will bring, the second week of the NCAA Tournament is possible next March.