Kentucky vs Memphis Headlines 6 Burning Recruiting Questions For August

The July live period is over but recruiting continues to heat up like the weather as players in the class of 2019 cut their lists, take unofficial visits, and plan their officials.

Here are six burning questions for the first week of August:

1. Can Memphis beat out Kentucky in the James Wiseman Sweepstakes?

The 7-footer from Memphis East High School is the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2019 and recently cut his list to eight schools: Arizona, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, Texas, and Vanderbilt. But no one in the industry realistically thinks Wiseman will land anywhere but Kentucky or Memphis.

Memphis appears to be the next destination for class of 2019 wing D.J. Jeffries, who recently decommitted from Kentucky. If coach Penny Hardaway was able to wrest both Jeffries and Wiseman away from Big Blue Nation, it would send shockwaves through the college basketball world.

Wiseman broke down the two schools for PrepCircuit.com and has good reasons to choose both.

“Coach [John] Calipari helps a lot of NBA players that have [gone] through their program," Wiseman said. "Anthony Davis is my favorite NBA player and he went there. Then you have DeMarcus Cousins and a lot more great players who play in the league today. I think coach Calipari has great connections such as getting his players to the NBA. I have a very strong relationship with coach Calipari.”

As for Memphis, he said: “First of all coach Hardaway is one of my favorite mentors and one of my favorite coaches ever. He’s such a great coach and has taught me a lot when he was my high school coach. I have a feeling that if I were to go to Memphis that I would be the face of the program, but at the same time I would be able to recruit other players from this area and help make a great team.”

2. Can Kentucky land three class of 2019 recruits before Duke gets one?

For the last three years, Duke has landed the No. 1-ranked recruiting class ahead of Kentucky, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. The last time Kentucky had the No. 1 class was 2015.

Last year, of course, Duke wowed the basketball world by landing R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Cam Reddish — who at one point were ranked as the top three players in the class of 2018. Duke also landed point guard Tre Jones and later added reclassified forward Joey Baker for its own "Fab Five."

As we sit here in early August 2018, though, Kentucky already has two commits in the class of 2019 in point guard Tyrese Maxey, and wing Dontaie Allen (following the Jeffries' decommitment) who is ranked No. 7 by 247Sports. The Wildcats could land a third commit as early as this week or next in Roselle (NJ) Catholic wing Kahlil Whitney, who took an official there last weekend and told ZAGSBLOG he has no other visits planned at the moment.

As usual, Duke remains involved for a slew of five-star products, including guards Cole Anthony, Nico Mannion, and Josiah James, wings like Bryan Antoine and Matthew Hurt and bigs like Isaiah Stewart, Vern Carey, and Armando Bacot. But the Blue Devils have yet to land their first commit for 2019.

3. What's going on with Cole Anthony's recruitment?

The 6-2 Anthony is the top-ranked point guard in the class of 2019 and recently made news by announcing his transfer to famed Oak Hill Academy (VA) from Archbishop Molloy (NY). Anthony has long said that he will wait until the spring of 2019 before making a college decision, so this process figures to last into April or even May.

While at the Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp, Anthony took unofficial visits to Wake Forest and North Carolina. Wake coach Danny Manning and UNC coach Roy Williams, as well as Oregon's Dana Altman, tracked Anthony throughout the July live period. He figures to take more visits as the summer progresses.

It will be interesting to see which programs involved in his recruitment take point guards in the fall. If, for example, Duke or Villanova lands a floor general in November, you can probably cross those schools off the list for Anthony. Schools that don't land a point guard in November and are still looking to hand someone the reins in April figure to be strong options for Anthony, the son of former NBA point guard and current analyst Greg Anthony.

4. Who will make Isaiah Stewart's final five?

The 6-9 big man from La Lumiere (IN) and the Albany City Rocks took an unofficial visit to Georgetown over the weekend in which coach Patrick Ewing stressed that he wanted to have the same type of bond with Stewart that former Georgetown coach John Thompson enjoyed with Ewing.

Stewart recently trimmed his list to 10 schools — Georgetown, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Villanova, Duke, Michigan State, Indiana, Texas, Louisville, and Washington — but plans on cutting that in half as early as this week.

“Yeah, I’m planning on doing that,” he told ZAGSBLOG Monday. “Hopefully, soon. I just have to talk it over one more time with my family and my coach. I plan on talking (to) my family and coaches sometime this week and seeing where it goes from there.”

5. Can UCLA and USC continue their early success?

At this stage of the summer, it's not Kentucky and Duke atop the 247 Composite Rankings, but rather a pair of Pac-12 schools.

USC has a four-man class ranked No. 1 that features center Onyeka Okongwu, power forward Isaiah Mobley, small forward Max Agbonkpolo, and shooting guard Drake London.

UCLA has a three-man group in small forward Jaime Jaquez, shooting guard Grant Sherfield, and shooting guard Jake Kyman.

Coach Andy Enfield's club remains in the mix for a slew of high-major prospects, most notably guards Nico Mannion and Cassius Stanley, and could add to his haul.

UCLA, meantime, hosts five-star Texas big man Will Baker on Thursday for an unofficial visit, and Steve Alford's program remains in the mix for big names like Mannion, Stanley, Josh Green, Precious Achiuwa, Matthew Hurt, and Keion Brooks, among others.

6. Will Villanova finally land some one-and-done prospects?

This is a bit of a trick question, as we won't really know the answer until the 2020 NBA Draft. Still, Villanova has won two of the last three NCAA championships without a single one-and-done player. Coach Jay Wright's program did send four players to this year's NBA Draft, but they had all been on campus for several years.

In the class of 2019, Villanova is involved for elite prospects like Anthony, Mannion, Stewart, Green, Bryan Antoine, Scottie Lewis, and others. According to at least one NBA Mock Draft for 2020, Anthony, Lewis, Antoine, and Green are all projected top-10 picks, meaning Villanova might finally change its culture by adding at least one-and-done prospect.


Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who runs ZAGSBLOG.com and contributes to The New York Times. Follow Adam on Twitter.

Defense Attorneys In Adidas Trial Say Nike, Under Armour Paying Players Too

NEW YORK — The fact that much of the focus in the Adidas college basketball trial has centered on Adidas schools should come as no surprise.

EuroLeague Home-Court Advantage: Panathinaikos & Olympiacos Lead The Way

Fall Is For Basketball

Whether it’s due to the roaring of the crowd, reduced travel time, or shooting on familiar rims, home court advantage has always been said to play a major role in sports. There’s a reason teams in the NBA fight all season long to try and get a high seed and the home-court advantage that comes with it. But how much does a team playing at home matter in Europe? As the EuroLeague 2018-19 season gets geared up to start later this week, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at the 2017-18 season to see which teams performed most differently at home vs on the road.

The Euro Step: Mike James Is Cool, & Other EuroLeague Round 1 Notes

Fall Is For Basketball

It was a lopsided week overall, with six of the eight games decided by double-digits. Sergio Llull and the defending champs Real Madrid dropped 109 on Darussafaka, while fellow title contenders CSKA, Fenerbahce, and Olympiacos rolled to 20-plus point wins.

10 Things You Need To Know About The Adidas Basketball Trial

NEW YORK — I've been embedded in the Adidas college basketball bribery trial — aka "U.S. vs. Gatto" — for the last two weeks, covering the proceedings for a number of newspapers and outlets nationwide.

The Kerfuffle, Ep. 3: Kevin Garnett In Iowa, The 76ers, & The NBA Beginning

After months and months of pretending that we care about baseball and football and soccer, we no longer have to pretend: The NBA is here. (As well as the EuroLeague, by the way, and we mean literally right here on FloHoops.)

EuroLeague 2018-19 Awards Predictions: Kyle Hines Goes For The 3-Peat On D

With the EuroLeague season tipping off this Thursday, it’s time to bust out the crystal ball.

The Los Angeles Lakers Will Never Be Boring

Duh. 

How NCAA & EuroLeague Statistics Translate To The NBA, & What We Can Learn

A few weeks ago, we took a look at how well EuroLeague stats translated to the NBA, finding there to be a surprisingly strong relationship between success in the EuroLeague and success in the NBA across a player’s first two seasons. This was particularly the case with stats like three-point shooting, field goal percentage, rebounding, and block rates. Today, we will take a look at those prospects’ NCAA counterparts to compare how well stats in college translate to success in the NBA. 

Arizona, USC & Schools Linked To FBI Probe Are Thriving On Recruiting Trail

La Lumiere's Brian Bowen Basking In Big Wins, Heavy Recruitment

Take one look at the recruiting rankings for the class of 2019 and you might be a little surprised.

Triple Crown Sports, FloSports Partner To Live Stream Youth, College Events

FORT COLLINS, CO – Today, Triple Crown Sports announced a partnership with FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, to provide live and on-demand coverage of multiple TCS events in youth fastpitch and college softball on FloSoftball.com, as well as men’s and women’s college basketball on FloHoops.com.