Credit: USA Basketball

Friday News and Notes

Breaking down the latest news around college basketball, recruiting, and the NBA

2020 five star recruit Isaiah Todd committed to Michigan. Todd is a rare breed at 6’10” with the skills to make plays from the wing as a ball handler, as well as score down low with solid post moves. He can shoot the ball well from behind the three point line and in the mid range, but there are questions about his toughness and motor which are always difficult to determine when he has been able to dominate at the high school level thus far. He will be taught by an NBA veteran in Juwan Howard in what will likely be his only season in college, and that should help his development on both ends of the floor. Locking down the commitment of Todd was big for Howard in his first year at Michigan, and it will be the a litmus test for future recruiting as to how well he can prepare a player to be selected high in the draft and be ready for the professional game. Todd is ranked #10 by Rivals, #14 by 247 Sports, and #7 by ESPN.

2021 five star Devin Askew is headed to Kentucky, with the possibility that he will reclassify into the class of 2020. The early commitment suggests that there is a real chance he will be moving up classes, but whenever he arrives on campus the Wildcats are getting a play maker. At 6’3″ he is most effective with the ball in his hands making scoring plays and distributing to teammates, but he can play off of the ball as well due to his shooting ability. His shooting skills are some of the best in the recruiting class, and he is threat to knock down a shot with deep range or get by a defender to make a play inside. His defense will need some coaching up and John Calipari is one of the best in the game at developing players on that end of the floor. Askew is ranked #9 by Rivals, #13 by 247 Sports, and #12 by ESPN.

Currently a member of the 2020 recruiting class, Makur Maker is petitioning the league to be eligible for the 2020 draft. He will meet the criteria for being a year removed from his original high school class, so there is a good chance that he will be included in the 2020 draft rather than head to college. If he goes that route it is a virtual lock that he would be drafted, although unclear how high at this point, but Maker has a versatile skill set to go with his 7’0″ frame that make him an interesting prospect. Shooting the ball and making plays from the perimeter are things that he has been able to do on the high school and AAU level, but he is not the quickest player on the floor so that ability would be somewhat hindered on the professional level. On the defensive side of the floor shot blocking is an area he can excel and despite not being the quickest big man his mobility is solid when you consider his size. Maker is ranked #8 by Rivals, #5 by 247 Sports, and #10 by ESPN.

Rashan Michel who was charged in connection to the college basketball scandal from two years ago will not go to prison after being ordered to forfeit $24,000. He was charged with and pleaded guilty to pushing bribes from a financial adviser to Auburn assistant Chuck Pearson with the intention of attempting to steer Auburn players towards the adviser for money management as their professional careers began.

In an unsurprising move, China has denied previous statements by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that the government pressured the league to fire Daryl Morey due to his tweet expressing support to the protesters in Hong Kong. At this point Silver and other executives most likely want this story to be out of the headlines, but with news coming out every day that give more insight into the situation, it does not appear that will be happening.

Fans who were looking forward to the first RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson match-up will be disappointed with the news that Williamson will be sitting out the game with a sore right knee. The long term viability of his size and athleticism is one of the areas of his game that has been questioned, so hopefully for his sake and for the teams this is just a minor thing that will need some rest to heal. Williamson has been dominating in the preseason bringing more hype to his already crowded bandwagon, while Barrett has been putting up numbers but he has struggled to shoot the ball efficiently which was the biggest question in his skill set entering the season.

Grand Canyon picked up a commitment from 2020 three star guard Chance McMillian. He is a 6’2″ point guard with bounce that has plenty of highlight dunks to go with a strong ability to handle the basketball. His shooting from the outside will be the major part of his game that needs work, but he has a strong ability to make plays with the ball in his hands and when put with his athleticism, it makes him a solid pick up for the Grand Canyon program who is always looking for potential recruiting steals. Mcmillian is not ranked by ESPN or Rivals while he is a three star ranked #225 by 247 Sports.

Javonte Johnson will be headed to New Mexico in the recruiting class of 2020. Johnson is a shooting guard or small forward depending on the lineup who has a skill set that is well rounded offensively to go with solid athleticism. At times he can struggle against quicker players on the wing, and he will need to improve in that area, but he can make plays with the ball in his hands and he has shown that when his shot is on he can be effective from the wing. He is an unranked three star by Rivals, 247 Sports has him at #133, and ESPN does not have him ranked.

Wisconsin has appealed the NCAA’s decision regarding the eligibility of Ohio State transfer Micah Potter. He was originally told he would have to sit out until December, and it is unclear at this time whether or not his appeal will gain any traction going forward.

Chris Clemons has had his Exhibit 10 contract converted to a two-way deal meaning that he can spend up to 45 days with the Rockets while the rest of his playing time will come at the G League level. Clemons is expected to make the opening night roster so there is a chance that he will play his way into a standard contract, which Houston did with Gary Clark last season. Clemons is a prolific scorer who can really fill it up from deep range shots to making plays around the basket despite his 5’9″ size thanks to some impressive vertical leaping ability. With the injury to Gerald Green there is a shot that he can stick around given the chance to show what he can do, but due to his size he can also be a liability on the defensive end of the floor.

Loul Deng announced his retirement and signed with the Chicago Bulls so that he was able to retire under contract with the team that he spent the majority of his NBA career playing for. Deng played 22 games last season with the Timberwolves which was his 15th season overall where he posted career averages of 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 34.3 minutes per game.

NBA Transactions from October 17th:

• Washington re-signed Bradley Beal and waived Dikembe Dixson

• Chicago waived Perrion Callandret

• Detroit waived Todd Withers

• Houston waived Jaron Blossomgame and Michael Frazier

• Los Angeles (Lakers) waived Reggie Hearn

• Memphis waived Jarrod Uthoff

• Oklahoma City waived DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Abdul Gaddy, Eric Moreland, and Myke Henry

• Utah waived Kyle Collinsworth and Juwan Morgan

 

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