After signing Kenny Wooten Jr. and Elijah Brown in one week, Oregon head coach Dana Altman is not done yet. The deadline for high school recruits to commit to their 2107 destination is May 17. Oregon has a little over two weeks to secure more top talent.
Since the season ended, I’ve been writing about my favorite talent still available for the 2017 college basketball season. I’ve offered my opinion, alongside providing you insight to Oregon’s head coach. The time for talk is over, it’s signing time. Here is Oregon’s Big Board:
1. BRANDON MCCOY (SIGNED - UNLV)
The No. 6 prospect in high school basketball was the most-coveted player on my list. He has arguably the best low post game entering college. The Chicago product will dominate in the Mountain West Conference. McCoy was a force in both the 2017 McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. Oregon, Michigan State and Arizona were in the final running for his talent, but the Runnin’ Rebels won big.
2. ELIJAH BROWN (SIGNED - OREGON)
It’s not often someone entering their senior season is considered a “recruit,” but Brown was just that. He was the best transfer on the market, prior to his decision. After transferring from Butler following his freshman year, the 6-foot-4 combo guard moved onto New Mexico for his breakout.
In two years with the Lobos, Brown averaged 20.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.1 APG and 1.2 SPG. The 3-point percentage (36) and his 44 percent from the field may scare some, but they don’t realize how many times he was forced to take shots at New Mexico. Brown was their go-to scorer and at times during the season, their only consistent player. His numbers will be more efficient with a loaded Duck roster, alongside real facilitators like Troy Brown Jr. and Payton Pritchard.
His game and situation both remind me of Dylan Ennis. Like the Canadian, UO will be Brown’s third and final college destination.
3. Brian Bowen
There is nobody I covet more than Bowen on the free market right now. With McCoy and Brown signed, sealed and delivered; Bowen is the best high school player available, in my opinion. He is considering a ton of schools, dropped it to five, but Michigan State, Arizona and Creighton remain the three frontrunners. He said publicly he would decide “100 percent by the end of April,” but this is a heavy decision. He needs more time.
Oregon is definitely making a late push for him, but it could be useless. MSU head coach Tom Izzo has been recruiting Bowen since he was a child. His cousin and former NBA player, Jason Richardson played and delivered for Izzo. The Spartans are loaded and so is Arizona. The Ducks are getting there, especially late, but Bowen could be a key contributor and starter if he were to choose Oregon. Minutes are meaningful.
4. Mohamed Bamba
Kentucky are the frontrunners for this monster. Some media outlets had the audacity to rank this recruit as a perfect 100. Others have him as a composite 99 recruit. Regardless, whoever nabs him will possess a beast in college basketball. Duke and Texas are battling with the Wildcats for the next big thing.
5. Kevin Knox
The Tampa product has received offers from everyone, including the blue bloods like Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas and Villanova. Arizona is also in the mix, alongside Florida State and Alabama. Knox is a composite 95 player, ranked as the No. 9 overall player in the 2017 recruiting class. Duke has the lead for him, with UNC and UK trailing.
6. Trevon Duval
Duval is the No. 5 overall prospect in the 2017 recruiting class. He is a 6-foot-3 combo guard from Delaware. The IMG Academy standout is currently weighing offers from Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Kansas and Seton Hall. Projections have him heading to Durham, North Carolina but don’t be surprised by a decision for Arizona.
7. Jordan Tucker
He is a 6-foot-7 athletic forward from New York. Tucker has been recruited by Syracuse for the longest of the bunch. Most expected the 95 composite to choose in favor of the Orange. He is the 40th ranked high school prospect by ESPN scouts.
Villanova, Indiana and Georgia Tech are fighting for positioning, while Oregon is rising up the ranks as we speak. A few weeks ago I mentioned Tucker as a Duck target. Today, it’s more realistic than ever before. With the signing of Kenny Wooten Jr. and Elijah Brown, Tucker could be a huge cog in the 2017-18 Duck wheel. The final piece?
8. MJ Walker
The Georgia native is looking at Virginia Tech very seriously. The 6-foot-5 guard also has offers from Georgia Tech, Florida State and Maryland to name a few. The UCLA Bruins have been mentioned with the future star. Walker officially visited UCLA on January 31, but his most recent visit was to VT on April 22.
9. Jeremiah Tilmon
After originally committing to Illinois, the big man has changed his mind. He is still undecided, but has offers from North Carolina, Michigan State and UCLA to name a few. The East St. Louis product is 6-foot-10 with explosiveness. He will be a defensive presence, alongside providing an offensive spark. At the end of the day, most have him recommitting to Illinois.
10. Tremont Waters
The last “big time” talent available in the 2017 recruiting class. After Waters, there is a slight drop-off of skill. There may be better future players ranked lower, but it will take longer to develop them than the aforementioned 10 stars. He is the No. 32 prospect overall, with a composite grade of 89 by ESPN scouts. He has offers from Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Connecticut to name a few.