Today is the final day for college basketball players to withdraw from the 2017 NBA Draft. Once Wednesday concludes, we will have a better picture of the NCAA landscape.
Some top prospects have waited to see the finalization of rosters before making their decision, namely 5-star All-American Brian Bowen. A handful of teams eagerly await his collegiate choice.
Early Wednesday morning, McDonald’s All-American M.J. Walker committed to Florida State. His commitment is a big deal for their evolving program.
Overall, Bowen has won the patience game and is the best available prospect. He will be the last top-notch prospect to make his commitment for the loaded 2017 recruiting class.
We have already seen a great deal of players return to school for next season. Some notable returnees are Deng Adel (Louisville), Grayson Allen (Duke), Andrew Jones (Texas), Mo Wagner (Michigan), Justin Jackson (Maryland), Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga) and Joel Berry II (North Carolina).
As far as the Pac-12 goes, the two best teams outside of Oregon have big names returning to the fold. Arizona has Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins coming back to Tuscon, which pretty much sealed any entrance for Bowen.
UCLA was close to losing their top seven players from 2016. However, Thomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday will return for another season at Pauley Pavilion. TJ Leaf just withdrew his name from the NBA Draft, as well. The Bruins have the No. 5 recruiting class, so their rebuild should be short-lived.
Currently, Oregon basketball is waiting for Bowen’s announcement. If he chooses Eugene, the Ducks will be done signing players until the fall.
If it does NOT go the Duck way, head coach Dana Altman will shift his focus to graduate transfer Cam Johnson from Pittsburgh. The interesting bonus about Johnson is he’s extremely intelligent. He actually graduated after three years, but still has TWO years of basketball eligibility.
Here is a look at my Transfer Rankings 2017 entering the spring:
1. Elijah Brown, Oregon (New Mexico)
2. Cam Johnson (Pitt)
3. Chase Jeter, Arizona (Duke)
After Oregon snagged the highly-coveted Brown from New Mexico, the Ducks added instant leadership, experience and scoring. The last transfer domino to fall could lend great support to a future national champion.
Ideally, Johnson wants to be a Tar Heel. However, there is one rule that would sour that choice. Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings will not allow Johnson to transfer to an ACC school UNLESS he sits out next year. That could be a deal-breaker for the elite shooter.
Either player would be a huge boost to an elite brand. We will have every development as it breaks on decision day. Stick around, it could get interesting.