By Mychal Hunter
The level of available prep basketball player varies from year to year, that is no big secret. Regardless of the year however, there are always tiers. Once again, the ACC is loading up on the top tier players in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
In the last few days a trio of top 30 recruits have announced their intentions to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The true conference of champions. Duke added forward Matthew Hurt last Friday and shooting guard Cassius Stanley yesterday. Just a couple hours ago North Carolina secured the commitment of the best point guard in the 2019 class, Cole Anthony. Cole is the son of former UNLV legend and New York Knick, Greg Anthony.
That trio makes six of the top 30 recruits in the country heading to the ACC, all of which are heading to tobacco road.
If you look at the top 100, there are 20 players on the list heading into the ACC with Louisville, Virginia, Florida State, Miami and North Carolina State all holding the commitments of multiple top 100 players.
The blue blood arms race is also far from over. Virginia Tech is still trying to fill out their roster after the mass exodus caused by Buzz Williams’s departure. They are no doubt still chasing the de-committed Anthony Harris, who just took an official visit to Chapel Hill. Harris also committed to Virginia Tech originally after officially visiting Duke. I think it is safe to assume all three schools are still in play (VT still leads the crystal ball). Harris also officially visited Wake Forest in September of 2018 and he is originally from Virginia so it would make sense if the Cavs got involved given their current roster as well.
Precious Achiuwa, a 6’9 wing forward from Montverde Academy in Florida is also still out there. He is currently on an official visit to Memphis and is also a Tar Heel target. He visited Chapel Hill officially back in March.
The Miami Hurricanes have quietly put together a tremendous class for the 2019 cycle. After not signing a prep player in the 2018 cycle, Coach Jim Larranaga is bringing in top 100 guards Isaiah Wong and Harlond Beverly. In order to address last years issue of quality depth, the ‘Canes are bringing in Anthony Walker, a 6’8 power forward from powerhouse Brewster Academy and graduate transfer Keith Stone. They will host 6’9 forward Tristan Enaruna tomorrow for an official visit. Enaruna recently cut his list to three. Miami, Creighton and Kansas.
Another name to keep tabs on is Charleston Southern graduate transfer Christian Keeling. An immediately eligible wing, Keeling scored over 1600 points during his three years in the Big South conference and has visited Georgia Tech and Clemson. He has also reportedly sat down with UNC head coach Roy Williams. I believe Purdue has been mentioned as being in the mix as well.
Kerry Blackshear Jr is transferring from Virginia Tech, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see him next season. Blackshear hosted Kentucky in recent days and will almost certainly be a target of North Carolina and both Florida schools.
Hot stove college basketball is upon us, and while the 2019 class doesn’t hold the same prestige as the 2018 or 2017 classes, the ACC is still hauling plenty of big fish into the boat.