Conference Call: Six programs in need of a big spring

Corey Evans, Basketball Analyst
Rivals Basketball Recruiting
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adidas Basketball

The spring evaluation period kicks off Friday evening as coaching staffs will be scattered nationwide evaluating some of their top recruits. Which programs need to have a really good spring to get their programs back in order?

RELATED: Predictions on top 2018 players

ACC - Clemson

Small forward

5 STARS


Spartanburg

RR:

Ht: 6'6.0"

Wt: 230.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



The heat is on in Clemson as Brad Brownell is entering a make-or-break campaign. While Clemson is not a premier college basketball job, it is located within an underrated state for talent, boasts a recently renovated Littlejohn Arena and can use the heightened attention the school has received from its football counterparts appropriately.

After losing its star forward Jaron Blossomgame to graduation and maneuvering his staff around, Brownell needs to have a big spring. The elephant in the room remains Zion Williamson, the most talked about high school prospect in the social media era. The five-star junior’s stepfather played at Clemson, Williamson lives just an hour’s drive from campus and the idea of playing close to home rings true. Asking the Tigers to peel Williamson away from bluebloods Kentucky, UNC and Duke is a difficult task, but it is one that might need to be done for Brownell to hold onto his job.

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BIG EAST - Georgetown

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AP

The Hoyas have just not gotten it done, both on the hardwood and on the recruiting trail, in recent years. It is because of this downward trajectory that the proper people on the Hilltop were forced to remove John Thompson III from his post as the head coach of the program and name Patrick Ewing as its new CEO.

Taking the reins of the program with no college coaching background, Ewing needs to hit the ground running this spring. He must first put together a sparkling staff, one that can help him navigate the murky waters of the DMV and beyond, where he can then go out and sign the proper pieces that place the program back into the national spotlight. The area is swimming with talent as juniors Jalen Smith, Brandon Slater, Prentiss Hubb, Noah Locke, Brendan Adams and Kiyon Boyd are all players that Georgetown needs to be involved with. That starts this spring.

BIG TEN - Indiana

Shooting guard

5 STARS


New Albany

RR:

Ht: 6'4.0"

Wt: 185.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



One of most ravenous fan bases has welcomed in a new head coach this spring as Archie Miller replaced Tom Crean at Indiana. The former Dayton head coach will be asked to place the IU basketball program back amongst the elite and the primary way of doing so is closing down the borders and keeping the very best at home for their college basketball playing careers.

Crean had done an okay job in the past, but after striking out on the top four Indiana natives from the 2017 class, Miller must reverse recent misfortunes and put an end to the dismay of the Hoosier faithful. He will immediately be thrown into the fire as the state boasts five-star swingman Romeo Langford. The best perimeter prospect in the 2018 class, the New Albany High star could practically go wherever he wants. Miller must show that staying home is his best option, thus getting a giant win before he ever coaches a game in Assembly Hall.

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BIG 12 - Oklahoma State

Point guard

4 STARS


Midwest City

RR:

Ht: 6'2.0"

Wt: 180.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Oklahoma State decided to keep things within the family by bumping up Mike Boynton into the head coaching spot in Stillwater. After losing his star backcourt tandem, Jawun Evans and Phil Forte, Boynton needs to hit it out of the park on the recruiting trail. He has already won the first month on the job in keeping Zack Dawson, an original signee to OK State, in tow, along with landing highly prioritized transfer guard Michael Weathers. The next step is putting together a strong 2018 class, which is deeply needed. OSU has been active in Florida in recent weeks, but nailing down a few local targets including Jamal Bieniemy, Kyler Edwards, Keyshawn Embery, Jordan Phillips and Brock Cunningham is a must.

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PAC-12: California

Power forward

5 STARS


Roseville

RR:

Ht: 6'10.0"

Wt: 190.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Wyking Jones received his first head coaching gig this spring, a position that he will be under heavy scrutiny early on. No one is expecting the Golden Bears to compete with UCLA and Arizona for the elite, but every now and again, they must land a prized recruit while surrounding him with the proper parts.

That prize in 2018 is big man Jordan Brown. The top five power forward has been on Cal’s radar for a few years now and by tabbing Jones as the new head coach, Cal is hoping that the standing relationship with the skilled center wins out. Jones also rounded out his staff with the hiring of Chris Walker, an assistant with giant ties to the loaded state of Texas. The hiring needs to pay off and if Cal cannot nab a few from the Lone Star State, the program may become a middling one within an up-and-coming Pac-12 conference.

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SEC - Missouri

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Nike

The work that Cuonzo Martin has done since taking over in Columbia is nothing short of impressive. Hiring Michael Porter Jr.’s father as an assistant led to the nation’s No. 1 player signing with Missouri.

However, Porter Jr. will likely be training for the NBA Draft this time next year and the honeymoon stage of the Martin era will have worn out. Signing a highly ranked 2018 class is of the utmost importance where, while there is much optimism reverberating out of the SEC program, let’s not forget that Mizzou finished in last place within the league last season. Martin and his staff need to land a variety of talent from across the board and make the proper in-roads to the top local talent. Junior targets must include Ayo Dosunmu, Torrence Watson, and of course, Porter’s younger brother Jontay Porter, as this spring is especially vital to the long-term success of Martin’s tenure at Missouri.

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