Nike/Jon Lopez @NikeEYB
Cameron Reddish committed to Duke on Friday, again giving Coach K and his squad another skilled, ultra-talented and versatile wing that has come to excel in Durham. While we can talk on end about Reddish’s fit for the Blue Devils, we instead divulge into what his four finalists do next.
STING FACTOR: 6
While Kentucky was heavily in the mix for Reddish and, at one point in time, believed to be in the lead, the sting in missing on the five-star wing is not as bad as one would think. This weekend, Kentucky will host its top wing recruit and the No. 1 player in 2018, RJ Barrett. If it misses on Barrett, the sting will be much higher. Kentucky will need to replace possible early departures such as Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo and Jarred Vanderbilt next spring. Reddish would have been the perfect replacement for any of the three, but UK has been more about Barrett, along with Zion Williamson and Immanuel Quickley, this summer. Kentucky did miss on Reddish, though it is more of a paper cut than a deep wound.
STING FACTOR: 4
UCLA had the smallest chances of landing Reddish and just making his final five was a win. UCLA sure would have liked to have thrown the east coast prospect into its lineup next year, where he would have been an excellent fit in the more high-tempo system that Steve Alford has deployed in Westwood. The Bruins could lose Kris Wilkes, an enrolled freshman and former McDonald’s All-American, to the NBA next spring.
However, UCLA did not exhaust a ton of effort with Reddish but rather dispersed more of its recruiting attention with Zion Williamson, Jules Bernard and Jaedon LeDee. It should also be noted that the Bruins could already have a high-upside but late developing wing with Chris Smith, an incoming freshman that was originally a member of the 2018 class before reclassifying into the 2017 class in the spring.
Connecticut would absolutely have loved Reddish and with the likely early departure of Terry Larrier to the NBA after his redshirt junior campaign, the Philadelphia native would have been the ideal fill-in for the one-time VCU transfer. The Huskies had set up an official visit date with Reddish for next weekend, yet they didn’t exhaust a ton of energy in recruiting the top-five prospect. They understood their chances of landing Reddish were minimal compared to Duke and Kentucky and instead, focused more of their time in the backcourt. They remain heavily in contention for Jalen Carey, a top-50 guard finishing up his official visit to campus today, James Akinjo and Andrew Nembhard. They do need to fill the role that Reddish would have, but thanks to the recent transfer of St. John’s freshman wing Sidney Wilson, the Huskies may be on solid ground with filling a major need this fall.
This one stings Villanova the most, not because they will struggle to fill the position that was meant for Reddish, but rather because of how much it had invested into recruiting him since his freshman season. The Wildcats do boast two top-60 prospects coming in the form of Brandon Slater, a silky smooth and athletic wing, and Cole Swider, a versatile combo forward that can be relied upon early for his shooting. Adding Reddish to the mix would have created for one of the best wing corps that has been assembled within recent years, especially by a Big East member.
Jay Wright may end up losing Mikal Bridges a year early as he is likely a first-round pick in next year’s NBA Draft, but with 2017 top-50 wing Jermaine Samuels enrolling this fall and Slater and Swider in tow, reinforcements are on their way. Showcasing a homegrown talent and defeating a handful of blueblood programs would have been nice, yet Reddish’s commitment would have been more of a gift than a dire necessity.