The class of 2021 is exciting and probably will be the most impacted class due to COVID-19. “There’s no spring, so you’re missing out on the spring evaluation period, and that’s often times a couple weeks where high school prospects really emerge.” Said Evan Daniels. Today we are looking at where the Top Recruits of 2021 are going.
Chet Holmgren (C)
The number 1 recruit according to ESPN, stands at 7 feet,190 lbs. He is a very athletic player with height and a wingspan; however, the only flaw is his lack of strength. One of his more outstanding performances comes against Bronny James and Sierra Canyon. On January 4th,2020, Holmgren finished with 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 blocks in a win over Sierra Canyon. He seems more of a defensive threat on the court and could be a good fit on the Memphis roster with Penny Hardaway. He told Evan Daniels that he felt a connection with Penny Hardaway and they clicked right away.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. (PF)
He is the 2nd ranked player in the ESPN Top 100. Although he is a forward, he has the ability to shoot at longer ranges. Baldwin has been able to move better off of the dribble and gaining more control of the ball. Since his dad was a basketball coach too, he has a broader IQ of basketball and the ability to make highlight plays. Duke has been keeping an eye on Baldwin since middle school. Coach K finds him to the the “perfect recruit”. Baldwin’s response, “It is just a really good program and a really good situation that I think, down the line, I could see myself in”.
Paolo Banchero (C)
Ranked 3rd, Banchero is 6-8, 230 lbs. Averaging 22.7 PPG in his junior year, Kentucky has had their eyes on him since his Sophomore season. Banchero is a very physical Forward that has a very competitive nature. He is a very consistent shooter with the ability to shoot off of the dribble and is most efficient in the midrange. Due to COVID-19, another school to keep an eye on his Washington. In his home state, Banchero will be able to stay closer to home, “But now [those things have happened, and] it’s just the next stage [in the recruitment].” said Mario Banchero, Paolo’s father.
Jaden Hardy just put up 62 POINTS 😳 @JadenHardy1 pic.twitter.com/Swvsyv46Yj
— Overtime (@overtime) January 20, 2020
Jaden Hardy (SG)
The number 4 ranked player stands at 6-4, 185 lbs. Hardy is one of the best shooters in the 2021 class. Dropping 62 points, Hardy has proved he can continue to smore with multiple defenders on him. As a two way guard he can really move around defenders and create space for himself. The Kentucky Wildcats seem to be a good fit for him. Head Coach, John Calipari made a big first impression and in an interview Hardy said, “They are known for getting guys to the league and Coach Cal, he pushes you and he just wants the best for his players.”
Jabari Smith (PF)
Smith is the 5th ranked player and is 6-8, 190 lbs. He was a big help in the U16 USA team averaging 13.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG. Defensively, Smith can move quickly and is able to switch to lanes and help on the weak side. Smith’s long arms help him rebound the ball which is a big part of his game. Smith can time his blocks well which is important for him, so he won’t foul out. A good fit for him will be Florida State, a team that focuses mostly on players that can rebound and defend the ball.
Michael Foster (PF)
Standing at 6-9, 220 lbs, Foster is number 5 in the 2021 class. Last season, Foster averaged 26 PPG, 13 RPG, and 3 BPG. He can perform on both ends of the courts being able to efficiently score off of the dribble and in the post as well. What stands out is his ability to be physical in the post. Foster has an array of post moves that help him score, and he has the ability to defend the ball on the perimeter and on the block. Instead of reclassifying to the 2020 class, Foster decided to stay at Hillcrest Prep another year, “I’ve got other goals that I want to accomplish with GEICO Nationals and individual goals so I’m not going to be moving up to 2020.” Georgia seems to be the way Foster is leaning after the end of the season. His build and passion for the sport will go well with what the Bulldogs have planned.
Moussa Diabette (PF)
The French native is ranked 6th and is 6-10, 200 lbs. He has been offered to many schools around his hometown in Florida; however, Texas Tech has made the biggest push for him. During the U18 tournament with France, he put up 11 PPG. He is a lengthy Forward that can explode to anywhere on the court. He can drive down the lane and is able to make baskets even with contact. Diabetes’s very long arms helps him block shots better than anyone in the class.
Nathan Bittle ‘21 (Crater, OR) went OFF last night for a triple-double with 32 PTS, 12 REB, & 11 BLK. 😤 @Nathanbittle33 #ALLIN #WCEUA #WestCoastElite pic.twitter.com/LNsBT6Kufb
— West Coast Elite (@wceua) December 16, 2019
Nathan Bittle (C)
Bittle is an Oregon native and ranked 7th nationally. He is 6-11, 173 lbs. What is most impressive was his statline from last season, 25 PPG, 10 RPG, and 6 BPG. He is a defensive threat that has the ability to shoot the ball at a high level; that is rare in most Centers nowadays. In an interview he said that Oregon talks to him and his family everyday. The Ducks seem like a good fit for him and the coaching staff felt a good connection with him.
AJ Griffin (SF)
The number 9 recruit has already verbally committed to Duke, “I picked Duke because when I went on the visit and just before that when they came to visit me on the first day they showed me that I’m their number one priority and I meant a lot to them.” The 6-6 195 lbs forward will fit right in the Duke system with Coach K. He has the ability to guard three different positions and is an elite shooter. One moral The Brotherhood focuses on is passion; Griffin has not been afraid of the ball and always makes hustle plays on the court.
Aminu Mohammed (SG)
To round out the Top 10 of 2021, Mohammed is 6-3, 190 lbs. During his sophomore year, he averaged 34 PPG and 17 RPG. Indiana has played an important role for Mohammed, “He (Miller) thinks that if they can add Aminu to go along with (2021 point guard commit) Khristian Lander, he thinks that would be one of the most talented backcourts in the country,” Mohammed’s guardian Shawn Harmon said. What Indiana is doing is showing how Mohammed will fit in their system as a guard. His ball handling skills for a guard is there, but what is more impressive is at his height he can rebound the ball. Not a lot of Guards in the 2021 class can rebound like Mohammed can; he is a very rare talent and will help Indiana out a lot more.
The class of 2021 has a lot of talent; no one knows what the future hold, but one thing is for sure is that these names will be talked about a lot more this year.