With the Class of 2017 enrolled in classes right now (even Mitchell Robinson...I think), it’s time to turn to the top targets in the 2018 recruiting class.
ESPN has its top 100 prospects set for next year, and while there are certainly other scouting services out there, ESPN is pretty popular and easy to track. The Worldwide Leader provides consistent updates and course-corrections as players’ stocks rise and fall. For now, there are three top 100 recruits committed to mid-major schools:
No. 67 Cart’Are Gordon, F, Saint Louis
Credit to Travis Ford for keeping the local product at home, despite interest from Missouri and Kansas. At 6’8, 257 pounds, Gordon is a truck inside and should be an immediate factor in the Atlantic 10. At first, his production will be felt more heavily on the defensive end, but his voracious rebounding ability means he will have a chance to contribute offensively, keeping possessions alive and creating extra chances. Gordon is another top-level recruit that Ford has convinced to come aboard during a daunting rebuilding process.
No. 74 A.J. Green, G, Northern Iowa
Green is listed as a point guard, but he can shoot the lights out and may be just as valuable off the ball. As a shooter, he is disciplined, creative, and accurate. As a point guard, he can drive, pass, and set up. While Big Ten schools like Minnesota and Nebraska pursued him, Green opted for the Missouri Valley, where the competition is suddenly wide open after Wichita State’s departure. It helps that Green’s father, Kyle, is an assistant for Ben Jacobson, but regardless, the MVC is getting an impact player in the backcourt.
No. 99 Jaelin Llewellyn, G, Princeton
We talked about Llewellyn a little while ago, and not much has changed since then: He remains really, really good for an Ivy League commit. He is a true point guard who, in typical Ivy League fashion, seems to have a strong knowledge of and discipline for the game. If the Tigers run into trouble, Llewellyn can also make things happen himself, shooting above 40 percent from three and getting into the lane with ease. Harvard is usually the school that pulls in lower-end top 100 guys, and if Princeton is going to start doing the same consistently, the entire Ivy League will be elevated.
Other realistic targets for mid-major schools:
No. 30 Jordan Brown, C: Considering Gonzaga, Louisiana, Nevada
No. 46 Andrew Nembhard, G: Considering Gonzaga
No. 60 Devonaire Doutrive, G: Considering UNLV, UTEP
No. 85 Jermaine Harris, C: Considering Rhode Island, Southern Utah