Another edition of the LMBF College Basketball Update is here and there is a TON to catch up on.

Top Recruits Commit Later in Year

It seems like the days of the nation’s top hoops players committing to their school of choice in the Fall might be fading away. With the ability for players to “test the draft waters” and then return to school prior to the late May draft deadline it leaves a ton of room for roster turnover to happen. This year especially saw many of the top recruits in the country wait until May (some are still waiting) to make their decisions. Here are some notable recruits who recently committed.

#2 Mohamed Bamba – Texas

#5 Trevon Duval – Duke

#10 Kevin Knox – Kentucky

#13 Brandon McCoy – UNLV

#18 Brian Bowen – Louisville

#26 MJ Walker – Florida State

#40 Jeremiah Tilmon – Missouri

#41 Tremont Waters – LSU

Three of the top ten players in the country chose their schools within the last month! That’s unheard of but will soon become the norm in College Basketball as the NBA Draft rules become more lenient. The final top 50 recruit has just committed today, Tremont Waters to LSU.

NBA Draft Decisions

There have been some big names in the last few days decide to come back to school for another season. Here is a look at the key players who declared for the draft, but have decided to return to college basketball.

Rawle Alkins – Arizona

Alonzo Trier – Arizona

Miles Bridges – Michigan State

Hamidou Diallo – Kentucky

Svi Mykhailiuk – Kansas

Grayson Allen – Duke

Bennie Boatwright – USC

Angel Delgado – Seton Hall

Trevon Blueitt – Xavier

Moritz Wagner – Michigan

Robert Williams – Texas A&M

There is a legitimate chance that in the list above we have the entirety of the First Team All-America. Grayson Allen is going to be the premier player in the country. He returns to Duke who brings in a ton of young talent and is going to be a top 5 team preseason. Miles Bridges is another huge name that will return for his Sophomore year in East Lansing. Brides had a great season last year putting up 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks. He was the catalyst in the Spartans late season resurgence and eventual inclusion in the NCAA Tournament. The Big East also got a hell of a lot more competitive at the top with Angel Delgado and Trevon Blueitt returning for their senior seasons. Blueitt was incredible for Xavier following the season-ending knee injury to Edmond Sumner. He will be back with a very solid supporting cast, led by JP Macura. The aforementioned Delgado returns to South Orange for his final season, despite heavy rumors that he was ready to turn pro. His return catapults The Hall from a team on the outside looking in, to a consensus top 20 team this year. Delgado was the best big man in the nation not named Caleb Swanigan and led the entire country in rebounding. With an improved offensive game, the big man would be destined for First Team AA status and potentially be a POTY candidate.

 

Key players leaving or the NBA Draft

Markelle Fultz – Washington

Lonzo Ball – UCLA

Josh Jackson – Kansas

Jayson Tatum – Duke

De’Aaron Fox – Kentucky

Malik Monk – Kentucky

Dennis Smith Jr. – NC State

Lauri Markkanen – Arizona

Jonathan Isaac – Florida State

Donovan Mitchell – Louisville

Zach Collins – Gonzaga

Justin Jackson – North Carolina

OG Anunoby – Indiana

Luke Kennard – Duke

Obviously, this isn’t the full list, but these are some of the guys that left that I wanted to highlight. Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina lose a bunch of talent but don’t feel too bad for them as they are all poised to be top 15 teams this season. Donovan Mitchell will be a loss that really hurts Louisville this year. Before draft declarations were made, Louisville was a team that was frequently mentioned as the potential preseason #1. Now, with the late addition of 5-star recruit Brian Bowen, had Mitchell returned, that #1 spot would almost be a certainty. It will up to Bowen and co to recoup the loss of Mitchell’s production on the wing. Jonathan Isaac departs from a deep, athletic Florida State team and Leonard Hamilton did his best to make up for that by landing MJ Walker. Then there were the two biggest names, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. The presumed first and second picks of this season’s NBA Draft. Fultz was phenomenal all season last year for a bad Washington team, he averaged 23.2 points 5.7 rebounds 5.9 assists 1.2 blocks and 1.6 steals. According to our own Mock Draft, Fultz will go #1 overall to Boston. As for Lonzo, what can I really say about him that his father, Lavar, hasn’t? Lavar has arguably been the loudest person in the sporting world in the last few months and shows no signs of slowing down. His son, actually is a pretty darn good basketball player, in his one season at UCLA, he averaged 14.6 points 6.0 rebounds 7.6 assists 1.8 steals. Ball has great court vision and has finely polished passing skills, while there have been rumblings on Twitter that the Lakers aren’t sold on Ball, most sources have Lonzo going #2 to his hometown Lakers.