Welcome to the closing chapter of the 2016 BSD Basketball Recruiting Update Series. This past week I've been going over the top targets at each position that Wake Forest is targeting and who all have a decent chance of committing to the Black and Gold over the next few months. In case you have missed any of the articles in the series, you can go over the analysis and highlights of each target by clicking on the links below.
If you read the articles and simply want to be refreshed on the names and some of their basic info, then this table has everything you need.
But enough review, the time has come for the important question: Who do I see completing the 2016 recruiting class and becoming part of this momentous rebuilding process the program is going through at the moment? A lot hinges on Harry Giles’ decision of course, and maybe even before that, Kwe Parker’s decision in the upcoming weeks might have a domino effect on who comes and who takes their talents elsewhere. I’ll break it down two ways: With Giles and without Giles (It’s really a toss up at the moment whether the Deacs land the hometown product over Duke) and I’ve filled in the four remaining spots accordingly.
With Giles: 2016 Class
1. PG Brandon Childress (Committed)
2. SG Kwe Parker
3. PF Harry Giles
4. C Rodney Miller
5. A SG or SF not on the list above that comes out of nowhere. I think if Giles commits then all of a sudden Wake Forest will look a lot more attractive to someone like Bruce Brown or Kostas Antetokounmpo (Both of these players are top 50 nationally, but heavily leaning towards other schools at the moment)
A couple things to note about this proposed class:
I think landing Kwe Parker at the end of this month is a huge factor in if we ultimately land Harry Giles or not. Going to play college ball with two of your best friends from high school in your hometown under one of the best big man coaches in college basketball is quite an enticing opportunity, and one would have to think our chances with Harry would increase significantly if we gain a commitment from his WCA teammate. How much would it increase? That is the million dollar question no one will have the answer to until the fall.
I can definitely see two of the very recently offered 4* wings (De’Riante Jenkins and Kameron McGusty) fill in that 5th spot as well. Wake Forest is already labeled with "Warm" interest on 247sports for Jenkins and we have been talking to him for quite a while now. McGusty’s recruitment is wide open right now and Wake could be in play for him next fall as well.
Without Giles: 2016 Class
1. PG Brandon Childress (Committed)
2. SG Kwe Parker
3. Other wing: Richard Washington/Eli Wright/Jalen Johnson
4. PF Harry Froling/Matthew Freeman
5. C Rodney Miller
This class is shaped much differently than the one above, and it is mainly because I see Wake landing a totally different type of big man in it. If Giles goes elsewhere, I personally can’t see Wake as the leader for any of the other PF’s listed above. Killeya-Jones has been hearing a lot from Kentucky since his decommitment, and I think the odds we end up back in the race for him are getting slimmer by the day now. Montgomery-Delaurier would be quite the pickup, but difficult due to all the recent competition from other P5 schools. That’s why I see Manning going for almost a direct Dinos replacement in Froling or Freeman, a stretch 4 who can spread the floor and diversify rotations. This will leave Wake in 2016 with really only Collins, Moore, and Miller (hopefully) as true post playing bigs, but there might be some attrition next summer as well that could leave room for a transfer in this category.
I’m still expecting Parker to commit to the Deacons in this prediction, which leaves only 1 spot for Washington, Wright, or Johnson for the other wing scholarship. Since Parker is more of a guard who will attack the rim rather than shoot from outside, Manning would want the spot to be filled by a guy who can come in and spread the floor as a deep threat. Washington and Johnson are probably slightly better shooters, but Wright may be the best defensively and the strongest playmaker of the three. This may come down to whoever accepts it first gets the spot, but I would be very happy with any one of them to be honest. (Also note that the next time 247sports updates their rankings, Jalen Johnson is going to be way higher than he is right now. A massive jump in the rankings for the SF is on the way)
At the end of the day, I see Childress, Parker, and Miller all as Demon Deacons regardless of who fills the PF or SG/SF spot. Childress will likely climb in rankings very soon based on his AAU performances, and Parker and Miller are both very solid 4* pieces for Manning’s roster. I really hope we can get Parker back on campus one more time before he decides and also have Miller visit once again this summer. Those visits could go a long way in giving this class the momentum it needs for the fall recruiting period.
Both classes likely would rank in the Top 40 nationally, with the top one that features Mr. Giles undoubtedly inside the Top 10. One might accelerate Wake’s ascension back to ACC competitiveness faster than the other, but both move the program a step in the right direction and that is all we can really hope for after these most recent discouraging seasons. I think I speak for almost all Wake fans when I say that none of us are sitting here and demanding a Final Four or an NCAA Championship in the next five years under Coach Manning. We simply are looking to get back to the level where matchups against Duke, UNC, and even NC State aren’t contests where the rest of the world looks at the game preview and has a pre-determined idea of how the game is going to go. We simply want to turn on ESPN every other week and see our boys battling another Top 25 team to the final whistle, or check out Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology and comfortably see Wake Forest inside the elusive field of 64. When it is all said and done, we aren’t asking for much us Deacon fans. All we’re really asking for is our old Wake Forest back.
For more frequent updates on Wake Forest recruiting, you can follow me on Twitter @DeacFan3. Thanks for reading and Go Deacs!