Today I continue my series on Wake Forest's top targets at each position in the 2016 recruiting class. Yesterday, I went over the point guards, and today I'll be looking at the shooting guards that Danny Manning and his staff hope to bring to Winston-Salem. Wake has a number of realistic and talented options at this position. Who are the top targets?
Curtis Jones (4*, 40 overall)- Curtis Jones is a combo guard from Huntington Prep in West Virginia and is a consensus 4* recruit. If you have heard of Huntington Prep before, it probably was back when Andrew Wiggins was getting recruited out of there a few years back as the #1 prospect in the country. Jones might not be as highly hyped as Wiggins coming out of the program, but the kid can flat out play. He’s a quick guard who likes to play fast and attack the rim, but also can pull up and has a nice mid-range and three point shot as well. Jones reminds me of Codi Miller-McIntyre coming out of high school in the way he attacks the rim fearlessly and is an excellent finisher around the basket, though he has a slightly thinner frame and maybe more of an outside jumper than CMM did. At the most recent Mary Kline Classic underclassmen game, he won MVP honors after putting up 30 points against some high quality competition. Maryland looks to be the favorite for him at the moment, but Wake Forest still seems to be hanging around as a school he is interested in. We will know a lot more about how realistic a chance Wake has at landing Jones by the end of the summer, but at the moment we are in the running.
Eli Wright (4*, 102 overall)- Eli Wright is a SG from Owensboro, KY that has been on the Deacons’ radar for quite some time now. The lefty wing received an offer from Wake Forest last July and the staff has been in to see him play multiple times since then. Just last month, Wake made his official Top 10 and Wright announced that he was scheduling a visit to campus at some point this summer. Shortly after this announcement, Wake also picked up a 247sports crystal ball prediction, though Indiana has 7 of these predictions to its name as well. However, Indiana did not make his top 10.
Wright is a knockdown shooter who’s athletic and quick with the ball, and finds himself just outside the Top 100 on most scouting sites’ rankings. In my opinion, Wright is exactly the type of prospect Wake Forest should be targeting every year to stay competitive in the new ACC. Lower 4* recruits who can come in and contribute year 1 and improve dramatically over their four seasons in Winston-Salem are the type of players the program needs and can realistically get year-in and year-out. That is why I have Wright as a "High" priority guy, and the fact that the staff has been in contact with him for almost a year now means Danny Manning probably labels him on his board the exact same way.
2016 Apollo G Eli Wright (@eli_elijuan) will also officially visit Clemson and Wake Forest which they are still scheduling.— Donald (@dyaste) May 6, 2015
Kwe Parker (4*, 59 overall)- Kwe Parker is probably the second most recognizable recruiting target by Wake Forest fans for the 2016 class, and it likely has to due with his jaw-dropping highlight videos that have gone viral over the last year and a half. You could make an argument that if high school players were eligible, Parker could win the NBA Dunk Contest next February at All-Star Weekend, but the young guard out of Wesleyan Christian Academy might have to wait a couple years before he gets the chance.
Obviously, Parker is known for his excellent leaping ability on the offensive end, but his athleticism contributes to him being a very valuable player defensively as well. He is coming off a leg injury that kept him out for most of the spring, but he made his return to competitive basketball a few weeks back and showed off some of his usual tricks then. There are a few things I’d like to note on Parker in terms of recruiting. First, he stated a few months ago that he was planning on making his college decision before July, which means there may only be a few weeks left in his recruiting process. Wake fans have been quietly confident over the last few months that he would be joining his high school teammate Brandon Childress and pledging to the Deacons this summer, but WF’s biggest challenger at the moment seems to be Rutgers, which he is visiting from June 13-15. One random truth about recruiting is that sometimes "Where you visit last is the place you end up," and that could mean trouble for Wake Forest if Parker visits Rutgers just days before his commitment date.
Even though I don’t think WF has ever lost to Rutgers in anything recruiting related (Have we even ever competed?), I think it should be a priority to get Kwe back on campus one more time before he decides at the end of the month. Parker is a prospect Wake can’t afford to miss out on for multiple reasons (Being high school teammates with Childress and Giles included), and I think at the moment he’s the #1 priority for the staff over these next few weeks.
I will be making my decision on where I'm going to college before July
— Kwe Parker (@iJump_tooMuch) April 22, 2015