The Wake Forest basketball program scored a monumental commitment on Sunday afternoon when Chaundee Brown gave his verbal commitment to Danny Manning and the Demon Deacons. He is the 30th best player in the 2017 class, according to ESPN, and should make an instant impact next year. Some are suggesting that Chaundee Brown’s commitment to Wake Forest hurts Wake’s chances of landing Brandon Randolph because they are both wings. Quite frankly, I just don’t buy that argument.
Brandon Randolph, who is ESPN’s 40th rated player in the 2017 recruiting class, is down to a final four of Wake Forest, Syracuse, Arizona, and Oregon. A quick scouting report on him is that he has great bounce, and is a very efficient scorer from all areas of the court. He also has the length and athleticism to develop into a very good defender, provided that he adds some weight to his frame.
476 shots worth of data.— Rob James (@rob_krossover) September 22, 2016
high level shooter at the most important levels. pic.twitter.com/K9bZ8sSBMW
Thus far he has taken official visits to Syracuse and Oregon. I’m unsure of any future scheduled visits, but his recruitment has also been somewhat quiet. It’s entirely possible that he commits to a school other than Wake, but if you look at the schools he’s considering, it seems pretty clear to me that the addition of Brown can only help Wake Forest.
Technically, Wake Forest does not have an open scholarship to offer Randolph, but my opinion is that a scholarship will absolutely be made available if Randolph wants to commit to Wake Forest. Manning has been flexible with scholarships already during his time at Wake, and I see no reason why he wouldn’t continue that for a player of Randolph’s caliber. Besides, the transfer rate is so high in college athletics, that it’s expected that every team will experience some attrition. Okay, back to why Brown’s commitment helps.
Brandon Randolph has the skill set to play either the two or the three at the college level, so let’s analyze the wings at each school Randolph is considering. Arizona, who is one of the premier programs in the country, has tremendous talent in the back court. They have sophomore shooting guard Allonzo Trier, who was a consensus 5-star recruit in high school, and very productive as a freshman. They also have a pair of freshman wings in Rawle Atkins and Ray Smith who were both 4/5 star recruits. That’s not to mention 6’5” Kobi Simmons playing point guard for them. Could some go pro? Sure, but they are already loaded at the position that Randolph plays.
Next up is Oregon, where we will see a similar story. Oregon has a sophomore shooting guard in Tyler Dorsey who has a consensus 4-star recruit and had an offensive rating of 110 last season. The Ducks also have Dillon Brooks at small forward, who had a stellar sophomore campaign. Additionally, they are adding freshman Keith Smith at small forward, who is a 4-star recruit. Brooks will probably go pro, but Randolph will also have competition here.
Finally, a look at Syracuse, which has become Grad Transfer U this offseason. The Orange lost Malachi Richardson to the NBA, but will replace him with stud freshman Tyus Battle. Syracuse is also actively recruiting wing targets Jordan Tucker and Lonnie Walker. Both of whom are rated 4 stars or higher.
Talented recruits don’t shy away from competition. In fact, they look to play with other great players. Look no further than what Kentucky’s recruiting classes have looked like since John Calipari has been in Lexington. Brown’s commitment doesn’t hurt Wake Forest’s chances. Brown’s commitment gives Danny Manning another reason to sell Randolph on why Wake Forest will be a very competitive program moving forward. Having talented players like Bryant Crawford, Keyshawn Woods, Chaundee Brown, John Collins, and Doral Moore does nothing but help Wake’s chances at landing another talented player. In recruiting, the rich get richer, and Brown’s commitment means that Wake will be far more competitive in recruiting battles moving forward.