If you're reading this, you probably have already heard the good news.
4* Top 100 SF Isaiah Mucius became the 3rd member of the 2018 Wake Forest recruiting class on Monday evening after announcing his decision on Twitter. Mucius was fresh off a visit to campus over the weekend for Homecoming, and wasted no time in joining the program that had been on him since September 2015. The other school he heavily considered was Xavier, having visited the Musketeers just the week before. In the end, it was the opportunity to play ACC basketball, develop under the staff, and "win an NCAA Championship" that set the Deacs apart. The fact that a 4* recruit is saying that last piece as a reason to choose Wake Forest just goes to show how much Danny Manning has transformed this program's image over the last three years.
With Mucius now in the fold, Danny Manning has two versatile athletic wings in the 2018 class (Mucius and Hoard) that will perfectly complement the strong guards already on the roster. Quite frankly, a 2018-19 rotation that features Crawford, Brown, Mucius, Hoard, Sarr, Woods, Childress, Japhet-Mathias, Wright Jr, Eggleston, and Moore is one that can go head-to-head with pretty much anyone in the ACC.
That team would have experience, shooters, athleticism, size, and pretty much everything else a college coach would dream of having at his disposal. The 2018 class itself has three commits who can guard 3 positions at the next level, which is the type of flexibility that can maximize mismatches and avoid foul trouble complications. And if you are sitting there thinking the 2018 class is pretty much complete, think again.
Another strong long-term pick-up for Wake Forest. Mucius, Hoard & Wright is a mighty strong 2018 class with the chance for one more https://t.co/ki4H4H9QIb— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) September 18, 2017
Danny Manning will be looking to add at least one more member to the class by the early signing period in November, though it's yet to be seen who that will be. With two wings already locked in and Sharone Wright Jr being more of a Combo Guard, the expectation is that a PG will be the top priority. 4*s Mike Devoe and Ayo Dosunmu are the main targets there, the former of which visited during Homecoming with Mucius and the latter of which stops by 9/30 for the FSU game.
Former NCSU commit Jamie Lewis is another name worth mentioning here, but probably not more than a sentence considering his transfer to Findlay Prep will likely slow down his recruitment until the spring. If you're asking me who I'd want more between Devoe or Dosunmu, my answer is "Yes." The two have completely different styles of play, Devoe being more of a pure PG while Dosunmu is more of a scoring guard, but either would contribute from Day 1 in Winston-Salem. Here's how the two compared on the Nike EYBL Circuit this summer. Different, but dominant.
Devoe: 15.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.6 APG, .9 SPG, 49% FG, 42% 3PT, 81% FT
Dosunmu: 23.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.4 SPG, 48% FG, 27% 3PT, 79% FT
Dosunmu ranked in the top 5 in scoring, whereas Devoe was one of just 5 players to be in the top 25 for points, assists, and FTM. Either would be a pickup that solidifies Wake with a top 20 class nationally for 2018. Here's the breakdown using 247sports' Class Calculator, the 2017 ratings as a baseline, and the potential combinations:
Class A: Wright Jr, Hoard, Mucius, Devoe (Rank: 15th)
Class B: Wright Jr, Hoard, Mucius, Dosunmu (Rank: 11th)
Class C (Super-Class): Wright Jr, Hoard, Mucus, Devoe, AND Dosunmu (Rank: 9th)
That Super-Class may seem like a bit of a pipe dream, but I wouldn't say it's completely out of the question. Some rumors have indicated that Devoe may make his decision by the end of this week, in which case Wake's class could be 4-deep before Ayo Dosunmu even takes his Official Visit to campus. If the visit goes well, and a borderline McDonald's All-American wants to commit to your school, you take the 5th commit and worry about scholarships later. Attrition will occur naturally as guys realize the depth chart just got that much tougher or other opportunities come calling (Ex: BC to the NBA).
But what about Nate Roberts? The 3* PF who will be joining Ayo for that visit is still an intruiging prospect, even if he isn't always mentioned with the others listed above. Roberts has already set an announcement date of October 17, which is more than enough time for the staff to realize if they have an open spot for him after other targets' decisions. Wake could know Devoe's decision by this weekend and will certainly know where they stand with Dosunmu shortly after his OV, so figuring out how to handle the Roberts offer becomes a lot easier with the delayed timeline. Taking Roberts to go two scholarships over the limit may be a bit of a stretch here, so I'll put that at sub-10%.
I also just don't see Nate Laszewski coming to Wake due to his impending UNC visit, Mucius' commitment, and Notre Dame's Crystal Ball trend. Most analysts were surprised he even made it through the ND visit, and I think if he didn't feel compelled to commit to Wake while on campus then it's not going to happen.
2018 wing Isaiah Mucius has committed to Wake Forest, per his Twitter page. Danny Manning is quickly making a rep for getting players.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 18, 2017
In conclusion, here are the four big points to take away:
- Momentum breeds momentum in recruiting. Isaiah Mucius' commitment and having a Top 5 class currently in the 247sports rankings may be enough to sway the next commit's decision in the right direction. Look for Mucius, Hoard, and Chaundee Brown (a friend of Mike Devoe) to potentially be big factors in how this class turns out with their own recruiting ability.
- Mike Devoe may in fact commit in the near future and my guess is it will be between GT and Wake. UF's prioritization of other top PG targets makes me think the Jackets and Deacs are the favorites here. I'm cautiously optimistic, for what it's worth.
- If Devoe commits, expect Manning to still put on a full-court press for Dosunmu. I don't care what the scholarship count is, if you can land a second Top 30 prospect in a class you find a way to make it happen.
- Lastly, no matter how this class finishes up from here, celebrate it. The staff's efforts in the 2018 recruiting cycle have done wonders for the brand and momentum of Wake Forest basketball. We are competing with some of the best programs in the entire nation for top prospects and winning recruiting battles we weren't even touching less than 5 years ago. Be sure to keep things relative and ask yourself "Would I have been happy with this current class if you asked me 12 months ago?" Regardless of how the next couple weeks go, the answer should be a resounding yes. Here's to hoping we have even more good news to celebrate in the coming days...
For more Wake Forest recruiting news, you can follow me on Twitter @DeacFan3.