The 2019 class has now been put to bed officially and it is time for most of them to move on to the next level in college basketball next season. Most freshman next year will not get much playing time and immediately impact their teams and begin their college careers the way they would like, but there are certainly a few that will. Here we take a look at which top 2019 prospects will have an immediate impact next season in college basketball.
Arizona: The Arizona Wildcats should be back in the national rankings for college basketball next season whether HC Sean Miller is there or not. With the talent coming to Tuscon, it is no way that the Wildcats will not be a threat once again in the PAC-12 and even the nation. Freshman duo and future Arizona backcourt of PG Nico Mannion and SG Josh Green, who are potentially one-and-dones, should be the leaders of the pack next season. Both Green and Mannion already have that chemistry on hand after playing with one another during the AAU season for West Coast Elite (CA) in the Under Armour Association. Other talented freshmen prospects like F Terry Armstrong, C Zeke Nnaji, and C Christian Koloko will also be joining them in Tuscon along with some key pieces from last year’s squad. All these freshman could see major minutes in an Arizona uniform next season and could make a run in the 2020 NCAA tournament.
Georgia: Head coach Tom Crean will be in his second season next fall with the Georgia Bulldogs and what a recruiting class he has coming in next year. The Georgia coaching staff were able to land one of the nations most exciting players and top-5 recruit SG Anthony Edwards, who is expected to be a top-5 lottery pick in next year’s 2020 NBA Draft. Edwards is a hometown kid who will be staying home in the state of Georgia to play his college basketball and could probably lead the SEC in scoring as a freshman. F Christian Brown will also make his presence known as a freshman for the Bulldogs next season. Brown is an energy guy who will consistently play with intensity and could set the tone for the Bulldogs in some games. Georgia will also receive freshman forwards Jaykwon Walton and Toumani Camara on campus next fall alongside ESPN top-100 point guard Sahvir Wheeler out of Houston, Texas.
Memphis: Head coach Penny Hardaway and the Memphis coaching staff are potentially receiving the number one overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft in C James Wiseman, who Hardaway also coached in AAU and in high school a couple years ago. Wiseman is a 7-foot-0 plus center with all types of NBA potential. Wiseman helped his draft case during the week of the 2019 McDonald’s All American Game and also the 2019 Nike Hoop Summit, showing NBA scouts he will be a future star in the pros. Wiseman will be joined by a plethora of playmakers and other five star prospects including incoming freshmen F Precious Achiuwa, F DJ Jefferies, F Malcolm Dandridge, PG Boogie Ellis, SG Lester Quinones, and PG Damian Baugh. All six incoming freshman could certainly make impacts next season at Memphis. The Tigers are coming off a 22-14 season where they were eliminated in the second round of the NIT and finished fourth in the AAC under Penny Hardaway in his first season as head coach. Next year they will certainly be in the hunt for a national title.
Duke: Coach K and his Duke staff have five potential first round draft picks for the 2020 NBA Draft next year in their starting five. Duke arguably has the number one recruiting class for the fourth year in a row with top prospects like C Vernon Carey Jr., F Matthew Hurt, F Wendell Moore, and SG Cassius Stanley coming to campus. Despite PG Boogie Ellis from decommitting from Duke, Coach K and his squad could certainly still be in the conversation next year for a national title. Star point guard Tre Jones, younger brother of Tyus Jones, will be returning for his sophomore campaign in Durham and will be the leader of this young squad next season. Key pieces like Javin DeLaurier, Alex O’Connell, Jordan Goldwire, and Jack White could all possibly return to complete next year’s Blue Devil’s roster.
Washington: The Washington Huskies reload their roster for next season around two five star freshmen prospects C Isaiah Stewart and F Jaden McDaniels, who is actually from Seattle and where he atteneded Federal Way High School. Stewart and McDaniels will both make major impacts next season for head coach Mike Hopkins and will have NBA personnel at every game next season as both are expected to be one-and-dones. With the lost of players like Jaylen Nowell, Matisse Thybulle, Noah Dickerson, and David Crisp from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, that will leave major room for both McDaniels and Stewart to go to work offensively. With Hopkins, who is the reigning back-to-back PAC-12 coach of the year, the Huskies could make another run in the PAC-12 and make an even bigger run in the NCAA Tournament next season.
North Carolina: The North Carolina Tar Heels could end up as the number one team in America once the pre season national rankings release next season. After losing freshman point guard Coby White to the NBA Draft, potential one-and-done and New York native PG Cole Anthony, son of former NBA player Greg Anthony, will fill those shoes at the point guard position. Joining Anthony will be top prospects in C Armando Bacot Jr., PG Anthony Harris, and PG Jeremiah Francis. The Tar Heels also landed a few grad transfers to next season squad and have loaded up their roster once again with key pieces from last season’s team, who lost in the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, returning as well. Both Bacot Jr. and Harris played AAU together on the Nike EYBL circuit with Team Takeover (DC) and where they both help capture the 2018 Nike Peach Jam title.
Kentucky: Head coach John Calipari has yet again finished at the top of the rankings when it comes to this year’s recruiting class. Key top 2019 prospects coming into Lexington next season include SG Tyrese Maxey, F Keion Brooks Jr., F Kahlil Whitney, F Dontaie Allen, and SG Johnny Juzang, who recently reclassified up to the 2019 class. Maxey and Juzang certainly will give Kentucky the outside shooting depth that they will need, as both are tremondous outside shooters and shot makers. Whitney and Brooks Jr. will also make impacts for the Wildcats next season with their scoring abilities. With now sophomore point guards Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley returning for their second season, John Calipari has a roster that he can certainly work with. Key grad transfer F Nate Sestina out of Bucknell, will also receive major minutes in a Kentucky uniform next season. Maxey, Juzang, Brooks Jr., and Whitney are all potential one-and-dones for next year’s 2020 NBA Draft.
Michgian State: Despite not landing any big time prospects, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo always finds away to get things done with his program. The Spartans are coming off a season where they made their first final four appearance since 2015 and where they knocked off Zion Williamson and Duke in the elite 8. With star point guard and Detroit native Cassius Winston returning for his senior season, the Spartans are for sure expected to defend their Big Ten championship belt. Freshmen PG Rocket Watts Jr. could certainly make his impact right away for Tom Izzo. Watts Jr. is more of a scoring guard that plays with great toughness when he is on the floor, so let us not be surprised if Izzo plays both him and Winston at the same time. F Malik Hall out of Sunrise Christian (KS) will also be a freshmen new to campus and can get some meaningful minutes. F Julius Marbie will also be another freshman joining Hall and Watts. Jr. on campus in East Lansing beginning next fall.
Louisville: Louisville head coach Chris Mack is coming into his second season as the head coach of the Cardinals and his first ever recruiting class with Louisville is one of the best in the country headlined by F Samuell Williamson, a potential one-and-done. Williamson is a special talent and draws comparisons to Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. They will also bring in F Aidan Igiehon, SG Josh Nickleberry, SG David Johnson, F Jaelyn Withers, and SG Quinn Slazinksi. The Cardinals are coming off a year where they finished with a 20-14 overall record and making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where they were eliminated in the first round. A few key pieces are expected to return to Louisville next season including star F Jordan Nwora, who was testing the NBA Draft waters.
Florida: The Florida Gators could definitely be one of the best teams in the nation next season with high major freshmen coming on campus headlined by 2019 McDonald’s All Americans F Scottie Lewis and PG Tre Mann. Scottie Lewis, who is a potential one-and-done, could probably make the biggest impact out of all the freshmen headed to Gainesville. He is an energizer bunny on both ends of the floor with an improved offensive game and who holds gifted athleticism. Tre Mann will be the elite outside threat who could possibly lead the SEC next season in the most three pointers made. With Gators now sophomore Andrew Nembhard returning to Gainesville, the Gators will be extremely deep in the backcourt next season. Other freshmen prospects like C Omar Payne, C Jason Jitoboh, and PG Jacques Glover will join Lewis and Mann as the new guys on campus next fall.
LSU: The LSU Tigers are coming off a season where they captured the SEC regular season title, making it to the NCAA sweet 16, and finishing the season with a 28-7 overall record. Although the Tigers will be losing their star point guard Tremont Waters and star forward Naz Reid to the NBA Draft, Will Wade and company will still be a threat in the SEC once again next year and will be able to compete for that national championship. Key guys like Ja’Vonte Smart, Skylar Mays, and Emmitt Williams will be on be back on campus in Baton Rouge alongside one of the best scorers in the 2019 class in F Trendon Watford out of Alabama. It is without question that the back-to-back Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year will start most games for the Tigers next season and will make an immediate impact. Watford holds great size at his position and can score in bunches if you allow him too and could be a potential one-and-done and enter next year’s NBA Draft as a lottery pick.