The Friars have seen their second recruiting target in as many weeks spurn the Friars to attend the University of Louisville. Gabe Wiznitzer reclassified to the class of 2020 and plans on enrolling at the ACC power within a few months. The Friars had interest in the big, but ultimately it was Wiznitzer who had his sights set on another program. With Wiznitzer and Bobby Pettiford off the board, the Friars appear to be back to the drawing board.
While I have showed a preference for a big like Kulel Mading or Sam Ayomide over Wiznitzer, this latest decision provided me with an epiphany: what if the 2021 class doesn’t target a point guard or a true big? I wouldn’t be opposed!
In terms of a point guard, it somewhat makes sense. With a guy like Jared Bynum in the fold presumedly for the next 3 years, along with capable ball handlers in Goodine, Breed, and Duke, the need for a PG isn’t that dire.
On the other hand, not targeting a big man seems like an asinine idea. The Friars are set to lose big men Nate Watson and Noah Horchler after this upcoming season and only have LaSalle big man transfer Ed Crosswell to replace them. On top of that Cooley typically likes to roll with 3 rotating bigs. Be that as it may, the Crier believes Cooley should go a different route. That is why for the Class of 2021 the Crier wants Cooley and staff to land the following 3 wing players:
– Gianni Thompson
– Eric Van Der Heijden
– Legend Geeter (substitute Alex Karaban if he were to reclassify).
Thompson: Gianni Thompson is listed at 6-7 but he plays much bigger. His length and athleticism allow him to be a terror on the defensive side of the ball as he can block shots with ease. His handle and shooting make him a versatile 3-man who can easily slide into a small-ball 4 spot.
EVDH: Many thought the Friars were going to land a trio of guys from NC, but I’d be happy to land even just one of them (Mading, EVDH or Lucas Taylor). Eric Van Der Heijden is listed at 6-9 yet he plays a bit like a guard. His best attributes are his passing ability (4 apg) and 3-point shooting (45%). EVDH reminds me of Jake Layman (Maryland one of the latest to offer, so I must be right) with the potential to be a better ball handler. His versatility being a big kid who can shoot and pass make him a matchup nightmare for opposing bigs.
Geeter: This kid should be a take based on name alone…
Legend Geeter appeared on the Friar fans radar this past Saturday as the Friars recently offered the rising senior from Detroit. The 6-7 220 pound versatile wing seems to do a lot of dirty work around the basket. He uses his agility and athleticism to make quick moves in the paint creating space for him to score. He also appears to have a good face up game, being able to knock down mid-range shots and the occasional ability to extend his range from deep. He reminds me of both Alpha Diallo and Michigan native LaDontae Henton who were able to flourish under Ed Cooley.
While it may seem irresponsible for the Friars not to land a traditional big man this upcoming class, the idea of going for three wing players truly excites me. All three of these guys have a versatile skill set for their size, and we all know the staff has put an emphasis on this. Add these three guys with incoming freshman Jyare Davis the Friars will be able to have a plethora of lineup combinations to go with Bynum and Goodine in the backcourt with Croswell clogging up the paint.
There also presents itself with the possibility that David Duke and/or AJ Reeves could have monster seasons and go pro. If this scenario were to play out Cooley could always grab a big on the grad transfer market.
With that said, the Crier is now all in on his 3 wing 2021 class. I know BOC hates this idea, but I’m going with it! Let’s make it happen Ed!
– The Crier