The construction of what should prove to be a deep and talented Notre Dame recruiting Class of 2018 has begun with the verbal commitment earlier this week of 6-foot-3, 170-pound combo guard Prentiss Hubb from Gonzaga Prep in Washington D.C.
Hubb, a member the talented Eagles squad that claimed the WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) for the second time in three seasons, chose the Irish over Villanova, Maryland and Virginia after Kansas and Syracuse were eliminated earlier in the process.
“A lot of great guards come out of the ACC,” said Hubb to the Washington Post. “I feel like I could go be one of them.”
Listed as Scout’s No. 27 overall prospect and No. 8 point guard, Hubb was thought by some to be leaning toward Villanova or Maryland since Terrapins head coach Mark Turgeon’s son is a high school teammate of Hubb’s.
But after an official visit to Notre Dame in April, Hubb quickly zeroed in on the Irish to become the first of what is expected to be several top prospects to choose Notre Dame in the Class of 2018.
“I am proud to announce my commitment to Coach Brey and Notre Dame University,” wrote Hubb in a tweet Wednesday.
While Hubb will have to learn that it’s the University of Notre Dame, not Notre Dame University, translating his game to the next level with the Irish should come in fairly short order after the graduation of Matt Farrell following the 2017-18 season. He’ll join T.J. Gibbs – who will be a junior when Hubb arrives – at point guard.
Hubb (13.9 ppg. as a junior) generally is considered a point guard prospect on the collegiate level, although he played the off-guard spot at Gonzaga Prep in 2016-17 with 5-foot-7 Chris Lykes – a verbal commitment to Miami – handling the point.
The left-handed shooting Hubb is a smooth, even-keeled, stoic performer on the basketball court, rarely showing emotion while flashing quickness and athleticism.
Listed at 6-foot-3 but more likely a touch under that, Hubb is a leaper as evidenced by his easy above-the-rim play. When the opportunity presents itself – as it often does with his AAU team, D.C. Premier – Hubb finishes with frequent slam dunks on breakaways and even in traffic. He also shows the ability to use his body as a shield toward defenders when he’s finishing around the rim.
Wiry strong with a lean build, Hubb handles the basketball with an ease to his game and sees the court well. His pull-up jumper off the dribble is his go-to shot. He can spot up as well, but his ability to go from dribble to jumper is Farrell-like.
There are some issues to consider with his release point (unlike Farrell), which often times comes “from the hip.” Hubb is not a high elevator on his jump shot. In fact, once he gets the basketball loaded, it’s more set shot than jump shot.
Length on the perimeter could give him trouble with such a low release point. But he loads quickly and fires. The residual benefit of a “set jump shot” is that it arrives at the basket softly, frequently nestling through the rim when it’s not all net.
Sources have told Irish Illustrated that the Notre Dame coaching staff loves Hubb’s ability to get deflections in passing lanes.
He’s played a ton of AAU basketball, however, where games have a tendency to become layup drills. Hubb’s will likely need some work in his half-court defense where leaking out for layups on the next level, as he does frequently with D.C. Premier, won’t be as readily available.
Reportedly compared favorably by Villanova head coach Jay Wright to Wildcats standout Josh Hart (although a couple of inches shorter than Hart), Hubb could be the start of something big on the Irish recruiting front.
Notre Dame also is involved with 6-foot-11 Juwan Durham, a McDonald’s All-American who played in 28 games for Connecticut as a freshman last year (1.6 ppg., 1.5 rpg.) and has decided to transfer.
Durham is slated for an end-of-May visit to Virginia Tech, followed by a trip to Duke.