The Deacs are still in the hunt for several top-level 2017 players, but have snagged just one verbal commit thus far — 6-foot-6 Maryland wing Melo Eggleston.
The Wake Forest coaching staff still has at least one, and maybe two more scholarships available for this class and hit the road hard during the July evaluation period.
They secured a spot in shooting guard Chaundee Brown’s final four Saturday, joining Kansas, Maryland and Florida. Just one day later, SG Maxwell Evans committed to Vanderbilt, after having Wake in his final 10 but never coming to Winston-Salem for an official visit.
Demon Deacons Illustrated chatted with Evan Daniels, Scout.com’s director of recruiting, Monday to get a sense of where the Deacs stand in the 2017 class.
On the general perception of Wake Forest on the recruiting trail right now
Daniels: “They’ve made some headway with certain guys, and guys they’ve targeted. I think the next step after the July evaluation period is getting their targets on campus. They certainly have a good group of targets that they are keying in on. There’s just a lot to play out. The recruiting process has almost slowed down. There’s not as many kids committed this year as normally this time of year. It’s still a process that they’re working toward trying to build a recruiting class. I think Danny Manning and his staff have done a good job. It’s hard not to be receptive to a guy like Danny Manning. He’s had so much success in the game of basketball.”
On Chaundee Brown naming Wake in his top four
Daniels: “Chaundee had a really strong July, and his interest really ramped up. Kansas offered, and Indiana offered, though they didn’t make his final list. He got a bunch of new offers in July, and the reason he was getting all those offers was because of how good a scorer he is. He strong, he’s tough and physical. He’s a good driver, but a streaky shooter. He can really score the basketball from mid-range. In terms of where Wake stands? They’re in that list of four. They’re going to get a college visit. I don’t think Chaundee has set those dates yet, but Wake is going to get a visit. We’ll probably know that date in the near future. They’re one of four. He’ll go through this process with the visits and go from there.”
On Brandon Randolph
Daniels: “When you think of Brandon Randolph you immediately think of shooting. He shot the ball very well during the Nike EYBL, during the spring and summer, playing with PSA Cardinals. At 6-foot-6, he’s long, athletic and can make shots. You combine those things, and you’ve got a pretty good prospect. He’s a guy ranked among our top 50 players in the country. In terms of recruitment, he hasn’t fully narrowed his list. I know he put out a list of 12 or 13, but it’s probably a little shorter than that. I think he’ll publicize that here in the next couple weeks. He’s going to map out official visits. I think it’s hard to tell who is deep in the mix, because he has such a long list and he doesn’t do a lot of media. He doesn’t talk to a lot of media, so it’s hard to pinpoint who he’s really keyed in on. I think Wake Forest has done a good job of building a relationship with him. I know Randolph Childress has been recruiting him. I think they’re probably in play with him for a visit. I know they’ve been on him for quite some time. Until he really narrows it down and sets those dates, it’s hard to tell where he’s going to go with this process.”
On Manning being a good teacher for big men, and what post players could be a part of the Wake 2017 class
Daniels: “They’re certainly recruiting Mohamed Bamba and Nate Watson. Those seem to be two of the guys they’re focused on and recruiting. I think Bamba is probably a little bit of a long shot. But he has visited unofficially and they’ve been on him for awhile. If you’re a big man, you have to look at Danny Manning’s past and his ability to develop players and the success he’s had doing so. I’m sure that’s why they are in the game with Mohamed Bamba. Nate Watson, they’re on his top seven. I think he’ll take an unofficial visit to Wake Forest within the next month or so. Those seem to be two of the post players they’ve been recruiting.”
On Jamal Johnson
Daniels: “Jamal Johnson is a combo guard out of Alabama. He’s a kid they have targeted, and they will get a visit from in mid-October unless they opt to move it up. He’s a kid that people are starting to take a harder look at. They’re also recruiting Kristers Zoriks, a kid from New Hampton (NH) by way of Latvia. He’s planning a visit in September. He’s also going to visit Davidson and St. Mary’s.”