Cliff Alexander, Stanley Johnson, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor each committed to major programs on Friday afternoon, leaving Myles Turner as the only remaining top-10 recruit who hasn't announced where he'll be playing the 2014-15 season.
According to ESPN's recruiting database, Turner is the second-best recruit in next year's class, but there's no question that he is now the most sought-after commodity in all the land.
The 6'11" center from Bedford, Texas is merely one unibrow away from drawing countless parallels to Anthony Davis. He uses his 7'3" wingspan to cover a ton of ground, dunking while barely leaving the ground and making posterizing shot blocks look commonplace. He has range out to the three-point line, but has a thin frame (225 lbs.) that leaves some skeptics wondering if he has the strength to dominate at the collegiate level.
At this point, though, that's about as concerning as the color of the floor mats in a brand new Lexus. Any school that had any hopes of adding Okafor or Alexander is officially all in on Turner now, and will deal with making sure he adds weight and strength this summer.
Back in early August, Turner trimmed his list of potential schools down to eight, but it's been all quiet on the western front since then.
Let's take a look at each remaining contender's chances of landing the top remaining uncommitted recruit, in ascending order of likelihood.
If Jones and Okafor had not chosen Duke on Friday afternoon, the Blue Devils would probably have been the favorite to eventually land Turner. But because they got their center, there's no reason for them to add another one.
Lather, rinse and repeat the sentiments regarding Duke. Kentucky has Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson this season and has already signed Karl Towns Jr. and Trey Lyles to man the frontcourt in 2014-15. We can't officially rule out anything when it comes to John Calipari and recruiting, but it's incredibly unlikely that Turner will be moving to Lexington next summer.
You can't believe much of what you hear when it comes to recruiting rumors, but it sounds like Louisville really burned its bridge with Turner by taking him out for a nice seafood dinner and never calling him again.
Yes, I made up the seafood part. But Turner's father told Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com that the Cardinals simply stopped calling last month.
Quite the bold strategy by Rick Pitino and company, but they will presumably have Montrezl Harrell and Mangok Mathiang back next season and might not see a need to court Turner.
There's simply no room at the inn.
Texas doesn't have a single senior on this year's roster, nor does it have a single player in Chad Ford's list of the top 100 prospects for the 2014 NBA draft.
Moreover, the Longhorns already have four players on the team who are 6'8" or taller and averaging 14 or more minutes per game this year.
Turner would more than likely immediately become the best big man on the team, but why risk jumping into a situation where you might be fighting for playing time when there are other schools who would gladly make you the focal point of the entire offense?
The Wildcats landed super frosh Aaron Gordon for this season and will be adding another top-10 recruit in Stanley Johnson next year. After struggling through some down years between 2005 and 2012, the Grand Canyon state has reemerged as a national contender and an understandably attractive destination for high-profile talent.
But in the same breath, the Wildcats already have Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley to man the low post. It simply doesn't make that much sense for them to aggressively recruit the top remaining center.
In related news, aside from likely losing Gordon, Arizona's only other departure after this season is sparingly used senior Jordin Mayes. Whether they reel in Turner or not, the Wildcats will likely be the juggernaut of the west next year.
Suitor: Ohio State
Now we're getting into the real candidates.
On the downside for the Buckeyes, 2014-15 will be the senior season for a ton of players, including their starting center, Amir Williams. We don't know if Turner has intentions of being a one-and-done player, but it's unlikely that he could show up at Ohio State and simply be handed 30 or more minutes per night. If he's going to shine at Ohio State, it likely wouldn't be until the 2015-16 season.
To make up for all the impending departures over the next two summers, Ohio State already has the third-best 2014 recruiting class, including 5-star shooting guard, D'Angelo Russell, and 5-star small forward, Keita Bates-Diop.
Adding Turner to that list would all but assure them the top-rated incoming recruiting class and set them up beautifully for the next few years.
If Turner wants to play multiple seasons and actually pursue a college degree, there might not be a better option for him than Ohio State.
Suitor: Oklahoma State
Even if Marcus Smart doesn't completely shock the world for a second time by coming back for his junior season, the Cowboys are just one big man away from really competing again next season.
Stevie Clark and Phil Forte will make up an undersized-but-quite-talented backcourt while Brian Williams and Le'Bryan Nash start at the forward positions. Put Turner at center, and we could spend a second consecutive offseason debating whether Kansas or Oklahoma State is the favorite in the Big 12.
One thing possibly working in the Cowboys' favor is that Turner has always been their primary target.
Kansas might be the better fit for Turner, but after the Jayhawks were among the finalists for Okafor and Jones, Bill Self's renewed interest in Turner might come across with the undertones of an ex-boyfriend pleading, "You know you were always first in my heart" even though he was the one who insisted you mutually agree to see other people.
Maybe—just maybe—Turner will reward Oklahoma State for its consistent pursuit.
Predicting Kansas' roster for next season is borderline impossible.
Here's what we do know, though.
Tarik Black is graduating. Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden Jr. are each currently being regarded as lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. Also, the Jayhawks have already signed a 5-star small forward (Kelly Oubre) and a 5-star power forward (Cliff Alexander) to join the team next season.
If Embiid does leave Kansas for the NBA, the addition of Turner could be the difference between "just another typically strong season for Kansas" and "one of the favorites to win the 2015 National Championship."
Even if all three of those projected lottery picks skip town after this season, just imagine a 10-man rotation of Naadir Tharpe, Andrew White III, Oubre, Perry Ellis, Turner, Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, Frank Mason, Jamari Traylor and Alexander.
It's a shame that Bill Self was unable to land Okafor and Jones on Friday, but if he can convince Turner that he is the missing piece to a championship puzzle, Kansas will still be in incredible shape next season.
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