The top college basketball recruits in the class of 2021 are beginning to narrow down their lists of suitors.
The majority of the nation's top programs are vying for the signatures of Chet Holmgren, Jonathan Kuminga and Patrick Baldwin Jr. Kuminga is the top player in the class, but that honor could be bestowed upon Holmgren if the small forward reclassifies to the class of 2020.
Two of the 20 best players have made verbal commitments, and it could take a while for that number to grow since in-person visits have not been allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Latest Predictions For Top Prospects
Chet Holmgren, C, Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, MN)
Holmgren told 247Sports' Evan Daniels that he took official visits to Gonzaga and Ohio State and made an unofficial trip to Georgetown before travel restrictions were put in place.
A handful of other programs have met with the 7-footer from Minnesota in video conferences.
Minnesota faces a tough task to keep him in state because of how much interest he has received from elsewhere. Gonzaga, North Carolina and Ohio State are among the schools bidding for Holmgren that have had more success recently than the Golden Gophers.
However, Richard Pitino has shown the ability to keep a premier big man in state and develop him into a potential NBA draft pick. Pitino landed Daniel Oturu as a 4-star prospect in the class of 2018, and he turned into one of the most menacing paint players in Division I.
Holmgren is on a different level than Oturu was, and he would be the highest-ranked prospect landed in the Pitino era. The No. 2 prospect revealed the Golden Gophers are one of six programs that have been chasing him heavily lately.
It is going to take a tremendous effort by Pitino and his staff to fend off some of the best recruiters in the business, but they can win over Holmgren with the allure of achieving success in his home state.
Prediction: Holmgren remains home with Minnesota.
Jonathan Kuminga, SF, The Patrick School (Hillside, NJ)
Kuminga's recruitment is intriguing for a multitude of reasons.
He is the top prospect in the class of 2021, but he could gain immediate interest if he opts to reclassify to the class of 2020.
Kuminga gave ESPN's Paul Biancardi an update on where that process stands (h/t 247Sports' Adam Rowe):
"For me, right now, I would say 50/50. With everything is going on right now, I don't want to put myself in the type of situation where I don't know what I'm doing. So I've just got to be patient with it, sit down with my family and plan on everything."
The small forward's top 10 is headlined by Duke and Kentucky, and it also features rising programs like Texas Tech, Auburn and Memphis.
While most teams would welcome Kuminga with open arms if he reclassifies, it is tough to finalize a decision like that in the current state of affairs. Not only are in-person visits on hold, most rosters for next season have taken shape, and adjustments would have to be made to give Kuminga the proper amount of minutes.
Duke could have the inside track on Kuminga because he comes from the same high school as Kyrie Irving.
The Blue Devils have also pulled in two of the past four No. 1 prospects in Marvin Bagley III and RJ Barrett.
Kentucky has to be considered because of John Calipari's recruiting power, and it would not be surprising to see Memphis, Washington or Auburn try to draw in more top-tier talent, like they have in the past few years.
Prediction: Kuminga stays in class of 2021, signs with Duke.
Patrick Baldwin Jr., SF, Hamilton HS (Sussex, WI)
Duke and Kentucky could also be locked in a fight for Baldwin.
The Blue Devils and Wildcats were listed in the small forward's top-10 schools alongside North Carolina, Wisconsin and Virginia.
Mike Krzyzewski's team may hold an advantage over other programs because Baldwin has played with class of 2020 recruit Jalen Johnson. His recruiting experience could persuade Baldwin to land in Durham, North Carolina, as the cornerstone of another highly touted recruiting class.
Wisconsin could be considered if Baldwin wants to remain at home, but the Badgers have had trouble retaining the top players in their state of late. In the past five years, the Badgers have missed out on Tyler Herro, Joey Hauser, Tyrese Haliburton and Johnson.
If Duke lands Baldwin, it would continue its recent run atop the recruiting rankings. In an ideal situation, the Blue Devils could combine him with Kuminga to chase a national title.
Prediction: Baldwin lands at Duke.