Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 10, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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50 SEPT. 10, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED MEN'S BASKETBALL RECRUITING BY COREY BODDEN N otre Dame's recruiting took a little bit of a hit Aug. 24 when top target Isaiah Stewart, a 2019 power forward from La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere, nar- rowed his list to six programs and did not include the Irish. Duke, Villanova, Michigan State, In- diana, Syracuse and Washington all made the cut for Rivals' No. 6 overall player in the nation. Despite missing out on Stewart, Notre Dame still has options on the board with two scholarships open. Here is a look at some of the top re- maining targets for the Irish heading into September. FRONTCOURT Notre Dame may have shocked some around recruiting circles when it made the top five for Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star power for- ward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, along with Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona and Villanova. The Jayhawks and Tar Heels are viewed as the frontrunners because Robinson-Earl's father, Lester Earl, played at Kansas under now North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. Robinson-Earl told Rivals he has a great relationship with the Irish staff and likes the off-the-court aspect the program can pitch. He was part of the USA Basketball tryouts where Mike Brey served as a coach this summer. The 2019 class' No. 9 overall pros- pect per Rivals is set to take an offi- cial the weekend of Sept. 8. It will be a tough task for Notre Dame to pull Robinson-Earl, but securing an official visit is a big step. There is no timetable for Robinson- Earl to make a decision, and he will likely make officials to each of his re- maining finalists. When it comes to the most likely options for the Irish in the post, Wood- stock (Conn.) Academy power forward Tre Mitchell may be the first name that comes to mind. Rivals' No. 93 overall player picked up an offer from Brey this spring, and the four-star is intrigued by the pro- gram's use of its big men within the of- fense, Brey's history and the academic side of the university. Adding to the frontcourt is the top priority with the 2019 class. Connecti- cut, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas State, Tennessee and Wake For- est, among others, have also offered Mitchell to date. With Stewart off the board, the Irish will likely turn the heat up even more on Mitchell, who has the versatile skill set to fit in the system with his ability to score in the post, his passing and an emerging face-up game that allows him to stretch the floor. The Irish did host Lakeville (Minn.) Hopkins 2019 power forward Zeke Nnaji Aug. 24. It was the first visit to South Bend for the 6-10, 215-pounder following his Irish offer in July. The four-star also made trips to Creighton, Kansas State, Ohio State, Indiana, Pur- due and Illinois during August. Nnaji, the No. 34 overall player in the country per Rivals, has a plethora of options, and an offer from Kansas this August could dramatically change his thinking. The Irish hope to survive Nnaji's list cut, which could occur in September with official visits to follow. GUARDS/WINGS Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill point guard Cole Anthony is the highest- ranked player the Irish are pursuing. The 6-2, 180-pounder — who is the No. 2 overall prospect nationally per Rivals — narrowed his recruitment down to 12 schools Aug. 27: Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Lou- isville, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Villanova and Wake Forest. Anthony, the son of former UNLV and NBA player Greg Anthony, keeps his recruitment tight-lipped, so it is difficult for anyone to diagnose where the five-star is leaning at this stage. He has taken recent visits to Miami, North Carolina, Wake Forest and UCLA. Notre Dame will continue to work to get Anthony on campus this fall for a football game. Brey and company shadowed An- thony during the AAU season this spring and summer. It would be a sur- prise for the Irish to ultimately land him, but they remain in the race. After watching small forward Chris Ledlum of Northfield (Mass.) Mount Hermon in July, Notre Dame extended an offer to the Rivals150 prospect. The 6-5, 200-pounder is a 4.0 stu- dent, so academics could be a factor, which would help the Irish. Like all of the prospects listed, Brey and com- pany will continue to push for a visit. Boston College, Florida, Georgia, Il- linois, Iowa, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, St. John's Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and multiple Ivy League programs have offered the na- tion's No. 136 overall player per Rivals. Glens Falls (N.Y.) High guard Joe Girard III remains uncommitted, but until a visit transpires the three-star guard will be a long shot for the Irish. Michigan, Duke, Syracuse, Boston College and Penn State round out the top schools for Rivals' No. 127 overall player nationally. SYNOPSIS Notre Dame having just two scholar- ships at its disposal and no commit- ments at this stage should not be a worry. The staff is targeting high-level prospects — situations that can take longer to play out. ✦ Top Remaining 2019 Targets For The Irish Woodstock (Conn.) Academy power forward Tre Mitchell, the nation's No. 93 overall player according to Rivals, remains one of Notre Dame's top frontcourt options in the 2019 class. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM ON THE WEB Visit for regular reports on Notre Dame football and basketball recruiting plus videos of Irish commitments and targets!

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