Tipoff: The Big Ten's best 2019 prospects not yet committed

Tipoff: The Big Ten's best 2019 prospects not yet committed

Recruiting is in a quiet period this month and next before the evaluation periods start again in July. Our college basketball writer spotlights some of the Big Ten's most highly sought-after 2019 prospects not already committed:

1. Matthew Hurt, 6-9, 199

Rochester, Minn.

Richard Pitino has been able to keep some of the state's best players, like Amir Coffey and Daniel Oturu. The Gophers are still in the mix for Hurt, the No. 4 prospect in the 2019 class, but the blue bloods (Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and UNC) are looming large.

2. Trayce Jackson-Davis, 6-8, 210

Greenwood, Ind.

Tom Crean was widely criticized for not keeping Indiana's best players in Indiana. Archie Miller already landed Romeo Langford for 2018, and getting Jackson-Davis in 2019 would carry on that precedent. Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue are pursuing Jackson-Davis just as hard.

3. Keion Brooks Jr., 6-8, 185

Fort Wayne, Ind.

Perhaps the only bigger get for Miller and the Hoosiers than Jackson-Davis would be Brooks, the No. 1 prospect in Indiana. His offer list reflects that, with Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina joining with more than half of the Big Ten, including Illinois, in pursuing Brooks.

4. D.J. Carton, 6-1, 180

Bettendorf, Iowa

Carton vaulted up the recruiting rankings earlier this spring into the top 30 prospects in his class, and while Marquette is in the thick of his recruitment it's dominated by Big Ten teams. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin are all after the 2019 point guard.

5. Romeo Weems, 6-7, 215

New Haven, Mich.

Pulling the two-way wing out of Michigan might be difficult, with Michigan State making Weems an early priority while also pursuing Detroit guard Harlond Beverly. Weems, a four-star prospect, also has offers from Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State and Rutgers in the Big Ten.

6. E.J. Liddell, 6-7, 220


Some might view Liddell's recruitment as a two-horse race between Illinois and Missouri, but the state champion forward has garnered some new (and renewed) interest this spring. The Illini might have gotten a home visit in April, but so did Ohio State and Northwestern.

7. Malik Hall, 6-7, 190

Wichita, Kan.

Few 2019 prospects have added as many offers this spring as the former Naperville hoopster who has an Illini offer, with a dozen more high-major programs adding Hall to their recruiting boards. That includes Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin. But the perceived favorites now? Kansas and Purdue.

8. Kahlil Whitney, 6-6, 190

Roselle, N.J.

That more teams haven't offered Whitney is the surprise of the spring given how he's played on the Nike EYBL circuit. The Chicago native is an Illinois priority, but his recruitment has an East Coast lean given his time playing for New Jersey power Roselle Catholic the last two years.

9. Rocket Watts, 6-2, 180


Watts, who would immediately jump to the top of any "best name in the Big Ten" lists should he wind up in the conference, might be another prospect hard to pry out of Michigan. Mississippi State might be the team to do it, but the Wolverines and Spartans are both interested.

10. Jordan Mitchell, 6-7, 192

Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State already made a big move in the 2019 class by landing the state's top player — five-star forward Alonzo Gaffney. The second best (Jeremiah Francis) is already committed to UNC, but the Buckeyes were in early on Mitchell and could sell the four-star wing on playing for his hometown team.