Since the NBA’s ruling in 2006 requiring high school basketball recruits to attend college for at least one season before becoming eligible for the NBA Draft, the controversial “one-and-done” rule has become a fact of life, resulting in increased interest surrounding incoming freshman phenoms, becoming a year-round, much-debated hot topic, and that’s certainly true for the talented 2018-19 class.
Here are five highly-touted 2018-19 college basketball recruits expected to make an impact and certainly worth watching:
With five starters gone, Mike Krzyzewski could offer immediate playing time as an incentive to join Duke, and the pitch obviously worked, with the Blue Devils landing four of the nation’s top dozen prospects. Any of them could make a major impact, but Zion Williamson, a freakishly athletic 6-6 275 lb. PF has the potential to dominate. The South Carolina native is a man among boys in the paint.
R.J. Barrett, one of Williamson’s fellow Duke-bound blue-chippers, is a 6-7 wing who comes in as the overall No.1-ranked prep in the class of 2018. The Canadian native is expected to slide seamlessly into the slot vacated by three-year starter Grayson Allen. In addition to his polished offensive game, Barrett is also a potential lockdown defender, always a Coach K priority.
The prototypical “diamond-in-the-rough” is 7-2 Oregon recruit Bol Bol, son of the tallest player in NBA history, the late Manute Bol, who stood 7-7. Remarkably mobile and athletic for his height, the younger Bol’s offense is (for now) limited to lobs and put-backs, but he should be a defensive game-changer for coach Dana Altman’s Ducks. http:/www.nbadraft.net/players/bol-bol
With the graduation of do-it-all “Swiss Army Knife,” Theo Pinson, Tar Heel coach Roy Williams secured a more athletic, more offensively-skilled replacement in Nassir Little, a 6-7 SF from Orlando. At UNC, he’ll be surrounded by a surplus of veteran talent, allowing him to utilize his considerable skills without unrealistic expectations.
As deadly a sharpshooter as the 2018 class has to offer, Romeo Langford‘s late April signing with Indiana has the Hoosier faithful buzzing. The 6-6 SG from New Albany, Ind. fills an immediate need on coach Archie Miller’s squad, which struggled offensively in 2017-18. Langford is much more than a 3-point specialist, however, finishing his career as the state’s No. 4 all-time scorer.