Every week, BTPowerhouse’s Big Ten Morning Power Bar details what’s going on across the league on the recruiting trail.
Recruiting remained busy around the holiday season for various Big Ten programs. Schools now are in an interesting position of looking at remaining targets in 2018, but also centering their radar’s towards 2019, and trying to create in-roads with various prospects around the country. Let’s see how this played this week.
-Rutgers Gets Attention From Isaac Okoro
Rivals had a report yesterday from four-star wing Isaac Okoro as the 2019 Georgia native updated his recruitment.
Okoro listed four programs that stood out - Florida State, Auburn, NC State and Rutgers. The 6-foot-5 small forward spoke highly of Rutgers’ persistence in his recruitment and commented that he “wants to get up there again soon.” Check out the full article on Okoro’s recruitment here.
Rutgers does not have a commit in the 2019 class. The Scarlett Knights signed three members in the 2018 class and currently come in no. 57 in 247’s composite team rankings.
Despite two recent disappointing losses, Rutgers seems to be building some momentum under coach Steve Pikiell. A commitment from Okoro could push the program to new heights in recruiting. It won’t be easy, but it is nice to see Rutgers getting some love from this talented wing during this point of his recruiting process. Stay turned for updates.
-Matt Painter Watches Top 25 2019 Forward Francis Okoro
Purdue continued its pursuit for a big man in the 2019 class. This week head coach Matt Painter was spotted watching four-star forward Frankis Okoro at an Illinois high school basketball tournament. This was first reported by WEEK Peoria Sports Director, James Mattson.
Purdue's Matt Painter is court side for Normal West and Francis Okoro at Pekin Tournament pic.twitter.com/tm7ua8eEPE— Jim Mattson (@hoijim) December 27, 2017
In addition to an offer from Purdue, Okoro boasts an offer list from Kansas, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Illinois.
At this point in Okoro’s recruitment, the Illini seem to loom large. Purdue’s success in recruiting and developing big men give Purdue a credible and enticing pitch. It will be interesting to see Purdue and Illinois battle it out for the talented 6-foot-9 Nigerian. Still, an offer from Kansas is always hard to overcome, and Cuonzo Martin is an excellent recruiter at Missouri. We’ll update Okoro’s recruitment as the big man gets closer to a decision.
-Ohio State Offers Five Star 2019 Big Man Armando Bacot
Chris Holtmann continued his pursuit of some of the top 2019 prospects by offering forward Armando Bacot, first reported by Rivals reporter Corey Evans.
According to Verbal Commits, Bacot’s offer is Ohio State’s 14th for the 2019 class, its third extended for a power forward.
It could be difficult for Ohio State to gain traction in Bacot’s recruitment. He listed his top 10 back in October and the Buckeyes were not on the list. Once Bacot schedules his visits we’ll see if Ohio State was able to make up ground. Take a look at his top 10 below.
Top 10 ‼️‼️‼️‼️ @Parker_Kirkmyer pic.twitter.com/mdqCgnVXM6— Armando Bacot (@iget_buckets35) October 18, 2017
Holtmann continues to swing for the fences in this class. Using the rankings from Rivals, of the 14 offers, all but one is a four-star prospect. A solid season and a top 25 2018 recruiting class gives the Buckeyes some momentum, so it will be interesting to see who Ohio State will be able to snag in 2019.