The popular site used primarily for recruiting news, 247sports.com, recently underwent changes to its Crystal Ball Prediction process. The Crystal Ball is a tool to guess where a high school prospect may end up at the next level. The tool is run by “experts”, usually members of the recruiting media who are attached to a certain school and their respective 247 sites. Now, 247 has distinguished “lead experts”. These are experts who have great accuracy, lots of experience, or are especially interested in a prospect. The lead expert for Jonathan Kuminga is Chris Fisher of Catspause, the 247 site for the Kentucky Wildcats (a team who wants and has offered Kuminga). As the only lead expert on Kuminga (for now), Chris’ prediction of Texas Tech makes them the 100% favorite. Chris was correct on 85.58% (89/104) of his 2020 predictions and has an all time accuracy of 72.77% (767/1054).
Kuminga is the brother of Red Raider Forward Joel Ntambwe; who will suit up for the first time next season after sitting out a year. Obviously family plays a role in Kuminga’s interest, but outside of the ties with his brother Texas Tech presents a massive opportunity for athletes looking to get to the next level. As a program on the rise, all eyes have been slowly shifting Texas Tech’s way when it comes to talking about Big 12 basketball. Sure Baylor had a great season last year and Oklahoma State is having unprecedented recruiting successes - but there’s something intoxicating about the humble hard working nature of Chris Beard.
The most recent March Madness put Beard in the limelight and his fantastic character did the rest. Since Tech’s national championship appearance recruiting rankings have gone up, discussion around Tech’s “next title run” have started to manifest, and analysts are really honing in on the trio of Mark Adams, Ulric Maligi, and Chris Beard for their ability to develop players of all talents to the next level. It’s a proven program - but what happens when you meet an athlete who doesn’t really have much to prove?
Jonathan Kuminga is the recipient of the highly coveted 247 perfect score, a 1.00. Since 247 started rating in 2003, these are the only other recipients of perfect scores.— Ryan Mainville (@RyanMainville) May 20, 2020
RJ Barrett (2018)
Andrew Wiggins (2013)
Greg Oden (2006)
Dwight Howard (2004)
LeBron James (2003)
To say Kuminga is talented would be an extreme understatement. As far as it’s concerned with 247, their scoring system has only dished out 6 perfect scores since the genesis in 2003. Starting with Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Greg Oden, Andrew Wiggins, RJ Barrett, and now finishing off with Jonathan Kuminga. The already massive 30 offers that Kuminga holds really doesn’t do it justice. This is the athlete that puts your program on the roadmap to the Final Four. So who all is “in the mix” for Kuminga now? Texas Tech, Kansas, LSU, and Auburn are all considered possible - but with Chris Fisher’s recent conviction that Texas Tech has the ultimate lead it may be the G-League that is Beard’s greatest threat to Kuminga’s commitment.
Is the G-League that threatening? Well, yeah. The promise of paychecks and “professional” development within the NBA’s structure is hard to pass up for top-rated high school kids who want to just ball out. Earlier this year the overall No. 1 of this class, Jalen Green, opted to forgo the collegiate experience and head straight to the G-League. It left teams like Memphis, Auburn, USC, and Oregon in some distress. But just because Green skipped college doesn’t mean that’s everyone’s desire. Nimari Burnett, the current top rated recruit in Tech Basketball’s history, declined a G-League offer. Why?
“I didn’t want to because personally I want to compete to win a National Championship and learn under a program and a system that will help me mentally and physically to prepare me for that next level” - Burnett
So while the G-League remains a constant threat against nabbing top-tier recruits, it doesn’t mean they’re all in it for the money. At least not yet.