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NCAA Basketball: Analyzing early contenders for 5-star guard Maleek Thomas

Nov 22, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nelly Cummings (0) shoots a three point basket against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nelly Cummings (0) shoots a three point basket against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports /

UNC Tar Heels

Even after losing top 50 freshman guard Simeon Wilcher, Coach Hubert Davis still is doing well on the recruiting trail. Not only does he have the No. 1 incoming recruiting class for 2024 but they could add to it with five-star forward Jarin Stevenson.

What they don’t have in that class is a true point guard. And starter RJ Davis will be gone by the time Thomas would arrive. Coach Davis will need to rebound from last season’s disappointing campaign and as long as that happens, future prospects won’t have any concerns about committing to the program.

Villanova Wildcats

After a rough first season, Coach Kyle Neptune went heavily into the portal to rebuild the roster. Justin Moore is projected to play point next season, with sophomore guard Mark Armstrong set to be the backup. There’s a good chance that he’ll either be around as a senior starter or that the team opts to go a different route, hopefully with someone like Thomas taking over in a couple of years.

Next. Ranking teams involved for transfer Paul Mulcahy. dark

The big question is how viable Neptune is as an NCAA Basketball coach. He was only at Fordham for one year before getting promoted to replace Jay Wright at Villanova. Like with Armstrong, we’ll know whether or not he’s the long-term man for the job, and that alone with determine whether they have a shot with this in-state target.