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Resetting the 2018 point guard recruiting landscape

Will Darius Garland say no to the big names for the lure of being close to home? AP Photo/Mike Strasinger)=

Point guards are always the most fascinating moving pieces on the recruiting trail. Not only because it’s the most important position on the court, but because every team needs one -- and there’s always a finite amount available. Teams can survive if they don’t get top-tier targets at shooting guard or power forward; they can drop down a level and find a replacement fairly easily, or tinker a lineup to fit personnel. That’s not the case with point guards. Sure, you can put a 2-guard at the point, but most successful college teams have a high-level, lead guard running the show. The demand for point guards is usually always more than the supply.

The 2018 class is no different. All the usual suspects came into the class looking for a point guard: Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Villanova, Louisville, Michigan State, Florida, Ohio State, etc. Some wanted two of them. And the point guard crop is starting to thin out very quickly. Of the 24 point guards ranked in the ESPN 100 for 2018, only 10 are still remaining. You can carry over Quentin Grimes (No. 13 overall) and Jalen Carey (No. 34) from the shooting guard position, but that’s still less than half of the top-tier point guards available.

As a result, the competition is starting to heat up.

On Friday, five-star Immanuel Quickley (No. 12) committed to Kentucky. The Wildcats were leading for most of the past few months, although Kansas was still in the mix late in the process. John Calipari is still going after Darius Garland (No. 11) and Grimes, but the need has lessened considerably.

And then on Saturday, Mike Devoe (No. 56) pledged to Josh Pastner and Georgia Tech. Florida, USC and Wake Forest were all involved for Devoe down the stretch, meaning they’re moving on to other targets.

So who’s left from the ESPN 100?

  • 2. Darius Garland