Breaking Down Contenders for Five-star Recruit Keyonte George

July 19, 2021

Five-star recruit Keyonte George’s stock is soaring with Southern Assault on the AAU circuit. A top-five prospect in the 2022 class, he is creating off the dribble, scoring at will and has the athletic profile to develop into a first-round talent.

To state the obvious: George’s services are in high demand.

Because of this, it is no surprise that all five of his finalists are pushing hard for him to be the focal point of a star-studded recruiting class, and between OSU, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas and Baylor, he has no shortage of great options.

Although he has yet to give a full decision timeline, Texas is emerging as a potential favorite to land him. Still, all five still appear to be in the mix. So here’s his potential fits for each at the next level.

1. Texas

With Chris Beard at the helm of Texas we can expect a new system in Austin, and it is one that has been very heavily guard-friendly in recent years with Zhaire Smith, Jarrett Culver and Terrence Shannon developing into past (and in the case of Shannon) future first-round talents.

With George potentially headlining the 2022 class and arriving as a one-and-done caliber guard, I’d imagine regardless of the roster construction in 2022 — which is at least some question after a transfer-heavy 2021 roster constructed by Beard — he would get the ball in his hands and be asked to create a lot, even with four-star point guard Arterio Morris in the fold for 2022.

2. Oklahoma State

We already know OSU and Mike Boynton can win at a high level with a high-level guard with NBA talent (see: Cunningham, Cade). Now, George’s game is a bit different — he wouldn’t be as ball-dominant, and I suspect he wouldn’t be asked to create as much — but he could be a lethal 2/3-guard in OSU’s system. I see an Isaac Likekele-type role, but him being a more natural scorer could make him the focal point of an offense.

3. Kansas

Kansas under Bill Self has — sometimes to its detriment — stuck to its guns as a two-big system. And yet its guards have been consistently dominant, from Devon Dotson, Devonte’ Graham, Frank Mason on …

See a theme here, though? The fit is questionable. Scoring guards typically slide into secondary roles in Lawrence — Wayne Selden, Ben McLemore, Lagerald Vick — while point guards’ profiles are most-often elevated. So unless he’s in a role as an initiator, I wouldn’t be surprised to see George reject a fit here. As Bryce Thompson saw last season at KU, it’s tough for young guards to find roles under Self regardless of talent and recruiting profile, and even more challenging to do so if you’re not a primary initiator.

4. Kentucky

This is probably one of the more intriguing teams on this list in terms of fit. Kentucky carries major sway among one-and-done hopeful guards because it has put in the league players like Tyrese Maxey, Tyler Herro, John Wall, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk …. the list is endless. And in 2022 Kentucky has a five-star committed at point guard already in Skyy Clark, whose presence would theoretically make George’s role and transition into a scoring guard in college more natural.

5. Baylor

Fit and scheme wise, Baylor might be No. 1 on this list. Scott Drew runs a system that is inviting for scoring guards. The last two seasons Baylor has had an elite offense with Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell running the show, with Butler and Mitchell both hitting above 40% from 3 in its title-winning campaign in 2020-21.

Baylor already has a commitment at shooting guard in 2022 with four-star Dillon Hunter, though, and its incoming class is predicated on scorers who may be high-volume college guards that may push George elsewhere.

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