Friday, August 19, 2022

Oregon basketball recruiting: Five-star PF Kwame Evans Jr. commits to Ducks over Kentucky, Arizona and Auburn

One of the top players in the Class of 2023 committed to Oregon on Tuesday, when five-star forward Kwame Evans Jr. chose the Ducks over Arizona, Auburn and Kentucky. Evans is ranked the No. 7 player of the class by 247Sports and is considered the No. 3 power forward. 

At 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds, Evans is an athletic four with good ball skills who can hit 3-pointers and defend smaller guards. He slots as the No. 2 ranked Oregon commitment of the 247Sports era behind center Bol Bol from the Class of 2018. 

Evans joins four-star point guard Jackson Shelstad in Oregon’s 2023 recruiting class as 13th-year head coach Dana Altman continues a strong recent run on the recruiting trail. The Ducks are welcoming five-star center Kel’el Ware to their 2022-23 roster after Ware finished the 2022 recruiting cycle ranked No. 7 in his class. Altman also signed a five-star front court player from the Class of 2021 in Nathan Bittle, who is returning for his sophomore season.

This marks the sixth five-star commitment for Oregon in the past seven recruiting classes. Here are the takeaways from Evans’ commitment.

Evans as a player

Evans is from Baltimore but is playing for Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. He’s a part of Team Durant on the summer circuit. He is classified as a “combo forward” by 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein because of his versatility. Here is the full breakdown on Evans from Finkelstein:

A long and fluid 6-foot-9 lefty who covers the court effortlessly with long and graceful strides, Evans has the physical tools that are in high demand at the highest levels. He owns extreme potential versatility on the defensive end of the floor, although he tends to be better moving laterally in open space right now than he is in the quarter court. What he’s not, is a primary playmaker on the offensive end. He can grab and go when taking the ball off the defensive glass and is certainly a threat in transition. He has made strides as a spot-up shooter, can also get buckets flashing into the post off various types of screening action, and has a very good right hand, but he’s not the guy a team is going to build their half-court offense around.

What’s next for Oregon?

With Evans’ commitment, the Ducks jumped from No. 32 to No. 5 in the 247Sports Team Rankings for the 2023 recruiting class, and they may not be done yet. Mookie Cook, who ranks as the No. 4 prospect in the class, is leaning toward Oregon, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Cook was previously committed to the Ducks before he de-committed on June 30. However, 247Sports’ Travis Branham reported that Evans and Cook are interested in playing together at the next level. 

The 2023 recruiting class

Evans is the sixth player ranked in the top-10 of the 2023 class to make an announcement, joining No. 2 Justin Edwards (Kentucky), No. 3 Xavier Booker (Michigan State), No. 5 Mackenzie Mgbako (Duke), No. 6 Matas Buzelis (G League Ignite) and No. 8 Sean Stewart (Duke). Still uncommitted are No. 1 DJ Wagner, No. 4 Mookie Cook, No. 9 Isaiah Collier and No. 10 Mikey Williams.

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