If there was ever proof that the field is being leveled in college basketball recruiting, it must be this: Zion Williamson, the power forward who is the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, spent the weekend watching the Wofford basketball team. Not Duke or North Carolina or even fellow neighboring-state ACC programs N.C. State or Wake Forest. Wofford.
To be fair, the 6-foot-7, 230-pound tour-de-force did not specifically say that he’s considering attending Wofford, so it’s possible that the Spartanburg Day School star wanted to take in a college basketball game and hang out on a Saturday night. Even so, getting Williamson on campus — for what is, by definition, an unofficial visit — is a major coup for a Wofford team that can benefit from additional exposure as much as any other successful program in the nation.
In a sense, Williamson visiting Wofford is almost a logical extension of the 2017 recruiting class, which had two top-3 prospects — power forward Wendell Carter and center Mohammad Bamba — seriously consider Harvard. Bamba even took an official visit to the school.
Wofford may not have the Ivy League marketing appeal or name recognition of Harvard, but it does have four NCAA tournament appearances since 2010, including back-to-back trips in 2014 and 2015.
Most importantly, what both Harvard and Wofford really are showing is that non-power 5, “brand name” college basketball programs can compete for the nation’s top talent. Only time will tell if they can actually land the players in question at some point, but competing for them is already a major step in the right direction.