By: Logan Newman, USA TODAY High School Sports | December 8, 2018
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — There’s a conundrum going on with the No. 1 player in the 2020 Chosen 25.
He’s not committed. But highly-touted programs aren’t actively recruiting Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) center Evan Mobley.
“Not any big-time (schools reaching out) right now,” he said at Hoophall West on Friday. “But I just got to keep my mind open and wait it out.”
It’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll attend USC. That’s reasonable; his dad is an assistant coach. His brother, 2019 Chosen 25 player Isaiah Mobley, is signed to join the Trojans next year. And the two brothers are pretty inseparable.
They have been playing together “since we were like babies,” Isaiah said.
Yet Evan is still open to other possibilities. It’s just that nobody is checking in.
“His recruitment is open, people don’t seem to show him that much love,” Isaiah said. “…He gets a text every blue moon.”
Isaiah said he has been in the ear of his brother, trying to get him to follow him to USC.
The elder sibling is expected to replace USC senior forward Bennie Boatwright. If Isaiah is one-and-done, it would make sense that Evan would in turn replace him.
And if Isaiah stays longer than one year, the brothers can play next to each other.
The two showed their compatibility during the Hoophall West game between Rancho Christian and Simeon High School (Chicago). They played off each other on both sides of the ball.
In the offensive transition game, Isaiah would often push the ball down court with Evan taking off toward the rim.
On defense, they’re rabid shot blockers.
Early in the game, the ballhandler got past Isaiah. Maybe Isaiah let him; Evan said that guards will often drop off the shooter in the paint, allowing a Mobley brother to swoop in and block.
Whether it was planned that way or it was simply a good drive, when the shot went up, Evan was there to send it straight back down.
“It’s kind of like a second sense,” Isaiah said. “I always have a feel for where he’s at.”
There’s no reason to think Evan won’t go to USC. He’s still a junior, so there’s nothing forcing him to commit at this moment.
But with other programs making the assumption that he’s a Trojan, they might be missing out on the best player in the class of 2020.
“Wherever’s the best fit for me, I would take it,” Evan said.
Maybe it is the program with family ties.
Or maybe he truly is open to expanding his horizons.