D.J. Carton has released his top six. But will blue-blood programs stay away?

Matthew Bain/Des Moines Register
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MINNETONKA, Minn. — Last summer, when Bettendorf point guard D.J. Carton’s recruitment was just beginning to spark, mid-major programs wanted him to commit before high-major programs got a chance to jump in.

Well … he didn’t, and high-majors flocked to Carton, the top prospect in Iowa in the 2019 class.

Now, several of those high-majors want him to commit before national blue-blood programs get a chance to swoop in late in the process.

“I would say that would be pretty accurate,” Bettendorf head coach Curtis Clark said.

“I feel like I’ve gotten a little bit of pressure. It’s from some good colleges, too,” Carton added with a smile, “so I’m not complaining or anything.”

He hasn’t made a commitment yet, but Carton did take a significant step in his recruitment Thursday night: He released a top six of Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan, Marquette, Indiana and Xavier. Now, plans will be made to visit those schools, and Carton told the Register he might decide by late summer.

But could a national powerhouse — a consistent, top-10, perennial juggernaut  — swoop in late and throw a wrench in that timeline? Some schools are urging Carton to commit for a reason: Blue-blood programs have a history of cherry-picking elite prospects late in the process.

Coaches like John Calipari, Roy Williams, Bill Self and Mike Krzyzewski won’t bat an eye at a top six. If they want a player, they expect to contend.

“When guys narrow things down, it lets the big dogs know, ‘OK, it’s getting a little late now. Let’s make our push,'” Rivals national analyst Corey Evans said. “If they’re ever going to come (after Carton), it’s going to be then.”

Read the rest of the story in The Des Moines Register

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