One of the big names in the class of 2019 is set to make his final decision this weekend.
Five-star power forward Isaiah Stewart out of La Porte, IN will make his announcement on Sunday evening at halftime of the Oak Hill vs. IMG game (7:30 p.m. ET) on ESPN.
The final five? Duke, Michigan State, Washington, Syracuse, and Kentucky.
ESPN’s Paul Biancardi was the first to report the news:
RECRUITING NEWS: Isaiah Stewart (@Dreamville_33) will make his college announcement Sunday night on ESPN during halftime of the Oak Hill vs. IMG game (7:30 p.m. ET).
Final Five Schools: @DukeMBB, @KentuckyMBB, @MSU_Basketball, @Cuse_MBB & @UW_MBB pic.twitter.com/CxM05ylnSL
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) January 18, 2019
Stewart himself also confirmed the news, adding the caption “The Time Has Come” on Twitter.
— IsaiahStewart.II (@Dreamville_33) January 18, 2019
As far as the timing of the announcement goes, I have been told that ESPN has been pushing both Stewart and Kentucky target Keion Brooks to commit this weekend during the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts. Both prospects have said publicly that their decisions were right around the corner, with Brooks actually expected to come before Stewart, and I’m under the assumption that both were very receptive to the idea of announcing on the big stage. Stewart officially made the jump, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we hear of Brooks doing the same.
Though the elite big man’s final five includes Kentucky, it appears the decision will come down to Washington, Duke, and Michigan State, with the Huskies being the runaway favorite to land him at this point.
Evan Daniels of 247 Sports, one of the absolute best in the recruiting business, logged a Crystal Ball pick for Washington yesterday morning. He has hit on 97 percent of predictions in 2019 (87/90) and 95 percent all-time (159/168).
Adam Rowe, John Watson, and Chad Lykins, three Duke insiders, also made predictions for Washington within the span of just a few hours yesterday afternoon.
247 Sports’ Brian Snow, who has a 93 percent all-time (96 percent in 2019) prediction grade, picked Washington back in October and hasn’t backed away from that since.
The Huskies have also received four of Stewart’s last analyst predictions on Rivals.com, including one from Eric Bossi.
To say there’s significant momentum for Washington right now would be an understatement. I would be shocked if he ended up anywhere other than Seattle next season.
I also may add that there have been rumors spreading that if Stewart announces for Washington (as expected), that five-star forward Jaden McDaniels would opt for Kentucky soon after. As great as that sounds for the Wildcats, I’m told there is no truth to those rumors and McDaniels would actually be open to teaming up with the elite power forward prospect under Mike Hopkins at Washington. To take it a step further, I’m under the firm belief McDaniels wants to finish up his senior year before making a final decision.
Regardless, it looks like Stewart will be teaming up with Quade Green in purple and gold next season.