Dylan Harper, the No. 4 recruit in the 2024 class per 247 composite rankings, joined forces with Rutgers commit Ace Bailey for the Tip-Off Classic this past weekend. Bailey, the No. 5 recruit in the 2024 class, plays for AOT (Athletes of Tomorrow) and the team welcomed Harper for this event. It could potentially be a sneak preview of the future for the dynamic duo if Harper ultimately joins Bailey at Rutgers.
No. 2 in 2024 Dylan Harper (@dy1anharper) came down to Atlanta to team up with No. 5 Ace Bailey and AOT. He seamlessly came in a dropped 20 in their win at @thetipoffclassi. pic.twitter.com/8gO1zvHcdk
— Josh Tec (@_joshtec) April 9, 2023
Pairing up together for this event highlights the bond the two players are forming. The week before both Harper and Bailey took part in the USA Basketball Junior National Team Mini-Camp in Houston. Bailey made it very clear that he is actively recruiting Harper to join him at Rutgers.
Scout and recruiting analyst Brandon Clay tweeted his analysis of Harper [playing with Bailey this past weekend:
“Quick thoughts on ‘24 G Dylan Harper of Don Bosco Prep (NJ) after playing w/ AOT: Legit size at the guard spot, playmaker & can hit the open 3 off the kick. Harper is a real threat on the defensive end of the hardwood. He & Ace Bailey were a TOUGH duo.”
Dylan Harper ( @dy1anharper ) Ace Bailey ( @AiriousB ) teamed up and won by 30 😳 both are ranked top 5 in 2024 and would shake up college basketball if they went to Rutgers 🎥 @FoulUpThree3 pic.twitter.com/rftECOMgwK
— Swish Cultures (@swishcultures_) April 10, 2023
The consensus No. 1 recruit in the 2024 class is Tre Johnson. However, recruiting analyst Max Feldman of Made Hoops wrote last week that Johnson is being challenged to hold the top spot:
“Dylan Harper has been the main challenger, and another big EYBL campaign could cause some shake-up. Ace Bailey has a case to make things interesting, but we’d like to see more reps against elite competition prior.”
If you are a Rutgers basketball fan, the takeaways are simple.
Harper and Bailey are elite talents, they enjoy playing together and are actively discussing pairing up at Rutgers. Their bond appears genuine and playing together at an AAU event was a very positive sign.
Bailey is verbally committed and his childhood friend Jamichael Davis is set to sign with Rutgers this week. Harper remains the top priority of Pikiell, which I detailed here.
Nothing is guaranteed, but take time to enjoy the fact that there is a legitimate chance two of the top five players in the 2024 class will team up at Rutgers. It’s no pipe dream, but an actual dream based in reality. The last time two top five recruits joined each other for an AAU event, Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren, they both committed to Memphis.
Watch plenty of highlights of Harper and Bailey playing together below.
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