Top 25 Recruiting Classes
Top 100: No. 3 Brandon Knight, No. 6 Terrence Jones, No. 19 Doron Lamb, No. 73 Stacey Poole Jr.
Supporting cast: Enes Kanter, Eloy Vargas (JC)
Analysis: MaxPreps didn't rank Kanter after coming over from Turkey, but the 6-9, 240-pound post would have been in the conversation for the No. 1 spot. Whether Kanter will actually take the floor in Lexington is a topic for another day as reports of pay-for-play in Europe have been widespread. Knight and Lamb will approach the same level of production as the John Wall-Eric Bledsoe combo did last season. The late addition of Jones put the Wildcats on top.
No. 10 Will Barton
, No. 11 Joe Jackson
, No. 31 Jelan Kendrick
, No. 59 Tarik Black
, No. 64 Chris CrawfordSupporting cast:
Antonio Barton, Hippolyte TsafackAnalysis:
Landing five of the top 65 players in America keeps head coach Josh Pastner and the Tigers slightly ahead of Kentucky. There is also a strong chance that this group of incoming Tigers will have a greater long-term impact than UK's contingent, which includes two surefire one-and-dones. The next challenge for Pastner will be keeping this many high-scoring guards happy.
3. Ohio State
Top 100: No. 2 Jared Sullinger, No. 12 Deshaun Thomas, No. 51 Jordan Sibert, No. 84 Aaron Craft
Supporting cast: Lenzelle Smith, J.D. Weatherspoon
Analysis: Even without Naismith Player of the Year Evan Turner, the arrival of Sullinger and Thomas will fuel Final Four talk in Columbus. As if this group isn't exciting enough, Thad Matta already has his recruiting magic working in the class of 2011 with the commitment of star Georgia point guard Shannon Scott.
4. North Carolina
Top 100: No. 1 Harrison Barnes, No. 4 Reggie Bullock, No. 46 Kendall Marshall
Supporting cast: None
Analysis: Barnes alone should make the Tar Heels a contender again in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Landing two of the top four players in America is helping ease the pain of a disappointing 2009-10 season in Chapel Hill.
5. North Carolina State
Top 100: No. 23 Ryan Harrow, No. 32 C.J. Leslie
Supporting cast: Lorenzo Brown
Analysis: Brown is a big-time guard that originally signed with the Wolfpack in 2009 and spent the year at Hargrave Military Academy. Harrow can fill it up from the point guard position and scoring Leslie late over Kentucky was a huge coup for head coach Sidney Lowe.
Top 100: No. 5 Tobias Harris, No. 24 Trae Golden
Supporting cast: Jordan McRae
Analysis: Harris is the star Bruce Pearl needed to go alongside Scotty Hopson. Golden heads to Knoxville fresh off an All-American senior year at Georgia’s McEachern High School.
7. Michigan State
Top 100: No. 22 Keith Appling, No. 27 Adreian Payne, No. 68 Alex Gauna
Supporting cast: Russell Byrd
Analysis: Tom Izzo has the luxury of bringing this group along slowly as the Spartans don’t need much help next year. Payne, a 6-foot-10 human flyswatter, and Gauna will eventually help Michigan State continue its dominance in the paint.
Top 100: No. 15 Fab Melo, No. 25 Dion Waiters
Supporting cast: C.J. Fair, Baye Moussa Keita
Analysis: Brazilian 7-footer Melo headlines Jim Boeheim’s incoming quartet, but patience will be needed to see the fruits of this recruiting effort. Fair is on the rebound from a serious knee injury that cost him his junior season.
9. Wake Forest
Top 100: No. 34 Tony Chennault, No. 50 J.T. Terrell, No. 93 Carson Desrosiers
Supporting cast: Travis McKie, Melvin Tabb
Analysis: New Demon Deacon head coach Jeff Bzdelik did an impressive job of keeping all five players signed by Dino Gaudio last November. Chennault led Philadelphia's Neumann-Goretti to a state title as a senior. Terrell is one of the streakiest scorers in the 2010 class.
Top 100: No. 8 Kyrie Irving, No. 38 Joshua Hairston
Supporting cast: Carrick Felix (JC), Tyler Thornton
Analysis: Irving could step in at the point guard position immediately for Mike Krzyzewski’s national champions. Hairston and Thornton teamed up to win an AAU age group national title with DC Assault.
Top 100: No. 17 Tony Mitchell, No. 63 Phil Pressey
Supporting cast: Kadeem Green, Ricky Kreklow, Matt Pressey (JC), Ricardo Ratliffe (JC)
Analysis: Mitchell and junior college transfer Ratliffe are perfect frontcourt players in Mike Anderson’s system. Pressey will be an all-conference-caliber point guard by the time he leaves Mizzou.
Top 100: No. 9 Cory Joseph, No. 16 Tristan Thompson
Supporting cast: None
Analysis: Slotting a class with just two signees this high is a tough call, but Joseph and Thompson – both natives of Canada – are mega-talents that will make Texas dangerous alongside returnees Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton, J'Covan Brown, Gary Johnson and Varez Ward.
Top 100: No. 21 Jereme Richmond, No. 49 Meyers Leonard
Supporting cast: Crandall Head
Analysis: There's a feel-good vibe in Champaign with the arrival of this talented in-state trio and the news that Demetri McCamey and Mike Davis will return for their senior years.
14. Oklahoma State
Top 100: No. 35 Markel Brown, No. 58 Michael Cobbins
Supporting cast: J.P. Olukemi (JC), Brian Williams, Darrell Williams (JC)
Analysis: Brown is coming off a huge senior season in Louisiana and will be part of the replacement plan for James Anderson. Travis Ford scored a major coup in landing Cobbins over Georgia Tech, Memphis and Missouri among others.
Top 100: No. 39 Terone Johnson, No. 71 Travis Carroll, No. 79 Donnie Hale
Supporting cast: Anthony Johnson
Analysis: If Matt Painter continues to recruit Indiana like he did this year, big things are ahead for the Boilermakers as the state is loaded with talent in the 2011 and 2012 classes. Terone Johnson led a state championship run at Indianapolis’ North Central High School this season.
Top 100: No. 33 Joshua Smith, No. 57 Tyler Lamb
Supporting cast: Matt Carlino, Lazeric Jones (JC)
Analysis: Smith was considered a top-of-the-class talent early on in his career and could develop into a major force if he can shed 30 to 40 pounds. Lamb is a versatile wing and Carlino – a former Indiana commitment – bypassed his senior year of high school in an effort to strengthen Ben Howland's thin backcourt.
17. Florida State
Top 100: No. 41 Okaro White, No. 48 Ian Miller
Supporting cast: Bernard James (JC)
Analysis: White and Miller are outstanding high school prospects, but James – a 27-year-old former Air Force sergeant – is the big story and could be an immediate difference-maker.
Top 100: No. 54 K.T. Harrell, No. 55 Will Regan
Supporting cast: Billy Baron, Joe Harris, James Johnson, Akil Mitchell
Analysis: There’s no question about Tony Bennett’s ability to coach, so landing a recruiting class this good has to be encouraging for Cavalier fans in the wake of several player departures. Both Harrell and Regan were dominant in their home states of Alabama and New York, respectively, as seniors.
Top 100: No. 26 Patric Young, No. 72 Casey Prather
Supporting cast: Cody Larson, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguette
Analysis: The Gators got some unexpected help late with the addition of Larson – a 6-9 forward and former Iowa verbal commitment – and Wilbekin, originally slated to be a member of the 2011 class. Young's physical presence will be a welcome addition.
Top 100: No. 37 Dwight Powell, No. 88 Anthony Brown
Supporting cast: Aaron Bright, John Gage, Josh Huestis, Stefan Nastic
Analysis: Johnny Dawkins badly needed an influx of talent and got it. With a couple years of development, this six-man class could serve as the foundation for getting the Cardinal back in Pac-10 contention.
Top 100: No. 44 Roscoe Smith, No. 75 Jeremy Lamb
Supporting Cast: Michael Bradley, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander
Analysis: Jim Calhoun went long, lean and skilled on the wings with Lamb and Smith. Bradley will help continue UConn's shot-blocking tradition while Napier is yet another former 2011 prospect that hit the fast-forward button to enroll in college early.
Top 100: No. 43 Vander Blue, No. 89 Jamail Jones
Supporting cast: Jae Crowder (JC), Davante Gardner, D.J. Newbill, Reggie Smith
Analysis: Blue and junior college player of the year Crowder have the ability to become standouts in the talent-rich Big East. Head coach Buzz Williams is hoping for a Dexter Pittman-type story in 305-pound Davante Gardner.
Top 100: No. 36 Bryce Jones, No. 82 Garrett Jackson, No. 98 Maurice Jones
Supporting cast: Curtis Washington
Analysis: Kevin O’Neill deserves a lot of credit. During a tumultuous time for the Trojan program, the former Marquette, Tennessee, Northwestern and NBA head coach has an intriguing cast of athletes headed to campus.
Top 100: No. 66 Andre Stringer, No. 83 K.C. Ross-Miller, No. 90 Matt Derenbecker
Supporting cast: Jalen Courtney, Ralston Turner
Analysis: Trent Johnson was in a similar situation to his successor at Stanford after a last-place finish in the SEC West last season. While this class won't deliver an immediate turnaround, it's a promising beginning to the Tigers' climb out of the cellar.
25. St. Joseph's
Top 100: No. 18 C.J. Aiken, No. 97 Langston Galloway
Supporting cast: Darius Quarles, Ronald Roberts, Patrick Swilling
Analysis: Led by Aiken, an All-American and Pennsylvania's Class AAAA state champ at Plymouth Whitemarsh, this is a tremendous haul for an Atlantic 10 Conference team. Roberts parted ways with St. John's after the firing of Norm Roberts and is a rugged, athletic wing forward-type. Galloway and Swilling are both Louisiana products.
(JC) Junior college transfer