With only a few ESPN 100 prospects left in 2021, here are the big storylines for the revamped class rankings:
Michigan remains #1: Very few new coaches in recent college basketball history have made an impact on Juwan Howard, both on and off the court. This season he not only led the Wolverines to a first place finish and a Big Ten championship, but he also put them at the top of the recruiting class. Moussa Diabate and Caleb Hostan are legitimate single-digit prospects and should be able to keep the momentum Howard is building in Ann Arbor.
Gonzaga wächst weiter und wird zu einem Kraftwerk: Seven Teilnahmen am NCAA-Turnier zum zweiten Mal in Folge, Platz 1 in drei der letzten vier NCAA-Turniere, mehr als 30 Siege in fünf aufeinanderfolgenden Saisons – und jetzt die Nummer 1 unter den Neulingen des Landes Mark Few and Gonzaga are legitimate College-Basketball-Mechte. Jalen Suggs got a ton last year as the program’s best recruit, and Senior Holmgren (and Fünf-Sterne-Guard Hunter Sallis) has him on another level.
Duke, Kentucky kämpfen nicht an der Spitze – aber nicht zu weit weg:. Duke and Kentucky have been hiding on the Rekrutierungsklassen-Rangliste for almost a year. Die Dinge haben sich in den letzten Jahren etwas verändert, aber beide programma sind immer noch unter den Top Fünf. Duke has drei Fünf-Sterne-Kandidaten, while Kentucky has drei Top-30-Kandidaten. Those Wildcats have two of their Top 10 Transfers. Don’t think about it, Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari zurückgehen in der Zeit.
Tennessee, Alabama nachladen: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has mehrere Befugnisse für College-Hoops, insbesondere auf dem Transfermarkt. But both Tennessee and Alabama, which have had some problems in the national discussion in recent years, also have their first ten recruiting classes. Those Volunteers have two stars with Kennedy Chandler and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, who make up a great Class, while the group from Alabama is brightened by the explosive Guard J.D. Davison.
Verbleibende Ausgaben: We’re not done yet. There are other Fünf-Sterne-Kandidates, such as Jaden Hardy, Patrick Baldwin Jr, Michael Foster, Afton Reed and Tayti Washington. Hardy and Foster are closely linked in the G-League, but Baldwin will likely choose between Duke and Milwaukee, where his father is the head coach. Reed was supposed to make a decision last week, but he delayed his announcement while Washington dropped Creighton and contacted Baylor, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon and LSU. ESPN 100 forward Johnathan Lawson also remains on the roster; his cancellation of Oregon is the reason for the Ducks’ drop in rankings.
Previous review: 1
The Wolverines have as much recruiting momentum as anyone in America, as they became the No. 1 team in the class in two weeks this fall with the commitments of seniors Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate. Hustan, from Canada, was reclassified for 2022 and chose Michigan over Alabama, Duke and Virginia. Diabat kept his recruitment a secret, but the Wolverines gained a lot of ground by tying the French big man down. They join guards Frankie Collins and Kobe Bufkin, and summer recruits Isaiah Barnes and Will Chetter. Juwan Howard showed promise in acquiring players when he brought in four ESPN 100 prospects in 2020, including five-star Isaiah Todd, who ultimately chose the G-League. But the first class confirmed his status as a top recruiter.
With the commitments of seniors Caleb Houstan and Musa Diabate, Juwan Howard leads the Wolverines’ recruiting class for 2021. Stephen King/Sportswire Icon
Previous review: N/A
It didn’t take long to perfect the season, but Gonzaga has now established itself as the premier destination for high school talent, even those of the same caliber. Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 player in the ESPN 100, is following in the footsteps of former teammate Jalen Suggs and heading west to Spokane. Holmgren, the most unique prospect in high school football, has size, talent and shot blocking ability as he continues to grow. Hunter Sallis is another five-star prospect, this time in the backcourt, who gives the Bulldogs the type of dynamic playmaker who could potentially take over the role created by Suggs’ departure. They also have a commitment from Fanbo Zeng, a four-star product who was previously on ESPN 60 and played in China this season. Zeng will add size and skill to the Bulldogs’ offense next year, while Kaden Perry is a local Northwestern product who should be able to play immediate rotation minutes next year and play a bigger role in the future.
Previous review: 4
The Blue Devils have an elite group of three. Paolo Banchero (#3) has a record that should be the best in the country. He has been consistently productive for most of his high school career and will be an instant sensation in Durham, North Carolina. A.J. Griffin (#27) committed to Duke in November 2019. Although he barely played last year, he has great size and physicality on the wing and can make an impact on both ends of the field. Third in line is five-star defender Trevor Keels, one of the top scorers in this class. He immediately improved Duke’s production in his yard. The Blue Devils also improved their backcourt depth with the arrival of playmaker Jaylen Blakes earlier this week. Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils are also in talks with elite non-original prospect Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Previous review: 21
After bringing in a group of top prospects with two five-star prospects in the 2020 class, Rick Barnes is in an even potentially deeper group in 2021. It starts with Kennedy Chandler, one of the best point guards in the country, who chose the Volunteers over Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and his hometown of Memphis. Chandler should have the ball in his hands from day one next season, he loves to attack the rim and plays consistently off the dribble. He ranks third among Tennessee’s draft picks since ESPN’s 2007 draft database. Chandler is joined in the backcourt by four-star wing defender Jahmai Mashack of California, who is one of the best defenders in the class. Quentin Diboundje Eyobo is a 6-foot-8 winger from Montverde Academy who brings enduring depth and versatility to the wing. Up front, Tennessee brought in center Jonas Ida (ESPN 100) this spring after leaving Marquette, and five-star forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, who reclassified from 2022 to 2021 and immediately joined the Vols, giving them one of the best frontcourt tandems in the country. In total, that group currently includes five players, four ESPN 100 products and two five-star prospects.
Previous review: 3
Avec trois engagements en dix jours à l’automne, la classe de John Calipari a commencé à prendre forme. Nolan Hickman, le meneur de jeu, a débuté en août avant de prendre son élan en octobre. Bryce Hopkins est un grand attaquant combo et un marqueur qui peut contribuer offensivement dès le début. Daimion Collins est un grand homme qui correspond au prototype de l’attaquant du Kentucky : il est un rimrunner, un finisseur explosif et un tireur d’élite avec beaucoup de place pour une croissance future. Skyy Clark, garde ESPN-60 cinq étoiles, est également à bord, mais il fait toujours techniquement partie de la classe 2022, bien qu’un futur reclassement en 2021 reste une possibilité légitime. Calipari a frappé fort ce printemps, en décrochant les transferts Oscar Chibwe (West Virginia) et Kellan Grady (Davidson).
Revue précédente : 23
Les Jayhawks ont un trio de frontcourt talentueux qui arrivera à Lawrence l’année prochaine et qui devrait poser de nombreux problèmes de matchup. Zach Clemens est un grand homme qui a à la fois une bonne taille et un joli tir. Il éloignera les défenseurs adverses du panier et ouvrira la voie, ce qui est parfait pour le joueur de ligne offensive des K.J. Bulldozers (ESPN 100). Adams, un bulldozer offensif de 1,80 m qui attaque les bords de la cage avec un physique implacable. Sidney Curry leur donne un grand corps au milieu de son année junior à l’université. Le backcourt comprend le garde leader ESPN 100 Bobby Pettiford, un meneur de jeu qui devrait ajouter de l’explosivité à l’équipe, et Kyle Cuffe, un sauteur explosif avec assez de vitesse pour passer. Il est un candidat potentiel au redshirt après avoir été reclassé de 2022.
Revue précédente : N/A
After winning the regular season and the SEC tournament, Nate Oats is recruiting again. The key figure is five-star J.D. Davison, one of the most explosive guards in the country. Davison will bring his jumping and closing skills to the game; he will be a highlight of the video series. Up front, center Charles Bediako, who is ranked in the top-30, will help immediately with his size and range. It has a high ceiling. Oats also decided to return Nimari Burnett (Texas) and Noah Gurley (Furman), but don’t forget about four-star small forward Juson Holt – he’ll help the Crimson Tide score on the perimeter.
Five-star defender J.D. Davison talks about Alabama’s 2021 recruiting class. Brian Spurlock/Sportswire Icon
Previous review: 8
Emony Bates is still only a high school senior and will likely never play college basketball, but when he verbally committed to Michigan State, it gave the Spartans an undeniable boost in recruiting and the push they needed to build their brand new top-10 class. They had already secured the commitment of Pierre Brooks, a 6-foot-4 star wing from nearby Detroit, and less than 10 days after Bates’ commitment, they got Max Christie, a 5-star guard who recently grew to 6-foot-4 and 4 stars. Later in the summer, they acquired another good guard from Michigan with Jaden Akins, consolidating a class of three players in the ESPN 100 and reaffirming their dominance in the Midwest region.
Previous review: 9
The Seminoles actually had the best recruiting class in the country until top-35 aspirant Bryce McGowens retired in October, but Leonard Hamilton once again has a strong group coming to Tallahassee. The current headliner is Matt Cleveland (#30), who was one of the most impressive prospects at several Dream events in the spring and early summer. Jalen Warley (#46) can play at either backcourt position and is another player who developed very well last year. John Butler (No. 66) will lead the way at center, and Naheem McLeod (6-foot-7) is considered one of the best college candidates in the country. The four commitments were made two weeks apart, in July and August.
Previous review: 10
Dan Hurley and the Huskies went from an empty class to a group of three in just over two weeks in July and August. It started with Rahsul Diggins, a tenacious senior guard from Philadelphia trying to keep opponents out of the lineup. After Diggins came Jordan Hawkins, an upside-down wing who can get the ball off the perimeter and has good rebounds at the rim. On the line is Samson Johnson, a high-ranking 4 who combines mobility, fluidity, jumping ability and some rookie skills. In total, UConn has recruited three players who all have the potential to become important parts of their program.
Previous review: 12
Chet Holmgren, a 6-foot-8 forward from Minneapolis, is the No. 1 pick in the 2021 class. Who else is behind this? Full ranking list
Auburn had no seniors and only two seniors last season, so the 2021 recruiting class was more about quality than quantity. The Tigers could not have gotten off to a better start than with the commitment of Jabari Smith, who is fifth on ESPN’s rankings and the highest-rated player to commit to the program since at least 2007, when ESPN’s recruiting database began. He is arguably the most fundamental frontcourt player in the promotion, extremely versatile and able to impact the game on both sides. With four-star guard Trey Alexander, they have a great combo guard who can immediately contribute to the deep lineup as a rookie, but also has great potential to develop into a more offensive center in a few years. With Sharif Cooper and Justin Powell gone, Bruce Pearl needed reinforcements this spring and found Walker Kessler, Wendell Green Jr. and Zep Jasper on the transfer market.
Previous review: 5
Scott Drew’s club made headlines in July when the Bears received three commitments from two high-profile ESPN 100 products, Langston Love and Kendall Brown, as well as a highly versatile and productive forward, Jeremy Sochan, during the week. All three are versatile, have experience against top competition and are capable of making an immediate impact. Brown is a 6-foot-4 combo forward and one of the most explosive candidates in the country. Love is a solid scorer on the wing and Sohan is intelligent and experienced as a striker. The three freshmen competing in the national championship this year should be able to play right away next year.
Previous review: 16
This could be the best recruiting class in Nebraska history. At center is Bryce McGowens, a 6-6 all-purpose guard who was sent to Florida but now joins the Huskers. Older brother Trey McGowens moved from Pittsburgh a year earlier. Fred Hoiberg has another ESPN 100 product in this class, as does Wilhelm Breidenbach, a veteran outfielder who hopes to follow the same path Hoiberg took with Georges Niang at Iowa State. Together, they are the first ESPN 100 tandem to select Nebraska since 2015. Hoiberg rounded out the group with center Oleg Koyenets and back Keisei Tominaga.
Previous review: N/A
The Hoyas have a five-man class in 2021, led by Aminu Mohammed, the top-ranked recruit brought in under Patrick Ewing at Georgetown. Muhammad is a five-star prospect with a college-ready body and a high motor who should be one of the best freshmen in the Big East next year. But he’s not the only player the Hoyas are counting on to make an immediate impact. Jordan Riley is an explosive defender and one of the best athletes in the 2021 class. Tyler Beard completes the new backcourt trio as point guard. Up front, the Hoyas keep Ryan Mutombo, the son of Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, who will provide some perimeter protection and low-end potential, and three-star forward Jalin Billingsley in the family.
Previous review: 7
Mick Cronin got lucky in his first recruitment in Westwood, as the five-star point guard chose to join the G-League of the Dyshene Knicks instead of going to UCLA as originally intended. But Cronin struck again in the 2021 class, with the ESPN 100 wing duo of Peyton Watson (#12) and Will McClendon (#67). The five-star Watson has seen his stocks rise steadily over the past year and has moved up the rankings as fast as anyone in the country. Meanwhile, McClendon has a very good frame and effectively reaches the ring. After a surprising run to the Final Four, Cronin could well have a contender for a national championship next season if everyone returns to Westwood. The Bruins also added Rutgers transfer Miles Johnson to their frontcourt.
Previous review: 22
It all started with an early strike by Isa Silva, a 6-foot-4 point guard and one of the most creative passers in the class. In September, the Cardinals won a recruiting battle with Harrison Ingram, one of the most versatile hitters in the country, who is expected to replace Williams and KZ Okpala as the new big wing and playmaker in Jerod Haas’ system. Stanford rounded out the class with Jarvis Moss, a below average big guard from North Carolina.
Previous review: 21
Ted Boyle had six scholarship players in the program last season, and while some may yet return thanks to another NCAA shutout, Ted Boyle and Buffalo needed some sort of refresher in the 2021 class – so he went out and brought in four players, with a possible fifth. The top score goes to the ESPN 100 duo of 7-foot center Lawson Lovering and small forward Quincy Allen. Lover has really improved during his high school career, increasing his mobility and expanding his game offensively, while Allen is a talented scorer on the wing who can make shots. Guards Javon Ruffin and Julian Hammond III should provide depth, while Drew Carter is a two-way star who should make a bigger impact on the field.
Previous review: N/A
Shaka Smart lost ESPN 100-ranked center Jonas Ida shortly after replacing Steve Wojciechowski in Milwaukee, but he added two players this month to keep the Golden Eagles in the top 25 in the country. The front-runner is point guard Stevie Mitchell, an offensive player who can score alone or use other players. Mitchell will be tasked with running Smart’s system from day one. With point guard Cameron Jones and shooting guard Emarion Ellis, there are two more four-star guards who will provide depth from distance, while the addition of Kejan Itjere and David Joplin boosted the class in mid-April.
Previous review: N/A
Skeptics weren’t sure how Mike Woodson would recruit after decades in the NBA, but if his first month on the job is any indication, he’s more than ready for the job. Not only did Woodson retain key members of the rotation and previous coaching staff, but he also excelled in the transfer market. In high school, he got the commitment of big man Logan Duncomb (ESPN 100) and got the best available player in the class with Tamar Bates. Duncombe is not only important because he can make immediate minutes in the attack, he is also an anchor for the local recruiting pipeline. But Bates has a chance to be a star. He is an elite opponent who can impact the game on both sides of the ball with his length, defensive skills and shooting ability.
Previous review: 17
Anthony Grant’s club reached national heights last year thanks to collective success and individual star Obi Toppin. Now the Flyers are following that wave and reaching new heights on the recruiting trail with a handful of four-star recruits, including big man DaRon Holmes (ESPN 100), the biggest prospect Dayton has ever recorded. Holmes’ physical tools stand out on the inside, and he also develops facial skills to complement his inner game. Caleb Washington also has plenty of physical ability and potential, while Mustafa Amziel (who arrived midway through the year) is the perfect complement to Holmes and Washington as a veteran big striker. The future backcourt consists of two guards who can share the ball in Malachi Smith, a very reliable and consistent general who will follow the Flyers’ line to New York, and Philadelphia native Lynn Greer III, a tall and physical senior guard who finished her prep year at IMG Academy.
Previous review: N/A
The Fighting Illini are seeded for this year’s NCAA Tournament, but must replace five of their top eight players, including All-Americans Ayo Dosunma and Kofi Cockburn. Transfers Omar Payne (Florida) and Alfonso Plummer (Utah) will help, as will new freshmen. Brad Underwood has four-star recruits in his class of three players, led by ESPN 100 wingers Ramses Melendez and Luke Goode. Both players can shoot from the perimeter, while Goode also has some offensive versatility beyond the three-point line. Earlier this month, Illinois received the commitment of shooting guard Brandin Podzemski, a player who increased his chances last year.
Previous review: 18
Since arriving in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Will Wade has continued to recruit at a high level. There are no five-star prospects in the group yet, but there are two ESPN 100 products even after Alex Fudge signed early, making a total of three rookies with immediate impact next year. Jerrell Colbert brings high coverage and can help on both sides of the ball. Brandon Murray is a wing with multiple points on the floor who will be an offensive spark from day one. Bradley Ezeviro, who originally signed for 2020 but decided in the summer to wait a year and re-sign, will join the front office.
Previous review: N/A
Kevin Kitz’s class has three main features. First, he and his team did their job early by making the three commitments during the early signing period. Second, they preferred the local area, with two of the three pledges being made in their home state. Third, they have recruited players who can thrive in their complete game system. Ernest Ross, an ESPN 100 product, is a prime example. He is a big attacker who has the mobility and versatility to thrive in NC State’s up-tempo style. Terquavion Smith and Breon Pass are local products that will work together in the backyard. Smith is a powerful shooter who committed as a sophomore, and Pass is an explosive playmaker with an exciting style.
Previous review: 6
Villanova has two years of recruiting under its belt in 2021, so it’s no surprise that Jay Wright and his staff made four strategic commitments before the end of July. The prototype remains the same for the Wildcats, who have added experienced and versatile elements from the first half of the East Coast, all of which fit their culture. One of them, Trey Patterson, finished high school early and enrolled mid-season, causing the Wildcats to drop out in the fall. But Nnanna Njoku, a product of the ESPN 100, is a long, powerful big man at center with some developed one-on-one skills, while Jordan Longino and Angelo Brizzi are versatile and also possess the outside dimensions that Villanova has traditionally valued in the backcourt.
Previous review: 15
Creighton dropped down the rankings after ESPN’s 100-point guard Tighty Washington, who reached five-star status after a stellar senior season. However, the Bluejays are still ranked No. 25 with three commitments, including two ESPN 100 prospects. Ryan Nembhard has improved his position significantly as a senior, rising to #60 in 2021. He is a real playmaker who can handle Creighton’s attacking system. Mason Miller is an experienced lefty with rebounding ability that will only increase as he develops. John Christophilis is another good shooter for Doug McDermott’s system.
I quit my job: Oregon (2), Louisville (11), UNLV (14), Memphis (19), KSB (20), Purdue (24), North Carolina (25).
The rankings of the previous classes can be found here.
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