Jordan Mickey’s commitment to LSU on Thursday night marked a continuation of a recent recruiting trend: The SEC is doing very well for itself with the best prospects in the class of 2013.
So far, 23 of Scout.com’s top 50 seniors have picked a college. Six of those players are headed to the SEC.
And the league’s coaches are far from finished.
UK has received commitments from at least four top-50 recruits in each of the last four cycles, and the Cats are expected to land at least that many in 2013. Of the 27 top-50 recruits who are still undecided, at least 20 are still considering SEC schools (see list at bottom of page).
As it stands, the SEC ties the ACC with six top-50 commitments, followed by the Pac-12 and Big East (3), Big 12 (2), and Big Ten and Mountain West (1). Notre Dame also has one, but it remains unclear whether the Irish will play in the ACC or Big East in 2013-14.
The strength of the SEC’s recruiting is quite a switch from recent years. The league pulled in only six recruits from the Top 50 in 2012, and four of those players picked UK. Other than a stellar 2011 haul (13 top recruits), the SEC has not attracted double-digit top-50 recruits since the one-and-done rule was established for the class of 2006.
SEC’s top-50 recruits by class
2012: 6 total; 4 UK (Noel, Poythress, Goodwin, Cauley-Stein)
2011: 13 total; 4 UK (Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Teague, Wiltjer)
2010: 8 total; 4 UK (Kanter, Knight, Jones, Lamb)
2009: 9 total; 5 UK (Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Orton, Hood)
2008: 8 total; 2 UK (Liggins, Miller)
2007: 7 total; 2 UK (Patterson, Legion)
2006: 4 total; 2 UK (Meeks, Stevenson)
The conference is almost certain to have 10 or more top-50 recruits from the class of 2013. With six already in the fold, UK’s commitments alone should push the league total to double digits. Of the four classes since Calipari joined the league, only once has UK’s number of top-50 prospects accounted for less than 50 percent of the league’s total. That, too, should change this year.
Below is the list of elite recruits still considering SEC schools (with commitments in bold). Note that this list does not include UK target Andrew Wiggins, who would be the No. 1 player if he reclassified to 2013. It also doesn’t include Arkansas commitment Moses Kingsley, who is rated No. 51 by Scout.com
Top-50 recruits considering SEC schools
1. Jabari Parker (Florida)
2. Andrew Harrison (UK)
3. Aaron Harrison (UK)
4. Julius Randle (UK, Florida)
5. Aaron Gordon (UK)
6. KASEY HILL (FLORIDA)
8. CHRIS WALKER (FLORIDA)
9. James Young (UK)
12. Jarrell Martin (LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M)
13. Wayne Selden (Florida, Missouri)
14. BOBBY PORTIS (ARKANSAS)
15. Jermaine Lawrence (UK)
17. Keith Frazier (Florida, Texas A&M, LSU)
20. ROBERT HUBBS (TENNESSEE)
22. Sindarius Thornwell (South Carolina)
30. Kennedy Meeks (UK)
31. Johnathan Williams (Missouri, Tennessee)
32. Jajuan Johnson (Alabama)
34. JORDAN MICKEY (LSU)
36. DERRICK GRIFFIN (TEXAS A&M)
37. Brandon Austin (Florida)
38. Marcus Lee (UK)
39. Dominic Woodson (Texas A&M, Tennessee)
41. Troy Williams (Arkansas, Alabama)
46. Karviar Shepherd (Texas A&M)
47. Tyler Roberson (UK)
48. Austin Nichols (Vanderbilt, Tennessee)