With Andrew Wiggins moving to the class of 2013, there’s not much debate over who’s the No. 1 recruit in that group. The UK target will most likely end up as the first unanimous No. 1 prospect since Greg Oden in 2006.
But what does that mean for his vacated spot atop the 2014 rankings?
It means a whole lot of uncertainty.
Between Scout.com, Rivals.com, ESPN and 24/7 Sports, three different players are represented in the No. 1 position.
Scout and ESPN say it’s Minnesota point guard Tyus Jones. Rivals has Chicago big man Jahlil Okafor first. 24/7 Sports gives its top ranking to Texas point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. And respected NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony says Indianapolis forward Trey Lyles should get consideration.
The absence of agreement on the No. 1 player in a class obviously isn’t rare, but in past years it’s largely been a matter of two guys battling for the top spot.
In 2012, it was Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel. The year before pitted Anthony Davis against Austin Rivers. Rivals has played the contrarian twice in recent years. That service kept Harrison Barnes from being the unanimous choice by picking Josh Selby in 2010. Rivals had B.J. Mullens No. 1 instead of Brandon Jennings in 2008. In 2009, the overall vote was split between Derrick Favors and John Wall.
To find a class that had more than two players earn No. 1 rankings from a major recruiting service, you have to go all the way back to 2007. Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and O.J. Mayo were all ranked No. 1 in a group that also included Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon.
The class of 2014 still has two high school seasons and one summer circuit to play before their rankings are finalized. It’s certainly possible that Jones, Okafor, Mudiay, Lyles or someone else could emerge as a clear No. 1, or, like recent years, it could turn into a battle between two top prospects.
But, for now, the race for the No. 1 spot appears wide open.