247Sports released its updated Class of 2014 basketball rankings last week, and Kentucky fans were surely excited by what they saw at the top of the list.
Emmanuel Mudiay and Stanley Johnson were ranked Nos. 1 and 2. Both players have UK among their finalists. Both players will be taking official visits to Big Blue Madness in October. And both players are projected to commit to the Cats, at least according to 247Sports analyst Jerry Meyer’s Crystal Ball page.
While 247 has Mudiay and Johnson in the top spots, Rivals.com and Scout.com’s most recent rankings show Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones at Nos. 1 and 2. Okafor and Jones have long said they plan to play for the same school (and UK is one of several still in the running for both players).
The rankings will change over the next few months, but it’s clear that at least one school could have a shot at landing the top two players in the country.
How often has that happened? Not very.
The Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) has tracked and recorded class rankings from more than a dozen major recruiting services going back to the Class of 1998.
In that time — a span of 16 classes — only twice has one school landed the top two prospects according to a major recruiting service. Both times, that school was Kentucky.
In 2009, Rivals.com ranked John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and both players ended up signing with the Wildcats. Two years later, the PrepStars recruiting service had UK signees Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the top two prospects in the Class of 2011.
Sixteen years, several recruiting services, and those are the only two times that one school has pulled off a 1-2 punch at the top of the rankings. Will it happen again in 2014? We’ll have to wait and see.
Here’s a look at five other instances since 1998 that one school has come close to landing the top two prospects.
Kentucky in 2013: 247Sports ranks Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison as the Nos. 2 and 3 recruits in the class. The Cats could have been the first school to land each of the top three recruits in one year if they had received a commitment from No. 1 overall prospect Andrew Wiggins, who signed with Kansas.
UCLA in 2012: Rivals.com ranked Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson as the Nos. 1 and 3 prospects last year. UK signee Nerlens Noel was No. 2, and the Cats were among the finalists for Muhammad.
North Carolina in 2002: Ray Felton and Rashad McCants were ranked Nos. 3 and 4 in the country by PrepStars. They were actually two of the three highest-rated recruits to attend college that year. PrepStars ranked Amare Stoudemire at No. 1, but he went straight to the NBA. Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony was No. 2.
Michigan State in 2000: Fresh off a national championship, the Spartans landed Zach Randolph and Marcus Taylor. Hoop Scoop ranked Randolph as the No. 1 prospect in the class and had Taylor at No. 4. Darius Miles, who went straight to the NBA, was No. 2 on Hoop Scoop’s board that year.
Kentucky in 1999: Hoop Scoop ranked UK’s Keith Bogans and Marvin Stone as the Nos. 2 and 4 recruits in this class, respectively.