Analyzing the top recruits
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Top 10 recruits by class (2007-2011)
|4||Michael Beasley||Kansas St.|
|t9||J.J. Hickson||N.C. State|
|4||Samardo Samuels||U of L|
|7||Al-Farouq Aminu||W. Forest|
|8||B.J. Mullens||Ohio St.|
|9||Ed Davis||N. Carolina|
|10||Delvon Roe||Mich. St.|
|1||Derrick Favors||Ga. Tech|
|5||John Henson||N. Carolina|
|7||Renardo Sidney||Miss. St.|
|1||Harrison Barnes||N. Carolina|
|3||Jared Sullinger||Ohio State|
|6||James McAdoo||N. Carolina|
|8||LeBryan Nash||Okla. St.|
|Top 10 recruits (2007-2011)|
Cal cleans up
John Calipari has successfully recruited nine of the past 50 Top 10 recruits — seven at Kentucky and two at Memphis. Roy Williams (4) and Mike Krzyzewski (3) are the only other coaches who have brought in more than two Top 10 recruits over the past five years.
Tubby’s track record
Calipari has recruited seven Top 10 players to UK in his first three classes. Billy Gillispie brought in one in his two years. But what about Tubby Smith? Between 1998 (Tubby’s first full year as UK’s coach and the first year of the RSCI ranking) and his last class in 2006, he recruited three Top 10 players to Lexington. Keith Bogans (No. 2) and Marvin Stone (No. 5) both joined the Cats in 1999, and Randolph Morris (No. 10) was the key recruit in UK’s celebrated class of 2004. Other Top 25 recruits of the Tubby Era include: Tayshaun Prince (No. 12 in 1998), Rashaad Carruth (No. 21 in 2001), Joe Crawford (No. 14 in 2004) and Rajon Rondo (No. 21 in 2004).
The Blue Bloods
Kentucky has 11 Top 10 recruits since the RSCI ranking began in 1998. How does that stack up to the other perennial powerhouses in college basketball?
Duke: 11 (all with Krzyzewski as coach)
North Carolina: 15 (9 with Williams, 3 with Matt Doherty, 3 with Bill Guthridge)
Kansas: 5 (4 with Bill Self, 1 with Williams)
UCLA: 5 (2 with Ben Howland, 3 with Steve Lavin)
The RSCI ranking doesn’t date back to Rick Pitino‘s time in Lexington, but it does give a clear picture of his entire tenure at Louisville. Samardo Samuels, the No. 4 player in the class of 2008, is the only Top 10 recruit to sign with Louisville since Pitino arrived in 2001. Pitino did have four other McDonald’s All-Americans: Earl Clark (24th in 2006), Peyton Siva (27th in 2009), Chane Behanan (24th in 2011) and Wayne Blackshear (26th in 2011). Pitino was also able to bring in former Top 10 recruits David Padgett and Marvin Stone as transfers. Francisco Garcia, who led the Cards to their only Final Four under Pitino, was the No. 71 recruit in 2002.
So long, coach
Seven of the 10 coaches who landed Top 10 recruits in 2007 are no longer with those schools. Only Ben Howland (UCLA), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Krzyzewski remain. Four of the other seven were fired or otherwise forced out: Tim Floyd (USC), Kelvin Sampson (Indiana), Gillispie (Kentucky) and Sidney Lowe (N.C. State). Lute Olson retired from Arizona and Calipari (Memphis) and Bob Huggins (Kansas State) both left for jobs at Kentucky and West Virginia, respectively.
The odds are pretty good that UK will expand on its recent success with Top 10s once the 2012 class rankings are finalized. Here’s a look at the current Top 10 for 2012: 1. Shabazz Muhammad (uncommitted), 2. Mitch McGary (Michigan), 3. Kyle Anderson (UCLA), 4. Isaiah Austin (Baylor), 5. Brandon Ashley (Arizona), 6. Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona), 7. Anthony Bennett (uncommitted), 8. Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), 9. Archie Goodwin (Kentucky), 10. Cameron Ridley (Texas).
The Cats are considered slight favorites to land Muhammad, and UK is also high on Bennett’s list. With Goodwin already in the fold and UK signee Alex Poythress currently 18th and poised for a major jump in the final rankings, it looks like the Cats will have multiple Top 10 recruits for the fourth straight year under Calipari.
No player on this page came out of high school as the unanimous No. 1 recruit, according to the RSCI rankings. That could change this year. Muhammad is currently rated as the No. 1 player by all six services that make up the RSCI. Four services rank McGary at No. 2, while Anderson and Austin are ranked second by the other two. If no one catches Muhammad in any of the rankings, he will be the first unanimous No. 1 recruit since Greg Oden in 2006. Oden went on to lead Ohio State to the national championship game as a freshman before being selected with the No. 1 pick in that year’s NBA Draft.