College Basketball Recruiting: 5 Top Players Yet to Decide and Where They'll Go
The focus of the college basketball community is on a select group of individuals who have yet to decide where they will be playing basketball in 2012-13. These talented high school athletes are maximizing their time to make the best decision possible, and who can blame them?
We are two weeks removed from the end of the college basketball season, and the landscape has continued to change. Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad and Arizona's trio of talented big men will give the Pac-12 instant credibility next year. Schools like Providence and North Carolina State are making waves on the recruiting trail with stellar classes.
Some schools are still looking for more. These five players have yet to decide which school they will attend. Their decisions will further change the landscape for the upcoming season.
Here are the latest rumors on the top five recruits yet to announce where they will play in 2012-13.
Considering: Florida, Kentucky, Oregon, UNLV, Washington
It's a guessing game as to where Anthony Bennett will play college basketball. Florida has been the front-runner for some time now and have roster spots open with the departure of Bradley Beal and Walter Pitchford.
But what do expert decisions mean any more? Before Nerlens Noel announced, everyone and their mother had him going to Georgetown because his mother played a "major part" in his decision, and she favored the Hoyas.
Bennett hasn't given the media much food for thought, although it would be shocking if he selected Oregon or Washington. His decision may be the last, as he has just started his school visits.
I'm predicting Florida because they are a guard-heavy team and need a low-post presence beside Patric Young.
Considering: Duke, North Carolina State, Villanova
To put it simply, I'd be shocked to see Amile Jefferson choose any school but Duke. He would provide instant scoring in the absence of Austin Rivers, and would be playing for a legend.
North Carolina State is in a precarious situation. If C.J. Leslie stays in school, Jefferson would be battling for playing time all year—not to mention, the Wolfpack have already signed small forward T.J. Warren
Villanova is the wild card here. No one seems to be talking about Jay Wright's chances of landing Jefferson, although they are the stay-at-home favorite.
In the end, his best chance of winning lies with an ACC school.
Considering: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Oregon, Providence, St. John's
Christopher Obekpa is the best shot-blocking big man left in the 2012 class. He's visiting Oregon later this month, showing that he hasn't decided and probably won't until next month.
Connecticut may have the most prestige out of these six schools, but their postseason ban hurts their odds. With Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi leaving, however, there is a vacancy to be filled.
Providence and St. John's are two schools with loads of young talent, and both are right in the mix for Obekpa.
I give the edge to Cincinnati because of the hole Yancy Gates left, and the fact that Mick Cronin has more recent success than any coach on this list (aside from Jim Calhoun).
Considering: Duke, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio State, UCLA
Duke and Kansas have the celebrity coaches. Add UCLA to that list and you have three of the most historic programs in college basketball history.
Georgia and Ohio State seem to be on the outside looking in. Georgia has location, but that's about it. Ohio State has an experienced team but zero commitments in 2012.
UCLA has two young studs in Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson, and Parker could join and instantly contribute. If distance is a problem, however, look out for Duke and Kansas. All three are viable options for the big man.
Considering: Alabama, Georgetown, Missouri, Texas
Devonta Pollard is one of the best wing players in this year's class, and his talents will have a huge impact for each of these four teams. All four are on equal footing, according to Pollard.
Missouri's up-tempo style last year was fueled by wing players like Pollard. Frank Haith landed Alex Oriakhi earlier this month, and an addition of Pollard would put Missouri near the top of the SEC next year.
Speaking of SEC, Alabama could certainly use some size with the departure of JaMychal Green. Pollard (6'7", 190 lbs.) doesn't quite fit the mold of Green (6'8", 240), but he would join a stable of guards in Tuscaloosa.
Hollis Thompson left a void at Georgetown, although the more pressing matter for the Hoyas will be who will distribute the basketball with Henry Sims graduating.
Texas has a top-five class coming in. Pollard may battle for playing time, but with his skill, he should play no matter where he goes.
Your guess is as good as mine as to where Pollard will end up. I'll select Alabama here because they are closer to home.