College Basketball's 10 Most Undervalued 2012 Recruiting Classes
Thanks to John Calipari's unparalleled recruiting success over the last few years, an overwhelming amount of media attention goes to a small number of college basketball programs when it comes to signing high school players.
In the end, Kentucky and UCLA received most of the hype and grabbed most of the spotlight this spring when they did well gaining commitments from big-time prospects.
But Calipari and Ben Howland were not the only coaches to score big in one of the most important aspects of college hoops: Recruiting.
The following is a list of the 10 most undervalued 2012 recruiting classes.
While these schools may not have to rebuild, reload or refill their rosters next year because everyone left through early departures, these are teams to keep an eye on because of the significant talent they brought in this year.
10. Memphis Tigers
Josh Pastner has proven that he can consistently pull in big-time prospects at Memphis.
Pastner, 34, has won 75 games in his first three seasons as a Division I head coach primarily due to his ability to recruit.
His collection of 2012 recruits will make an immediate impact on a Tiger team that is not short on talent.
Shaq Goodwin (pictured) has all the physical tools to be an elite-level PF.
Damien Wilson will effectively fill the void created by Will Barton's early departure.
9. Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa hasn't won 20 games in a season since Steve Alford did in the 2005-2006 season (25-9).
Fran McCaffery is working hard to turn that around, and this year's recruiting class should help the Hawkeyes keep moving forward in the torturous Big Ten.
Adam Woodbury (pictured) is a legitimate post player who has the size and drive to make things happen down-low.
Mike Gesell could be the next Aaron Craft when it comes to tough-as-nails play on the perimeter.
8. Florida Gators
Billy Donovan hasn't posted a 421-178 record by being lucky.
He has consistently found and brought in players to Gainesville over the 16 years he has been the Gators' head coach.
Donovan loves stockpiling guards and this year's recruiting class is no different.
Braxton Ogbueze (pictured) will step in and run the point from day one.
Michael Frazier, DeVon Walker and Dillon Graham are all 6'4" wings that can flat-out fill it up.
7. Villanova Wildcats
This past year, Jay Wright's Wildcats missed post-season play for the first time in his 11 seasons at Villanova.
Don't expect that to continue.
Wright brought in a pair of choice prospects that will help turn things around right away.
Watch out for PG Ryan Arcidiacono (pictured). He has great court vision, exceptional handles and a long-range jumper to match.
Daniel Ochefu is a versatile 6'9" PF who can post up or face up with equal effectiveness.
6. Virginia Cavaliers
Tony Bennett's ability to lock down talent has helped the Cavs make steady progress over his first three years at the helm at Virginia.
Bennett will see immediate production from this year's group.
Justin Anderson (pictured) is a terror in the open court.
Evan Nolte, a 6'7" SF, has legit range to 25 feet.
Mike Tobey, a 6'11" center, has the tools to turn into a force in the middle.
5. Syracuse Orange
From year-to-year, Jim Boeheim simply reloads at Syracuse.
Lose top talent? No problem. Just pick up a couple elite-level recruits on an annual basis.
The Orange's two-player Class of 2012 will give Boeheim talent to plug in instantly.
DaJuan Coleman (pictured; 6'9'' 275 lbs) is a wide-body who has no trouble creating space by which he can operate.
Jerami Grant will successfully carry on the Grant family hoops lineage (his dad is Harvey; his uncle is Horace) by being a nice face-up 4.
4. Houston Cougars
The Houston Cougars haven't been on some people's college hoops radar since the days of Phi Slamma Jamma.
Head Coach James Dickey may have had two unimpressive seasons to begin his time at Houston (combined record of 27-33), but things are about to get interesting.
Dickey has convinced three local studs to stay home and play at UH.
Danuel House (pictured) is a five-star SF that everyone was after.
Danrad Knowles (6'9" 190 lbs) is a long and lean 4 who can play inside or outside.
Valentine Izundu is a raw 6'10" center that could become a star.
3. Kansas Jayhawks
Bill Self is an extraordinary recruiter.
He is on the hunt for just about every major player on an annual basis.
This year's haul is filled with players with plenty of length and game.
Everybody wanted Perry Ellis. Kansas got him.
He will be the next great PF at KU.
Andrew White can play either wing position exceptionally.
Landen Lucas adds more strength down low.
Zack Peters (6'9" 240 lbs) could be Jeff Withey 2.0.
2. Pitt Panthers
The reason Jamie Dixon has one of the best overall records of any college coach since 2003 (238-77) is that the guy can recruit.
You don't average 26 wins a year playing with a bunch of scrubs.
Dixon inked a small group of recruits who could have a big impact as soon as things get rolling in the fall.
It won't take long to see how special Steven Adams is. The 6'10" New Zealander has the build and the skills to step in and make a difference instantly.
PG James Robinson will make it impossible to keep him off the court.
1. Michigan State Spartans
Tom Izzo is relentless, reeling in elite-level recruits every year.
Even though more attention has been given to other Big Ten teams' (Indiana, Michigan) 2012 recruiting success, Izzo's new group will take a back seat to nobody.
Gary Harris (pictured) will be one of the best SGs in the nation. Period.
Kenny Kaminski, Matt Costello, and Denzel Valentine are a trio of four-star forwards who are custom-made for MSU's physical style of play.
The Spartans may have lost Draymond Green through graduation, but they will be in the conference and national hunt from start to finish in 2012-13.