College Basketball's Biggest Recruiting Battles for the Class of 2013
Jabari Parker headlines college basketball's recruiting Class of 2013, which is one of the best we've seen in years.
This is the class that college basketball coaches should be focusing on, which is why there are such fierce battles between programs to land these coveted recruits.
These battles are ranked on importance based on the skill of the player, the need of the schools, the prestige of the schools, the effect the recruit can have and if the competing schools have rivalries.
These are the top battles to keep an eye on in the Class of 2013.
Contenders: Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Marquette, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, West Virginia
Contenders: Alabama, Baylor, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas
Contenders: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington
Contenders: Arizona, Baylor, Colorado, Louisville, Oklahoma State, San Diego State, USC, UCLA, Washington
Contenders: Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, SMU, Syracuse, Texas, Tulsa, UCLA
10. Wayne Selden
Weight: 200 pounds
Contenders: Arizona, Boston College, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Providence, West Virginia
Wayne Selden is a well-built shooting guard who's had a ton of experience against D-I competition. Playing alongside the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2012, Nerlens Noel, Selden will be ready for college when he moves on to the next level.
Selden has the natural tools to dominate with his strength and length. The only thing that Selden needs to work on is his skill-set.
His jumper is only decent, and he will need to work on extending his range and consistency. As of now he seems more like a small forward than a shooting guard because of his stroke, but if he can improve it then he will become a great shooting guard.
Selden is an explosive athlete, and almost every school in D-I will want to land him. Right now he has a dozen of the best schools in the country competing for his services, including legendary programs like Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and Georgetown.
Selden's recruiting is going to come down to a dogfight between these schools, and it will be interesting to see where he will go.
9. Johnathan Williams III
Weight: 208 pounds
Contenders: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgetown, George Mason, Florida, Kentucky, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA
Johnathan Williams III is listed as a power forward at 6'8" and 208 pounds, but his NBA future clearly lies as a combo forward.
J3 is a long, skilled player whose frame gives him great length and strength. He also has the ability to play point guard at times because of his skill, which makes him a great asset to any team.
His versatility has coaches interested in his services, which is why 14 power conference teams and two of the best mid-majors in the country are all battling for him.
Williams III is clearly keeping his options open, with 16 schools on his list. He has some of the greatest recruiters in the country going after him, including Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, Jim Calhoun and John Calipari.
This is one of the more impressive list of schools in the Class of 2013.
8. Nick King
Weight: 210 pounds
Contenders: Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgetown, Marquette, Memphis, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Nick King was a question mark for a long time before having the best year of his career by far as a junior. It looks like he has finally started to scratch his potential, and he is now one of the top players in the Class of 2013.
He is a versatile player who could play either small forward or shooting guard in college. He is long and thin, but he is surprisingly tough for his size.
King has a great mid-range game which could allow him to play shooting guard, and he can drive well which could allow him to play wing. While he could use more range, he is still an excellent player who is still improving.
This Memphis native clearly wants to stay in the south, and he has the best coaches around his hometown battling for him to play for them.
7. BeeJay Anya
Weight: 275 pounds
Contenders: DePaul, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Texas, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
BeeJay Anya may be short for a center at 6'9", but his wingspan is a ridiculous 7'4", which is longer than those of Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and more.
It may even be the longest wingspan of a top draft prospect ever.
Anya is a big, strong player who uses his body well. He knows that he can use his strength to his advantage in the lane, and he can easily back down other centers. He stays in the lane on both ends of the floor, never extending too far out.
He is surprisingly quick on his feet and moves well. He can get up and down the floor very well for his size, which makes him a valuable asset.
Anya is being recruited by just about every school in the country, which is why his list comprises of 14 of the best programs in history.
6. Aaron Gordon
Weight: 210 pounds
Contenders: Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Stanford
Aaron Gordon is the definition of a combo-forward. He is a big, strong player who possesses incredible skills and can play point-forward.
He is improving his offensive game in leaps and bounds. He can drive well, he is a skilled point guard and is still improving his jump-shot.
On defense, he utilizes his incredible athleticism to block shots and disrupt opponents. He can also defend any position except for center, and he will be a valuable asset to any team.
Gordon is from San Jose, CA, and it makes sense that he might want to stay on the west coast. However, John Calipari and Bill Self are trying to pull him away with the lure of two of the most illustrious programs in college basketball history.
Sean Miller is trying to keep him on the west coast, and this battle comes down to whether or not west coast schools can keep top prospects close to home.
5. Chris Walker
Weight: 195 pounds
Contenders: Baylor, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse
Chris Walker is a tall, lanky power forward who will be looking to add some weight during his senior year and when he starts his college weight-lifting program.
He has good skill and athleticism which will allow him to play as a combo-forward in the future. He displays his potential as a small forward in transition when he runs out ahead of the defense and finishes with spectacular dunks.
Walker plays well inside as well, finishing with both hands and utilizing his ability to get up and finish above the rim.
Walker's incredible upside has him getting national attention, and all 10 schools on his list have great programs. In fact, all 10 made the NCAA tournament this year, including all four No. 1 seeds, and three of the four teams in the Final Four.
4. James Young
Weight: 210 pounds
Contenders: Connecticut, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Ohio State, Providence
James Young has incredible size for a shooting guard at 6'6" and he could easily play small forward in college.
Young is a scoring machine, and this southpaw can beat defenders in a variety of ways. He has good range and can drive. He is also always ready to score, and it takes no time at all for him to catch and shoot.
What's more impressive about Young is that he can affect the game without scoring as well because he is a great facilitator and defender. The fact that he doesn't need to score to change the game as a shooting guard makes him a top five prospect.
Young's unique ability and natural gifts make him arguably the most coveted shooting guard in the Class of 2013, which is why he is being recruited so fiercely.
3. Julius Randle
Weight: 225 pounds
Contenders: Baylor, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Texas, TCU, Ohio State, Oklahoma
Julius Randle is the best big man in the Class of 2013, and with good reason.
This kid is a monster on both ends of the court. He plays tough defense and is a decent shot-blocker, but he is improving at an incredible rate. On offense he is mainly a post scorer, but he is one of the best in the country, dropping 50 points in a game against Fort Worth Nolan.
Randle has a high ceiling and should be an All-Star in the NBA one day. He is a coveted recruit who will be on the mind of every D-I coach in the country.
There's a reason why this kid has some of the greatest programs in college basketball history competing for his services.
2. Jabari Parker
Weight: 220 pounds
Contenders: Connecticut, DePaul, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford
Jabari Parker is the best player in high school. Period.
He has been hailed as the best high schooler since LeBron James, and with good reason. He is a freak of an athlete and plays with a high level of energy that never seems to wear away.
Parker is very versatile and can beat opponents on either end of the floor. He is a scoring machine who has good range and can also play down low.
On defense he is a disruptive defender who is hard to shake, and the only way to get him off of the ball is to set multiple screens on the perimeter.
The only flaws you can find in this kid's game are very small ones, and he has one of the tightest games in the country (including college and NBA players).
This kid is the single most coveted recruit in the nation right now, which is why every school who he has even remote interest in is pursuing him.
However, his recruiting battle is not the most important in the country.
1. The Harrison Twins
Position: PG (Andrew), SG (Aaron)
Weight: 210 pounds
Contenders: Baylor, Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova
Aaron and Andrew Harrison are both top five players in the Class of 2013, and they will immediately form the best backcourt in college basketball during the 2013-14 season.
Together, these two easily surpass the potential of the No. 1 player in the class, Jabari Parker. Their impact will be enormous, and whichever school lands them will immediately become contenders.
The twins will announce their decision on October 28 of this year, and it will come down to a fight between just four schools.
Kentucky is the best team in the nation right now, but Baylor is a rising star as Villanova and Maryland used to be elite programs but have fallen off in recent years.