College Basketball Recruiting: Re-Ranking 2013 Recruiting Classes
College basketball's recruiting Class of 2013 is one of the best in years—and coaches are taking notice.
The college basketball landscape will certainly be influenced by how the recruitment of this class goes, and some schools have already jumped out ahead of the pack.
As the recruitment of the class heats up before the season starts we will see a flurry of moves. The class is going to see many of its members pledging allegiances in the coming months.
However, we've already seen quite a few commitments, with 50 members of the ESPNU Top 100 already committing.
A lot has changed since my last update. We've seen elite players like Jabari Bird, Nick King and Semi Ojeleye all commit, which has shaken up the rankings. I've also expanded the list from 10 teams to 15 to accommodate all the moves being made.
15. California Golden Bears
Top Recruit: SG Jabari Bird
Previous Ranking: NR
Cal lucked out when it won the Jabari Bird sweepstakes, keeping the Richmond, CA native close to home.
Bird is an elite wing who, at 6'6", can play either shooting guard or small forward. He is one of the top shooting guards in the class already, and he continues to develop his game.
Bird will be joined by fellow shooting guard Jordan Mathews, another California native who deemed the Bears the best fit for him.
A year removed from its first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, Cal is trying to build for the future, and these two shooting guards will play vital roles in that process.
14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Top Recruit: SG Steve Vasturia
Previous Ranking: NR
After moving to the ACC on Wednesday, Notre Dame's recruiting should pick up in time. However, they're not doing too bad right now, as they have a top-15 class in the nation for the Class of 2013.
Head coach Mike Brey has already secured commitments from SG Steve Vasturia and SF V.J. Beachem, both of whom are excellent players. They are similar in terms of their talent level and will make a good scoring combination for the Irish as they move to their new conference.
Every team needs its shooting guard and wing to put up some points, and it looks like Notre Dame has their wing players for years to come.
13. Alabama Crimson Tide
Top Recruit: C Jimmie Taylor
Previous Ranking: 10
Coach Anthony Grant is bringing in a pair of superb big men for the Crimson Tide. C Jimmie Taylor and PF Shannon Hale have both already committed to Alabama, giving the team an inside presence for years to come.
Taylor is an athletic 6'10" center with great shot-blocking ability. He is very mobile and will be able to run the floor well in transition to score easy buckets.
Hale has a nice jumper and can knock down mid-range shots without hesitation. Like Taylor, he too will need to add some strength, but both players have a whole year before they head to Tuscaloosa, giving them time to bulk up.
12. Purdue Boilermakers
Top Recruit: SG Kendall Stephens
Previous Ranking: NR
Purdue has found itself hovering around the edge of this list for both its Class of 2012 and Class of 2013. As of now they stand at No. 12 in the country, thanks to landing three commits by February 2011.
SG Kendall Stephens leads the class. The long, lanky wing has excellent range and athletic ability, and he could be a big threat on the perimeter for the Boilermakers.
Stephens will also be joined by SF Basil Smotherman and combo-guard Bryson Scott. These three guys will score a lot of points for Purdue and form a solid recruiting class.
11. Indiana Hoosiers
Top Recruit: SG Stanford Robinson
Previous Ranking: 9
Tom Crean is building a reputation as one of the top recruiters in college basketball, bringing in boatloads of talent to his preseason No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers.
Crean's newest recruiting class is up to four recruits so far, led by talented scorer Stanford Robinson, who could easily be a star with a bit of coaching. After Robinson come PF Luke Fischer, SF Devin Davis and SF Collin Hartman.
These guys are joining an IU program that seems to get deeper every year. They are the next unit that Crean will use to keep the Hoosiers among the nation's elite.
10. Iowa State Cyclones
Top Recruit: SG Matt Thomas
Previous Ranking: 7
Iowa State is making its second ever appearance on one of these lists this month, thanks to its talented backcourt of SG Matt Thomas and PG Monte Morris.
These two are both elite guards who will combine to give the Cyclones a fierce presence in the backcourt. They can compete with the best guards in the Class of 2013, and should mesh together nicely.
It's also worth noting that Iowa State is bringing in JUCO transfer Richard Armadi, who will give the team a big man to complement the guards.
9. Louisville Cardinals
Top Recruit: SG Anton Gill
Previous Ranking: 8
Louisville's vitals may not look so impressive when compared to other teams, but the Cardinals are bringing in a great combination in SG Anton Gill and PG Terry Rozier.
These two make up an even more impressive combination of guards than that of Iowa State. Gill is a high-level scorer with great athleticism and seemingly unlimited potential. Rozier was a highly-touted guard in the Class of 2012 who will be spending the year in prep school before officially balling it up for the Cards.
Rozier will be a replacement for Peyton Siva in the backcourt while Gill will instantly be one of the Cardinals' leading scorers. Look for these two guys to be an important combination for Louisville in the coming years.
8. BYU Cougars
Top Recruit: SG Nick Emery
Previous Ranking: 6
Dave Rose just keeps bringing in more and more recruits to BYU in the Class of 2012. His most recent commitment came from PF Luke Worthington on Sept. 2, giving him three power forwards and four big men in the Class of 2013.
Along with Worthington come top-100 recruits SG Nick Emery and C Eric Mika and fellow power forwards Jakob Hartsock and Braiden Shaw.
These five give Rose and BYU one of the biggest recruiting classes so far and will give the Cougars quite a few big-time contributors over the next few years.
7. UCLA Bruins
Top Recruit: PG Zach LaVine
Previous Ranking: NR
Ben Howland makes yet another appearance on this list after taking home the No. 1 recruiting class for the Class of 2012. While the Class of 2013 isn't bringing as much talent as the Class of 2012 so far, Howland has made steps in the right direction.
By bringing in PG Zach LaVine and SG Allerik Freeman, he has more guards who can complement Kyle Anderson if he stays for a second year with the Bruins. In addition, they will be able to feed the ball to big man Tony Parker and the rest of the frontcourt.
While they're not Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson, LaVine and Freeman are both elite recruits who will help UCLA.
6. Marquette Golden Eagles
Top Recruit: PG Duane Wilson
Previous Ranking: 5
Before I talk about Marquette I'd just like to acknowledge an error on my part from last month's edition. The team has two recruits and JUCO transfer PF Jameel McKay, not three recruits.
Back to Marquette.
Buzz Williams and Marquette have been close to the top of this list in every edition in the Class of 2013, but the Golden Eagles continue their slide in this month's update, dropping just one spot to No. 6.
With PG Duane Wilson and wing Deonte Burton both committing early, the team got off to a fast start, and landing one more good recruit to join these two studs will keep Marquette in top-15 classes for a very long time.
5. Kansas Jayhawks
Top Recruit: PG Conner Frankamp
Previous Ranking: 4
Yet another one of college basketball's elite recruiters to appear on this list, Bill Self keeps his Kansas Jayhawks on this list seemingly every month.
In the Class of 2013, Self is bringing in a new backcourt of PG Conner Frankamp and SG Brannen Greene, both of whom are high-level guards. These two are both incredible scorers and will give the Jayhawks instant offense.
With just two recruits committed you can be sure that Self isn't done yet, but he's already gathered enough talent for one of the top classes in the nation.
4. Duke Blue Devils
Top Recruit: SG Matt Jones
Previous Ranking: NR
Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils made a huge jump from August to September, leaping from an unranked position outside of the top 10 to No. 4 thanks to the commitment of SF Semi Ojeleye.
Ojeleye is a tough scorer and an elite wing. He will be a valuable asset to the Blue Devils alongside SG Matt Jones, who is also an exceptional scorer.
These two guys will make for a difficult combination to stop, as they can both score in bunches and it's tough to stop either of them with just one defender.
3. North Carolina Tar Heels
Top Recruit: PF Isaiah Hicks
Previous Ranking: 3
You're going to hear me say this every month until North Carolina picks up another recruit, but the Class of 2013 brings in the epitome of Roy Williams basketball.
PG Nate Britt will join the long line of elite floor generals for the Tar Heels, and he is a threat both on the perimeter and when he drives through the lane. The class also features big man Isaiah Hicks, who can dominate inside almost at will and brings an athletic look as well.
These two guys are exactly what Williams loves. Having an inside-outside combo of a point guard and big man is what UNC is all about.
2. Michigan Wolverines
Top Recruit: SG Zak Irvin
Previous Ranking: 2
Holding steady at the No. 2 position, Michigan's recruiting class brings in many good players instead of simply a couple of elite ones.
SF Zak Irvin, PG Derrick Walton and PF Mark Donnal are all great players who can make a big impact at the next level.
These three will help keep Michigan among the nation's elite by replacing any potential losses like those of Tim Hardaway Jr. or Trey Burke (which could happen next year). Otherwise, they will add tremendous depth to one of the nation's elite starting fives.
1. Florida Gators
Top Recruit: PG Kasey Hill
Previous Ranking: 1
Last, but certainly not least, come Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators. The Gators maintain the No. 1 spot on this list from last month, thanks to a pair of top-10 recruits.
PG Kasey Hill and PF Chris Walker make this the nation's top recruiting class, as both players are in the top 10 in the country. Then throw in PF Schuyler Rimmer and you have an incredible class.
Donovan is one of college basketball's most successful coaches for his age, and I expect this class to keep him among the winningest coaches in the country.
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