NCAA Basketball Rankings 2013: Top 25 Recruiting Classes

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIJanuary 23, 2013

NCAA Basketball Rankings 2013: Top 25 Recruiting Classes

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    Another month, another monumental commitment in college basketball recruiting.

    Dakari Johnson was the biggest prize that came off the board this month, and he and his fellow commits have shaken up the recruiting class rankings.

    Johnson's commitment to Kentucky doesn't change much, as the rich keep getting richer. However, the other commits this month and further evaluation have made a few noticeable changes in the rankings, and it's time for another monthly update of our top 25 recruiting classes.

25. UTEP

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    Previous Ranking: Unranked

    Commits: SG Isaac Hamilton (No. 25, ESPN), SF Vincent Hunter (Unranked), SG Andre Spight (Unranked), SF Jake Flaggert (Unranked), PG Josh Brown (Unranked)

    Star Power: Hamilton is the key to this class after surprisingly picking UTEP over UCLA, San Diego State and UNLV. His ability to score himself or create for others will be key for the Miners down the road.

    Irons in the Fire: The team is still looking at two small forwards in LaMarcus White and Wilfredo Rodriguez. Neither of these guys will blow you away, but White would be a solid addition and could be arguably the second-best player in the Miners' class.

    Bottom Line: UTEP loses a few key pieces, but the team's class should more than make up for those losses. Look for Hamilton to emerge as the face of Miners basketball in a few years.

24. Illinois

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    Previous Ranking: 23

    Commits: SG Kendrick Nunn (No. 59, ESPN), SG Malcolm Hill (No. 92), C Maverick Morgan (Unranked), PF Austin Colbert (Unranked), PG Jaylon Tate (Unranked)

    Star Power: Nunn's ability to knock down shots from anywhere on the court, coupled with Hill's athleticism, gives the Illini a dangerous combo on the perimeter.

    Irons in the Fire: There are only five guys still considering Illinois, which is down from seven last month, with power forward Demetrius Henry leading the way.

    Bottom Line: Losing National Player of the Year candidate Brandon Paul will hurt, but this class will certainly help ease the pain of seeing him go.

23. Wisconsin

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    Previous Ranking: Unranked

    Commits: PG Bronson Koenig (No. 94, ESPN), PF Nigel Hayes (Unranked), SG Riley Dearring (Unranked), SG Jordan Hill (Unranked), PF Vitto Brown (Unranked)

    Star Power: Koenig might not be the next Jordan Taylor (sorry, Wisconsin fans), but he is still a talented point guard who headlines this class with his ability to both facilitate and score.

    Irons in the Fire: The only player still considering Wisconsin is 6'6" center Austin Mecca. Even if he does go to Madison, he likely won't make much of an impact.

    Bottom Line: There isn't a wealth of stars in this class, but because all five players are talented and have shown potential, that's perfectly OK for a Bo Ryan-coached team.

22. UCLA

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    Previous Ranking: 20

    Commits: PG Zach LaVine (No. 51, ESPN), SG Allerik Freeman (No. 54), SF Noah Allen (Unranked)

    Star Power: LaVine and Freeman will make up a fierce backcourt in a few years and could resemble what we're seeing at Gonzaga right now with Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, Jr.

    Irons in the Fire: Point guard Rysheed Jordan is still there for the taking, and Howland should be focusing all of his efforts on bringing him to Westwood.

    Bottom Line: Is there a Shabazz Muhammad in this class? No. Will it still add to the backcourt and complement the returning big men? Yes.

21. Oklahoma State

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    Previous Ranking: 22

    Commits: PG Stevie Clark (No. 62, ESPN), SG Detrick Mostella (No. 83), SF Leyton Hammonds (Unranked), SF Jeff Carroll (Unranked)

    Star Power: If you thought watching Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart was fun, we might see another great combo with Clark and Mostella, as they are both elite scorers.

    Irons in the Fire: Three recruits are still considering Oklahoma State, with PF Brian Bridgewater being the most important of them, as he would help the Cowboys inside more than anyone else.

    Bottom Line: Obviously, Clark and Mostella are the big prizes here, and they will be immediate contributors for OSU.

20. Missouri

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    Previous Ranking: 21

    Commits: PF Johnathan Williams III (No. 37, ESPN), PG Wes Clark (No. 74), PF Torren Jones (Unranked)

    Star Power: JW3's athletic ability makes him a highlight waiting to happen, and that explosiveness will be huge at Missouri.

    Irons in the Fire: All five guys that the team was pursuing last month are still considering the Tigers, so don't be surprised to see them land another recruit or two.

    Bottom Line: The team is still going to need Phil Pressey to come back next season if it is going to be truly great, and seeing him with JW3 would be fun to watch.

19. Florida State

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    Previous Ranking: 19

    Commits: SG Xavier Rathan-Mayes (No. 26, ESPN), PF Jarquez Smith (No. 80)

    Star Power: The team's two recruits are both potential stars, and it will be interesting to see how they develop over time.

    Irons in the Fire: ESPN's No. 1 overall recruit, Andrew Wiggins, is still considering the Seminoles, and the team is likely focusing all its efforts on stealing him from Kentucky.

    Bottom Line: The team only brings in two recruits, but if either lives up to their potential, Florida State will gain a dangerous weapon who can become a star in a few years' time.

18. BYU

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    Previous Ranking: 17

    Commits: PG Nick Emery (No. 61, ESPN), C Eric Mika (No. 76), PF Luke Worthington (Unranked), PF Jakob Hartsock (Unranked), PF Braiden Shaw (Unranked)

    Star Power: Emery and Mika will make up a great inside-outside combination, but I personally believe that Mika will be the star of this class when it's all said and done. He has really impressed me and should be able to overcome his 6'9" stature in college.

    Irons in the Fire: Shooting guard Connor Toolson is the only recruit still considering Dave Rose's Cougars and could provide a perimeter weapon to help Emery in the future.

    Bottom Line: These five guys are going to form a solid core for the Cougars, and I can't wait to see Emery and Mika in a year or two.

17. Arizona

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    Previous Ranking: 16

    Commits: SF Rondae Jefferson (No. 17, ESPN), SG Elliott Pitts (No. 91)

    Star Power: Jefferson is a freakishly gifted athlete, and he is going to be a key player for the Wildcats in the future.

    Irons in the Fire: Aaron Gordon is a man among boys, and even at the collegiate level, he will be one of the best athletes in the country. Pairing him with Jefferson would be nothing short of spectacular for Arizona.

    Bottom Line: Another class with only two players, but another in which both guys could be stars. Expect Jefferson and Pitts to become very well known in Tucson.

16. Baylor

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    Previous Ranking: 18

    Commits: SF Ishmail Wainright (No. 28, ESPN), C Dominic Woodson (No. 81 ESPN), PF Johnathan Motley (Unranked)

    Star Power: Baylor jumped up two spots this week because of the play of Dominic Woodson. He is an absolute beast, and after watching more and more of him, I expect him to become the next Reggie Johnson.

    Irons in the Fire: Three guys are still looking at Baylor, but they would all sit the bench for a very long time before doing anything important in Waco.

    Bottom Line: The Bears are losing star point guard Pierre Jackson and don't have another floor general. The team looks like it could have a horrible season next year if Scott Drew can't find a suitable replacement.

15. Notre Dame

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    Previous Ranking: 13

    Commits: PG Demetrius Jackson (No. 21, ESPN), SG Steve Vasturia (No. 87), SF V.J. Beachem (No. 95), PF Austin Torres (Unranked)

    Star Power: Jackson is easily the brightest star in this class, and he will come in and immediately play point guard for the Irish.

    Irons in the Fire: There aren't anymore recruits thinking about Notre Dame in the Class of 2013, but you can bet that Mike Brey is already looking at the Class of 2014.

    Bottom Line: Notre Dame addressed its biggest need in a big way. By landing a point guard, it addressed its biggest concern, and the Irish also gain a couple of talented weapons to back Jackson up.

14. Arkansas

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    Previous Ranking: 15

    Commits: PF Bobby Portis (No. 11, ESPN), C Moses Kingsley (No. 49)

    Star Power: Portis and Kingsley are big men who will make up an exciting combo for Arkansas at the next level.

    Irons in the Fire: Arkansas' class is essentially complete, as no other recruits are considering the Razorbacks.

    Bottom Line: Arkansas only has two recruits, but both of them have elite potential and should be starters soon.

13. Marquette

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    Previous Ranking: 14

    Commits: SF Deonte Burton (No. 42, ESPN), PG Duane Wilson (No. 57), SG JaJuan Johnson (No. 64), PG John Dawson (Unranked)

    Star Power: Marquette is going to be very deep on the perimeter for the next few years with these guys on the outside.

    Irons in the Fire: Three guys are still looking at Marquette, with power forward Brian Bridgewater being the best of the group.

    Bottom Line: Marquette makes up for the loss of senior Junior Cadougan, but the tallest member of the team next year will be 6'8", so the Golden Eagles did not address their major issue.

12. Michigan

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    Previous Ranking: 12

    Commits: SF Zak Irvin (No. 24, ESPN), PG Derrick Walton (No. 35), PF Mark Donnal (No. 99)

    Star Power: The key to this class is Walton, who will be replacing Trey Burke. He is a talented player, and while he isn't as talented as Burke, he can hold his own.

    Irons in the Fire: Michigan has exhausted its wealth of players who were thinking about Ann Arbor, and now the team is done in the Class of 2013.

    Bottom Line: With Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. likely departing for the NBA, Michigan has a lot of holes to fill. However, the team brings in a good deal of talent and should remain in the Top 25 next season.

11. LSU

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    Previous Ranking: 10

    Commits: PF Jarrell Martin (No. 15, ESPN), PF Jordan Mickey (No. 47), PG Tim Quarterman (No. 67)

    Star Power: LSU was in desperate need of talent, and the team certainly found some here. Martin, Mickey and Quarterman are the future of this program.

    Irons in the Fire: No. 22 recruit Keith Frazier is still looking at LSU, and adding him would make this one of the top classes in the country, and arguably the best in school history.

    Bottom Line: With three Top 100 recruits, a pair of JUCO transfers and another Top 100 recruit still considering them, the Tigers are set up for success.

10. North Carolina State

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    Previous Ranking: 9

    Commits: PG Anthony Barber (No. 14, ESPN), C BeeJay Anya (No. 32), PF Kyle Washington (No. 69)

    Star Power: Last year's class for North Carolina State had three legitimate stars, and this year is no different. Expect all of these guys to flourish under Mark Gottfried in due time.

    Irons in the Fire: No. 3 recruit Julius Randle has NC State on his list of six schools, and adding him would give the Wolfpack the best big man in the Class of 2013.

    Bottom Line: These guys are the next wave of stars in Raleigh. Joining SG Rodney Purvis, SF T.J. Warren and PG Tyler Lewis from the Class of 2012, the Wolfpack are young and talented.

9. Louisville

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    Previous Ranking: 11

    Commits: SG Anton Gill (No. 40, ESPN), PF Akoy Agau (No. 84 ESPN), PG Terry Rozier (No. 74, 2012)

    Star Power: All of these guys are potential stars, but the one I'm keeping my eye on is Rozier. He is more experienced than the other two, and he has to replace Peyton Siva next season.

    Irons in the Fire: The Cardinals only have one guy still considering them, but he would be sitting behind Gill for his entire career. This class is essentially finished.

    Bottom Line: The Cards only have one senior on their roster, but he's arguably the most important player for the team. Siva is gone, and now Rozier will have to step in with the same weapons and try to replicate what Siva did.

8. Syracuse

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    Previous Ranking: 8

    Commits: PF Tyler Roberson (No. 27, ESPN), PG Tyler Ennis (No. 44), SG Ron Patterson (Unranked), SF B.J. Johnson (Unranked), C Chinonso Obokoh (Unranked)

    Star Power: Very rarely do freshmen get to come in and start for Jim Boeheim's team, but with Michael Carter-Williams heading to the NBA in all likelihood, Ennis will be asked to start from day one.

    Irons in the Fire: Syracuse is still technically going after No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins and missed out on Dakari Johnson, but the team can't offer anymore scholarships, so the team is essentially done.

    Bottom Line: Syracuse will lose another five guys this year if MCW goes pro, but bringing in five recruits will keep the Orange deep and talented.

7. Florida

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    Previous Ranking: 6

    Commits: PG Kasey Hill (No. 9, ESPN), PF Chris Walker (No. 10)

    Star Power: Two recruits. Two Top 10 players. Any questions?

    Irons in the Fire: Florida is also on Julius Randle's list of six schools, and landing him would give this team three ridiculously talented recruits.

    Bottom Line: Hill and Walker will form an incredible inside-outside combo and will help the team in both the backcourt and frontcourt next season.

6. Duke

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    Previous Ranking: 7

    Commits: SF Jabari Parker (No. 2, ESPN), SG Matt Jones (No. 36), SF Semi Ojeleye (No. 41)

    Star Power: Parker is arguably the best player in the country, and I would personally take him over Andrew Wiggins. He is a versatile player who will be key for the Blue Devils next year.

    Irons in the Fire: After landing Parker last month, Duke doesn't have any other recruits still considering coming to Durham.

    Bottom Line: The team loses three stars in Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly, but these three recruits will considerably lessen that blow.

5. North Carolina

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    Previous Ranking: 5

    Commits: PF Isaiah Hicks (No. 18, ESPN), C Kennedy Meeks (No. 20), PG Nate Britt (No. 52)

    Star Power: Roy Williams brings in yet another talented point guard in Britt while reinforcing the team's front line with big men Hicks and Meeks, who also have the potential to be stars.

    Irons in the Fire: No. 1 Andrew Wiggins is still considering UNC, but the Tar Heels will likely miss out on the Canadian star.

    Bottom Line: Williams' teams revolve around skilled point guards and dominant big men. This class exemplifies everything that UNC loves, and it is going to bolster the team for years to come.

4. Memphis

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    Previous Ranking: 4

    Commits: PF Austin Nichols (No. 13, ESPN), SF Kuran Iverson (No. 29), SF Nick King (No. 31), PG Rashawn Powell (No. 93), SG Markel Crawford (Unranked)

    Star Power: Iverson is the guy I want to highlight this month, with his versatility, size and skill allowing him to play any position other than center. He is one of three guys in this class who could be stars, with the other two being Nichols and King.

    Irons in the Fire: Of the six guys still considering Josh Pastner's Tigers, shooting guard Keith Frazier is easily the best. He is another long athlete who would fit in with this class as it takes over Memphis.

    Bottom Line: All of these guys are young, long and fast. You can expect the Tigers to be one of the fastest moving teams in the country with these guys running the floor.

3. Kansas

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    Previous Ranking: 2

    Commits: SF Wayne Selden (No. 16, ESPN), PG Conner Frankamp (No. 39), SG Brannen Greene (No. 43), C Joel Embiid (Unranked)

    Star Power: Kansas brings in a brand new perimeter, with Frankamp feeding Greene and Selden, who will do most of the work.

    Irons in the Fire: Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle are both on Kansas' radar, but I would be surprised to see either commit to Bill Self and Co.

    Bottom Line: Self brings in new stars who have the potential to develop in due time, and these guys will be the ones who lead Kansas in a few years.

2. Indiana

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    Previous Ranking: 3

    Commits: PF Noah Vonleh (No. 8, ESPN), SF Troy Williams (No. 33), SG Stanford Robinson (No. 58), PF Luke Fischer (Unranked), SF Devin Davis (Unranked), SF Collin Hartman (Unranked)

    Star Power: Vonleh is truly a freak and could develop into the best player in the Class of 2013. He is still developing and needs to understand the game better, but with his athleticism, he could become the nation's best player in a few years.

    Irons in the Fire: Tom Crean already has six guys, and that's all for Indiana in the Class of 2013.

    Bottom Line: With yet another deep, talented class, Indiana moves toward becoming a perennial powerhouse in the college basketball world, with Vonleh, Williams and Robinson leading the way.

1. Kentucky

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    Previous Ranking: 1

    Commits: PG Andrew Harrison (No. 3, ESPN), SG Aaron Harrison (No. 5), SG James Young (No. 6), C Dakari Johnson (No. 12), PF Marcus Lee (No. 30), PF Derek Willis (Unranked)

    Star Power: This class is made up of nothing but stars, and to pick one or two out would just be unfair to the rest. I will say that this class has the brightest stars of any in history, however.

    Irons in the Fire: Kentucky still has three Top 10 recruits on its radar, including No. 1 Andrew Wiggins, No. 3 Julius Randle and No. 7 Aaron Gordon. If the Wildcats land any of them, we might as well give them the title now.

    Bottom Line: This is the best class John Calipari has ever brought together. He is, hands down, the best recruiter in history, and this is the best class in history. Anything less than a championship is unacceptable at this point.