Top 25 College Basketball 2010 Recruiting Classes
The top incoming classes of college basketball freshmen include some of the usual suspects, such as Duke, North Carolina, and Michigan State.
A few of the top players have yet to officially announce. But after this weekend, their commitments could impact the rankings within these 25 classes.
However, several new teams crack the list for the first time in a long time, such as No. 25.
Here are the rankings with each headline recruit.
This might be a surprise to many, but not for Titans fans of their suddenly resurgent program, highlighted by the father-son combo of coach Ray McCallum and his five-star recruit son, Ray McCallum Jr.
PG Ray McCallum: 6'1", 170
One of the top overall players in the country, McCallum is an extremely explosive and smart floor general who could lead the Titans to one of their first Top-25 rankings in quite some time.
SG Frank Williams: 6'5", 160 (Missouri)
Williams is a silky-smooth shooting guard from Missouri who can knock it down from all over the court.
PF Jordan Manuel: 6'8", 195 (Indiana)
Manuel’s a late-bloomer prospect with some of the best hops in the 2010 class.
The Hoyas look to build on last year’s 23-11 season with a couple Top-100 recruits. Leading the class are three East Coast prospects that should help them return to the top of the Big East standings.
PF Nate Lubick: 6'9", 220
The word on Lubick is an all-around player who does a little bit of everything fairly well. His toughness and intensity will instantly give Georgetown some grit down low.
PG Markel Starks: 6'1", 165
Starks is a speedy, quick point guard, but he has the mentality of a score-first player.
C Moses Abraham: 6'9", 240
He adds a jolt of defense in the post with his shot-blocking and rebounding ability. His offense isn’t as ready, but it’s coming along.
Rounding out the class is SG Aaron Bowen (6'4", 190).
23. Texas A & M
The Aggies add an infusion of size to the 2009 team that finished 11-5 in the Big 12. Mark Turgeon and his staff didn’t have to go far to add such an impressive class, as each prospect hails from Texas.
PF Kourtney Roberson: 6'9", 235
The Aggies will use Roberson to man the post, and it’s a responsibility the big fella relishes. Opposing teams will need to find a way to keep him off the offensive glass and away from put-backs—two areas he excels in.
PF Tobi Oyedeji: 6'8", 200
Oyedeji is an ambidextrous scorer down low, and his energy will be infectious on the floor to the rest of his teammates.
Rounding out the Aggies' class are Daniel Alexander (SF, 6'8", 195), a talented scorer and passer, and Keith Davis (PF, 6'9", 240). Davis will give the Aggies another impressive defensive presence on the block.
Jay Wright has assembled a very talented class that is gaining the recognition nationally it might otherwise deserve.
SF James Bell: 6'5", 220
Big-time talented wingman is a lethal spot-up shooter, and while not as accurate on the run, he plays above the rim in transition.
PF Jayvaughn Pinkston: 6'7", 225
Pinkston is one of my favorite prospects in the entire 2010 class. He can score anywhere on the floor with a smooth touch beyond the arc and an arsenal of moves in the paint.
C Markus Kennedy: 6'10", 265
Big-bodied post player gives Wright some big-time bulk to add to a relatively thin frontcourt.
The Bruins might be on their way to reclaiming their spot among the nation’s elite with players such as Top-10 talent Josh Smith.
C Josh Smith: 6'9", 285
The only concern with Smith would be fluctuations in his weight, but with the right guidance he should flourish under the tutelage of Ben Howland. Smith is a ridiculously talented post scorer who can knock it down with a soft touch up-and-under, power dunk, or fadeaway jumper.
SG Tyler Lamb: 6'4", 195
Lamb gives the Bruins an even-keel presence at both ends of the floor. His offensive game is just fine, but it’s the potential lockdown defense on the perimeter he offers that will appeal to coaches and fans.
The Golden Bears landed a trio of impressive guards in their 2010 class, along with lanky forward Richard Solomon.
SG Alan Crabbe: 6'5", 175
California native has a nice-looking stroke to go along with his high field goal percentage from beyond the three-point line to mid-range. He’s come along more quickly towards the latter part of his high school career.
PG Gary Franklin Jr.: 6'1", 185
Franklin has the talent and swagger to be among the more memorable freshman of the 2010 class with his flashy highlights as a score-first point guard.
Rounding out Cal’s class are Illinois shooting guard Alex Rossi (6'5", 180) and Richard Solomon (PF, 6'9", 200), an explosive forward that needs to add some bulk.
The Golden Eagles should take a step forward next season with an incoming class that includes two Top-100 players and three of four recruits adding talent and depth to the backcourt.
SG Vander Blue: 6'3", 200
Blue’s a terrific combo guard with superior athleticism and quickness to take his man to the rim whenever he wants.
SF Jamail Jones: 6'6", 210
Jones is a terrific scorer, but it’s his commitment to the game and coachable attitude that will make him one of the top players in the Big East late in his sophomore season and beyond.
2010 Class also includes:
PG Reggie Smith: 6'1", 180
SF Jae Crowder: 6'6", 220
The Cardinal might not crack the Top 10 on this list, but they certainly would if this list was broken up into Frontcourt-Backcourt rankings. Stanford will add some incredible size with what looks like will end up being a total of six recruits.
C Dwight Powell: 6'10", 215
Powell is just as dangerous on the perimeter and in transition as he is down low. He has a nice handle, giving him the ability to take his man off the dribble. If they float off him, he will knock down the open jumper.
SF Anthony Brown: 6'6", 195
His age indicates he should be in the 2011 class, but his talent isn’t lagging at all. While his game revolves around that of other explosive wing players in this class, Brown might end up stepping on the floor closer to 6'9" or more when he hits his final growth spurt.
The rest of the Cardinal's class includes these four players, all of them signed except for Stefan Nastic (verbal).
C John Gage: 6'10", 220
PF John Huestis: 6'7", 205
C Stefan Nastic: 6'11", 230
PG Aaron Bright: 5'10", 160
The Cavaliers should bounce back from a disappointing season that included a 5-11 record in the ACC. Headlining the 2010 class is the inside-outside duo of James Johnson and K.T. Harrell.
PF-C James Johnson: 6'9", 210
The most impressive aspect of Johnson’s game right now is his perimeter offense and penetration. Hopefully his defense won’t lag too far behind.
SG K.T. Harrell: 6'3", 195
Harrell is a potential lockdown defender, which should serve the Cavaliers well in a guard-heavy conference.
Rounding out the Cavaliers' class...
C Will Regan: 6'8", 220
SG Joe Harris: 6'5", 205
SF Akil Mitchell: 6'7", 210
Billy Donovan has an incoming freshman class with noticeable size.
PF Patric Young: 6'9", 215
Young is a McDonald’s All-American who might be one of the top three defenders in the entire class.
SF Casey Prather: 6'5", 185
If Young is one of the top three defenders, Prather might end up being one of the top five. These two give the Gators a shot of aggressiveness on both ends of the floor.
Two more recruits (both verbals)...
SF Will Yeguette: 6'7", 215
PF Cody Larson: 6'8", 230
Baylor was a popular Final Four pick as a No. 3 seed but didn’t live up to expectations. However, next year’s class includes one of the best overall players in the entire class.
PF Perry Jones: 6'11", 225
There isn’t much about Jones' game not to like. He’s a mismatch waiting to happen anywhere on the floor.
PG Stargell Love: 6'2", 190
A classic point guard, Love is tremendous at running the point in transition. He also has surprising leaping ability and won’t hesitate to dunk over guys four or five inches taller than him.
SG Bakari Turner: 6'4", 185
The bitter aftertaste of the Huskies' 2009 season will hopefully be a distant memory once next season is underway and Roscoe Smith is making plays all over the court.
SF Roscoe Smith: 6'8", 190
Smooth wing player excels at almost every aspect of the game. Smith was also recruited by Kansas, Duke, and Florida.
SG Jeremy Lamb: 6'4", 170
Lamb is slight of build but extremely accurate with his mid-range game. His catch-and-shoot ability reminds me of another former Huskies player in Richard Hamilton.
Huskies' 2010 class also includes...
C Michael Bradley: 6'10", 220
PF Tyler Olander: 6'9", 215
Bruce Pearl and his team are still recovering from a classic showdown with Michigan State in the Elite Eight, which saw the Spartans barely escape with the victory.
PF Tobias Harris: 6'9", 215
Coach Pearl will enjoy using the smooth all-around game of this incoming combo forward and McDonald’s All-American.
The Vols also have a pair of scorers in this class with Georgia shooting guards:
SG Jordan McRae: 6'5", 185
SG Trae Golden: 6'2", 175
12. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons recruited a very talented, diverse group of players that could actually form their own starting five.
C Carson Desrosiers: 6'11", 220
If I had to pick, rather nitpick, one thing about Desrosiers, it would be his light frame. He will need to add at least 15 pounds of muscle, or he could be pushed around far too easily in a talented conference. Regardless of the level of the competition he faced in high school, anybody that averages near a triple-double is all right in my book.
The rest of the potential starting five from Wake Forest’s incoming class includes:
SF Travis McKie: 6'6", 185
SG J.T. Terrell: 6'3", 180
PF Melvin Tabb: 6'8", 220
PG Tony Chennault: 6'1", 175
The Tigers look to bounce back with a strong 2010 class including:
SF Tony Mitchell: 6'8", 205
Above the rim player with the ability to finish above the rim on alley-oops and follow-up dunks or create his own shot off the dribble.
PG Phil Pressey: 5'11", 170
Pressey has NBA bloodlines and the quickness and handle to become a factor in the Tigers' backcourt early in his career.
Rounding out the Tigers' 2010 class:
PF Ricardo Ratliffe: 6'9", 225 (JUCO)
PF Kadeem Green: 6'8", 190
SF Ricky Krekow: 6'5", 190
10. North Carolina State
Sidney Lowe deserves major props for pulling off a very unlikely class, at least by the Wolfpack’s usual signings. This could end up being a major turning point in North Carolina State’s program if these two five-star recruits live up to their potential.
PG Ryan Harrow: 5'11", 165
This Marietta, Georgia native is a big-time scorer. In fact, he went off for 47 points in a major tournament last year. He can score in almost every possible way on the floor and has the hops to dunk over forwards or buckle their knees on a crossover, step-back triple.
SG Lorenzo Brown: 6'4", 175
Brown and Harrow will be a formidable backcourt in the ACC for the next several years. What really stands out about his game is an ability to create his own shot, or at least get to the line. Brown also seems to have mastered the long-lost art of picking the pocket of his opponent.
The reigning national champions add a pair of very talented players with the inside-out duo of Kyrie Irving and Josh Hairston.
PG Kyrie Irving: 6'2", 170
The Cameron Crazies are going to go absolutely insane for their highly-hyped incoming point guard. Irving is the best at his position in this class and is just as smart as he is physically gifted with dizzying quickness, precision passing, excellent hops, and a smooth stroke.
PF Josh Hairston: 6'8", 225
The rich get richer as the Blue Devils add one of the best all-around interior post players in the nation. Hairston is a typical Duke recruit: coachable, high-effort, and consistent game after game.
Don’t sleep on...
PG Tyler Thornton: 6'2", 185
SF Carrick Felix: 6'6", 200
The Longhorns' 2010 class is about quality, not quantity, as it only has two players. But those two players happen to be among the best overall in the country.
PF Tristan Thompson: 6'9", 225
One of two McDonald’s All-Americans for Rick Barnes' incoming class, Thompson is the real deal, and he can come in from day one and match the strength and skill set of other frontcourt starters in the Big 12.
PG Cory Joseph: 6'3", 180
Joseph was one of the last “big names” to sign, and like his future teammate in this class, he’s also a McDonald’s All-American. He’s a serious scorer along the perimeter or creating his own shot. Unlike other top recruits, Joseph doesn’t let up on defense.
Despite Illinois' inability to entrench itself with the cream of the Big Ten crop along with Michigan State and Ohio State, Bruce Weber has found one hell of a class to help overtake Purdue as the third best team in the conference.
Despite being a hotbed for basketball talent, it’s even more impressive considering all three recruits are from Illinois.
SF Jereme Richmond: 6'7", 190
One of my favorite recruits in this class, Richmond is fun to watch, as he enjoys playing stellar defense just as much, if not more, than offense. He’s a legitimate lockdown defender and could challenge Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger or Michigan State’s Adreian Payne for Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Richmond was definitely worthy of his McDonald’s All-American honors and is among the best overall small forwards in this class.
Rounding out Illinois’ 2010 class are exceptional athletes and Top-100 players:
C Meyers Leonard: 6'11", 215
SG Crandall Head: 6'3", 180
Watch out for the Orangemen in the 2010-2011 season, as Jim Boeheim adds a trio of very talented players with the No. 1-ranked center leading the way.
C Fab Melo: 7'0", 275
It’s scary to think how dominant Melo can be considering he’s just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.
SG Dion Waiters: 6'3", 210
Waiters is a very versatile off-guard who will dazzle fans with outstanding body control as he explodes towards the rim.
C Baye Moussa Keita: 6'10", 215
SF C.J. Fair: 6'7", 190
Regardless of what one’s personal opinions are about John Calipari, he continues to recruit like nobody’s business year after year. You can forgive Gators fans if they’re somewhat bitter towards the Wildcats for coming in and signing two of the best Florida prospects in Brandon Knight and Stacey Poole.
PG Brandon Knight: 6'3", 185
One of the top three or four players in the 2010 class, Knight was arguably the most explosive scorer in the nation as a high school senior and will likely continue to be as a college freshman. His overall arsenal is downright impressive, and his unbridled style will fit the Wildcats' up-tempo style of play.
SG Doron Lamb: 6'4", 175
Lamb is a smaller two-guard, but that doesn’t mean he can’t take over a game. He’s capable of scoring acrobatically dancing down the baseline, stepping outside, or attacking the rim straight on. Like Knight, he’s also a McDonald’s All-American.
Filling out the rest of the Wildcats impressive 2010 class are:
SF Stacey Poole: 6'5", 185
C Enes Kanter (Tarzana, CA): 6'9", 245
4. Michigan State
Tom Izzo has solidified himself among the all-time greats in college basketball coaching history. He’s usually content to recruit “program guys,” or not the normal one-and-done types other coaches go after.
However, this incoming class has a couple players talented enough to perhaps leave after one or two years, but many prefer to stay in East Lansing to be part of something special.
PF-C Adreian Payne: 6'10", 220
Payne is an explosive big man, giving Izzo a much-needed option at the four and five spot. With Delvon Roe undergoing surgery to clean out his knee, this Ohio native is going to be a tremendous boost to the Spartans' frontcourt along with Roe, Draymond Green, Derrick Nix, and Garrick Sherman.
PG-SG Keith Appling: 6'1", 175
A dynamic scorer will give the Spartans an extra level of versatility on the second unit. Appling should also see some time with the starters and could present matchup problems for teams when he and Kalin Lucas are on the floor together.
SG Russell Byrd: 6'7", 195
Byrd has one of the smoothest strokes in the 2010 class and appears to be a very coachable prospect.
PF Alex Gauna: 6'9", 220
The late-bloomer prospect Gauna is going to be a nice complement to what’s turning out to be an impressive frontcourt.
3. North Carolina
Anytime a team lands three five-star recruits, it’s hard for them not to be among the top-ranked classes in the nation. The Tar Heels look to make last year’s NIT appearance a distant memory with this talented trio of McDonald’s All-Americans.
PG Kendall Marshall: 6'3", 190
There isn’t much debate about who the best passing point guard in the 2010 class is. Marshall is fun to watch as he makes dazzling assist after dazzling assist. He should influence the Tar Heels' fast-break game in a major way.
SG Reggie Bulluck: 6'6", 185
As a do-everything shooting guard, Bulluck can light up the scoreboard, but coaches will appreciate his willingness to do the little things just as much.
SF Harrison Barnes: 6'7", 195
Simply put, Barnes might be one of the most exciting players in all of basketball next year. He can beat his opponent in so many different ways (beyond the arc, dribble-drive, above the rim), teams won’t be able to game-plan for him. He reminds one of outgoing Buckeyes forward Evan Turner.
2. Ohio State
Thad Matta and the Buckeyes will miss Evan Turner, but with this type of class, it’s easy not to feel sorry for them.
PF Deshaun Thomas: 6'7", 215
Thomas, a Fort Wayne, Indiana native, is a big-time scorer and rebounder who can beat his opponent down low with strength and athleticism or off the dribble with surprising quickness.
C Jared Sullinger: 6'9", 270
Many feel Sullinger, or “Big Sully,” is the best overall player in his class. Buckeyes fans have known the name for a while now, as Sullinger—a Columbus, Ohio native—has been committed to Matta for a few years now.
The rest of the Buckeyes' incoming class includes a pair of Top-100 players in Lenzelle Smith and Jordan Sibert:
SG Lenzelle Smith: 6'4", 210
SG Jordan Sibert: 6'5", 185
PG Aaron Craft: 6'1", 175
PF J.D. Weatherspoon: 6'7", 185
Conference USA will get to know this class very well, especially the dynamic backcourt trio of Will Barton, Joe Jackson, and Jelan Kendrick. I don't know what it is about this program that attracts this type of talent...maybe it's something in the water.
PG Joe Jackson: 6'0", 165
Don’t let his small size fool you—Jackson is probably the most electric player in this class and has the game to be a one-and-done player. I hate to put such a label on him, but his game reminds me of a young Allen Iverson. Jackson was named to the 2010 McDonald’s All-American team.
SG Will Barton: 6'6", 180
It almost doesn’t seem fair for a team to add this much talent in a single class. Barton is among the top shooting guards in his class, and like Kendrick and Jackson, he can score with so many different ways that opposing teams simply can’t game-plan against them.
Rounding out this top-ranked class are:
SG Jelan Kendrick: 6'6", 190 (McDonald’s All-American)
PF Tarik Black: 6'8", 235
C Hippolyte Tsafack: 6'8", 235
SG Chris Crawford: 6'4", 185