College Basketball Recruiting: Duke and the Top 15 Classes of 2012
The Duke Blue Devils are among the nation's top college basketball recruiting classes for the 2012 class. With Mike Krzyzewski's knack for landing elite recruits it is unsurprising to see them among the nation's best, but who are the others?
Recruiting is vital to a program's continued success. It's how certain coaches bring success with them as they go to different schools, such as John Calipari bringing success from the Memphis Tigers to the Kentucky Wildcats.
While it is still early, and these rankings are going to change, these are the current top 15 recruiting classes in the nation.
15. UCLA Bruins
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Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins have already landed two recruits, and are looking for more.
Point guard Dominic Artis and small forward Jordan Adams have already committed to the Bruins. Adams is No. 61 on the ESPN Top 100 recruits for the 2012 class, and Artis just missed out.
The Bruins still have 11 recruits in ESPN's Top 100 considering them, including Shabazz Muhammad, who is arguably the best recruit in the class, but is ranked No. 3 on ESPN.
The Bruins have a few good players coming to them for the 2012-13 season, and they have the potential to be incredible.
14. Connecticut Huskies
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The Connecticut Huskies won the NCAA tournament this season, and are looking for more.
The Huskies have had one 2012 recruit commit to them. Omar Calhoun (no relation to Jim Calhoun) has verbally committed to the Huskies. Calhoun is No. 38 in the ESPNU Top 100, and the shooting guard from Brooklyn, NY could be one of the best scorers in the class.
While none have committed yet, there are still eight Top 100 recruits considering them, including Andre Drummond, the No. 1 overall recruit. The Huskies only have Top 100 recruits on their radar, and they are looking to land a few elite recruits instead of a few good ones.
The Huskies are looking like one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.
13. Michigan Wolverines
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The Michigan Wolverines had an early exit in the 2011 NCAA tournament, but their recruiting class in 2012 could help them make a deeper run in the 2013 tournament.
The Wolverines have already landed two Top 100 recruits: SF Glenn Robinson (No. 60) and SF Nik Stauskas (No. 100).
Michigan currently has five recruits still considering them, including two Top 100 recruits and three who just missed out on the top 100. PF Jordan Hare and SG Javonte Hawkins are both in the top 100. These two are both considering Michigan, but they have several other schools on their list.
Michigan is on the list because they have already had two commitments to their program, which is very good considering how early it is in the recruiting season for these soon-to-be-seniors.
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The Florida Gators are one of the winningest programs in college basketball, and they are one of a select few to win back-to-back NCAA tournaments.
The Gators are looking forward to the 2012-13 season already, and their recruiting class shows it. They already have two recruits in ESPN's Super 60. PG Braxton Ogbueze is the No. 29 recruit, and SG Michael Frazier is the No. 51 recruit. Both have already committed, but the Gators are not satisfied just yet.
The Gators are still going after 11 recruits, eight of which are in the Top 100, including Mitch McGary, who is the No. 4 recruit.
The Gators have the potential for an elite recruiting class, and they are already in the top 15.
11. Purdue Boilermakers
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Matt Painter and the Purdue Boiler makers are looking to return to elite status in college basketball, and they are recruiting their 2012 class like they are one of the best programs.
The Boilermakers have already landed three recruits, including two in the top 100. SG Rapheal Davis (No. 72) and Ronnie Johnson (No. 89) have already committed to them, and PF Jay Simpson could develop into the best recruit the Boilermakers have if he continues to improve.
The Boilermakers also have three more recruits considering them, including two Top 100 recruits and No. 16 recruit, Gary Harris.
The Boilermakers are still trying to get more recruits to consider them, but their three talented recruits helps them jump to No. 11 on this list.
10. Texas Longhorns
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The Texas Longhorns have been highly successful in the past, and they are trying to regain that success by recruiting their 2012 class.
The Longhorns have already had C Cameron Ridley commit to them. Ridley is a 6'10" center from Bush High School in Texas, and he is the No. 11 recruit in the ESPNU Top 100. Ridley can dominate in the paint, and he is the best recruit in Texas besides Isaiah Austin.
Ridley is not currently joined by anyone in Texas' class, but the Longhorns are recruiting 12 players, 11 of whom are in the Top 100. These include Shabazz Muhammad (No. 3 recruit) and Mitch McGary (No. 4 recruit).
The Longhorns have the second best player who has committed coming to them, and they could add another Top 25 recruit or two.
9. Duke Blue Devils
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The Duke Blue Devils have been one of the teams who have found success for decades in college basketball, and their 2012 recruiting class will help them maintain that success.
The Blue Devils have already had Rasheed Sulaimon commit to them, and he is the fourth-best recruit to commit so far. He is ranked No. 20 according to ESPN, bu he has shown skills and improvements that could help him move up the ladder.
The Blue Devils have not landed a second recruit, but they appear to be on the verge of having another few recruits commit. The Blue Devils have about seven recruits in ESPNU's Top 100 considering them, including six in the Top 25.
The Blue Devils' recruiting class could be a bust, but it is much more likely that it will be elite.
8. North Carolina State Wolfpack
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The North Carolina Stats Wolfpack has had some struggles recently, but they are looking to fix that in the 2012-13 season.
The Wolfpack has had a Top 25 recruit commit to them in the form of SG Torian Graham (No. 24), but they also have PG Tyler Lewis coming to them, who is the No. 73 recruit in the class. Graham is the sixth-best recruit to commit at this point, and Lewis is still developing into a great player. They have already had two excellent players commit, but they still have a few more considering them.
The Wolfpack still has six Top 100 recruits considering them, the best of whom is Rodney Purvis, who is ranked No. 7 by ESPNU. Their new coach, Matt Gottfried, has done well landing two top recruits, but he is going for more.
The Wolfpack could be returning to glory, and these players will definitely help them.
7. Baylor Bears
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The Baylor Bears have had one of the best recruits in the class commit to them already.
Isaiah Austin is ranked No. 2 according to ESPNU, an he is by far the best recruit to commit so far. Austin decided to stay in Texas, and the Bears seemed to be the right choice for him. Austin could have payed for any program he wanted to, but he chose the Bears. Austin has already reminded some people of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The Bears are legitimate recruiters, and they still have 13 recruits considering them, including eight in the Top 100. Shaquille Cleare (No. 22) and J-Mychael Reese (No. 28) head the class of those considering Baylor. If these two join up with Isaiah Austin, the Bears will be a team to be feared.
The Bears could become a fierce competitor starting in the 2012-13 season, and continuing as long as their recruits decided to stay.
6. North Carolina Tar Heels
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The North Carolina Tar Heels appear to be the early favorites to win the NCAA tournament this season, and most people are hoping that several of their players decide to go to the NBA at the end of the season so UNC will not be as much of a powerhouse. Even if they do leave, the Tar Heels will be set because of their 2012 recruiting class.
UNC already has two Top 50 recruits committed to them in PG Marcus Paige (No. 27) and SF J.P. Tokoto (No. 37). These two recruits are some of the best scoring threats in the class, and they are going to solidify the Tar Heels.
The school also has four more recruits considering them, all of which are in the Top 40, and three of whom are in the Top 10. The Tar Heels are ambitious, but it would be shocking not to see them land at least one of these top players.
The Tar Heels are going to be good for a long time if they keep recruiting like this.
5. Virginia Cavaliers
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The Virginia Cavaliers are the fourth ACC team on this list, which leads us to believe that the ACC will be a powerhouse conference.
The Cavaliers have three Top 100 recruits committed to them. SF Justin Anderson, SF Evan Nolte and C Mike Tobey are all coming to Virginia, and they are highly regarded recruits. Anderson is a game-changer, while Nolte is ready to run and Tobey is a 6'1" space-eater.
Virginia also has 10 recruits considering them, three of whom are in the Top 100, and seven of whom could be in the To 100 by the end of their senior seasons. Robert Upshaw is among those considering the Cavaliers and he is ranked the No. 30 recruit in the class according to the ESPNU Top 100.
The Cavaliers could be looking up if they keep recruiting like this.
4. Michigan State Spartans
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Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans have gotten off to a very nice start to their 2012 recruiting.
The Spartans have three recruits committed, all of whom are in the Top 100. They have C Matt Costello (No. 50), PF Kenny Kaminski (No. 67) and SF Denzel Valentine (No. 85) have all decided to play for the Spartans. The Spartans already have a solid recruiting class, but they are looking for more.
The Spartans are still recruiting SG Gary Harris (No. 16) and PF Jordan Hare (No. 84). These are two elite recruits, and adding either would give MIchigan State a very impressive recruiting class.
Look for the Spartans to become a feared team once more in the 2012-13 season and beyond.
3. Arizona Wildcats
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The Arizona Wildcats are still hurting from the loss of Derrick Williams to the NBA, but their pain will ease after their 2012 class comes in.
The Wildcats have received commitments from two of the top prospects in the country. Their commits are both easily in the Top 50. PF Grant Jerrett (No. 15) is the third-best player to commit so far, and SG Gabe York (No. 33) is a scoring machine.
They also have eight recruits still considering them, seven of whom are in the Top 100. The top two recruits still considering them are PF Brandon Ashley (No. 6) and C Kaleb Tarczewski (No. 9). Their lone recruit not in the Top 100 is PF Daniel Dingle, who just barely missed out.
The Wildcats are looking to make another deep run into their NCAA tournament, and their recruits are going to help them do so starting in the 2012-13 season.
2. Villanova Wildcats
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The Villanova Wildcats are once again bringing in an excellent recruiting class, this time in the 2012 class.
The Wildcats have had three recruits commit to them, including C Daniel Ochefu, who is ranked No. 21 in the ESPNU Top 100. Ocheu will be joined by PG Ryan Arcidiacono (No. 35) and SF Savon Goodman (No. 55), both of whom are stellar players as well.
The Wildcats could also have a few more top recruits on the way becase there are three more recruits considering them, the best of whom is Amile Jefferson, who is ranked No. 26 in the nation.
The Wildcats are looking to return to glory with this class, although it can't get much better.
1. Indiana Hoosiers
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The Indiana Hoosiers are back on top...kind of.
The Hoosiers have the best 2012 recruiting class so far with their five commitments, including four from the ESPNU Top 100. The Hoosiers have PG Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell (No. 34), SF Jeremy Hollowell (No. 41), PF Hanner Perea (No. 49), SG Ron Petterson (No. 86) and C Peter Jurkin (NR) on the way for sure. These five are going to make Indiana a program to be feared once more.
Indiana is still recruiting, however, and they have seven big targets, five of whom are in the Top 100. Their top recruits are PF Mitch McGary (No. 4) and SG Gary Harris (No. 16), but each of their seven recruits are great players, and they all deserve to be in the Top 100.
We could have another miracle-season-turned-movie soon if these fantastic freshmen lead the team deep into the NCAA tournament in the 2012-13 season.