College Basketball Recruiting: The Top 15 2012 Classes, Updated for December

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIDecember 2, 2011

College Basketball Recruiting: The Top 15 2012 Classes, Updated for December

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    Recruiting for the 2012 college basketball class is wrapping up, and these players have gone above the call of duty to compile the best classes in the nation.

    While the 2011-12 season has just begun (and thank goodness there's still four-and-a-half months left), recruiting is still weighing heavily on the minds of some coaches.

    The 2012 class is a great one, and we may have seen some of the best recruiting classes in history, including one that I believe to be better than the incredible haul of John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats last year.

    This is another edition of my monthly series, and there've been some changes since last month's issue. I suggest you bring up the last issue to compare it to this one.

    With that, enjoy this monthly installment of the best 2012 recruiting classes.

15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    Recruits: 6

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 2

    Best Recruit: SF Arnaud Moto

    The Wake Forest Demon Deacons started recruiting early and often and were on my list last month. The Deacs have six recruits coming in: four forwards, a center and a point guard.

    New coach Jeff Bzdelik has brought in quite a few talented recruits. While they may not be Top-100 quality, they will still build a foundation for Bzdelik's future team.

    No. 75 SF Arnaud Moto and No. 81 PG Codi Miller-McIntyre are the two Top-100 recruits, and they will contribute immediately to his team.

    Under Bzdelik this team may be back on its way to the top of the ACC.

14. Syracuse Orange

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    Recruits: 2

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 2

    Best Recruit: C DaJuan Coleman

    The Syracuse Orange made their first appearance on my list only last month, because they didn't even secure a commitment until mid-September. However, they now have two Top 100 recruits.

    No. 14 C DaJuan Coleman and No. 43 SF Jerami Grant are both elite recruits and will come into a program that prides itself on Jim Boeheim's tough 2-3 zone.

    These two will fit right in up in Syracuse, and they will make immediate impacts.

13. Purdue Boilermakers

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    Recruits: 4

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 3

    Best Recruit: SG Rapheal Davis

    The Purdue Boilermakers were not on my last list, but their four commits have brought them up in the rankings.

    No. 76 SG Rapheal Davis, No. 78 C A.J. Hammons and No. 80 PG Ronnie Johnson are all top recruits, but PF Jay Simpson just missed the cut.

    The Boilermakers are looking up in a talented Big Ten, and with Robbie Hummel departing after this season, they will need to find some more talented players who will be stars.

12. UCLA Bruins

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    Recruits: 2

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 2

    Top Recruit: SF Kyle Anderson

    After PG Dominic Artis decommitted, the UCLA Bruins fell from No. 2 on my list in October to No. 10 last month, and dropped again to No. 12 this month.

    Ben Howland hasn't recruited anyone new, relying on SF Kyle Anderson to keep the class elite. Anderson in the No. 5 player in the nation, while Jordan Adams, the other recruit, is No. 50.

    While they didn't fall off the list this month as I expected, they've still dropped further, and there is always the chance they'll be pushed off.

    If Kyle Anderson's status comes into question, they're gone.

11. Baylor Bears

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    Recruits: 3

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 2

    Top Recruit: C Isaiah Austin

    Baylor recruited the No. 3 player in the nation, C Isaiah Austin, in early-August. Since then, they've always been near the top, until other programs continued to recruit and the Bears faded.

    The Bears also have the No. 74 recruit, PG L.J. Rose, joining them for the 2012 season, as well as unranked C Chad Rykhoek.

    It's been more than three months since the Bears brought in a Top 100 recruit, and they're looking like just a slightly-better-than-average class if they can't find another guy.

10. Providence Friars

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    Recruits: 3

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 2

    Top Recruit: SG Ricardo Ledo

    The Providence Friars are looking to develop into a relevant program again, and this class could help.

    The Friars made some serious noise in late August and early September, but haven't done much since.

    While they've secured commitments from No. 22 SG Ricardo Ledo, No. 29 PG Kris Dunn, and SG Josh Fortune, these players don't make Providence elite.

    If the Friars are simply trying to become relevant again, these players will help, but if they aim to become a Top-25 program, they'll need a few more classes just like this one.

9. Pittsburgh Panthers

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    Recruits: 3

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 1

    Top Recruit: C Steven Adams

    The Pittsburgh Panthers are importing talent from New Zealand in the form of center Steven Adams. Adams is an unknown talent by some standards, and he's unranked in the ESPNU Top 100, although he should be around No. 5.

    The Panthers also have No. 48 PG James Robinson joining them for the 2012-13 season.

    Pittsburgh will lose Ashton Gibbs this season, and once he's gone, Adams and Robinson will have to come in and be major contributors from the start.

8. Indiana Hoosiers

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    Recruits: 5

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 3

    Top Recruit: PG Yogi Ferrell

    After not receiving a commitment in over eight months, the Indiana Hoosiers have missed out on a chance to have one of the best recruiting classes in decades.

    The Hoosiers had four commitments by the end of December 2010, but have had only one since. This class is still pretty talented, but they keep slipping further down this list.

    The class contains No. 33PG Yogi Ferrell, No. 47 PF Hanner Perea, and No. 58 SF Jeremy Holloway. They'll be joined by SG Ron Patterson and C Peter Jurkin, who could have easily made a Top-150 list.

    Indiana and the Big Ten are making their mark on the recruiting world, but it would have been nice to see the Hoosiers land another Top 50 recruit.

7. Michigan Wolverines

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    Recruits: 3

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 3

    Top Recruit: C Mitch McGary

    Like I said, the Big Ten is dominating the recruiting world.

    The Michigan Wolverines had an average class, until C Mitch McGary committed to them over Duke and Florida. McGary is the No. 2 recruit for the 2012-2013 season and the best big man in the class.

    McGary may be best-known at this point for shattering a backboard and needing stitches to close up lacerations on his shoulder.

    McGary is a monster inside, and he'll be joined by small forwards Glenn Robinson and Nik Stauskas, both of whom are in the ESPNU Top 100, yet neither cracking the top 50.

    The Wolverines will be bringing in some serious talent with this class—one that cracked the top five on my last list.

6. Texas Longhorns

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    Recruits: 5

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 3

    Top Recruit: C Cameron Ridley

    Last month I compared C Cameron Ridley (No. 8 in the country) to Tristan Thompson, who left Texas for the NBA. I stand by that comparison, yet there are some big differences that I didn't point out.

    Thompson was next to unstoppable with his back to the basket. While Ridley is better facing the basket, he's not as good with his back to it.

    The Longhorns also have C Prince Ibeh, PF Connor Lammert, SF Ioannis Papapetrou and PG Javan Felix in the mix.

    Rick Barnes is bringing in another great recruiting class, and is bringing this program back to national prominence.

    This may be the best class in the history of the school.

5. Michigan State Spartans

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    Recruits: 4

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 4

    Top Recruit: SG Gary Harris

    The Michigan State Spartans jumped from No. 15 last month to No. 5 this month.


    Shooting guard Gary Harris is the No. 10 player in the nation and is responsible for the jump.

    Harris is a prolific scorer who will be an NBA player in a few years. He'll be a leader for the Spartans from Day 1, and will make Tom Izzo happy that he made such a push.

    This class also features PF Kenny Kaminski (No. 68), No. 85 C Matt Costello, and No. 87 SF Denzel Valentine.

    Izzo brings in a brand-new froncourt and shooting guard, yet the question for the Spartans next year will be at point guard.

4. North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    Recruits: 3

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 3

    Best Recruit: SG Rodney Purvis

    New coach Mark Gottfried must receive some credit for this incredible class.

    He's done a great job of stepping in and keeping the 2012 recruiting going, and he now has three great recruits joining him next season: No. 16 SG Rodney Purvis, SF T.J. Warren at No. 23, and PG Tyler Lewis (No. 69).

    While Purvis and Warren fit in at about their numbers, I consider Lewis to be vastly underrated.

    Lewis is one of the best point guards in the nation and should be in the Top 40 in the 2012 class.

    Once he is given the credit he deserves, this class will be known as No. 4 in the country.

3. Kentucky Wildcats

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    Recruits: 3

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 3

    Top Recruit: SG Archie Goodwin

    Not many players could take a class ranked No. 11 and bring it up to No. 3, but Alex Poythress has done just that.

    Poythress is the No. 17 recruit in the class, and this talented small forward joins C Willie Cauley (No. 32) and No. 13 SG Archie Goodwin.

    John Calipari has put together another great class after starting off slowly. The Wildcats weren't on this list just two months ago, but they now find themselves situated third.

    He's also still recruiting Shabazz Muhammad, the best recruit in the 2012 class. If Calipari lands him, he may just jump into the No. 1 spot on this list.

2. North Carolina

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    Recruits: 4

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 4

    Best Recruit: PF Brice Johnson

    Roy Williams made the jump from unranked to No. 2 on my list between October to November, and he maintains that position this month.

    Williams brings in four talented recruits to make up for the three to five players he'll lose at the end of the season.

    No. 25 PF Brice Johnson, No. 28 PG Marcus Paige, C Joel James (No. 57) and No. 65 SF J.P. Tokoto are all great players who will help replenish this team.

    Williams's prolific recruiting means he's never in need of talent, and he continues that trend in the 2012 class.

1. Arizona Wildcats

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    Recruits: 4

    ESPNU Top 100 Recruits: 4

    Top Recruit: PF Brandon Ashley

    Sean Miller has been busy, and he's reaped the benefits.

    He's bringing in one of the best recruiting classes we have ever seen, and he makes recruiting nerds like myself wonder if he can keep it up.

    If he can, there's no doubt he'll bring in enough talent to be called one of the best coaches in the nation.

    Miller is bringing in three of the top nine recruits. Three.

    No. 4 PF Brandon Ashley, No. 6 Kaleb Tarczewski, and No. 9 PF Grant Jerrett are all incredible, and Miller will find a way to include them all in the frontcourt at once.

    Possibly the most underrated player in the class, PG Gabe York (No. 36), is also coming to Arizona. He's surprisingly athletic for his 6'1" stature, and while many doubt him from his height, he plays like he's 6'5".

    If you want to see York's crazy skills for yourself, check them out in this highlight reel. Your jaw will drop.

    Miller has brought in the type of class that make some call him a demigod, and to be honest, if he can do it two or three more times, I may do so myself.

    Josh Schoch is an aspiring sportswriter dedicated to bringing you everything related to college basketball, college football, the NFL, NBA, MLB and much more. Follow him on Twitter.