Elite recruits don’t head to usual locations in 2020, Kentucky being the only blue blood to earn a top 10


When the future hope of 2020, Greg Brown, turned his visor from the back to the front on Friday, revealing his commitment to college in Texas, he checked the final entry for the top 10 players in this year’s high school class. Brown chose to stay close to him and play for the Shaka Smart program, just because Smart won against John Calipari, Penny Hardaway, Bruce Pearl and Juwan Howard – it was front page news because Brown said no thanks to a reported $ 400,000 bid to play in the G League.

It was interesting and somewhat revealing that Brown announced his university choice on Instagram Live, opting for the social media revealing route, where Brown had 255,000 subscribers. While Jalen Green’s G League entry was a terribly kept secret in recruitment, Brown was the first player to have a college-or-G-League element of uncertainty leading to his announcement. The rookie ranked n ° 9 at 247 Sports ‘Composite for 2020 decided not to follow the same path as his five-star compatriots Green 2020 and Isaiah Todd. College basketball, which is slated to continue as planned next season, will host another unique talent with lots of potential.

It’s a great thing, and undeniably another little victory for the sport.

The choice of Brown in Texas has enclosed a top 10 which claims the most eclectic distribution of commitments in the top 10 of a given secondary class in the history of college basketball. Here are the destinations of the top 10 players in 2020:

If you extend the engagements to the top 15, it’s just as varied in light of Heel circumference of Daishen Nix n ° 15 on UCLA Tuesday. Nix choosing to skip college basketball means four of the top 15 players will not make it to college next season, which is a record. So whether it’s through the lens of the top 15, or specifically the top 10, we’ve never seen the best players in a high school class flock to so many different and unorthodox spots.

If you take Kentucky out of the mix – it’s no surprise that Calipari once again picked up several players from the top 10 – the combined national titles for the other seven schools above are three… all of which came in the 1940s (Oklahoma And Stanford). In addition, you are removing Kentucky from the equation and Gonzaga is the only school in the top 10 to make a Final Four in the past 15 years.

What changed? Why so much diversity this year? Cunningham and Mobley both have parents on the staff of the schools where they will play (brother of Cunningham, father of Mobley). And Brown said that COVID-19 was partly a factor in him deciding to be close to his extended family, not knowing what the next year would bring.

Whatever the reasons, this is a wonderful intrigue in recruiting college basketball. Oklahoma State, USC, Stanford, Florida State, Arizona State landing of elite recruits is absurd. Even Gonzaga has never landed a player ranked as high as Suggs. On an individual basis, college basketball will offer many atypical programs offering unique talents next season, which will make the sport much more interesting. Variety is the spice of sport, etc.

If you like college hoops, you will have at least some level of curiosity about these teams from the start. If they win a good to excellent clip by the time we reach 2021, then even more. Cunningham’s talent is so pure that he alone could transform Oklahoma State into an NCAA tournament team. USC was a tournament team last season and should be even better next season with Mobley joining his brother, Isaiah. Stanford had a top 10 defense last season and hopes to have their best team in more than a decade. In Texas, this will be by far the best list of Smart starters and could in fact be the best team in Texas since the 2010-2011 group with Tristan Thompson, J’Covan Brown, Jordan Hamilton and Cory Joseph who won 28 games and won a Seed # 4. Arizona State is on the brink of its best four-year period in program history. Bobby Hurley obtains a jewel in Christopher, who should lead the Sun Devils in the first four of Pac-12.

Kentucky and Gonzaga are of course ranked teams in the preseason, although Gonzaga has a chance of being the No. 1 team, while the United Kingdom and its busy first-year class face largest reconstruction of Calipari’s quarry in Kentucky.

But that brings me to my other point.

Yes, we have unconventional teams that land star players. We always get the best of both worlds. If you look at the team ranking for this 2020 class, it is always the blue bloods who bring the best traits. Here are the top ten:

Blue bloods at the top, then Rick Barnes’ Volunteers (a nice surprise) followed by the always polarizing program of Will Wade at LSU. (The whole situation at LSU remains fascinating from afar and, in the wake of HBO’s documentary “The Scheme” frustrating for many in the coaching ranks, but I digress.) The point is, the top five are spicy. And very familiar. University basketball can benefit from two angles: unusual landing spots for most of its top freshmen, but as usual near the top of the team standings.

Kentucky has six first-year students, all ranked between the numbers 4 and 46 at 247 Sports. Duke’s hiring company, made up of six men, begins with No. 11 Jalen Johnson and ends with No. 44 Henry Coleman. North Carolina, which has just had its worst season in the Roy Williams Hall of Fame, has six of the top 100 rookies, the most recent being the four-star shooting goalkeeper Kerwin Walton, who chose the Tar Heels Monday. UNC has three five stars (Day’Ron Sharpe, Walker Kessler, Caleb Love), which will spark optimism in Chapel Hill after a 2019-2020 hell that happily ended in mid-March.

Tennessee and LSU can make things interesting not only with Kentucky, but also with Florida (which should be better than last season) and Arkansas, which actually has # 6 class at the moment .

Recruitment has its ebb and flow trends. Sometimes schools jump for a year or two before returning to their normal landing level. But 2020 is different player by player at the top of the ranking. We have a diverse destination package and I say: great. There is a recent story that shows how being a top player with the least amount of route can backfire on team success. I refer you to Anthony Edwards, Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, Jalen Brown, Dennis Smith Jr., Michael Porter Jr., Charles Bassey and James Wiseman.

None of them played in the NCAA tournament, mostly because they were on bad teams (in the midst of a few other problems).

But they were all – or in the case of Edwards and Wiseman, will be – lottery choices. Fultz and Simmons are still # 1 overall. This will almost certainly be the case with one of the top 10 players listed above when we get to the 2021 NBA Draft. It is refreshing to see that even though college basketball still has 18 year olds d The elite who choose to practice this sport in overwhelming numbers, many of them choose to do so in a collectively irregular manner that will go a long way in shaping the next season, whenever this season may come.


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