NCAA Basketball Signing Day: Top Recruting Classes in College Basketball

By: Kels Dayton

Following recruiting used to feel kind of pointless, because much of it was wild conjecture on what high school kids were going to do over the next three or four years. Not any longer. Kentucky proved that last season by winning the national title with a group of freshmen and sophomores.

1. Kentucky- Nerlens Noel completed another ridiculous class for John Calipari and Kentucky. The most important thing to note here is that Noel announced his decision by turning around and revealing the UK logo, which had been shaved into the back of his head. Hilarious. All kidding aside, Noel is a terrific shotblocker–it’s not even fair that they get another one of those after Davis–but doesn’t have much of an offensive game to speak of.

No. 1 recruit Shabazz Muhammad chose UCLA over Kentucky and UNLV, among others. (Getty Images)

2. UCLA– Top recruit Shabazz Muhammad chose Ben Howland and the Bruins, which could be huge for not only UCLA but the Pac-12 in general. The Bruins’ downslide has been surprising because of the fact that Howland has proven to be a terrific recruiter, having brought NBA talent such as Kevin Love, Jrue Holiday and Darren Collison to Westwood. Muhammad will get the chance to reverse UCLA’s fortunes in 2013, although probably not much longer.

3. Arizona– The ‘Cats added three five-star big men, including power forwards Brandon Ashley (6-8, 225, Oakland, CA) and Grant Jarrett (6-9, 210, La Verne, CA) and 7-0 center Kaleb Tarczewski (220, Southbrough, MA).

4. Baylor-Even in the midst of an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations by both the men’s and women’s programs, Scott Drew was able to finagle another spectacular class.

5. Texas– The ‘Horns will be fine without J’Covan Brown, who bolted for the NBA earlier this week. 6-10 center Cameron Ridley is the nation’s top ranked big man, and 6-10 power forward Prince Ibeh was up there as well.

6. Providence– Connecticut point guard Kris Dunn and shooting guard Ricardo Ledo chose Ed Cooley and Providence–of all places–to play their college basketball. This could be huge for the Friars, who may finally be on the verge of waking up from their post-Ryan Gomes slumber since 2004. Ledo is a 6-6 shooting guard who can flat-out-score, and Dunn is a terrific passer and finisher at the point guard spot.

7. North Carolina State- The Wolfpack could be the ACC favorite to start next year if power forward C.J. Leslie returns to school. N.C. State copped hometown kid and 6-4 shooting guard Rodney Purvis, 6-7 small forward T.J. Warren and mighty mite Tyler Lewis, who stands at 5-11 but can really control the game.

8. Michigan State– This is a key momentum-building class for Tom Izzo. Indianapolis shooting guard Gary Harris is the top prize.

9. North Carolina Another big haul for Roy Williams, who signed five four-star players, including point guard Marcus Paige.

10. Indiana– Don’t look now, but Indiana may be the preseason No. 1 team in the country coming into 2013. They return Cody Zeller and Christian Watford and pick up point guard Yogi Ferrell to go with three four-star recruits.

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