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November 17, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

After providing early signing period recruiting class highlights from the BIG EAST, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC, as well as the top Non-BCS Schools, it is time to sum everything up and release our list of the Top 15 Men’s Basketball Recruiting Classes through the early signing period.

The recruiting classes are well-balanced throughout the country. The BIG EAST and Big 10 lead the early going with each conference placing three schools in the rankings. The Pac 12, ACC and Big 12 each have two schools cracking the top 15 and the SEC has one. There are two programs from ‘non-BCS’ conferences also on the list.

Five different conferences placed schools in the Top 5 so far. Here are the classes…ranked 1-15…

Class of 2012 National Recruiting Rankings:

1) Arizona
Commits – Brandon Ashley (PF), Kaleb Tarczewski (C), Gabe York (SG), Grant Jerrett (PF)
–Already holding one of the nation’s best classes, Sean Miller put the cherry on top by winning a recruiting battle with Kansas for the services of Tarczewski. All 4 of these players projects as a significant impact player for the Wildcats.

2) Kentucky
Commits – Archie Goodwin (SG), Alex Poythress (SF), Willie Cauley (C)
–The expectations are so high at Kentucky that if John Calipari is unable to add Shabazz Muhammad (SF), Anthony Bennett (PF), or Devonta Pollard (SF) to this class it will somehow be viewed as a disappointment. Without any additions it is still a very impressive class.

Ricardo Ledo was one of the gems of Ed Cooley's initial PC recruiting class.

3) Providence
Commits – Kris Dunn (PG), Ricardo Ledo (SG), Joshua Fortune (SG)
–The debut class for head coach Ed Cooley is the most impressive one in recent memory at Providence. If he’s able to build off the momentum and repeat this level in 2013 the Friars will challenge for Big East titles.

4) Michigan
Commits – Mitch McGary (PF/C), Glenn Robinson (SF), Nik Stauskas (SF)
–In Mitch McGary, John Beilein has landed the best big man prospect to come to Ann Arbor since Chris Webber. If McGary can have an impact anything like Webber’s (minus all the sanctions of course), Wolverine fans will be mighty happy.

5) North Carolina State
Commits – Rodney Purvis (SG), TJ Warren (F), Tyler Lewis (PG)
–Still heavily involved with combo forward Amile Jefferson, Mark Gottfried has a chance to challenge Arizona for the top spot in these rankings if he can land the athletic Philadelphia product.

6) Indiana
Commits – Hanner Perea (PF), Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (PG), Jeremy Hollowell (SF), Ron Patterson (SG), Peter Jurkin (C)
–Losing out on Gary Harris to Michigan State is a minor blow for Tom Crean but he can certainly hold his head high with the five man class he has locked down.

Commits – Kyle Anderson (PG), Jordan Adams (SF)
–With only two committed players it takes some serious star power for UCLA to rank this high and Kyle Anderson provides that star power. If Ben Howland signs Shabazz Muhammad in the spring (UCLA is considered the favorite) they would shoot to the top of this list.

James Robinson is a proven winner headed to Pitt.

8} Pittsburgh
Commits – Steven Adams (C), James Robinson (PG)
–Like UCLA, singular star power accounts for Pittsburgh’s high ranking. Steven Adams may be the very best player in the entire class but more will be known once he faces consistent high level competition after joining Notre Dame Prep in January.

9) Houston
Commits – Danuel House (SF), Danrad “Chicken” Knowles (PF), Valentine Izundu (C)
–Dipping into the immense talent pool in the Houston area, the Cougars have locked up the future of the program in this terrific three man class.

10) North Carolina
Commits – Brice Johnson (PF), Marcus Paige (PG), Joel James (C), JP Tokoto (SF)
–This class is likely complete and while 10th nationally is certainly impressive it’s not quite up to the normal standards of Roy Williams at Carolina.

11) Texas
Commits – Cameron Ridley (C), Prince Ibeh (C), Javan Felix (PG), Connor Lammert (PF), Ioannis Papapetrou (SF)
–Speed, size, scoring, defense, this class has a little bit of everything for Rick Barnes. It lacks a top 10 player nationally but everything else is here.

Gary Harris was a huge addition to kick off the early signing period for Tom Izzo and MSU.

12) Michigan State
Commits – Gary Harris (SG), Kenny Kaminski (PF), Matt Costello (C), Denzel Valentine (SF)
Tom Izzo has landed his next big star in East Lansing in shooting guard Gary Harris. The rest of the class offers a combination of toughness and skill that is customary of Izzo’s players.

13) Syracuse
Commits – DaJuan Coleman (C), Jerami Grant (SF)
–After sweating out Kentucky and Ohio State, Jim Boeheim landed the local product Coleman who will immediately be one of the strongest players in the Big East.

14) Baylor
Commits – Isaiah Austin (C), LJ Rose (PG), Chad Rykhoek (C)
–Isaiah Austin may be the best big man that Scott Drew has recruited to Waco. Given that Perry Jones and Quincy Miller are both considered potential lottery picks, Austin is a major get for Baylor.

15) Memphis
Commits – Shaq Goodwin (PF), Damien Wilson (SF)
–Adding target Jarnell Stokes would round out this class quite nicely. Josh Pastner is engaged in a battle with Mike Anderson at Arkansas among others for the talented big man’s services.

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