In our latest class of 2012 team rankings, UCLA edges out Kentucky for the number one spot, similar to how small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#1 — UCLA) beat out center Nerlens Noel (#2 — Kentucky) for the top spot in our final class of 2012 prospect rankings.
One common misconception among fans — which leads to a lot of misinterpretation of class rankings — is that when calculating these team rankings, the way to do it is to simply average out the rankings of each player in the class and the team with the best ranking should be first. The problem with this is simple — it doesn’t account for the fact that when comparing classes like UCLA and Kentucky, UCLA’s two top-five prospects are a big reason their class is rated better than Kentucky.
We give our overview of the top two classes in our top-20 below but make sure you check out the individual team profiles to get a better look at each class. In those profiles, we break down the class player by player and give you some highlights as well. To view our complete breakdown of every class and our updated class of 2012 team rankings, click here.
1. UCLA: Just as it looked like UCLA head coach Ben Howland was losing control of his program, he reeled in the number one recruiting class in the country. Howland not only brought in the top prospect in the country — small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#1) — but he also brought in the number one point guard in the class and another top-five recruit, Kyle Anderson (#5). This quartet of class of 2012 recruits should give the Bruins a Pac-12 Championship in their first season in addition to a potentially deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
2. Kentucky: Surprise, surprise. Kentucky head coach John Calipari brought in another great recruiting class except this group of future Wildcats fell short of the number one spot, landing at number two. Calipari has great balance in this class reeling in guys at four different positions and couldn’t have found a better replacement for soon-to-be number one pick Anthony Davis than Nerlens Noel (#2). All four prospects fit Kentucky’s style perfectly and will be able to share the ball very well since they’re all selfless, willing to pass and most importantly… willing to do whatever it takes to win. The question for this Kentucky class won’t be whether they’re able to play together, the question is whether they’ll be able to mature quick enough and play well enough to win a second straight National Championship.