Last Update: April 29, 2011
1. Indiana– The Hoosiers have an elite class so far between their trio of top-50 prospects (tied for first) in point guard Kevin Ferrell (#18), power forward Hanner Perea (#23) and small forward Jeremy Hollowell and unranked prospects shooting guard Ron Patterson and center Peter Jurkin. Indiana has tremendous versatility since they are bringing in a player at each position and great athleticism since Perea and Hollowell are two of the best athletes in the class. Ferrell (#2 PG) is a great floor general who has an excellent mid-range game and an even better defensive presence. He uses his speed and quickness to get into the lane where he consistently knocks down the mid-range jumper or uses his court vision to dish it to the open man. Even with all of these great players already coming in, many more prospects are considering the Hoosiers, including four top-50 guys in Gary Harris shooting guard (#13), shooting guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (#32), small forward Wannah Bail (#43) and center A.J. Hammons (#48).
2. Villanova– The Wildcats have three top-30 recruits in center Daniel Ochefu (#21), small forward Savon Goodman (#28) and point guard Ryan Arcidiacono (#29) which gives them versatility with a floor general, wing man and big guy down low. Their biggest pick-up was Ochefu not only because he is the highest rated prospect but because he addresses a huge need since they will have a thin front court by the time he steps on campus. Goodman was also a key commitment since he is a strong and athletic wing player who plays aggressively and loves to attack the basket. He is also versatile on defense being able to guard multiple positions and can pass when he draws multiple big men when he’s cutting to the basket. Arcidiacono is important as well due to his tremendous shooting abilities and big-time scoring capabilities. However, even with all of this talent they are bringing in, Wildcat fans should be excited since they can still pick up power forward Amile Jefferson (#11) and point guard Kyle Anderson (#22) among others giving them a “fab five” of their own. The three commits have already begun recruiting Jefferson on behalf of Villanova to join them and create a very exciting recruiting class.
3. North Carolina– The Tar Heels have started off 2012 strong by picking up two big-time commitments in the best point guard in the class, Marcus Paige (#16), and one of the most athletic players in small forward J.P. Tokoto (#35). is an ideal point guard who can create for his teammates, make excellent decisions, and be an extension of the coach. Paige is a floor general who has excellent ball-handling skills as well as great speed and quickness which he uses to get by his defender. Once by his defender, has a very nice mid-range game in which he can consistently hit the pull-up jumper. However, the best part of Paige’s game is his passing skills and court vision since he displays excellent court vision and anticipation as he seemed to know exactly where and when his teammates would be open. He will have a great teammate to pass to at Chapel Heel in Tokoto who crashes the boards well for a wing-player and finishes well in the paint. Tokoto also excels in transition where he uses his good court vision to dish it off to an open teammate or finishes niftily around the rim. However, North Carolina needs to bring in some big men since they will be very thin inside in a couple of years.
4. Michigan State– The Spartans have three commits so far in the class of 2012 including power forward Matt Costello (#36), small forward Denzel Valentine and power forward Kenny Kaminski. Costello and Kaminski both showed recently at the King James Shooting Stars Classic how well they can play by showing the ability to knock down three-pointers and mid-range jumpers while also scoring in the paint with their back to the basket. Kaminski and Costello also ran the floor well and Costello exhibited an impressive skill set in the low post where he used spin moves, hook shots and up-and-under moves to get his shot off. These two look like they will play well together when they go to Michigan State since both can play the high or low post and both pass the ball well. Valentine also adds length and a good mid-range game for Michigan State as well as the ability to push the ball up the court and has very good ball-handling and passing skills. The Spartans have some more quality targets left on their board including elite shooting guard Gary Harris (#12) and power forward Jordan Hare.
5. Florida– The Gators have a good backcourt in the class of 2012 coming in between point guard Braxton Ogbueze (#37) and shooting guard Michael Frazier (#41). Ogbueze is a very good point guard in a class thin at the position and has some of the best ball-handling skills in his class. He also consistently utilizes dribble-penetration since he is more athletic than the defender guarding him. He is able to finish through contact as well and has a solid stroke. At the other guard, you have Frazier who is an excellent shooter that excels in catch and shoot situations. One of my favorite things about him is that he gets involved in the game in every way he can. Even though he’s a shooting guard, he blocks shots, rebounds and starts the fast break. Frazier also has a quick release and hustles for every loose ball. Florida still has a shot at a bunch of big-time prospects including power forwards Tony Parker (#15), Alex Poythress (#25) and Robert Carter (#33) and center Joell James (just out of top 50).