It’s been a long journey for the class of 2011 prospects but the final class of 2011 recruit rankings are finally here. Being able to watch all of these prospects, including some who didn’t quite make this list, was a pleasure since there are so many elite players. Take a look below to see who the big movers were, which prospects are new to our rankings and most importantly, who the number one prospect in the class of 2011 is.
Who’s Number One?
Out of all the spots in the rankings, this one was easily the most difficult to decide. On one hand, you have Austin Rivers (Duke) who has sat at the top of the rankings all year and has only gotten better. On the other hand, you have the magnificent story of Anthony Davis (Kentucky) who has had a meteoric rise after growing eight inches in one year and transforming from a guard into a power forward. Both players will have great college careers and NBA futures, but only one can claim the title as the best player in the class of 2011. We gave that honor to Anthony Davis, although it was a very tough decision, since he has unlimited potential and an un-matched versatility since he is 6’10” and has the skills of both a big man and a guard. He is a tremendous shot-blocker and rebounder and has the quickness and athleticism to guard smaller forwards on the perimeter. Davis also excels in transition and has the ability to score either facing the basket or with his back to the basket.
Although he fell out of the top spot, Rivers is still a great prospect who is easily the best scorer in the class of 2011 (although Beal is a prolific scorer as well) between his outstanding three-point range, spectacular mid-range game and excellent slashing abilities where he is one of the best finishers around the basket. He also has a deadly jab step which creates space for him on the perimeter and has great ball-handling skills when he’s driving to the basket. However, one of Rivers’ most attractive qualities goes beyond his skill set, it’s his confidence that separates him from a lot of other players. He is not afraid to do anything in the game of basketball which is one reason why he’s so clutch.
There were quite a few prospects who jumped a considerable amount of spots including Khem Birch (Pittsburgh) from #14 to #8, Quinn Cook (Duke) from #23 to #16, Otto Porter (Georgetown) from #40 to # 27, Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s) from #46 to #30, Adjehi Baru (Charleston) from #44 to #35 and Marshall Plumlee (Duke) from unranked to #40. However, the prospect who has improved the most out of all these prospects is small forward Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech). Finney-Smith is a long, versatile and athletic forward who has a good face-up game and is a good offensive rebounder and shot-blocker for his position. He is also a great slasher and gets to the basket consistently and is one of the better ball-handlers at the small forward position. To see why the other guys moved up, check out their evaluations.
There were only three newcomers to our final class of 2011 recruit rankings and those were Plumlee, #46 D’Angelo Harrison (St. John’s) and #50 Myles Mack (Rutgers). Plumlee really emerged in the latter part of his high school senior and had a more consistent impact on the game. He is an athletic seven-footer who runs the floor very well. He is also a good shot-blocker and rebounder and often alters shots if he can’t get his hands on them.
Harrison’s performance in the All-American Championship game is what really pushed him over the edge and into our top-50. He was fearless in attacking the basket and showed great consistency and range in his three-point shot throughout the event. For Mack it was his performance against St. Patrick when he helped lead St. Anthony’s to a #1 ranking and eventual national championship and his play in The Capital Classic. He is very quick and fast with the ball and gets in the lane well. He also has a nice shooting stroke and good range on his shot and plays good defense.
2012: A different type of recruiting class (Last Update: March 12)
In an era of guards dominating the game of basketball, the class of 2012 completely shatters that image with seven of the top eight prospects being elite big-men.
Center Andre Drummond headlines the class who will likely replenish the small pool of elite big men in college basketball and is the prototype for the post-players of the future. Drummond is a big man who has the size, strength, and skill to be a great post-player but also has the ball-handling skills, shot, and athleticism to be an effective player on the perimeter. He is simply a big-man who can do it all and will be a joy to watch in the years to come.
Small forward Shabazz Muhammad is the odd man out in the top-eight as he is a wing player- and an excellent one at that. Louisville commit Rodney Purvis and Ricardo Ledo round out the top ten and are two elite guards in a class that lacks them. One guy to keep an eye on his Amile Jefferson who has the potential to even crack the top-five by the time he graduates.
Another interesting battle to look at in the class of 2012 is the fight for the best point guard title, in which Indiana-commit Kevin Ferrell, L.J. Rose, and future- Tar Heel Marcus Paige are essentially neck-and-neck.
When browsing the rankings, you’ll also notice that Duke has already picked up a pair of top-15 recruits who both play the wing in Alex Murphy and Rasheed Sulaimon, although in different styles. Baylor has also picked up another top-five player for the third straight year in Isaiah Austin and Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller is doing big things in Tuscon by getting yet another elite player in Grant Jerrett.
Make sure you check regularly on the rankings to see the latest updates and where players are moving in the rankings.
Updated Class of 2012 Rankings (April 26)
With the high school season ending and the first few AAU events wrapping up, we decided to update our class of 2012 rankings and put together a chart of the big movers and why they impressed us.