The Rivals.com team recruiting rankings for the class of 2008 have a couple of changes after a pair of important commitments this month.
Memphis jumps from the fifth spot to No. 4 in the 2008 team rankings after landing junior college prospect Roburt Sallie. The California native committed to Nebraska out of high school, and Sallie stuck with his pledge to the Huskers through junior college. However, an enrollment snag kept him from joining the Big 12 school.
Sallie considered a host of programs, but committed to the national runner-up. The four-star athlete gives John Calipari and staff another high-level prospect in the 2008 recruiting class.
Tennessee moved passed Florida, Florida State and Connecticut in the team rankings.
Rutgers replaces Cincinnati in the team rankings at No. 30 as the Scarlet Knights added Greg Echenique to the class. The four-star center was originally thought to be a part of the 2009 recruiting class but put his academics on fast-forward to enroll early with the Big East school.
Rivals.com will readjust the team rankings in the fall when student athletes enroll in school. The rankings will reflect any academic causalities that may occur between now and September.
UCLA's backcourt is in good hands for the foreseeable future. Led by elite prospect Jrue Holiday, the Bruins' recruiting class also includes four-star guards Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee. All three of these guards hail from the Los Angeles area, and the Bruins also snagged energetic big man Drew Gordon out of Northern California. J'Mison Morgan's late switch from LSU boosted the Bruins into the No. 1 spot.
Previous rank: 1
After winning the National Championship, the Jayhawks expected some roster changes. Leading the way are four-star twins Marcus and Markieff Morris. Bill Self and staff landed two of the top junior college prospects in the country in Tyrone Appleton and Mario Little. KU also scored late with former Marquette signee Tyshawn Taylor. Previous rank: 2
Quality big men are hard to come by, but Wake Forest managed to land three five-star big men in its 2008 recruiting class. Al-Farouq Aminu has the versatility to do damage inside and outside. He has the polish to his game to make an instant impact. Tony Woods and Ty Walker still need some seasoning, but have very high ceilings.
Previous rank: 3
The Tigers landed the jewel of its recruiting class with the spring signing of elite five-star prospect Tyreke Evans. The rangy combo guard is expected to step in for the departed Derrick Rose and run the show in Memphis. Joining Evans are athletic four-star forwards Wesley Witherspoon, Angel Garcia and Matt Simpkins and the late addition of junior college recruit Roburt Sallie.
Previous rank: 5
Ohio State enjoyed the services of athletic 7-footer Greg Oden for a year, and now they will have the services of another athletic 7-footer. B.J. Mullens is on board for at least the 2008-2009 season. Joining the top-ranked prospect in the 2008 class is five-star shooting guard William Buford. The Buckeyes looked to add help at the point guard spot and with interior depth. The program found the answers in the junior college ranks. Point guard Jeremie Simmons could be a starter next season, while Nikola Kecman should see minutes because of the need at his position. Previous rank: 6
Coach Rick Pitino has a post player in Samardo Samuels who has the physicality and skill level to anchor a team in the low post from Day One. His five-star counterpart, Terrence Jennings, has unique athleticism for a big man. Jared Swopshire is a versatile wing who should fit in well into Louisville's system. After originally thought to be a preferred walk-on, Kyle Kuric will have a scholarship to play for the Cardinals.
Previous rank: 4
The SEC school landed a premier prospect in Scotty Hopson, a five-star standout and national top-10 player, in the late signing period. His addition was a major coup for Bruce Pearl's program. Junior college guard Bobby Maze and Michigan native Daniel West will challenge for time at the point guard position. The Vols looked long and hard for a big forward that could stretch the defense but also crash the boards when needed. They found their man in California top-60 prospect Renaldo Woolridge. Coach Bruce Pearl and his staff locked up in-state big man Phillip Jurick early in the spring. Tennessee's recruiting class received a late boost with the addition of four-star power forward Emmanuel Negedu.
Previous rank: 10
Jim Calhoun took care of his needs at point guard in the fall with the signing of five-star prospect Kemba Walker. This spring he snagged the big man his program needed with five-star forward Ater Majok. The Huskies also have a shooter on the way in Scottie Haralson and are counting on four-star Nate Miles for perimeter scoring.
Previous rank: 7
Coach Leonard Hamilton can celebrate his new contract extension with an impressive signing class. Top target Chris Singleton selected the Seminoles over the Kentucky Wildcats during the early signing period. Four-star big man Xavier Gibson has battled recent injuries, but he has amazing potential. On the perimeter, four-star prospects Deividas Dulkys and Luke Loucks are highly skilled players. Junior college standout Derwin Kitchen signed a Grant-In-Aid and joins the Seminoles' already strong class. His experience should be put to the test right out of the gate.
Previous rank: 8
Coach Billy Donovan isn't letting up after back-to-back national championships and the No. 1 class of 2007 recruiting haul. The Gators have the No. 9-ranked 2008 recruiting class, largely because of four-star post players Eloy Vargas and Kenny Kadji. Florida's other three recruits are also ranked in the Rivals150.
Previous rank: 9
After securing five-star forward Ed Davis late in the summer, North Carolina went into Big Ten country and landed another five-star big man. Tyler Zeller, whose brother Luke Zeller is on the Notre Dame roster, will help carry on the tradition in Chapel Hill. Davis and Tyler Zeller are skilled, finesse-type players who should thrive in the up-tempo Tar Heel system. Four-star guard Larry Drew and late addition Justin Watts round out the class for coach Roy Williams.
Previous rank: 11
The Georgetown basketball program continues its rise back to national prominence with a stellar 2008 recruiting class. The crown jewel in the class is five-star big man Greg Monroe, who chose the Hoyas over almost every other program in the country. The Hoyas didn't add anyone in the late period. In fact, the program lost four-star big man Chris Braswell. The 6-foot-8 forward has yet to qualify academically and will spend another year trying to take care of business in the classroom.
Previous rank: 12
Coach Mark Gottfried is bringing a strong 2008 recruiting class to Tuscaloosa. Five-star power forward Jamychel Green leads the class, and his blue-collar approach should translate into a number of double-doubles in the SEC. Andrew Steele, the brother of current Tide star Ron Steele, is a physical combo guard. Wing scorer Tony Mitchell has the athleticism to thrive at the next level. The Tide wanted experience at point guard and found that in junior college veteran Anthony Brock.
Previous rank: 13
The drama continues. Emmanuel Negedu, one of the gems of the class, asked for a release from his National Letter of Intent and will not play in Tucson next season. Losing the four-star forward hurts. The Wildcats added Kyle Fogg, a late-rising sleeper, in the final hour. The Wildcats continue tradition of Point Guard U with top-10 prospect Brandon Jennings.
Previous rank: 14
With four four-star recruits in the fold, Kevin Stallings is bringing in one of the top recruiting classes in school history. Brad Tinsley will fill a major void in the backcourt while Jeff Taylor, Lance Goulbourne and Steve Tchiengang will vie for major minutes in the frontcourt. Previous rank: 15
A couple four-star backcourt players, Courtney Fortson and Rotnei Clarke, lead the class. Athletic big men Brandon Moore and Andre Clark are a good fit for the SEC. The Razorbacks added four-star wing Jason Henry, which was a coup for the SEC program. Montrell McDonald signed late and he should prove to be a nice sleeper from the junior college ranks. Terrance Joyner signed in the fall but was not accepted to Arkansas. He is no longer a part of the class.
Previous rank: 16
Oregon and coach Ernie Kent have found a home away from home in the Windy City. Four-star prospects Michael Dunigan and Matthew Humphrey and three-star big man Josh Crittle all hail from the Chicago area. The prize recruit in the class, Dunigan gives Oregon an inside presence it is not used to having. Oregon went into the Southeast to land ultra-athletic four-star wing Teondre Williams and after a coaching change at Cal, Oregon native Garrett Sim had a change of heart and will stay in-state to play for the Ducks.
Previous rank: 17
The late signing of five-star prospect Devin Ebanks pushed a solid West Virginia recruiting class into a top 20 class in the country. Ebanks has the ability to immediately be the go-to guy in Bob Huggins' attack while Kevin Jones, Roscoe Davis and Darryl Bryant should also contribute immediately.
Previous rank: 18
Coach Lorenzo Romar has consistently landed top-20 recruiting classes, and this year is no different. Four-star forward Tyresse Breshers leads the way with his shot-blocking ability and low-post scoring prowess. Another four-star prospect, Isaiah Thomas, returns home from prep school and will be counted on to be a 3-point threat. Versatile wings Scott Suggs and Elston Turner round out the class.
Previous rank: 19
The Trojans are getting spoiled. With O.J. Mayo doing his thing in the Land of Troy this season, USC has another pro prospect coming town in local product Demar Derozan. Known primarily as a top-flight athlete, the Compton (Calif.) native showed off a much-improved scoring touch from the wing over the spring and summer.
Previous rank: 20
Billy Gillispie went right to work in the 2008 class and extended his reach to Chicago for five-star guard DeAndre Liggins. The 6-foot-5 point guard was a major catch for the Wildcats. A month later, Gillispie landed top-50 forward Darius Miller, who should be perfect for the Wildcats' style of play. The Wildcats added a pair of players in the late signing period and went to the junior college ranks to find them. Kevin Galloway, a former USC Trojan, will have two years of eligibility in Lexington. Josh Harrelson, who signed with Western Illinois out of high school, will also have three years to play for the Wildcats.
Previous rank: 21
Once again the Spartans have landed a class with the following qualities: great motors, good speed, good scorers and versatile players. The gem of the class is Ohio forward Delvon Roe, a likely McDonald's All-American that embodies Tom Izzo's style of play. Korie Lucious is a scorer that will blend in nicely with the current backcourt. Big man Draymond Green is a highly touted in-state forward with a winning resume.
Previous rank: 22
Kentucky fans weren't pleased with Tubby Smith's recruiting efforts, but Gopher fans have a lot about which to be excited. Smith's first recruiting class at Minnesota includes three Rivals150 prospects, including four-star prospects Ralph Sampson III and Devoe Joseph. Junior college prospects Devron Bostick and Paul Carter round out the class.
Previous rank: 23
Oklahoma secured the signature of its main target, Willie Warren, during the early signing period. The five-star combo guard gives Jeff Capel a physical, impact player who can be a difference-maker as a freshman. Wing prospect Ray Willis and junior college big men Orlando Allen and Kyle Cannon round out the class.
Previous rank: 24
The Atlantic-10 has no match for Xavier's top dog in 2008, center Kenny Frease. The big man committed to the Musketeers early and could have pledged to almost any high-major school. Frease will help the Musketeers from Day One. Sean Miller also wanted guards in the 2008 recruiting class, and he got them. Terrell Holloway, Mark Lyons, Brad Redford and Brian Walsh should provide depth in the backcourt.
Previous rank: 25
The Wolf Pack doubled its recruiting haul in the late period and picked up three important signees. Former Indiana wing forward Joey Shaw signed with the program, while high school big men Ahyaro Phillips and Dario Hunt both inked with the mid-major powerhouse. Reno native Luke Babbit originally committed to Ohio State, but decided he wanted to play in front of friends and family instead. Seattle area shooting guard Mark McLaughlin, a top-100 talent, committed to Washington State early but reneged and pledged to Nevada instead. Texas point guard London Giles rounds out the class.
Previous rank: 26
As is usually the case, Duke landed its top guard target in five-star prospect Elliot Williams of Memphis, Tenn. Nevada big man Olek Czyz fills the role of athletic, energetic big man that the Blue Devils seem to always have on the roster. The Blue Devils landed Miles Plumlee in the late signing period. Plumlee signed with Stanford but asked for a release when Trent Johnson left for LSU. Duke stepped in and landed the skilled big man. His brother, Mason, is a 2009 Duke commit.
Previous rank: 27
The Bulldogs have made it a point to lock up the borders and keep the top in-state players at home. That philosophy paid off with top-30 prospect Howard Thompkins, who picked the Bulldogs over Florida and North Carolina. In-state sleeper Dustin Ware is a gamer and will surprise people. So will big man Drazen Zlovaric, a 6-foot-10 forward with good athleticism. The Bulldogs also wanted to find an athletic wing and a shooter. The program was able to do that in the late period and signed Rivals150 prospect Travis Leslie and shooting guard Ebuka Anyorah.
Previous rank: 28
Tony Bennett has a knack for finding under-the-radar recruits who exceed expectations in college. His top recruit, Klay Thompson, blossomed early and jumped up into a four-star ranking after his stellar senior season. Michael Harthun could be the next Derrick Low, and these two guards are joined by four quality three-star prospects. Previous rank: 29
Rutgers cracked into the national top 30 team rankings when the Scarlet Knights added four-star center Greg Echenique to the 2008 class. The Venezuela native was originally thought to be a part of the 2009 class but he expedited his academics to join the team for this season. The wide-body big man will join McDonald's All-American guard Mike Rosario, a four-star prospect, and unranked three-star prospects Patrick Jackson and Christian Morris in the class.
Previous rank: NR