January 20, 2010

UConn, Villanova move up in team rankings

MORE: Past Team Rankings | Class of 2010 Rivals150 | Class of 2011 Rivals150

The Big East improved its stock in the 2010 team recruiting rankings with a couple high-profile commitments following the early signing period. The ACC, on the other hand, saw two teams fall out of the top 25.

Connecticut jumps into the rankings at No. 16 with its addition of top-40 prospect Roscoe Smith. Four-star prospect Jayvaughn Pinkston's commitment to Villanova puts the Wildcats at No. 24.

Maryland's addition of three-star guard Pe'Shon Howard was not enough to compensate for the loss of top-50 prospect Terrence Ross, so the Terrapins fell out of the top 25. The addition of Connecticut and Villanova also pushed Florida State out of the rankings.

The shift in the rankings tightens the race between the conferences. The ACC is still the top conference with five teams represented, but that is only one more team than the Big Ten, Big East and SEC - which have four teams each in the top 25.

The Big 12 is represented by three teams, while the Pac-10 and Atlantic-10 each have two teams in the rankings.

Conference USA only has one representative, but it is Memphis - which controls the No. 1 spot.

2010 Team Rankings
1. Memphis
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Jelan Kendrick (8)
SG Will Barton (11)
PG Joe Jackson (12)
C Tarik Black (47)
SG Chris Crawford (66)
PG Antonio Barton
C Hippolyte Tsafack
First-year coach Josh Pastner secured a significant commitment when elite shooting guard Will Barton turned down a number of other programs to play for the Tigers. Pastner then defended his home turf and secured a commitment from Memphis native Jackson, giving the Tigers the most dynamic backcourt in the 2010 recruiting class. This five-star backcourt is strengthened even further with the addition of Crawford. Another Memphis native, Crawford is a four-star shooting guard known for his marksmanship from behind the arc. Joining Barton, Jackson and Crawford in Memphis will be Will Barton's brother Antonio, who is a solid three-star point guard prospect. Pastner finished off his class during the early signing period with signatures from Kendrick, a versatile and elite perimeter player, and Black, a high-energy rebounder and shot blocker.
2. Ohio State
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Jared Sullinger (3)
PF Deshaun Thomas (18)
SG Jordan Sibert (37)
PG Aaron Craft (104)
SG Lenzelle Smith Jr. (124)
PF J.D. Weatherspoon (137)
Ohio State is in familiar territory near the top of the recruiting rankings. Thad Matta has plucked some of the top prospects in his region, creating a formidable seven-man class. Sullinger is the premier post player in 2010, while Thomas, a fellow five-star, is one of the top scoring forwards in the country. Sibert and Craft have a strong chemistry as backcourt teammates on the All Ohio Red travel squad. Smith is a unique player with a feel for passing the ball, and Weatherspoon is a tremendous athlete with a lot of potential.
3. North Carolina
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Harrison Barnes (2)
SG Reggie Bullock (10)
PG Kendall Marshall (32)
Coach Roy Williams beat out Duke to land Barnes, the No. 2 prospect in the Rivals150, in one of the more intense recruiting sagas in recent years. Barnes joins Bullock, a five-star shooting guard with size and a pure shooting stroke. Marshall is a polished point guard who has a natural feel for the position. He has been performing like a college-ready player for the past couple of years.
4. Tennessee
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Tobias Harris (5)
SG Jordan McRae (42)
SG Trae Golden (55)
The Tennessee class jumped into the top five behind the signing of Tobias Harris, the No. 5 prospect in the Rivals150. Tennessee previously had landed a formidable one-two scoring punch with the backcourt duo of McRae and Golden. McRae is a rangy wing player who can score off the catch and the dribble. Golden is a physical combo guard who thrives off scoring off the dribble.
5. Syracuse
2010 commits (National rank)
C Fabricio de Melo (16)
SG Dion Waiters (29)
PF C.J. Fair (111)
C Baye Moussa Kieta (145)
There is a distinct international flavor to Syracuse's four-man recruiting class. The jewel of the class is de Melo, a highly skilled 7-footer from Brazil. Not far behind him talent-wise is Waiters, a physical combo guard. Fair is a versatile forward, and rounding out the class is Moussa Kieta - who is a shot-blocking specialist from Sudan.
6. Michigan State
2010 commits (National rank)
C Adreian Payne (20)
PG Keith Appling (34)
SF Russell Byrd (108)
PF Alex Gauna (149)
The inside/outside duo of Payne and Appling headline Michigan State's class. Payne is a long athlete with great potential, and Appling is one of the top scoring guards in the country. Whereas Appling loves to attack off the dribble, Byrd is a standout catch-and-shoot wing with size. Rounding out the four-man class is Gauna, a big man with upside.
7. Duke
2010 commits (National rank)
PG Kyrie Irving (9)
PF Joshua Hairston (49)
PG Tyler Thornton (129)
Duke landed an elite guard in Irving, who should be an immediate impact player as both a playmaker and scorer. Hairston, a steady four-star prospect, is an inside/outside threat at the forward position. Rounding out the class is Thornton, a physical and heady competitor who should be a solid role player for the Blue Devils.
8. Wake Forest
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Travis McKie (50)
SG J.T. Terrell (78)
PF Melvin Tabb (85)
C Carson Desrosiers (87)
PG Tony Chenault
Wake Forest continues to recruit on a national scale. Its five-man class includes a quartet of four-star prospects. McKie and Tabb are versatile combo forwards. Terrell is a smooth shooting wing who is capable of scoring buckets in bunches. Desrosiers is a face-up big man with a soft shooting touch. Chenault is a tough Philly guard who loves to attack the rim.
9. Stanford
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Dwight Powell (23)
SG Anthony Brown (62)
PG Aaron Bright (135)
PF John Gage
PF Josh Huestis
PF Stefan Nastic
Coach Johnny Dawkins is attracting some top talent to Stanford. Powell, a five-star prospect, is an athletic big man with an ever-improving skill game and loads of potential. Brown, a four-star wing with good skills, also has his best basketball ahead of him. Bright is a gritty point guard who shoots it well from behind the arc. Gage is a finesse four-man with deep shooting range, while Huestis is an athletic combo forward. Another power forward, Nastic will be a spring signee.
10. Illinois
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Jereme Richmond (36)
C Meyers Leonard (39)
SG Crandall Head (81)
Bruce Weber mined his home state for three highly regarded four-star prospects. Big things are expected from Richmond, who has been committed to the program since his freshman year. At nearly 7-feet tall, Leonard is athletic and progressively improving his skill game. Illinois hopes he develops into a dominant big man before the end of his career. Head, an athletic shooting guard who is the younger brother of former Illini star Luther Head, rounds out the class.
11. North Carolina State
2010 commits (National rank)
PG Ryan Harrow (24)
PG Lorenzo Brown (No. 37 in 2009)
The 2009 recruiting class' loss is N.C. State's gain in the class of 2010. Brown, a highly ranked four-star combo guard, didn't make the cut academically and now joins the 2010 class. He is paired in the backcourt with five-star point guard Harrow, who - despite his small frame - is one of the most dynamic scorers in the class. Unfortunately for coach Sidney Lowe, four-star prospect Luke Cothron - a fall commitment - did not signing in the early period. Cothron is now considered just a soft NC State verbal.
12. Missouri
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Tony Mitchell (15)
PG Phil Pressey (54)
SG Ricky Kreklow
PF Kadeem Green
Coach Mike Anderson has been known for overachieving with under-the-radar prospects, but this class has some star power at the top. Mitchell is an elite athlete with promising upside as a big-time wing scorer. Pressey is a dynamic ball-handler who can also score while running the point. Three-star prospects Green and Kreklow round out the class.
13. Marquette
2010 commits (National rank)
PG Vander Blue (22)
SF Jamail Jones (65)
PG Reggie Smith (105)
Coach Buzz Williams is bringing in the pieces for another high-powered backcourt. Blue, a five-star prospect, is considered one of the best combo guards in the country because of his skilled and physical play. Jones is a big-bodied wing who can do damage inside and outside. Williams added an athletic guard in Smith late in the early signing period.
14. UCLA
2010 commits (National rank)
C Josh Smith (19)
SG Tyler Lamb (41)
PG Lazeric Jones
Coach Ben Howland landed the big man he coveted in Smith. A huge presence inside, Smith hopes to be the next great UCLA big man. Joining Smith in the class is four-star guard Lamb, who is a do-everything type player on the perimeter. The Bruins also secured a commitment from Jones, who is a junior college standout.
15. Virginia
2010 commits (National rank)
SG K.T. Harrell (35)
PF James Johnson (99)
SG Joe Harris (114)
PF Will Regan (143)
PF Akil Mitchell
First-year Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett is off to a strong recruiting start. Harrell, his first recruit and most prized recruit, is a complete shooting guard with a competitive streak. Harris is a versatile swing man who can really shoot from outside. A big man who worked his way into a four-star ranking, Johnson should be a rugged athlete for Bennett. Joining Johnson on the front line is Regan, a big man who can grind it out down low and step out and knock down a jumper. Virginia also added a versatile swing man in Mitchell.
16. Connecticut
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Roscoe Smith (31)
SG Jeremy Lamb (68)
C Michael Bradley
PF Cleveland Melvin
Connecticut beat out Duke and Georgetown for Smith, who is a highly ranked four-star with a versatile and athletic game. He should make an immediate impact for the Huskies. Lamb, who is also a four-star prospect, is a late-blooming wing scorer. Bradley and Melvin are the type of big men Connecticut has had success developing over the years.
17. South Carolina
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Damontre Harris (56)
PG Bruce Ellington (94)
PF R.J. Slawson (112)
SG Brian Richardson
PG Eric Smith
Second-year coach Darrin Horn has created some impressive momentum on the recruiting front. His five-man class is led by Harris, a four-star big man with loads of potential. Ellington is a freakishly fast and strong four-star point guard. Slawson is another athletic post man with potential. Richardson, a scoring wing, and Smith - an athletic point guard - round out the class.
18. Florida
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Patric Young (27)
SF Casey Prather (64)
Coach Billy Donovan has complained about his team's lack of toughness since the Gators' back-to-back national championships. His 2010 recruits, Young and Prather, can have a big impact in fixing this problem. Young is an athletic player who can be a bully down low. He thrives on playing physical defense and attacking the boards, and his offense is coming along nicely. Prather is an athletic forward who is a tenacious on-the-ball defender. He can guard multiple positions, and he has a slashing offensive game.
19. Purdue
2010 commits (National rank)
PG Terone Johnson (46)
SG Anthony Johnson (100)
C Travis Carroll
PF Donnie Hale
A couple four-star combo guards named Johnson lead Purdue's 2010 recruiting class. Terone Johnson is powerfully built and is a big-time scorer who can also distribute the ball. Anthony Johnson, who has battled injuries, specializes in knocking down tough shots. On the front line, Purdue adds two blue-collar big men in Carroll and Hale.
20. LSU
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Matt Derenbecker (71)
PG Andre Stringer (93)
SF Ralston Turner (144)
PF Jalen Courtney
Coach Trent Johnson certainly has the LSU program moving in the right direction. His 2010 recruiting class is led by Berenbecker, who is a highly skilled wing out of Louisiana. Stringer is a four-star point guard with a great long-range shot. Turner is also a shooter with a dose of athleticism on the wing. Rounding out the class is Courtney, who is a versatile forward.
21. Texas A&M
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Tobi Oyedeji (82)
PF Daniel Alexander (89)
PF Kourtney Roberson (131)
C Keith Davis
The Aggies loaded up on big men. Oyedeji is a blossoming inside/outside threat. Alexander will stretch the defense with his long-range shooting ability in pick-and-pop situations. Davis is a high-level athlete with a blossoming physique and skill level. Roberson, who reclassified from the 2009 class, is physically advanced and has a solid skill game.
22. Xavier
2010 commits (National rank)
SF Justin Martin (83)
PF Griffin McKenzie (115)
PF Jordan Latham (121)
SF Jay Canty (130)
First-year coach Chris Mack secured the top recruiting class in the Atlantic-10 with a four-man class of Rivals150 prospects. Martin, a four-star player, is a deep shooter with athletic bounce. Both McKenzie and Latham are workmanlike posts who can score and play the four or the five. Canty is a long small forward who knows how to clean up the glass and defend.
23. Dayton
2010 commits (National rank)
PG Juwan Staten (44)
SG Brandon Spearman (116)
SG Jesse Berry
SF Ralph Hill
SF Devin Oliver
Dayton also represents the Atlantic-10 in the 2010 team recruiting rankings with an impressive four-man class. Staten is a top-50 prospect who is a proven winner at the point guard position. Spearman is a lockdown defender and versatile offensive player. Berry is known for his scoring prowess, and Hill - a developing big man - rounds out the class along with wing prospect Oliver.
24. Villanova
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Jayvaughn Pinkston (67)
SF James Bell (76)
NR Markus Kennedy
Pinkston, a rugged combo forward, is a college-ready player who could thrive in the Big East. An athletic wing, Bell can knock down deep jumpers while also serving as a defensive stopper. Joining these four-star recruits is Kennedy, who is a big-bodied post player with a skilled game.
25. Baylor
2010 commits (National rank)
PF Perry Jones (6)
SG Bakari Turner
PG Stargell Love
Baylor is in the 2010 team recruiting rankings behind the enormously talented Jones. An exceptional athlete at 6 feet 10, Jones has the talent to be a program lifter his freshman year. Turner is an athletic wing scorer, and Love is a physical and competitive point guard.

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