basketball Edit

2016 Rivals basketball team rankings

De'Aaron Fox
De'Aaron Fox
Courtesy of USA Basketball

Kentucky and Duke continue to rule the roost when it comes to team recruiting and they've each landed a bonanza class in 2016.


Commits: PG De'Aaron Fox (No. 6), SG Malik Monk (No. 9), PF Bam Adebayo (No. 7), PF Wenyen Gabriel (No. 13), PF Sacha Killeya-Jones (No. 24), SG Hamidou Diallo (NR 5-star)

Overview: In Fox, the Wildcats have a dynamic point guard capable of dictating tempo on both ends of the floor. Monk is a wildly athletic two guard with a great first step. Adebayo is a physically imposing and athletic tough guy who plays with great physicality. Gabriel is a high energy and skilled forward who may end up playing the wing in Lexington. In Killeya-Jones, UK has a skilled, mobile and slender four-man who can play above the rim and shoot threes. A big time athlete, Diallo re-classified from 2017 and enrolled after the first semester of the 2016-17 season.


Commits: PF Harry Giles (No. 2), SF Jayson Tatum (No. 3), C Marques Bolden (No. 11), PG Frank Jackson (No. 12), PF Javin DeLaurier (No. 39), SF Jack White (NR 3-star)

Overview: Riding high after another championship in 2015, Coach K and the Blue Devils have swung for the fences and hit big in 2016. Giles will have to come back from a knee injury but is a dynamic power forward. Tatum is a big and versatile wing while Jackson is an explosive guard who can play either the point or shooting guard. The late addition of a potential rim protector in Bolden was a big boost. DeLaurier has a non-stop motor and does the little things while White is an Australian who adds depth.


Commits: SG Rawle Alkins (No. 17), SG Terrance Ferguson (No. 14), PG Kobi Simmons (No. 23), PF Lauri Markkanen (NR 4-star)

Overview: Sean Miller has loaded up with potential impact players. Alkins is a physical and explosive scorer while Simmons is a slick playmaking combo guard with burst. Markkanen is a borderline five-star player with size and skill. In Ferguson, the Wildcats have landed one of 2016's elite jump shooters.


Commits: SF Miles Bridges (No. 10), SG Joshua Langford (No. 20), PG Cassius Winston (No. 29), PF Nick Ward (No. 41)

Overview: Tom Izzo and his staff have hit the class of 2016 with vigor and the results speak for themselves. Bridges is a homegrown star and a big-time athlete. Langford is a big guard who can play multiple positions while Winston is a natural leader. In Ward they have a big body who has talent but won't be relied on too heavily early in his career.


Commits: PG Lonzo Ball (No. 4), PF T.J. Leaf (No. 16), C Ike Anigbogu (No. 25), SG Kobe Paras (No. 126)

Overview: The Bruins have things rolling in Westwood. Ball is one of the most creative passing guards produced out West in the last decade. Leaf is a skilled four man who can stretch the floor and has athleticism while Anigbogu is a big-time shot-blocker. Paras is a wing with athleticism and a pretty shooting stroke.


Commits: SF Mario Kegler (No. 48), C Schnider Herard (No. 37), PG Tyson Carter (No. 70), Abdulhakim Ado (No. 94), Lamar Peters (No. 81), Eli Wright (No. 92)

Overview: Ben Howland hasn't wasted any time replenishing the talent in Starkville. Kegler is a ready to contribute and produce guy as soon as he arrives on campus. Herard is a bruising big man who is strong near the rim and Carter is a fast-rising combo guard. Ado is a fluid athlete and shot blocker while Peters is a state championship winning point who can shoot with range. Wright is an athletic scorer who gets hot in a hurry.


Commits: SF Josh Jackson (No. 1), C Udoka Azubuike (No. 31), PF Mitch Lightfoot (No. 107)

Overview: For the third time, Bill Self and the Jayhawks have landed’s No. 1 ranked player. Jackson is a big-time slasher and transition player who can also defend and lead. Azubuike is a raw but mammoth big man while Lightfoot has athleticism and potential as a stretch four.


Commits: SG Kyle Guy (No. 43), PG Ty Jerome (No. 53), SF DeAndre Hunter (No. 60), PF Jay Huff (No. 50)

Overview: The Cavaliers won't be going away anytime soon. Guy is one of the nation's best shooters while Jerome is a point guard with size and tremendous floor vision. Hunter is a potential mismatch as an inside-out combo forward while Huff is a skinny, floor-stretching four-man who looks like a great candidate to redshirt but may be ready sooner.


Commits: PF Juwan Durham (No. 47), PG Alterique Gilbert (No. 34), SF Vance Jackson (No. 80), PF Mamadou Diarra (No. 133), SG Christian Vital (No. 145)

Overview: Durham is a little bit of a wild card after the big man missed the last summer due to injury, and he'll have to battle back from another knee injury, but he's long and has skill. Gilbert is one of the best leaders in the country, Jackson is a big-bodied wing shooter while Diarra is a slightly undersized big man with a non-stop motor. Vital originally committed to UNLV and is a combo guard who can score.


Commits: PF Jonathan Isaac (No. 8), SG Trent Forrest (No. 68), PG C.J. Walker (No. 124), PF Mfioundu Kabengele (NR 3-star)

Overview: In Isaac, the Seminoles have a skilled face-up guy who has the tools to eventually outperform his already impressive ranking. Forrest is a physical guard and a high-level defender while Walker is a crafty, offensive-minded point guard. Kabengele is a big with long-term potential.


Commits: PF Tony Bradley (No. 27), PG Seventh Woods (No. 42), SG Brandon Robinson (No. 76)

Overview: Roy Williams and his staff look to be breaking out of a small recruiting slump Bradley is an effective and efficient big man while Woods is a dynamic backcourt athlete. Robinson is a slim shooter who can make plays off the dribble.


Commits: PG Payton Pritchard (No. 49), C M.J. Cage (No. 79), C Kavell Bigby-Williams (JC 4-star), SF Keith Smith (N0. 99)

Overview: The Ducks were able to get Pritchard on the flipside when the high-scoring point guard backed out of his initial commitment to Oklahoma. Smith is an athletic wing with size who has battled injuries and was also committed elsewhere (San Diego State) before deciding on the Ducks. Cage is a low post scorer with touch and long arms. Bigby-Williams is a high end shot blocker and rebounder who is very athletic.


Commits: C Omer Yurtseven (NR 5-star), PF Darius Hicks (NR 3-star), PF Ted Kapita (NR 4-star), PG Markell Johnson (NR 4-star)

Overview: Landing a seven-footer like Yurtseven late was a huge score for the Pack. A native of Turkey he is skilled, runs the floor well and has soft touch. Hicks is an athletic but somewhat undersized power forward. Keep in mind, five-star point guard Dennis Smith enrolled early which made him class of 2015, but he will play as a freshman with these guys. Kapita is a former SMU recruit who ranked in the top 60 of the 2015 class while Johnson is an athletic PG who enrolled a year early.

14. Gonzaga

Commits: C Zach Collins (No. 21), SG Zach Norvell (No. 109), PF Killian Tillie (NR 4-star), PF Jacob Larsen (NR 4-star), Rui Hachimura (NR 3-star)

Overview: Mark Few continues to attract top talent to Spokane. Collins is a very skilled big man while Tillie is a French import with length and athleticism. Norvell is a good-sized wing scorer. The international flavor continues with Larsen (Denmark), who has skill and size, and Hachimura (Japan) is a bit of an unknown.


Commits: PF Dewan Huell (No. 28), SG Bruce Brown (No. 30), C Rodney Miller (NR 3-star), SG Dejan Vasiljevic (NR 3-star)

Overview: It took until the very end of the early signing period for things to fall the Hurricanes' way, but they did. A tough big man, Huell is the highest-ranked local to commit to Miami during the era. Brown is a tough-as-nails guard who gives it to you on both ends while Miller is a developmental big man. Vasiljevic provides backcourt depth.


Commits: PG Anthony Cowan (No. 45), SG Kevin Huerter (No. 59), SF Micah Thomas (No. 100)

Overview: The Terps continue to load up on talent as they settle into the Big Ten. Cowan is a floor general who involves others first and scores when necessary. Huerter is a skinny wing with deep range and terrific floor vision. Thomas is a slim and athletic jump shooter with upside.


Commits: SG/PG Andrew Jones (No. 22), C James Banks (No. 83), SG Jacob Young (No. 106)

Overview: Shaka Smart has landed a pair of four-star prospects in his first class at Texas. Banks is a strong big man who they feel has big upside while Young is an unabashed gunner from deep who scores in bunches. Jones is a high-scoring combo guard who will likely make the jump to five-star status in the final rankings update.

18. SMU

Commits: PF Harry Froling (NR 4-star), PF Ted Kapita (NR 4-star), SG DaShawn McDowell (NR 3-star), SG Tom Wilson (NR 3-star)

Overview: There is an international flavor to Larry Brown’s 2016 class. Froling is an Australian with good size and lots of touch on his jumper. Kapita was a top-60 player in the class of 2015 who originally committed to Arkansas. McDowell and Wilson add versatility in the backcourt.


Commits: PF De'Ron Davis (No. 35), SG Curtis Jones (No. 69), PG/SG Devonte Green (NR) 3-star), SG Grant Gelon (NR 2-star)

Overview: The Hoosiers needed a post presence and they got him in Davis, who is a big and crafty scorer. Jones is a slender combo guard who is best known for his perimeter scoring while Gelon is an in-state shooter that Tom Crean took a flyer on after a few big summer games. The younger brother of NBA player Danny Green, Devonte Green is a high-scoring combo guard.


Commits: SG Tyus Battle (No. 35), SF Matthew Moyer (No. 40)

Overview: NCAA sanctions and scholarship reductions don't seem to have hurt the Orange's recruiting efforts at all. Battle is a big wing with shooting touch while Moyer is a bouncy and versatile swingman who has some C.J. Fair in his game.


Commits: SG Mustapha Heron (No. 19), PG Jared Harper (No. 56), Anfernee McLemore (NR)

Overview: The Tigers hope they have their very own James Harden-type in the powerfully built and aggressive Heron. Harper isn't big, but the skinny sub six-footer plays with all kinds of heart and is a deadeye shooter. McLemore is an energy guy who crashes the glass.


Commits: SG Sam Cunliffe (No. 36), PF Romello White (No. 87), C Jethro Tshisumpa (No. 110)

Overview: In Cunliffe, Bobby Hurley has found a potential big-time shooter with athleticism. "Death Row" Tshisumpa is one of the country's most physical players and a terrific shot blocker. White is an athletic and lengthy frontcourt player who rebounds at a high rate.


Commits: PG J.J. Caldwell (No. 58), PF Robert Williams (No. 67), DeShawn Corprew (No. 85)

Overview: Caldwell is a tough-as-nails point guard who gets others involved and straps up defensively. "Boo Butt" Williams is a long and athletic four man who plays way above the rim. Corprew is a physical wing capable of scoring off the dribble.


Commits: SF Brendan Bailey (No. 54), SF Sam Hauser (No. 135), SG/PG Markus Howard (No. 73)

Overview: The Golden Eagles have added a pair of swingmen who can really shoot the ball. Bailey has enough size to play as a stretch four and Hauser is an in-state kid who should help space the floor with his deep shooting. Howard is a sharp shooting guard who will move from the class of 2017 (where he ranks No. 40) to 2016.


Commits: PG Tony Carr (No. 46), SF Lamar Stevens (No. 96), PF Joe Hampton (NR 3-star), Nazeer Bostick (NR 3-star)

Overview: In Carr, the Nittany Lions have landed their highest rated recruit of the era. Stevens is an athletic and tough forward who isn't scared of competition. Hampton is a potential mismatch combo forward while Bostick is a tough guy wing that defends.

26. ST. JOHN'S

Commits: PG Shamorie Ponds (No. 32), PF Richard Freudenberg (NR 4-star), Bashir Ahmed (JC 3-star)

Overview: In Ponds, the Red Storm has one of the most explosive scoring point guards in the class. Freudenberg is a German big man with size and skill while Ahmed is an athletic, slashing junior college wing who will receive heavy consideration for four-star status.


Commits: SG Markelle Fultz (No. 5), C Samuel Timmins (NR 3-star)

Overview: A natural scorer, Fultz will get a chance to play the point for the Huskies as they add to a roster loaded with young talent. Timmons is yet another product of New Zealand who will be making his way to the States to play college ball.


Commits: SG Kameron McGusty (No. 51), SF Kristian Doolittle (No. 132), PG Darrion Strong (JC 3-star), Jordan Shepherd (NR)

Overview: The Sooners have landed one of the best natural scorers in the class in McGusty. Doolittle is a local who brings his lunchpail to the floor and Strong is a physically strong and high-scoring JUCO combo guard. Shepherd is a little know shooting guard from North Carolina who was added late.


Commits: PF Omari Spellman (No. 18), PF Dylan Painter (NR 3-star)

Overview: Spellman is a deceptively athletic big man who pounds the glass and has range to the three-point line. Painter is a mobile big and good shot blocker who has to get stronger.


Commits: PG DeJon Jarreau (No. 38), PF Brison Gresham (NR 3-star), PF Chris Baldwin (NR 3-star), SG Unique McLean (NR 3-star), Tyrn Flowers (NR 3-star)

Overview: Derek Kellogg and his staff have put together an impressive group. Jarreau is a tall point guard with huge upside while Gresham is a bouncy big man. Baldwin adds toughness to the front line and McLean is a big-time athlete. Flowers is value recruit with big upside as a wing with size.


Commits: PG Xavier Simpson (No. 65), C Jon Teske (No. 108), C Austin Davis (NR 3-star), SG Ibi Watson (NR 3-star)

Overview: The Wolverines landed a solid playmaker with a winning pedigree in Simpson. Teske is a slender big man with some athleticism and face-up ability. Davis is a big low-post presence while Watson is a shooter


Commits: SG Tyree Crump (No. 66), SG Jordan Harris (No. 103)

Overview: The Bulldogs have landed an athletic tandem of in-state guards. Crump is a potentially elite defender and may be able to play some point before all is said and done while Harris is an acrobatic off-the-dribble scorer.


Commits: PG Bryce Aiken (No. 102), PF Chris Lewis (No. 114), PF Robert Baker (No. 121), C Henry Welsh (NR 3-star), SF Seth Towns (NR 3-star), PG Christian Juzang (NR 2-star), SG Justin Bassey (NR 3-star)

Overview: What an impressive class Tommy Amaker and his staff have put together. Aiken can shoot and distribute, Lewis is a low-post tail-kicker and Baker is a slender four-man with skill and huge upside. Towns is a borderline Rivals150 talent while Welsh, Juzang and Bassey add depth.


Commits: SG Jalen Johnson (No. 130), PG Jordan Bone (No. 146), SG Jordan Bowden (NR 3-star), PF John Fulkerson (NR 3-star), SG Kwe Parker (NR 3-star), PF Grant Williams (NR 3-star)

Overview: An athletic wing from North Carolina, Johnson is currently the only ranked member of the Vols class. However, all members have a chance at the final 2016 Rivals150 and Rick Barnes and his staff have put together a strong base class to help rebuild the program.


Commits: SG Amir Coffey (No. 52), PF Eric Curry (No. 142), SG Michael Hurt (NR)

Overview: Richard Pitino has locked down the state's best player in Coffey and he has big upside as he returns from injury. Curry is an athletic and versatile four man while Hurt is a tough defender.