Early Signing Breakdown: A conference-by-conference look
On the first morning of the early signing period for the class of 2017, only 32 members of the Rivals150 are uncommitted. That number is set to shrink much smaller over the next few days. Here is a look at the top five prospects – regardless of position – plus an unranked sleeper, headed to each of the major conferences.
PG Jalek Felton, North Carolina (No. 24)
PF Malik Williams, Louisville (No. 29)
SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech (No. 35)
SF Chaundee Brown, Wake Forest (No. 39)
SG Alex O’Connell, Duke (No. 44)
Sleeper- SF Marco Anthony, Virginia (3-star)
Analysis- So far, the best recruiting class in the ACC belongs to Louisville and the skilled Williams is a headliner because of his outside shooting and shot blocking. Felton is a long scorer who is the nephew of former UNC star Raymond Felton. Alexander-Walker is one half of an instant impact backcourt headed to Virginia Tech while Wake Forest beat out Kansas to land the high-scoring Brown. O’Connell is Duke’s only commitment to date, but it is in line to add some big names this week. Never underestimate Virginia coach Tony Bennett’s ability to spot under-the-radar talent. Anthony will do good things at UVA.
PG Paul Scruggs, Xavier (No. 31)
PG Tremont Waters, Georgetown (No. 36)
SF Jermaine Samuels, Villanova (No. 46)
SF Naji Marhsall, Xavier (No. 47)
SG Mitchell Ballock, Creighton (No. 58)
Sleeper - PF Jaylen Butz, DePaul (3-star)
Analysis - Chris Mack has landed one of the nation’s top 10 classes at Xavier and in Scruggs he has a potential Big East Conference Player of the Year point guard with size and toughness while Marshall is a tail-kicking wing with all-conference ability. Waters is a high-scoring point guard and the Hoyas’ best point guard recruit in some time. A big-time competitor, Samuels should be an excellent replacement for Josh Hart at Villanova while Ballock can hit deep shots and make plays off the dribble for Creighton. In Butz, DePaul has a long and athletic inside player with big upside.
PF Jaren Jackson, Michigan State (No. 15)
C Jeremiah Tilmon, Illinois (No. 25)
PG Isaiah Washington, Minnesota (No. 62)
PF Xavier Tillman, Michigan State (No. 86)
C Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State (No. 87)
Sleeper - PF Clifton Moore, Indiana (3-star)
Analysis - Illinois has the top early class, but Tom Izzo and Michigan State have the best player in the highly skilled Jackson and they’ve paired him with a physical rebounder in Tillman. Tilmon should be a rim protector with some offense at Illinois. Washington is a flashy floor general with the tools to start from day one in Minneapolis while Wesson is a space-eating big man with touch who the Buckeyes hope can help early. Indiana hopes it has found another under-the-radar gem in Moore, a mobile big man who can shoot with range.
PG Marcus Garrett, Kansas (No. 37)
PG Lindell Wigginton, Iowa State (No. 40)
PF Jericho Sims, Texas (No. 54)
SG Jase Febres, Texas (No. 63)
PF Derek Culver, West Virginia (No. 67)
Sleeper - SG Darius McNeill, Iowa State (3-star)
Analysis - The Big 12 is slowly rallying from a very slow start to the 2017 class. In Garrett, Kansas has a versatile guard with great 6-foot-5 size and the ability to play all three perimeter positions. Iowa State wants to get up and down and play with athletic scorers and the high-scoring Wigginton fits the bill. In Sims, Texas landed one of the summer’s breakout players with huge upside as a post player while Febres will soften defenses and open things up inside for the Longhorns because of his jump shooting. Culver is a big-time athlete with upside but needs to be consistent as a low post scorer. In McNeill, Iowa State has an explosive scorer with range who just missed the Rivals150 coming out of the summer.
C DeAndre Ayton, Arizona (No. 1)
SF Michael Porter, Washington (No. 2)
SG Troy Brown, Oregon (No. 12)
PG Jaylen Hands, UCLA (No. 26)
PF Cody Riley, UCLA (No. 34)
Sleeper - PF Oscar Da Silva, Stanford (NR)
Analysis - The Pac-12 is absolutely cleaning up with three teams in the top five and four in the top 10 of the team rankings. Ayton is the nation’s best prospect and an instant impact guy in Tucson while Porter – whose father is an assistant at Washington – has a chance to pass him in the rankings during his senior year. Brown will play multiple positions at Oregon while UCLA has an electric playmaker and rugged scorer combo in Hands and Riley. Hailing from Germany, Da Silva hasn’t yet been rated but looks to be a fluid big man with skill and a possible find for Stanford.
C Austin Wiley, Auburn (No. 16)
SG Nick Weatherspoon, Mississippi State (No. 28)
C Daniel Gafford, Arkansas (No. 33)
PG Davion Mitchell, Auburn (No. 41)
PF Chuma Okeke, Auburn (No. 55)
Sleeper - PF Jamarko Pickett, Ole Miss (3-star)
Analysis - Kentucky hasn’t struck yet – and there’s no doubt John Calipari will – but Bruce Pearl is picking up the slack at Auburn by landing three of the top five prospects who have committed to SEC schools at this point. Wiley controls play in the paint while Mitchell is a big-time athlete at the point and Okeke is a combo forward with an advanced mid-range game. Gafford has potential to be an All-SEC big at Arkansas with maturation and strength while Weatherspoon has the tools to be a prime-time scorer. A late-blooming combo forward who can shoot on the move, Pickett could be Andy Kennedy’s next recruiting steal in Oxford.
BEST OF THE REST
C Mitchell Robinson, Western Kentucky (No. 6)
PG Makai Ashton-Langford, Connecticut (No. 38)
SG Josh Anderson, Western Kentucky (No. 43)
SG Jordan Goodwin, Saint Louis (No. 56)
SF Corey Kispert, Gonzaga (No. 81)
Sleeper - SG Jhivvan Jackson, UT San Antonio (3-star)
Analysis - Since arriving at Western Kentucky, Rick Stansbury has slayed it on the recruiting trail and he’s got a game-changing big man in Robinson and an explosive guard in Anderson. Ashton-Langford looks like a future All-AAC point guard at UConn while Travis Ford hopes that by keeping Goodwin home he’ll start a trend of local kids picking SLU. A sturdy wing with skill, Kispert looks like he was born to play at Gonzaga. Finally, Jackson is somewhat undersized but looks could be a prolific scorer in San Antonio.