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Early Signing Day: Winners and Losers

The first day of the Early Signing Period is nearly in the books, and while the day lacked drama as a whole, some teams feel a lot better than others about where they stand as we head toward the end of the 2024 recruiting cycle.

Below, Rivals take a look at a handful of programs that seem to be winning the early rounds of the cycle and a couple that have left plenty to be desired and will need a strong close to offset slow starts.

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Duke Blue Devils

At this point, there’s very little to write about Duke’s recruiting run that hasn’t been obvious for a year or so. The fact that the Blue Devils’ top-ranked class may not even be finished yet is an intriguing prospect for another time, but even as it stands, Jon Scheyer’s five-man haul sits atop the Rivals team rankings and is headlined by No. 1 overall prospect Cooper Flagg, who made things official by signing on Wednesday morning.

Flagg is one of three five-star prospects in the fold and joins Kon Knueppel and Isaiah Evans at the top of the list. Four-star commits Darren Harris and Patrick Ngongba also sit well within the top 50.

Four of the program’s five commits are said to have signed on Wednesday, but the Blue Devils seem to be awaiting the letter belonging to Evans and will announce the class as a whole once it is received later this week.

If Duke, which has signed 10 five-star prospects since Scheyer took the reins of the program, holds on to the top spot as expected, it will mark the program’s second straight No. 1 recruiting class.



Missouri Tigers

Missouri is as hot as any program in the country and is building one of the most surprising classes. Not only does the Tigers’ haul sit in second place in the Rivals team rankings, but it’s possible that MU could add another massive name before all is said and done if it is able to beat out Kentucky for five-star big man Jayden Quaintance.

Whatever happens with Quaintance, however, is icing on the cake for a class that already includes headliner Annor Boateng, who is expected to sign Tuesday. Mizzou extracted Boateng from Arkasnas despite him being a major Razorback target.

Bruising big man Peyton Marshall and floor-stretching 7-footer Trent Burns give the haul a formidable and versatile frontcourt, while wing Marcus Allen is seen as one of the truly elite defenders in the country. Three-star guard Antonio Barrett rounds out Dennis Gates’ impressive five-man class.



Kansas Jayhawks

The Big 12’s top program once again has hold of the Big 12’s top class, as Kansas’ three-man haul is topped by five-star center Flory Bidunga, one of the most unique and impactful players in the country. The Jayhawks stood toe-to-toe with Duke to snatch the 6-foot-10 center and dealt the Blue Devils a rare recruiting loss that surprised almost everyone that follows the sport. That victory on its own was enough to land KU on the winners side of this list, but Bill Self’s class also includes depth.

Bindunga is joined by four-star forward Rakease Passmore and four-star guard Labaron Philon on the Jayhawks' commitment list. Passmore was one of the biggest stock-risers of the summer, while the 6-foot-4 Philon is a long and quick lead guard with an impressive wingspan and the ability to knock down shots from deep. Philon and Passmore signed letters of intent on Wednesday, according to a release from KU. Bindunga is expected to sign later in the signing period.



Georgetown Hoyas

The Hoyas continue to get back on track in the wake of the less-than-stellar Patrick Ewing Era with a four-man recruiting class that shows plenty of improvement over the hauls assembled in the recent past. New head coach Ed Cooley’s first class is headlined by big man Thomas Sorber and point guard Kayvaun Mulready, who rank 54th and 55th in the class respectively.

So while Georgetown isn’t where it wants to go from a recruiting perspective just yet, the change in perception is undeniable and should be seen as a major positive indicator for improvement under Cooley. It’ll be a long road back to true national prominence, but the first steps are being taken.




Louisville Cardinals

Life at the KFC Yum! Center is tough these days, and Louisville's recruiting has reflected that. Last year’s 4-28 record has given way to serious uncertainty, which seems to have made things exceedingly difficult for head coach Kenny Payne on the recruiting trail.

Three-star guard TJ Robinson is the only prospect the Cardinals have in the fold so far, and the fact that the team has not tweeted out his commitment suggests that he may have passed on signing a letter of intent on Wednesday.

Whether or not Robinson signs later in the week won’t change the fact that it’s been a tough cycle for Payne so far. His team needs to undergo a dramatic turnaround this season if Louisville is to project an air of stability and recover from what has been a rough six months or so on the trail.



Florida State Seminoles

It feels as though the Seminoles should be off to a more impressive start on the trail thanks to its proven coaching staff and proximity to big-name talent. That said, the Noles’ lone commit for 2024 is high-upside wing AJ Swinton, who is a nice piece but not the kind of guy to carry a class on his own..

Not all is lost in Tallahassee, however, as the Seminoles remain in play for a few high-profile players. Technically, FSU is alive in the recruitments of Khani Rooths, Derrion Reid and VJ Edgecombe, but doesn’t seem at all likely to land any of the three.

Missing on top targets isn’t as daunting as it used to be, however, as FSU will be able to offset some of its recruiting losses in the transfer portal if it fails to sign a deep high school class.