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Early signing period: Winners and losers

MORE: 2016 rankings | Team rankings | Signing day notes
The first of college basketball's two signing periods comes to a close on Wednesday. As we eye what happened during the last week and what could happen down the road, we look at some of the period's winners and losers.
Winners
One way or another, John CalipariClick Here to view this Link. finds a way to get it done at KentuckyClick Here to view this Link.. During the late winter and early spring of 2015, some Wildcats fans worried that their coach was losing his touch on the recruiting trail. After rallying to finish at the top of the 2015 team rankings, Cal and the Cats made a serious run to close out 2016's early signing period to leapfrog DukeClick Here to view this Link. for the top spot in 2016. Five-star power forward Wenyen GabrielClick Here to view this Link. was a pleasant October surprise, but Tuesday's signing week pull of No. 7 overall Bam AdebayoClick Here to view this Link. was an even bigger surprise. Then they upped the ante by adding No. 6 overall Malik MonkClick Here to view this Link. on Wednesday. The Wildcats have been regulars in the top position under Calipari, but he may have outdone himself with this class.
Thinking about when Bam Adebayo and Wenyen Gabriel will be on the floor together at Kentucky…..Good luck getting a rebound from them.- Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) November 17, 2015
Ben Howland guiding Mississippi StateClick Stylistically, I see Fox?Monk as being a Rajon Rondo/Steve Francis type backcourt. No matter who you compare them to, potentially scary duo- Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) November 18, 2015Here to view this Link. to the No. 4 class by adding six four-star prospects is one of the biggest stories of the early signing period. Howland has basically been on the job in Starkville for seven months and in that time he's managed to land five-star Malik NewmanClick Stylistically, I see Fox?Monk as being a Rajon Rondo/Steve Francis type backcourt. No matter who you compare them to, potentially scary duo- Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) November 18, 2015Here to view this Link. and four-star Aric HolmanClick Stylistically, I see Fox?Monk as being a Rajon Rondo/Steve Francis type backcourt. No matter who you compare them to, potentially scary duo- Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) November 18, 2015Here to view this Link. in 2015 before his six four-stars in 2016, led by No. 29 Mario KeglerClick Stylistically, I see Fox?Monk as being a Rajon Rondo/Steve Francis type backcourt. No matter who you compare them to, potentially scary duo- Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) November 18, 2015Here to view this Link.. To put that into context, it took previous MSU coaches from 2008-14 to land nine four-star-or-better prospects, while Howland has hauled in eight in less than one year.
From an overall conference standpoint, six of the top 11 and eight of the top 35 recruiting classes belong to the ACC. On top of that, ACC programs have landed the most five-star prospects (eight) of any conference and member programs have a total of 27 members of the Rivals150 on their way to play in the conference.
Down in the SEC, teams are working feverishly to catch up with Kentucky. Yes, the Wildcats still dominate recruiting and are bringing in five of the league's seven five-star prospects. But to see programs such as Auburn and Alabama also landing five-star prospects and an additional 15 four-star prospects inking with conference teams is huge for the SEC.
Losers
A more appropriate headline for KansasClick As huge as it was for Kentucky to land Adebayo and Monk, tough blows were delivered to N.C. StateClick Here to view this Link. and ArkansasClick Here to view this Link.. Mark GottfriedClick Here to view this Link. and the Pack had been considered longtime leaders for Adebayo. N.C. State fans and coaches were thinking about a potentially special class. Don't feel too badly for the Pack, though. They still landed the guy that they absolutely had to have in five-star point guard Dennis SmithClick Here to view this Link. and they are still heavily in the mix for five-star shooting guard Rawle AlkinsClick Here to view this Link. and five-star center Udoka AzubuikeClick Here to view this Link., so there is plenty of time to bounce back. If you are an Arkansas fan, the best way to look at missing on Monk is to be relieved that they added ready-to-contribute junior college guards Jaylen BarfordClick Here to view this Link. and Daryl MaconClick Here to view this Link. while they'll return developing stud freshman Jimmy WhittClick Here to view this Link.Here to view this Link. would be wait and see. Bill SelfClick As huge as it was for Kentucky to land Adebayo and Monk, tough blows were delivered to N.C. StateClick Here to view this Link. and ArkansasClick Here to view this Link.. Mark GottfriedClick Here to view this Link. and the Pack had been considered longtime leaders for Adebayo. N.C. State fans and coaches were thinking about a potentially special class. Don't feel too badly for the Pack, though. They still landed the guy that they absolutely had to have in five-star point guard Dennis SmithClick Here to view this Link. and they are still heavily in the mix for five-star shooting guard Rawle AlkinsClick Here to view this Link. and five-star center Udoka AzubuikeClick Here to view this Link., so there is plenty of time to bounce back. If you are an Arkansas fan, the best way to look at missing on Monk is to be relieved that they added ready-to-contribute junior college guards Jaylen BarfordClick Here to view this Link. and Daryl MaconClick Here to view this Link. while they'll return developing stud freshman Jimmy WhittClick Here to view this Link.Here to view this Link. and the Jayhawks haven't missed any of their remaining targets yet, but whether or not they end up winners or losers on the 2016 class is hanging in the balance. They do have Rivals150 power forward Mitch LightfootClick As huge as it was for Kentucky to land Adebayo and Monk, tough blows were delivered to N.C. StateClick Here to view this Link. and ArkansasClick Here to view this Link.. Mark GottfriedClick Here to view this Link. and the Pack had been considered longtime leaders for Adebayo. N.C. State fans and coaches were thinking about a potentially special class. Don't feel too badly for the Pack, though. They still landed the guy that they absolutely had to have in five-star point guard Dennis SmithClick Here to view this Link. and they are still heavily in the mix for five-star shooting guard Rawle AlkinsClick Here to view this Link. and five-star center Udoka AzubuikeClick Here to view this Link., so there is plenty of time to bounce back. If you are an Arkansas fan, the best way to look at missing on Monk is to be relieved that they added ready-to-contribute junior college guards Jaylen BarfordClick Here to view this Link. and Daryl MaconClick Here to view this Link. while they'll return developing stud freshman Jimmy WhittClick Here to view this Link.Here to view this Link. signed, but they want to add at least one of the five-star big men Marques BoldenClick As huge as it was for Kentucky to land Adebayo and Monk, tough blows were delivered to N.C. StateClick Here to view this Link. and ArkansasClick Here to view this Link.. Mark GottfriedClick Here to view this Link. and the Pack had been considered longtime leaders for Adebayo. N.C. State fans and coaches were thinking about a potentially special class. Don't feel too badly for the Pack, though. They still landed the guy that they absolutely had to have in five-star point guard Dennis SmithClick Here to view this Link. and they are still heavily in the mix for five-star shooting guard Rawle AlkinsClick Here to view this Link. and five-star center Udoka AzubuikeClick Here to view this Link., so there is plenty of time to bounce back. If you are an Arkansas fan, the best way to look at missing on Monk is to be relieved that they added ready-to-contribute junior college guards Jaylen BarfordClick Here to view this Link. and Daryl MaconClick Here to view this Link. while they'll return developing stud freshman Jimmy WhittClick Here to view this Link.Here to view this Link., Jarrett AllenClick As huge as it was for Kentucky to land Adebayo and Monk, tough blows were delivered to N.C. StateClick Here to view this Link. and ArkansasClick Here to view this Link.. Mark GottfriedClick Here to view this Link. and the Pack had been considered longtime leaders for Adebayo. N.C. State fans and coaches were thinking about a potentially special class. Don't feel too badly for the Pack, though. They still landed the guy that they absolutely had to have in five-star point guard Dennis SmithClick Here to view this Link. and they are still heavily in the mix for five-star shooting guard Rawle AlkinsClick Here to view this Link. and five-star center Udoka AzubuikeClick Here to view this Link., so there is plenty of time to bounce back. If you are an Arkansas fan, the best way to look at missing on Monk is to be relieved that they added ready-to-contribute junior college guards Jaylen BarfordClick Here to view this Link. and Daryl MaconClick Here to view this Link. while they'll return developing stud freshman Jimmy WhittClick Here to view this Link.Here to view this Link. and the previously mentioned Azbubuike. The Jayhawks land one of those guys and they will be in good shape; should they miss on all three they will be in scramble mode.
As good as things have been for the ACC and SEC, the Big 12 has really struggled in recruiting. Only three teams are in the current top 35 of the team rankings and of those teams OklahomaClick Talk about a change of fortune. Arkansas-Little Rock went from pulling off the biggest steal of the early recruiting cycle to being left at the altar. After scoring a surprise commitment from four-star small forward Deshawn CorprewClick Last spring, CaliforniaClick Here to view this Link. was the toast of the recruiting world as Cuonzo MartinClick Here to view this Link. and the Golden Bears came out of nowhere to land big-timers Jaylen BrownClick Here to view this Link. and Ivan RabbClick Here to view this Link., and the nation's seventh-ranked class in 2015. Four-star shooting guard Tyson JollyClick Here to view this Link. had originally committed to that class but will instead arrive in 2016 so that's a good start. Three-star wing Oscar FrayerClick Here to view this Link. announced that he is re-opening his recruitment which is probably best for both parties as he doesn't quite look Pac 12 ready at this point. Now, the Golden Bears need a point guard and power forward. Losing out on four-star floor general Charlie MooreClick Here to view this Link. to MemphisClick Here to view this Link. was a tough signing week blow, while forwards Jayce JohnsonClick Here to view this Link. (UtahClick Here to view this Link.) and Vance JacksonClick Here to view this Link. (ConnecticutClick Here to view this Link.) were tough blows as well.Here to view this Link. earlier in the fall, Arkansas-Little Rock was unable to fully close the deal as Corprew confirmed to Rivals.com over the weekend that he's re-opened his recruitment.Here to view this Link. is highest at No. 22. The Sooners also hold a commitment from the only top 50 player currently ticketed for the Big 12 - shooting guard Kameron McGustyClick Talk about a change of fortune. Arkansas-Little Rock went from pulling off the biggest steal of the early recruiting cycle to being left at the altar. After scoring a surprise commitment from four-star small forward Deshawn CorprewClick Last spring, CaliforniaClick Here to view this Link. was the toast of the recruiting world as Cuonzo MartinClick Here to view this Link. and the Golden Bears came out of nowhere to land big-timers Jaylen BrownClick Here to view this Link. and Ivan RabbClick Here to view this Link., and the nation's seventh-ranked class in 2015. Four-star shooting guard Tyson JollyClick Here to view this Link. had originally committed to that class but will instead arrive in 2016 so that's a good start. Three-star wing Oscar FrayerClick Here to view this Link. announced that he is re-opening his recruitment which is probably best for both parties as he doesn't quite look Pac 12 ready at this point. Now, the Golden Bears need a point guard and power forward. Losing out on four-star floor general Charlie MooreClick Here to view this Link. to MemphisClick Here to view this Link. was a tough signing week blow, while forwards Jayce JohnsonClick Here to view this Link. (UtahClick Here to view this Link.) and Vance JacksonClick Here to view this Link. (ConnecticutClick Here to view this Link.) were tough blows as well.Here to view this Link. earlier in the fall, Arkansas-Little Rock was unable to fully close the deal as Corprew confirmed to Rivals.com over the weekend that he's re-opened his recruitment.Here to view this Link.. In total, only 10 members of the Rivals150, seven of which are four-stars, have committed to play their college ball in the Big 12.
Click Here to view this Link.