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Evans Seven: Who will sign top early classes in each league?

The Early Signing Period is roughly two months away, so today we look at the 2021 team rankings in each conference and determine the chances of the current top team to remain in that spot.


Three-Point Play: Coaches, Atiki Ally Atiki, Big East

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team



AAC: Memphis

Chances of remaining in the top spot: 50%

Just seven members of the AAC have landed a commitment in the 2021 class, while only three have more than one pledge early on. A whole lot of work must be done between now and mid-November, and if not, the AAC will be passed entirely by the Atlantic 10 and MWC.

Losing UConn to the Big East was definitely a gut punch and Memphis must pick it up. While its lone commitment of Josh Minott has placed the Tigers atop the league’s rankings, quantity and quality is a must in the 2021 class. They are in a great spot with Deebo Coleman, are a team to beat for Sam Ayomide and sit among the finalists for a handful of other top-tier talent. Cincinnati is going to strike soon, while Houston, Temple and Wichita State won’t be too far behind. Memphis should hold onto the lead but as a whole, the AAC must get going.

MORE: AAC team rankings for 2021 class



ACC: Florida State

Matthew Cleveland
Matthew Cleveland (Courtesy of USA Basketball)

Chances of remaining in the top spot: 50%

Leonard Hamilton has put together the best class that he has ever assembled at Florida State and it still might not be enough to hold off some of his league’s finest. The Seminoles have landed four four-star prospects, all that should immediately leave an imprint at FSU. Jalen Warley was a humongous win, as was Matthew Cleveland, Bryce McGowens and John Butler. Throw in junior college standout Naheem McLeod and what you have is the nation’s current top-ranked class.

Duke has the best chance of surpassing the Seminoles, which should come as no surprise thanks to its continued success along the recruiting trail. It is going to take a lot to beat FSU, but a package of Trevor Keels and Pat Baldwin or Caleb Houstan would be more than enough. North Carolina would need a massively good string of weeks to catch either of the two, with a home run pick-up in favor of Louisville placing the Cards in the conversation, too.

MORE: ACC team rankings for 2021 class



BIG EAST: Villanova

Trevor Keels
Trevor Keels (Courtesy of @HoophallClassic)

Chances of remaining in the top spot: 90%

Villanova sits as the Big East’s top-ranked class in 2021 and that should remain the case. Arguably one of Jay Wright’s best classes, the Wildcats sit with four four-star commitments and are not entirely done just yet. Defeating Duke will be the toughest task in the fight for Trevor Keels, but the Wildcats may have the slight edge for the five-star. If he were to pick Villanova, not only would it cement its class as the best in its league, but also the best in America.

UConn is not too far behind but it is practically done in the 2021 class. DePaul doesn’t have much of a chance, while Butler and Seton Hall have just about wrapped up their classes, too. Perhaps Marquette wins a few big recruitments, but unless something unforeseen happens, we already know the top-ranked recruiting class is Villanova.

MORE: Big East team rankings for 2021 class



BIG TEN: Michigan State

Max Christie
Max Christie (Courtesy of USA Basketball)

Chances of remaining in the top spot: 30%

The race for the top spot in the Big Ten is going to have its twists and turns until the early signing period arrives. Michigan State is now focused on the 2022 class but there is also a chance that its top two commitments in that respective class will reclassify into the 2021 class, though that won’t actually happen until next year sometime. Emoni Bates, one of the most transcendent talents the high school game has seen in recent years, along with Canadian big man Enoch Boakye, are more likely to jump up a year than remain in the 2022 class. Throw those two in with Max Christie and two other four-star recruits and what you have is the nation’s best class.

However, before the reclassifications actually take place, Michigan could strike twice, which could catapult the Wolverines into the top spot thanks to their chances with Harrison Ingram, Bryce Hopkins, Charles Bediako and Efton Reid.

Ohio State is also in a good spot with Reid and Franck Kepnang, while Indiana could go on a run between now and November.

MORE: Big Ten team rankings for 2021 class



BIG 12: Baylor

Kendall Brown
Kendall Brown (Courtesy of USA Basketball)

Chances of remaining in the top spot: 30%

Baylor completed its top work rather quickly this summer when Kendall Brown surprisingly committed before Langston Love followed. However, Scott Drew and his staff don’t have a major need remaining in the 2021 class and have already geared their attention to the 2022 class. That could leave the top ranking in the Big 12 up for grabs with two months to go until the early signing period, which could be enough time for Kansas or Texas to catch the Bears.

The Jayhawks have struck out already a few times, but as long as Bill Self is overseeing the program, KU will snag enough talent to remain among the top of its league. The Longhorns have landed four in the 2021 class and are involved with some of the nation’s top remaining talent, including Daimion Collins, Bryce Hopkins and Charles Bediako. If just one was to pick UT, then Shaka Smart’s team would become the leader of the Big 12.

MORE: Big 12 team rankings for 2021 class




Peyton Watson
Peyton Watson (

Chances of remaining in the top spot: 60%

The Pac-12 has almost been forgotten in the team rankings with UCLA sitting in the top spot, but just eighth overall. The Bruins have done more than solid work landing Will McClendon earlier this winter, before Mick Cronin celebrated his greatest recruiting win to date when Peyton Watson picked UCLA over a number of national entities. They remain involved for some of the best West Coast prospects including Jaden Hardy and Nathan Bittle. However, with Hardy likely to wait until the spring to sign and with Bittle more of a battle between Gonzaga and Oregon, chances are slim that UCLA adds again before November.

Is that enough time for USC, Colorado or Stanford, the next three programs in the Pac-12 rankings, to beat out UCLA? Potentially, but there are no hard leans for any of the three. Arizona and Oregon could make a push, but we could be looking at a standstill in the Pac-12 rankings for the foreseeable future.

MORE: Pac-12 team rankings for 2021 class



SEC: Ole Miss

Alex Fudge
Alex Fudge (

Chances of remaining in the top spot: 5%

Ole Miss, that is correct, is the leader for the top class in the SEC. There is plenty of work to be done by practically all league members and that includes Kentucky, which will not sit idle in its five-star hunt much longer. Tennessee may have missed on Paolo Banchero but it is about to make a major move in the coming weeks thanks to its strong positioning for Ryan Mutombo and Jahmai Mashack.

Florida remains the favorite of Alex Fudge and has continued to make a push for Carter Whitt. LSU is always going to be LSU and thanks to the early work it invested with JD Davison and Jabari Smith, the Tigers are on the prowl though continued allegations against Will Wade and potential NCAA penalties may give prospects pause before signing with the Tigers.

Don’t discount Alabama, which could actually finish with the league’s top class by the time next spring arrives due to their pursuit of Davison, Fudge, Michael James, Caleb Houstan and Charles Bediako.

MORE: SEC team rankings for 2021 class