Rivals Rankings Week: How we will remember the 2022 class
The Rivals150 for 2022 will receive its final facelift this week, and while there won’t be as much movement as there have been in previous updates, there will be plenty of significant change near the top. Last week, Rivals had a look at some names to watch as the refresh approaches.
Today, however, we zoom out and look at the class as a whole with a dive into how the 2022 recruiting cycle will be remembered.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Tuesday: Top 10 countdown
Wednesday: Final Rivals150 for 2022 unveiled
Thursday: Final 2022 position rankings released
THE CLASS WITH THE ALL RECLASSIFICATIONS AT THE TOP
The first No. 1 in the class of 2022 was Emoni Bates, who was eventually overtaken by Jalen Duren. Duren, of course, gave way to Shaedon Sharpe. Aside from being No. 1 at some point, the trio also has something else in common.
They all graduated early, joined the class of 2021 and bounced to college campuses.
Duran and Bates played for Memphis this season, while Sharpe joined Kentucky at semester and redshirted, leaving Rivals in a perpetual state of searching for a new top dog.
So while current No. 1 Dariq Whitehead is certainly a talented player and promising prospect, it’s unlikely that he’d sit atop the Rivals150 today if the reclassification surge at the top hadn't taken place.
Both Sharpe and Duran seem like good bets to become lottery picks in June, despite being considered high school prospects not long ago.
THE CLASS THAT SET THE TONE FOR DUKE’S NEW ERA
The class of 2022 and Duke will forever be linked. As Mike Krzyzewski’s farewell tour gained steam, so too did the top-ranked recruiting class built by his successor, Jon Scheyer. The result is four five-star prospects signing with the Blue Devils and providing a bedrock for the new era in Durham.
The six-member class includes three of the current top five prospects and four of the top 20, Headliners Dariq Whitehead (1), Kyle Filipowski (2) and Dereck Lively (3) get most of the ink, but the fact that forward Mark Mitchell ranks 20th, while and Jaden Schutt ranks 88th give this class nearly unprecedented depth.
Oh, and that’s not to mention the fact that 2023 commit Caleb Foster is still considering a reclassification to 2022. If Foster decides to do so, the class’ final combined star total will increase to an eye-popping 32.
Not bad for a first-year coach still months away from his first actual game in the big chair.
THE CLASS WITH THE ARKANSAS HAUL
The surprise of the cycle, Arkansas took a massive stride forward on the recruiting trail as well as on the floor, as back-to-back Elite Eight appearances have given way to the country’s No. 2 recruiting class – a class that would rank No. 1 in some other years.
The haul will reshape the Razorbacks' roster and has also taken Eric Musselman’s reputation on the trail from “crafty recruiter that does more with less'' to “force to be reckoned with.”
Nick Smith, Jordan Walsh and Anthony Black headline the class and their talent is undeniable, but the fact that Arkansas beat out programs such as Gonzaga, Auburn, Kansas, USC and others to land its prized class is also notable.
THE ONE WITH THE LSU CLASS THAT WASN’T
LSU had a trio of Rivals150 prospects, including a pair of five-stars, in the fold on Mach 11.
Today, they’re all long gone.
A swift and somewhat surprising decision to remove head coach Will Wade prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament left the Tigers’ cupboard bare at an inopportune time.
Roughly a month ago, LSU’s 2022 class was stacked. It included five-stars Yohan Traore and Julian Phillips. The duo was joined by four-star sharp-shooter Devin Ree. When Wade was dismissed for his role in an NCAA scandal that surrounded the program, everyone split. These days, Traore is committed to Auburn, while Phillips and Ree remain on the market.
All three will play high-major basketball and all three will forever be linked to Baton Rouge and what could have been.