Basketball Recruiting - SEC Early Signing Period: Kentucky on top; Alabama makes noise
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SEC Early Signing Period: Kentucky on top; Alabama makes noise

Daimion Collins
Daimion Collins (https://texarkanagazette.org)

With the early signing period coming to a close this week, most commitments have put pen to paper and made things official. It’s also a perfect time to evaluate the week that was with a conference-by-conference look at the work being done on the trail. Below, Rivals.com discusses some of the more notable developments in the SEC.

MORE: Reviewing Early Signing Period in Big Ten | ACC

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2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team

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TOP CLASS - Kentucky

Kentucky sits in a familiar position, as the program has signed the SEC’s top class a year ago and are on pace to do so again in 2021. Five-star Damien Collins, a top-10 prospect that comes with shot-blocking prowess and elite length that helps him score at the basket, is the jewel of the haul. He’s joined by four-star forward Bryce Hopkins, who the Wildcats snatched away from in-state rival Louisville, and four-star point guard Nolan Hickman out of Utah. Kentucky is still alive for a number of big-time unsigned prospects, including five-star guard Hunter Sallis, for whom the Wildcats seem to lead.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH KENTUCKY FANS AT CATSILLUSTRATED.COM

SECOND BEST CLASS - Alabama

Alabama sits in the SEC’s runner-up spot thanks to signing five-star JD Davison, a physical point guard with an incredible vertical. And while Davison is definitely a pass-first guard, his jumper is good enough to make defenses pay for leaving him open on the outside.

Alabama also signed junior college transfer Langston Wilson. Four-star Jusuan Holt is a Rivals150 wing with great length and a smooth jumper. He’ll need to get stronger and better around the basket, but his ball-handling and shooting make him an intriguing prospect for Nate Oats’ program.

The Crimson Tide remain in the mix for four-star center Charles Bediako, the No. 25 overall prospect in the 2021 class, and are among the leaders to land his commitment.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ALABAMA FANS AT BAMAINSIDER.COM

TOP-RANKED SIGNEE - Jabari Smith, Auburn

The No. 4 prospect in America, Smith signed with Auburn last week and will provide Bruce Pearl with a truly versatile forward with first-round upside. Smith is at his best when he’s able to face up, as he can get to the basket off the dribble in addition to being able to shoot it from the perimeter. Smith needs to get stronger before he arrives at college, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Auburn is getting an incredible versatile wing that will make an impact on the team from day one. The fact that Pearl was able to land Smith despite serious interest from heavy hitters such North Carolina underscored the work the Auburn staff did to get him into the fold. Smith is the highest ranked prospect in the Rivals.com era to choose the Tigers.

SHARE YOU THOUGHTS WITH AUBURN FANS AT AUBURNSPORTS.COM

SLEEPER CLASS - Texas A&M

Manny Obaseki
Manny Obaseki

Texas A&M’s class ranks sixth in the SEC but possesses the talent to have a quick impact in College Station. Top-25 prospect Manny Obaseki is an elite guard that has sprinted up the rankings over the last year for good reason. He’s a natural scorer and has become a much better playmaker as he’s developed. It feels like he is still scratching the surface of his potential and could grow into a star as an upperclassmen on the college level.

Four-star Wade Taylor is a pass-first guard that should be a nice complement to Obaseki. The class is rounded out by three-star center Ashton Smith. All three of the Aggies’ signees hail from the state of Texas.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS A&M FANS AT AGGIEYELL.COM