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Starting Five: Rankings week ahead, talking big timers

This week in the Starting Five, national analyst Eric Bossi discusses the upcoming rankings week, what to think of recent news around the recruitments of five-star shooting guards Jalen Green and Terrence Clarke and a look at some weekend pickups.


It's another rankings week and we'll be updating the 2020 Rivals150, expanding to a full Rivals150 in the class of 2021 and introducing our first ranking of the class of 2022.

We'll kick things off on Tuesday by releasing our updated top 10 from the class of 2020 where 7-footer Evan Mobley currently holds the No. 1 spot. On Wednesday, we'll release the full Rivals150 for the senior class where there will be plenty of change and several newcomers to the rankings. On Thursday, we will release the full positional rankings for 2020.

Jonathan Kuminga currently holds the No. 1 spot in 2021 and we'll see if he can hold on when 2021's rankings get released on Friday. On Saturday, we'll roll out our first edition of position rankings for 2021. As for 2022, they'll be released next Monday and it's no secret that Emoni Bates will debut in the top spot; it's just a matter of who comes in at No. 2.


On Sunday, 2020's No. 3 player Jalen Green detailed his plans to take official visits to Auburn, Kentucky, Memphis, Oregon and USC with my cohort Corey Evans.

To recap briefly, Green has been planning a Christmas Day commitment and he'll begin hitting the visit trail this weekend with an unofficial visit to USC.

For a while now, Memphis has been considered the team to beat and as far as I can tell, it still has to be considered the team to beat as he prepares to tour campuses. The Tigers have been the most heavily involved over the past few years and they've already had Green on campus for an official visit last year. At a minimum they are in a really good spot.

If not Memphis, I would put Kentucky as the team with the next best shot. Green is surely looking to be a one and done and that's been the specialty for John Calipari in Lexington. Also, there have been no shortage of rumors that Green, committed five-star B.J. Boston and five-star Josh Chrisopher (who has Kentucky in his final five) are legitimately interested in playing together in college, which has fueled talk that UK is making a run with Green.

After those two, I'm not too sure what to think. Oregon has proven with back-to-back top five classes that it shouldn't be ruled out of any high-profile recruitment, USC is closest to home and Auburn is a complete wildcard.


Late last week, five-star shooting guard Terrence Clarke who currently ranks No. 2 in the class of 2021 announced that he's down to a final six of Boston College, Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas Tech and UCLA. He'll be announcing his decision on Sept. 14.

I don't expect Clarke to take any visits between now and then and unless I hear something otherwise, I have to figure that Kentucky is the team to beat here. I've made a FutureCast pick for that to happen.

I know that Clarke and possibly reclassifying is always a big question. He's been open about looking into it and I get asked about it all the time by our subscribers at We won't know until the spring if it will be possible, but if I was a betting man I would ultimately bet on him ending up in the current senior class.

What's most interesting about that is say Kentucky does get Clarke, does it impact Jalen Green or Josh Christopher? Duke got R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cameron Reddish to commit together and if there is anybody else who can pull off a similar feat it's John Calipari.


New Cincinnati head coach John Brannen continued to build his backcourt of the future over the weekend by landing commitments No. 2 and No. 3 from the class of 2020 when he landed twin brothers Gabe Madsen and Mason Madsen. The three-star shooting guards join three-star point guard Michael Saunders and should certainly beef up the Bearcats outside shooting.

From the times I've watched them, Gabe is the most ready of the two to contribute. He's got legitimate 6-foot-5 size, is strong and is a very dangerous shooter from deep. I also like that he can create for himself off the dribble a bit and plays with toughness and swagger.

Mason Madsen is also a tough customer. Like his brother he is a dangerous shooter from deep but he doesn't enjoy the same size. Ideally, he can develop some off the dribble and play as more of a combo guard at Cincinnati.


Finally, Tad Boyle and the Colorado Buffaloes snuck in a really nice late addition to their 2020 class on Saturday in Canadian point guard Keeshawn Barthelemy.

The Buffs may need a replacement for stud floor general McKinley Wright after this season and in Barthelemy they have found a very good replacement.

What I like most about Barthelemy is his ability to get where he needs to go off the dribble. He's quick, he's creative and his penchant for getting into the lane and pushing tempo really puts pressure on defenders. He's a good athlete, shows promise as a jump shooter and he looks to me like a guy who could end up at least a three-year starter in Boulder.