May 24, 2007

Gators get top hoops class

Past Team Rankings by year: 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

After earning the No. 1 spot in the early signing period, Kansas State falls to the No. 2 position in the 2007 team recruiting rankings. The addition of point guard Jai Lucas in the late signing period vaulted Florida from fifth up to No. 1.

Villanova (12), Kentucky (13) and Cincinnati (15) are new to the top 25 after some key additions in the late signing period or rankings boosts for players already signed. The list has been expanded to include 30 classes and previously unranked Pittsburgh (26), Illinois (29) and St. John's (30) also moved into the ranking.

The only school falling completely out was Michigan after four-star shooting guard Alex Legion was released from his letter of intent and signed with Kentucky.

Florida Gators

Nick Calathes PG 6-5, 185
Chandler Parsons SF 6-8, 190
Adam Allen SF 6-6, 185
Jai Lucas PG 5-10, 160
Alex Tyus PF 6-8, 210
The Gators were content with their 2007 recruiting class after the fall signing period. Then Billy Donovan's crew won a second consecutive national championship and lost all five starters to graduation or the NBA Draft. Enter the late push for Houston guard Jai Lucas. The son of former NBA player and coach John Lucas picked the Gators over interest from Kentucky, Oklahoma State and others. His addition to a top-five class pushed Florida from fifth to No. 1.
Previous rank: 5
Kansas State Wildcats

Michael Beasley PF 6-9, 235
Bill Walker SF 6-6, 220
Dominique Sutton SF 6-4, 195
Fred Brown SG 6-3, 185
Andre Gilbert SG 6-7, 205
Jacob Pullen PG 6-1, 175
Jamar Samuels PF 6-8, 210
What will Michael Beasley do? That was the theme this spring after Bob Huggins left for West Virginia (his alma mater), leaving one of the best recruiting classes in the country in limbo. K-State hired assistant Frank Martin to be the successor, who in turn kept assistant coach Dalonte Hill on board. Beasley decided to stay. Shortly thereafter, his AAU teammate Jamar Samuels joined the fold - along with junior college prospect Andre Gilbert.
Previous rank: 1
USC Trojans

O.J. Mayo PG 6-5, 215
Davon Jefferson SF 6-7, 190
Mamadou Diarra PF 6-10, 235
Angelo Johnson PG 5-10, 165
Marcus Simmons SF 6-4, 175
What an eventful early signing period for USC. The Trojans landed two elite prospects in O.J. Mayo and Davon Jefferson. Louisiana natives - Leonard Washington and Marcus Simmons – also committed. Washington opted for prep school instead of USC this year. Seattle guard Venoy Overton reneged on his pledge and inked with Washington. The Trojans then landed Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) teammates Mamadou Diarra and Angelo Johnson late in the spring.
Previous rank: 2
Syracuse Orange

Jonny Flynn PG 5-11, 170
Donte Green SF 6-9, 217
Rick Jackson PF 6-8, 235
Antonio Jardine SG 6-1, 180
Kristof Ongenaet PF 6-8, 225
Sean Williams C 6-11, 220
Jonny Flynn will take control of the ballhandling, which will free up Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris on the offensive end. Donte Green will have an opportunity to play a Carmelo Anthony-type role. Certain to contribute, Rick Jackson and Antonio Jardine will also have a chance to work themselves into significant roles for the Orange this season. Junior college forward Kristof Ongenaet inked the spring.
Previous rank: 3
Arizona Wildcats

Jerryd Bayless SG 6-3, 193
Jamelle Horne SF 6-7, 205
Alex Jacobson C 7-1, 223
Zane Johnson SF 6-6, 200
Laval Lucas-Perry PG 6-1, 191
A dynamic athlete, Jerryd Bayless is custom-made for Arizona's wide-open offensive attack. Jamelle Horne will be a perfect complement filling the lanes on the break with Chase Budinger - if Budinger is still around next season. Three-star prospects Laval Lucas-Perry and Zane Johnson can be top-of-the-line role players.
Previous rank: 4
Ohio State Buckeyes

Kosta Koufos C 7-0, 252
Jon Diebler SG 6-6, 182
Evan Turner SF 6-6, 175
Dallas Lauderdale C 6-8, 230
Eric Wallace SF 6-7, 195
Thad Matta continues his recruiting momentum by landing a five-star, two four-stars and a top of the line three-star. Kosta Koufos' European-style game will be a unique addition to the Buckeye lineup. Evan Turner is skilled on offense and defense at the forward spot. Sharpshooter Jon Diebler plays a heady game, while Dallas Lauderdale is a tough low-post defender. Signing Eric Wallace during the early period pushes Ohio State up a spot in the rankings. Vanderbilt transfer Kyle Madsen returns to his Ohio roots and will be eligible to play this year.
Previous rank: 6
Purdue Boilermakers

Robbie Hummel SF 6-8, 200
JaJuan Johnson PF 6-10, 195
Scott Martin SF 6-8, 200
E'twaun Moore SG 6-3, 170
Greg Hill SG 6-2, 215
Purdue hasn't seen a class like this in quite some time – if ever. Coach Matt Painter landed a quartet of four-star standouts. The versatile class also fills several needs. E'twaun Moore is a combo guard, JaJuan Johnson is an inside/outside post and Robbie Hummel and Scott Martin are multipurpose forwards. Prep school guard Greg Hill signed late. He was a member of the SYF Players team with Hummel, Martin and Moore.
Previous rank: 7
Duke Blue Devils

Kyle Singler SF 6-8, 210
Taylor King SF 6-7, 215
Nolan Smith SG 6-4, 175
Kyle Singler highlights this three-man class. Singler is the most complete and versatile player in the class, and will have two steady four-star players coming to Durham, N.C., with him. Nolan Smith is a steady ballhandler. Taylor King can shoot it from deep and also grind out a rebound. The Blue Devils lost out on Patrick Patterson late in the spring.
Previous rank: 8
Indiana Hoosiers

Eric Gordon SG 6-4, 205
Eli Holman C 6-9, 210
Jordan Crawford PG 6-4, 180
Jamarcus Ellis SG 6-5, 185
Brandon McGee PF 6-7, 220
DeAndre Thomas PF 6-8, 303
Eric Gordon, our No. 2 prospect in the nation, should put up big scoring numbers the second he steps onto the Assembly Hall court. Eli Holman is tough on the defensive end, and Brandon McGee can stretch the defense. Junior college commitment Jamarcus Ellis should contribute immediately. The Hoosiers also picked up talented combo guard Jordan Crawford in the final hours of the early signing period. Junior college forward DeAndre Thomas signed in the spring.
Previous rank: 9
Memphis Tigers

Derrick Rose PG 6-4, 194
Jeff Robinson SF 6-5, 205
Memphis is hoping that Derrick Rose - the nation's No. 3 recruit - can have the type of impact that Carmelo Anthony had for Syracuse a few years ago. Rose appears to be headed to Memphis for one season before leaving for the NBA. Jeffrey Robinson's run-and-shoot game is custom-built for the Tigers' attack. Iowa State transfer Shawn Taggart fits Memphis's style of play perfectly as an athletic big man.
Previous rank: 11
UCLA Bruins

Kevin Love C 6-9, 240
Chace Stanback SF 6-7, 185
In Kevin Love, UCLA has a national freshman of the year candidate. He fills the one significant need in the UCLA lineup and should have an immediate impact on the interior for the Bruins. Local product Chase Stanback is a four-star prospect with a lot of upside. He could really surprise in time.
Previous rank: 14
Villanova Wildcats

Corey Fisher PG 6-1, 175
Corey Stokes SF 6-5, 210
Malcolm Grant PG 6-1, 177
Villanova continues the tradition of great guard play by landing two five-star guards from the Northeast. Point guard Corey Fisher enjoyed a tremendous senior season at St. Patrick, one of the elite programs in the country. Wing Corey Stokes is one of the best deep shooters in the country. Prep school guard Malcolm Grant rounds out the class.
Previous rank: NR
Kentucky Wildcats

Patrick Patterson PF 6-8, 228
Alex Legion SG 6-5, 205
A.J. Stewart PF 6-7, 210
Mike Williams C 7-0, 270
For the first time in a long time, Kentucky fans are excited about recruiting – and for good reason. The Wildcats won the Patrick Patterson sweepstakes. The five-star forward will be asked to do a lot for new coach Billy Gillispie. Former Michigan commitment Alex Legion was a major target for the new staff. Like Patterson, Legion will be a focal point next season. Florida big man A.J. Stewart and British transplant Mike Williams round out the class.
Previous rank: NR
Michigan State Spartans

Chris Allen SG 6-3, 185
Kalin Lucas PG 6-0, 165
Durrell Summers SF 6-5, 195
This is a three-man class made for coach Tom Izzo's transition game. Kalin Lucas does a superb job pushing the ball up the court. Chris Allen and Darrell Summers form a great set of wings to run along with him in East Lansing, Mich.
Previous rank: 10
Cincinnati Bearcats

Jason Henry SF 6-7, 190
Anthony McClain C 6-11, 220
Rashad Bishop SF 6-6, 190
Kenny Belton PF 6-7, 225
Larry Davis SG 6-3, -
Alvin Mitchell SF 6-5, 205
Mick Cronin and his staff had to fill a number of spots in 2007 and did so with a deep class this year. Four-star prospects Jason Henry and Anthony McClain were two late additions, and the duo boasts great upside. Florida wing Alvin Mitchell enjoyed a tremendous senior year as a scorer. Rashad Bishop, Kenny Belton and Larry Davis are all four-year players. Former Texas forward Mike Williams should help right away inside for the Bearcats.
Previous rank: NR
DePaul Blue Demons

Nayal Koshwal PF 6-9, 235
Darquavis Tucker SG 6-4, 190
Matija Poscic PF 6-9, 220
Mike Bizoukas PG 6-1, 175
Mario Stula SF 6-7, 210
Nayal Koshwal (No.18) and Darquavis Tucker (No. 44) are the big catches in the Blue Demons' class. Both have a physically mature game and a rapidly improving skill set. Matija Poscic, Mike Bizoukas and Mario Stula round out the class.
Previous rank: 12
Gonzaga Bulldogs

Austin Daye SF 6-9, 184
Steven Gray SG 6-3, 185
Robert Sacre C 7-0, 250
Ira Brown SF 6-4, 235
Highly skilled Austin Daye could turn into the next great scorer at Gonzaga. Four-stars Steven Gray and Robert Sacre should fill important roles for Gonzaga early in their careers. The Zags added junior college forward Ira Brown in the spring.
Previous rank: 13
N.C. State Wolfpack

J.J. Hickson PF 6-8, 220
Tracy Smith PF 6-7, 225
Javi Gonzales PG 6-0, 170
Johnny Thomas SF 6-5, 210
First year head coach Sidney Lowe made quite a splash beating Tennessee for five-star prospect J.J. Hickson. Lowe followed that up by landing four-star forward Tracy Smith, who achieved his qualifying academic score and signed in the late period. Miami area point guard Javi Gonzalez also inked late.
Previous rank: 19
Arizona State Sun Devils

James Harden SG 6-5, 200
Rihards Kuksiks SG 6-6, 205
Jamelle McMillan PG 6-2, 180
Kraidon Woods PF 6-8, 210
Ty Abbott SG 6-4, 192
Coach Herb Sendek is off to a solid start recruiting in the Pac-10. He has a future superstar in multitalented James Harden, a solid floor general in Jamelle McMillan and a long forward with upside in Kraidon Woods. Little known Rihards Kuksiks of Latvia fits Sendek's system nicely. In-state guard Ty Abbott joined the Sun Devils late after being released from New Mexico. Duke transfer Eric Boateng will be counted on this season as well.
Previous rank: 22
Washington Huskies

Matthew Bryan-Amaning PF 6-9, 220
Darnell Grant PF 6-8, 200
Justin Holiday SF 6-6, 170
Venoy Overton PG 6-0, 165
Coach Lorenzo Romar has three prospects who fit in perfectly with Washington's high-powered attack. Four-star Matthew Bryan-Amaning runs the floor extremely well and is loaded with upside. Three-star Venoy Overton is a scorer from Seattle and signed late. Justin Holiday makes plays with his length and athleticism on both sides of the ball. Another long athlete, Darnell Gant, joined the fold during the early signing period. Stanford transfer Tim Morris adds depth to the backcourt.
Previous rank: 21
Virginia Tech Hokies

Jeff Allen PF 6-7, 215
Malcolm Delaney PG 6-3, 170
Terrell Bell SF 6-7, 170
Dorenzo Hudson SG 6-4, 200
Darrion Pellum SF 6-5, 200
A solid five-man class is headed to Blacksburg, Va. Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney both had superior moments on the travel team circuit. Dorenzo Hudson is a big-bodied wing who is built to score. Terrell Bell also has the ability to make plays, as does late signee Darrion Pellum.
Previous rank: 17
Texas Longhorns

Clint Chapman PF 6-10, 245
Gary Johnson PF 6-6, 210
Alex Wangmene PF 6-8, 225
Dogus Balbay PG 6-1, 170
The power forward position is certainly taken care of for the Longhorns in the 2007 class. All four-star players, Johnson is the best scorer around the basket. Chapman is the most skilled and Wangmene is the best rebounder. Turkish guard Dogus Balbay inked with the Longhorns in the spring.
Previous rank: 16
Georgetown Hoyas

Austin Freeman SG 6-3, 185
Chris Wright SG 6-0, 190
Omar Wattad SG 6-5, 198
Georgetown didn't have to look far to find its backcourt of the future. Both local products, Austin Freeman (No. 15) is an elite shooting guard with a mature mid-range game. Chris Wright is a combo guard who can light it up from outside. Omar Wattad was originally slated as a walk-on, but earned a scholarship when Octavious Spann opted to transfer.
Previous rank: 23
Alabama Crimson Tide

Senario Hillman SG 6-2, 170
Rico Pickett PG 6-4, 170
Justin Knox PF 6-9, 215
Coach Mark Gottfried secured his backcourt of the future with four-star prospects Rico Pickett and Senario Hillman. Local forward Justin Knox shows a great deal of potential.
Previous rank: 23
LSU Tigers

Anthony Randolph SF 6-10, 210
Marcus Thornton SG 6-3, 190
Garrett Green PF 6-9, 210
Quintin Thornton PF 6-9, 230
Bo Spencer PG 6-1, 165
Anthony Randolph is the jewel of this five-man recruiting class. Marcus Thornton, a late get this spring, is considered one of the elite junior college players in the country. The Tigers went to the West Coast to land a sleeper in Garrett Green. In-state guard Bo Spencer signed with the program in the spring, while junior college big man Quintin Thornton gives them another dimension inside.
Previous rank: 18
Pittsburgh Panthers

DeJuan Blair PF 6-7, 260
Bradley Wanamaker SG 6-2, 200
Darnell Dodson SF 6-7, 210
Gary McGhee C 6-10, 238
Cassin Diggs C 6-10, 270
The Panthers inked a class that fits perfectly for the style of play that Jamie Dixon wants to employ in the Big East. Local big man Dejuan Blair will be looked at early and often. The space-eater could be one of the best instant impact players in the league next year. Philadelphia-area guard Bradley Wannamaker gives the lineup some toughness. Darnell Dodson, from the D.C. area, is versatile and should help immediately. Gary McGhee and Cassan Diggs round out the class.
Previous rank: NR
Oklahoma Sooners

Blake Griffin PF 6-9, 230
Tony Neysmith PG 6-5, 196
Cade Davis SG 6-5, 205
Chris Early SG 6-6, 210
Omar Leary PG 5-10, 170
A prototypical Big 12 player, Blake Griffin should immediately be the man inside for the Sooners. Wings Tony Neysmith, Chris Early and Cade Davis will have a shot at significantly contributing to the Sooner lineup. Junior college point guard Omar Leary signed in the late period.
Previous rank: 15
Oklahoma State Cowboys

Martavius Adams PF 6-8, 245
James Anderson SF 6-5, 190
Nick Sidorakis SG 6-5, 175
Ibrahima Thomas PF 6-10, 225
Anthony Brown PF 6-8, 230
Brad Garrett SG 6-5, 195
Marshall Moses PF 6-7, 230
Oklahoma State was a big winner on the first day of the early signing period when four-star forward James Anderson chose the Cowboys over Kansas. The Cowboys also landed four-star post player Martavius Adams and post player Ibrahima Thomas. In the spring, OSU inked power forward Marshall Moses and junior college players Anthony Brown and Brad Garrett.
Previous rank: 25
Illinois Fighting Illini

Demitri McCamey PG 6-3, 215
Quinton Watkins SG 6-3, 175
Mike Tisdale C 6-11, 205
Rodney Alexander SF 6-7, 225
Bill Cole PF 6-9, 200
The Illini added size in in-state big men Mike Tisdale and Bill Cole and talented junior college forward Rodney Alexander. Chicago area star Demetri McCamey will play multiple positions for Bruce Weber, while Quinton Watkins leaves the Los Angeles area for Champaign.
Previous rank: NR
St. John's Red Storm

Justin Burrell PF 6-8, 220
Ayodele Coker C 6-10, 245
D.J. Kennedy SF 6-5, 185
Malik Boothe PG 5-9, -
Sean Evans PF 6-7, 200
Paris Horne SG 6-3, 180
Mike Cavataio SG 6-4, 175
Norm Roberts has put together his best class since taking the St. John's job. The Red Storm blew in and landed a number of Big Apple prospects. Point guard Malik Boothe is small but pesky. Justin Burrell spent a couple of years in the prep school ranks and established himself as a dominant rebounder. Big man Ayodele Coker adds a similar dimension. Sean Evans, Paris Horne, D.J. Kennedy and Mike Cavataio all inked late and all should have an impact in some way next season.
Previous rank: NR

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