Kentucky sits at the top
John Calipari and Kentucky have had the top recruiting class the past five years.
And heading into the initial signing period they sit atop the rankings again. This time around the Wildcats have commitments form a pair of five-star recruits -- Trey Lyles (No. 8) and Karl Towns (No. 11) – and a pair of four-star prospects -- Tyler Ulis (No. 29) and Devin Booker (No. 31).
SIGNING DAY FACTS
Early signing period: Nov. 13-20
Reg. signing period: April 16-May 21 (Aug. 1 for Div. II)
What are these periods? Recruits can only sign National Letters of Intent to play for a school in these windows. Once an NLI is signed, a student-athlete is bound to that school.
Why sign early? Some choose to sign early to end the recruiting pressure so they can focus on the season ahead. Those who wait also risk not getting a spot on the team they like most.
Kentucky’s post duo of Lyles and Towns are possible one and done candidates, while Ulis and Booker are multi-year guards that will produce early in their careers.
With the amount of talent on their current roster expected to leave early, Kentucky will need to add at least two more perimeter players to their 2014 class.
Kentucky is currently pursuing Stanley Johnson and Montaque Gill-Caesar, who could potentially reclassify from the 2015 class.
Will UK close the signing period No. 1?
Two decisions on Friday could land a new school at the top of the 2014 recruiting class rankings.
Jahlil Okafor, Scout.com’s top rated recruit, and Tyus Jones, the No. 4 overall prospect, will announce their college decisions on Friday at their high schools at 4:00 ET. Okafor and Jones are expected to go to the same school and are down to Baylor, Duke and Kansas.
Both Duke and Kansas have one commitment at this time. Duke has No. 36 overall Grayson Allen, while Kansas has the nations No. 6 recruit in Kelly Oubre already committed.
|Jones will choose between Baylor, Duke & Kansas.
Assuming Okafor and Jones indeed go to the same school and pick one of Duke or Kansas, that school would catapult to the top of our 2014 recruiting class rankings.
The next group
Currently sitting just behind Kentucky in the 2014 rankings are Ohio State and North Carolina. Each has three top 100 prospects.
Ohio State’s class consists of D’Angelo Russell, Keita Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate, Payton Dastrup and Dave Bell. Russell, Bates-Diop and Tate are top 100 prospects, while Dastrup is a four-star recruit and Bell is regarded as a three-star.
Russell and Bates-Diop are considered to be OSU’s prized recruits, as they both are ranked among the top 20 players in the country.
Russell is a unique guard that can play on or off the ball. He has impressive ball skills, is a quality passer and can fill it up with pull-ups or long-range shots.
Bates-Diop is a combo forward with impressive length and athleticism. For his size he has good skill, plays hard on both ends and has developed into a pretty good scorer.
North Carolina wanted to add a quality lead guard and some perimeter threats in their 2014 class and they accomplished both goals. Joel Berry, Scout.com’s No. 22 prospect, is a heady lead guard that understands the position, but can also make long-range shots.
On the perimeter they’ll add No. 9 Justin Jackson and No. 27 Theo Pinson. The two wings are very different, but both effective in their roles. Jackson is a skilled scorer with a legit floater, while Pinson is an athletic, defensive-minded and energetic wing.
Maryland and Georgetown round out the top five. Each school has four top 100 prospects.
Who will announce?
As mentioned above, Okafor and Jones will announce their choices on Friday. Chicago (Ill.) Curie big man Cliff Alexander will announce on Friday as well.
Alexander, Scout.com’s No. 5 prospect, is down to DePaul, Kansas, Illinois and Memphis. He has taken official visits to all four schools and has unofficially visited DePaul, Kansas and Illinois as well.
EXPECTED TO SIGN
Jahlil Okafor (No. 1): Nov. 15 at 4:00 ET at Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young
Tyus Jones (No. 4): Nov. 15 at 4:00 ET at Apple Valley (Ill.) High
Cliff Alexander (No. 5): Nov. 15 at 4:00 ET at Chicago (Ill.) Curie
Justise Winslow (No. 10) : Hasn’t set date
Thomas Welsh (No. 45) : Hasn’t set date
Although he hasn’t set a date for his announcement, Houston (Tex.) St. John’s School standout Justise Winslow is expected to announce his college choice sometime during the early signing period.
Winslow has taken visits to Arizona, Duke, Florida, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Thomas Welsh, Scout.com’s No. 45 prospect, is also expected to announce his college choice during the early signing period.
Welsh has not set a date for his decision. He took a visit to Stanford last weekend and recently visited California and UCLA as well.
Five-star wing Stanley Johnson will announce his college decision on Friday. He's taken official visits to Arizona, Kentucky and USC. He'll announce at 4:00 ET.
Who is waiting?
Just five prospects top 100 prospects are expected to hold off on making their college announcements.
Myles Turner, Scout.com’s No. 2 prospect, Rashad Vaughn and JaQuan Lyle are the five-star prospects that aren’t expected to announce their college decisions. Four-star power forward Jonah Bolden is also expected to wait.
Compared to last year this number is down, as more than a dozen top 100 prospects opted to sign late in the 2013 class.
Be sure to stay logged on to Scout.com throughout Signing Week, as we'll have updated top 25 class rankings, conference breakdowns and the latest on the upcoming announcements.