One of the most significant changes in the landscape of college basketball came in 2006 when the NBA, by way of the collective bargaining agreement, ended the mass matriculation of high school players directly to the NBA.
Since 2006, college has been the destination, except for Brandon Jennings, for America's talent. Even if its for a brief stay, elite high schoolers are going to college.
In this century, not a single No. 1 ranked player owns a national championship! Think about that for a minute. However, one can reasonably draw conclusions between success, albeit only for a year in some cases, to landing the best players.
For the purposes of this study, we're dealing with only the post-collective bargaining agreement classes (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). The only rankings we took into account were those of Scout.com.
During that time period, the Atlantic Coast Conference attracted the most Top 25 prospects. The ACC was responsible for 25 highly regarded players. The Big 12 was next with 17 followed by the Big East 16.
MOST TOP 25 PLAYERS (2006-09)
Kudos to the ACC, but a closer look at the statistics from a different perspective provides us with a different take. During the same time period, the Pac-10 signed 9 Top 10 prospects! The ACC was second with 7, followed by the Big East and Big 12 with 5 each.
MOST TOP 10 PLAYERS
Though he'll never lace them up for the Wildcats, we've counted Brandon Jennings in this study. By doing so, we've learned that the Pac-10 is the only league to ink two No. 1 prospects during that time period. The Big Ten also has one with the current No. 1 player undecided.
Given that we've now uncovered some trends and it appears the ACC and Pac-10 have benefited greatly from the rule, we need to see which teams are benefiting the most.
As it turns out, the current No. 1 team in the land (North Carolina) tops the charts with five Top 10 prospects signed. The next closest program in terms of Top 10 signees is Arizona with three. Kansas State, Texas, Ohio State, Syracuse, Memphis, UCLA, USC and Washington and Florida each landed two Top 10 prospects.
Since Stephen Currys only seem to come around a few times a decade, it's pretty clear the value of recruiting the best players. Like a wise man named Lefty once said, "It's not the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmy's and the Joe's." Take a look at the following list. Lefty knew what he was talking about. Though we need to give props to the Florida Gators who won back-to-backs with one (Corey Brewer) Top 25 recruit in the starting lineup.
SCHOOLS WITH THE MOST TOP 25 SIGNEES
Others who signed a Top 25 player: Alabama, Arizona State, Baylor, Clemson, Georgia State, LSU, Miami, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, UAB, West Virginia.