On Wednesday night, as Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad signed their letters of intent, the focus is off the class’s two biggest names and now shifts to the three most prominent remaining prospects in 2012: Anthony Bennett, Amile Jefferson, and Tony Parker.
John Calipari made sure not to go 0-for-2 on Wednesday night by securing Noel’s signature and vaulting Kentucky to the top of the recruiting class rankings, and he may not be done yet.
Bennett, the consensus No. 1 player remaining on the board, is still considering Washington, Oregon, UNLV, Florida, and Kentucky, with a decision coming early next month, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
With Noel to Kentucky, it would seem to boost the chances of Bennett to Kentucky as well, as he could become part of a team that could contend for the top of the SEC, depending on how the pieces come together.
Jefferson has had one of the longer recruitments, having narrowed his options to Duke, NC State, and Villanova.
The lanky, athletic swingman from Philadelphia would be important for Duke, who lost out to UCLA for Muhammad and would hate to see a fourth McDonald’s All-American end up at in-state ACC rival NC State.
Perhaps the most interesting case remaining on the 2012 board is Tony Parker, mostly because of what he could mean for Ben Howland and UCLA, were he to choose the Bruins.
Already, on paper, in an early race with Arizona for the top of the Pac 12, a commitment from Parker would give them another post presence to battle the Wildcats.
Parker has the longest list of possibly any remaining player, still considering Duke, Georgia, UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, Memphis and Georgetown.