Davis or Rivers? Recruiting sites split on top ’11 recruit

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Once again, there’s no consensus on the nation’s top recruit.

Scout, ESPNU, PrepStars and the National Hoops Report all favor Kentucky prospect Anthony Davis. Rivals thinks it’s Duke recruit Austin Rivers. Even Michael Gilchrist (also a Kentucky guy) got a vote from Busting the Bracket.

So who’s right? The answer may not be clear after next season.

Rivers is the most polished prospect among the three, and also the most likely to dominate highlight reels because of his shooting and scoring ability. Gilchrist is the best all-around player of the three, while Davis has the most upside, to borrow the scouting cliché.

That makes Rivers more likely to impress next season. But in a few years, Davis may very well be the man.

Consider what happened last season. Rivals tabbed Josh Selby as the top player in the class of 2010, yet he was unimpressive at Kansas. Harrison Barnes was the choice by most other sites and thrived by season’s end. (Nobody had Kyrie Irving as the top player.) But that’s hardly the final answer.

Selby may thrive in the NBA. Barnes may struggle. Much of it depends on their eventual teams.

But for now, it looks as though Duke has the top freshman for 2011-12. Kentucky needs Davis to stick around more than one season to fully reap his skills.

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