On Wednesday afternoon, Rivals released the latest installment of their Top 150 rankings for the Class of 2014, and it should really come as no surprise to anyone that 6-foot-11, 270 pound center Jahlil Okafor is the No. 1 recruit in the class.
Big men that are that size, that nimble, and that enjoy playing in the paint are a rarity, and the fact that he’s an awesome basketball player and, by all accounts, a good kid only helps matters.
There was a bit of a shakeup in the rest of the top five, however.
New SMU point guard commit Emmanuel Mudiay is the No. 2 player in the country, followed wing Stanley Johnson, big man Cliff Alexander and point guard Tyus Jones. Myles Turner, Rashad Vaughn, Trey Lyles, Justise Winslow and Justin Jackson round out the top ten.
Here’s the most interesting part about these rankings: only one player in the top nine (Mudiay) has committed to a school, and just three of the top 14 players have made a decision on where they want to play their college ball. There’s plenty of uncommitted talent across the country, which should make for some fireworks on the recruiting front over the course of the fall, as players take their official visits and dominoes begin to fall as players across the country make decisions.
What do I mean by dominoes falling?
Here’s an example: the common consensus is that Jones, the highest-ranked point guard in the country, will be committing to Duke once he and Okafor — who have been quite vocal about the fact that they want to play their college ball together — finish going on their scheduled visits. That made Mudiay a top priority for Kentucky, who will likely need a point guard next season once Andrew Harrison enters the NBA Draft.
But Mudiay committed to SMU, which puts Kentucky in a tough spot. Joel Berry, Jaquan Lyle, Ja’Quan Newton, Josh Perkins and Chris Chiozza are all committed already. Quentin Snider is from Louisville. Jordan McLaughlin wants to stay out west. This puts the Wildcats in a bind, which is why they’ve ramped up their recruitment of Tyler Ulis and Dominic MaGee.
With Kentucky going hard after some of the top-ranked point guards in the class, pressure on schools like Michigan State and Kansas mounts as well, as both programs need but remain without a point guard in the Class of 2014.
Mudiay’s decision to commit to SMU set in motion a chain of events that shot up the value of the best remaining point guards in the class.
Who will be the next top ten recruit to commit?
And how will that decision affect the rest of the players at that position in top 150?