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Currently 58 of the Scout.com Top 100 in the class of 2017 have made their commitments. Of that group, 10 are five-star prospects. Unlike in past years, no one conference has really dominated the early part of the signing period, and so far five conferences are off to strong starts.
Leading the way with 11 Top 100 commitments is the Pac-12. Not only does the Pac-12 have the most Top 100 commitments, but it is the only conference with three five-star prospects committed, including the nation’s No. 1 prospect DeAndreAyton (Arizona) and the No. 5 overall prospect Michael Porter (Washington).
Not surprisingly, Arizona and Washington are also leading the way in the team rankings within the conference.
Lorenzo Romar’s four-man class for the Huskies features two Top 100 commitments and ranks No. 2 overall while Sean Miller and his Arizona staff currently have the No. 3 ranking.
While the Washington class has a little room to improve, it doesn’t seem likely that the Huskies will finish in the top five overall since the only big fish left out there for them is former commit Daejon Davis, who is also considering Stanford, Oregon, Gonzaga and Arizona.
While Washington might not have too much upward movement remaining, UCLA and Arizona could come up with monster classes. Both the Wildcats and Bruins are off to good starts, and each program is thoroughly in the mix for many of the best remaining players in the country. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Bruins and Wildcats each finished in the top 10, and possibly even the top five classes in the country.
The conference with the most top-end commitments is the SEC. Known as a football recruiting super power, the SEC has really picked things up recently on the basketball side, and the conference has a high of six commitments ranking within the Top 50.
This is especially impressive considering Kentucky hasn’t reeled in any top-flight commitments yet, and there is no doubt John Calipari will have things rolling on the recruiting trail.
Auburn has been leading the way in the SEC. Bruce Pearl’s haul currently is the best in the nation, and it is led by Auburn legacy recruit Austin Wiley, who is the No. 13 overall prospect. (His mother and father were both Auburn student-athletes.) Also Auburn has Top 50 pledges from point guard Davion Mitchell as well as forward Chuma Okeke.
Overall the SEC is off to a great start, and once Kentucky gets it going, things could be looking better than ever for hoops talent entering the conference.
The best-performing conference for the past few years has been the ACC. In fact at times, the ACC has been downright dominant on the recruiting trail. That could happen again, especially if Duke goes on its typical roll of landing elite prospects.
Louisville and North Carolina are the only schools to bring in five-star prospects in the ACC, but there is no doubt Duke will join them.
Another school in the league that has done a tremendous job is Virginia Tech, which has two Top 100 commitments. Both Wake Forest and Notre Dame have brought in a Top 100 prospect in Chaundee Brown and D.J. Harvey, respectively.
While those three leagues have the most in terms of quality and quantity, the Big Ten and the Big East are not far behind. Both leagues have landed eight Top 100 prospects. The Big Ten has two prospects in the five-star range committed while the Big East has zero, but the Big East does have two Top 50 prospects.
In the Big Ten, Illinois leads the way. Center Jeremiah Tilmon is the gem of the class. He is the biggest reason that John Groce currently has a Top 5 class. Also Michigan State has a strong class, No. 16 overall, headed by five-star power forward Jaren Jackson.
The Spartans, who are also seriously in the mix with several highly rated prospects including five-star small forward Brian Bowen, could eventually emerge with the best class in the conference. Other than the Spartans, the Indiana Hoosiers could make a big move in the coming months.
In the Big East, Xavier leads the way. Chris Mack and his staff are led by No. 39 prospect Naji Marshall, and they have the No. 8 overall class. Xavier could also make a big jump as they are considered the leader for No. 31 prospect Paul Scruggs. Also schools such as Providence, Butler and Villanova have done a good job and are currently in the Top 25 with their respective classes.
During the past few years, the Big 12 has struggled relative to their power conference peers on the recruiting trail, and the league is still lagging somewhat behind.
If Kansas gets it going, and TCU and Oklahoma land their top targets, the league could get a nice boost heading into signing day.
Finally there is the American Conference. The league has had some recruiting success recently, but so far only one Top 100 commitment hails from the league, and only UConn finds their way into the Top 25 of the team rankings at No. 14.
For a league that needs an influx of talent, so far it has been a disappointing recruiting cycle.
Signing day is only about a month away, so a lot could change, but right now there is a lot of balance in terms of which conferences are bringing in the top talent, with a few others looking to close strong.