The class of 2012 has been an interesting group of players over the last couple of years. Many of the questions people had about the class – Who’s No. 1? Best point guard? How will Andre Drummond shake out? – have been answered. It’s also had plenty of movers and shakers in the rankings, with Mitch McGary becoming a top-five recruit and people like Danuel House, Adam Woodbury and Kris Dunn going from mid-major to top 40.
With so many different personalities and story lines in the class of 2012, we decided to break it down into 15 categories:
Most important commitment:
Goodman: Kyle Anderson to UCLA - Ben Howland and the Bruins were struggling on the recruiting trail and needed a big-time player - especially in the backcourt. Anderson, despite being 6-foot-8, is the best pure passer in the class and just knows how to win and make his teammates better. If Howland can find a way to keep Reeves Nelson and Josh Smith for another year, UCLA could get back to the Final Four with the help of Anderson.
Borzello: Mitch McGary to Michigan – John Beilein has never been known to get five-star prospects, and McGary was being pursued by the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and many others. He was one of the best players in the country on the AAU circuit in the spring and summer, and will make an immediate impact in Ann Arbor. When Beilein gets supremely talented players to run his system, it’s bad news for everyone else.
Best mid-major recruit:
Goodman: Danuel House to Houston. There's a reason why many have House ranked in the Top 50 - and some even in the Top 20. He's a gifted (especially athletically) wing with size who does a terrific job attacking the basket. If he gets a perimeter shot, he'll be a pro.
Borzello: Danuel House to Houston. House shot up the charts in the late spring AAU period, going from two offers to 35 offers in a two-week span. He’s extremely athletic and is a menace in transition. House is also improving his perimeter game and is tough to stop going to the rim.
Goodman: Kellen Dunham - It's no shock that I'm going with a kid headed to Butler as my top shooter. Dunham has the size, at 6-5, and can really stroke it from, well, just about anywhere. Just imagine he and Rotnei Clarke on the floor together next year.
Borzello: Fred Thomas – When he gets going, there’s not a more fun shooter to watch in the country. Thomas has the swagger of a stone-cold shooter, capable of knocking down several shots in a row and getting his team on a run. He has great size and deep range.
Goodman: Kyle Anderson - There's no one better in this class - and I haven't seen anyone his size pass it like this in a while.
Borzello: Kyle Anderson – It’s a weak class of point guards, but Anderson would win either way. His size and vision put him head and shoulders above the rest.
Goodman: Ricky Ledo - He's got the natural ability, but new Providence coach Ed Cooley is rolling the dice with the Rhode Island native. Teammates don't exactly love to play with him - and he hardly won at all this past summer. He's also bounced around to four different schools. If all that's not a risk, I'm not sure what is.
Borzello: Nino Jackson – Jackson became a household name on the AAU circuit two years ago, when he used his explosiveness to become one of the top guards in the country. However, he didn’t play AAU, he’s nearly impossible to track down and no one has heard from him in months. Might not qualify.
Goodman: Nik Stauskas - The 6-foot-6 Canadian has been overshadowed by Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski at St. Mark's, but he's the ideal John Beilein recruit. Obviously, Michigan getting Mitch McGary was huge - but Stauskas passes and shoots the you-know-what out of the ball.
Borzello: Semaj Christon – Chris Mack got an absolute steal with this one. He’s not often mentioned among the top point guards in the country, but there might not be anyone better at getting to the rim than Christon. He will shine this year at Brewster Academy (N.H.) under Jason Smith.
Goodman: Isaiah Austin - He looks the part, so long and athletic. The 7-footer, who is headed to Baylor and ranked in the Top 5 by just about everyone, just never gets anything done when I've seen him. I don't ever see his production matching his potential.
Borzello: Rodney Purvis – I think Purvis has great scoring ability, but the North Carolina State commit tries too hard to be a point guard. He struggles with his left hand and doesn’t initiate offense for others too effectively. Moreover, his personality takes a turn for the worse when he isn’t getting his on the offensive end.
Biggest sleeper: (guy outside of Top 100)
Goodman: Olivier Hanlon - The Canadian was a huge pickup for Boston College. He's a pure point guard who knows how to play and makes his teammates better.
Borzello: Fred Van Vleet – Wichita State did a great job of getting him before the summer period – he was one of the best point guards on the AAU circuit in July.
Goodman: Chris Obekpa - The uncommitted power forward from Our Savior plays hard, runs the court well and gets after it on the glass - and is also a big-time shot-blocker.
Borzello: Marcus Smart – The Oklahoma State commit simply plays harder than nearly everyone else. He can guard four positions on the floor, and physicality and nonstop motor make him a pest.
Most explosive scorer:
Goodman: Shabazz Muhammad - He's the top-ranked player in the country for a reason. He's got an NBA-ready body and can score the ball in a variety of ways. He shoots it from deep, is athletic enough to get into the lane and strong enough to finish around and above the rim.
Borzello: Shabazz Muhammad – Didn’t want to pick the same as Goodman, but it’s impossible to go against Muhammad. The lefty is impossible to stop going to the basket, and his mid-range game is deadly. He’s not afraid to go against bigger players and finish in traffic either.
Goodman: Mitch McGary - Think Tyler Hansbrough. McGary, who is headed to Michigan, is relentless. He's also strong and is a monster on the glass.
Borzello: Ricardo Gathers – He might not be as tall as some of the other big-time rebounders, but he’s as strong as they come and has an unparalleled nose for the ball.
Best first recruit: (new coach signee)
Goodman: It would be easy to go with Kris Dunn, who is arguably the top point guard in the country and is headed to Providence. But I'm going with a somewhat-under-the-radar guy with Katin Reinhardt heading to play for Dave Rice at UNLV. Reinhardt has the size and athleticism - and can shoot it, get to the basket and finish.
Borzello: I know I wrote that Rodney Purvis was overrated earlier, but he was still a monster commitment for Mark Gottfried. He’s an in-state kid who had previously committed to Louisville and had interest or offers from Duke, Connecticut, Memphis, Missouri, Ohio State and others. He’s a big-time scorer who can be a go-to-guy.
Goodman: C'mon, this one is just too easy. The only answer for this one can be Arizona - as Sean Miller has somehow managed to land the trio of Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett - and all three could wind up playing in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Borzello: It’s just dumb not to pick Arizona and its trio of five-star frontcourt players. Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski are top-five prospects, and Grant Jerrett is another potential Burger Boy. Sean Miller did a great job getting all three to come to Tucson.
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Goodman: There's honestly no one that truly stands out, so I'm going to go with N.C. State - even though I think all three of their guys maybe a tad overrated. The bottom line is that Mark Gottfried and his staff have added a trio of Top 100 players: Rodney Purvis, T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis. Honestly, I think I like Lewis more than the other two. He doesn't look the part, but he knows how to play and brings a toughness to the table. Purvis can really score it and Warren can really shoot it.
Borzello: Only one team has two five-star guards in the fold, and that’s Providence. Ed Cooley picked up the nation’s best point guard in Connecticut native Kris Dunn, and also received a commitment from Ricardo Ledo, who can be the best scoring guard in the country when focused. They can be the backcourt of the future for the Friars, who also nabbed Josh Fortune – a knockdown shooter who will certainly be useful for Cooley during his career at Providence.
Guy I love to watch:
Goodman: Sam Dekker - He's athletic and skilled - and will be a star for Bo Ryan at Wisconsin. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind.
Borzello: Yogi Ferrell – His ability to handle the ball and get into the lane against defenses is impressive. Ferrell will run the show for Tom Crean from the get-go.
Photos: Nike, MaxPreps