By Hocine LOUKKAF on 5/21/2018
Year after year, Duke has become the top recruiter above Cal and his Big Blue Nation. Yet, UK and the other top schools keep pushing to find among the remaining prospects the jewels that can lead them to the NCAA title. Let’s take a look at the best incoming recruiting classes.
#1 Duke (RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, Tre Jones, Joey Baker)
Full reload mode!! With three of the top four prospects in the country and Tre Jones to lead the band, it’s hard to contest Coach K’s dominance on recruiting. Yet, it will be interesting to see how these players fit together. Will Barrett only play on the wing or will he have to play the small ball four? Will Zion have to adapt to Reddish and Barrett and play only inside? This recruiting class is not as balanced as last year’s with Carter and Bagley who were pure inside players. A lot of questions raised that will be answered next year.
#2 Oregon (Bol Bol, Louis King, Will Richardson, Miles Norris)
Despite losing do-it-all swingman Troy Brown, Ducks’ fan have good reasons to enjoy the recruiting process. Bol Bol, with all the doubts about his NBA potential, will bring tremendous size and shot blocking inside. On the wing, versatile swingman Louis King and explosive combo forward Miles Norris are complementary pieces who can play and surround efficiently Bol right away. Finally, Richardson, a 6-4 PG from famed Oak Hill Academy could be challenging Pritchard and be the cherry on the cake of that well-thought recruiting class.
#3 Kentucky (EJ Montgomery, Keldon Johnson, Imanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro)
Who will be back and who will not? No matter what happens, this recruiting class, albeit not the flashiest for Coach Cal, is made of some very fundamentally sound players. Montgomery is an incredibly talented PF who could be used as a point of fixation inside a la Horford or Monroe. Keldon Johnson is a tough swingman who plays with a passion, can shoot and loves to attack the rim. Quickley brings the same old school flavor and could follow the footsteps of another rising Wildcat, Gilgeous-Alexander while Herro is the local star whose shooting will thrive alonside his talented teammates.
#4 UCLA (Moses Brown, Shareef O’Neal, Jules Bernard, Tyger Campbell)
Lot of talent and lot of questions. Brown has shown more toughness and if he keeps having the same attitude, could en up a top 10 pick next year. O’Neal decommitted from Arizona and will have to prove that he’s more than Shaq’s son. Bernard is a nice wing who might play a lot right away if Wilkes leaves. Same for grinding PG Tyger Campbell with both Holiday and Hands experiencing the draft process.
#5 LSU (Naz Reid, Emmit Williams, Javonte Smart, Darius Days)
If Tremont Waters stays at LSU, the Tigers will be dangerous. This recruiting class is stacked with talented and versatile players. Naz Reid is your modern day big who can handle, post up or shoot from outside. Emmit Williams is an athletic tough minded PF who will have playing time to work on his perimeter skills. Last but not least, Javonte Smart is an elite SG who can score in bunches. Let’s hope Waters lead these freshmen.
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