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Assessing The Top High Schoolers’ November Decisions

We’re entering Christmas season, so it’s time to take a look at the commitments some of the best players from the class of 2020 have made during the month of November and how things stand around the nation.

High School Basketball: JUN 02 Pangos All-American Camp Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Less than a month. Less than a month, and we’ll be calling the year 2019 history and flipping the page to 2020 for good. Time flies. Do you know what flies even faster, though? Hoops players from high school prospects boards. Just look at what happened in November and you’ll see for yourself.

While looking at the national rankings (always by 247Sports Composite), there were twelve prospects ranked 50th or higher to give word to a university in November from the 2020 class. Those are a lot of talented names coming off the board compared to what we saw in October (nine players inside the top-90 committed back then) and the pace will only keep ramping up. Most—if not all—of these decision will make an impact on the colleges of choice. Let’s take a look at the players, the universities, some trends, and more about all of those eight commitments!

Who Are The Players And Where Do They Come From?

For the second time in a row, two players from the same prep made their decision: no. 2 Cade Cunningham and no. 43 Moses Moody both brought the attention to Montverde Academy by picking their colleges last month. No internationals in November—shouts to Andre Curbelo!—but a whole lot of kids from different places and highly ranked making their choices this time around.

The players themselves are listed next, including their national ranking, position, current high school, and star rating:

2020 HS Class January Decisions

Yr Rk Name High School Pos Hgt Wgt Stars Avg College
Yr Rk Name High School Pos Hgt Wgt Stars Avg College
2020 10 Jalen Suggs Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, MN) CG 6'5 200 5 9.968 Gonzaga
2020 57 Jalen Terry Beecher (Mount Morris, MI) PG 6'1 160 4 9.785 Oregon
2020 71 Bennedict Mathurin NBA Academy Latin America (Mexico, MEXI) SF 6'6 190 4 9.715 Arizona
2020 85 Terrance Williams Gonzaga (Washington, DC) PF 6'6 215 4 9.663 Michigan
2020 HS Class January Commitments

All in all, we have five 5-star players and seven 4-star ones, so the quality is indeed there. Keep in mind we’re talking about 12 top-50 players committing in just one month. It’s been the most prolific month of the year in those terms for the 2020 class and we still have December ahead!

As for the players themselves, there are no pure-points nor true-bigs. Instead of that, the group of 12 is comprised of three combo-guards, four shooting guards, and five wings divided in three small and two power forwards. It was all about flexibility in November.

Have Those Schools Any Track Record Of Top-Player Production?

You know at least a few of those high schools—no matter if you read Ridiculous Upside frequently or not. Just being around basketball should have brought some of those names to your conversations at least once: Montverde is the go-to prep in the nation lately and has had quite a successful list of players coming from it lately. IMG Academy, for example, is on the same page.

Leaving those household names aside, there are a few high schools worth including here to give them their deserved minute of fame.

Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, OK) has been producing ballers for a while now, but no one ever ranked higher than November’s Kansas commit Bryce Thompson. The next best player to ever come out of the Tulsa prep was no. 35 Tack Minor all the way back in 2003, who committed to LSU. Other than him, no one has ever cracked the top-100 while at the school, though no. 68 Donnell Harris should be the next one to do so in 2021.

You might be familiar with Prolific Prep (Napa, CA). Don’t think it’s been around forever, though. The Cali prep has only produced ranked talent since 2016 and it wasn’t until 2017 that it put a couple of names inside the top-60 of any class (no. 17 Gary Trent Jr. and no. 60 Ira Lee). The Napa school has been pumping serious talent lately, though, and you only have to peek at the 2020 class to find a couple of top-25 guys in it: no. 24 Nimari Burnett and no less than no. 3 Jalen Green (still uncommitted).

Kudos to Waterford Mott (Waterford, MI) for getting their very first ranked kid in 247Sports leaderboards. This is the first time they make it to the national picture and so far, so good. Isaiah Jackson ranks 26th among his peers, so the future might be bright for those attending Waterford, even more knowing they have been able to mold a guy who will be attending a blue-blood in Kentucky next year.

And The Most Important Thing... Where Are They Going To Play College Ball?

Just as a refresher from last month’s article, here is the recruiting leaderboard from the past five years—which includes the senior HS classes from 2015 to 2019:

  • 25 Commits - Kentucky
  • 22 - Duke
  • 14 - Arizona
  • 9 - Kansas, UCLA
  • 8-to-1 - 56 Combined Colleges

Kentucky and Duke were clearly the top two universities at getting (top) talent. On average, Kentucky has gotten five top 50 players per class in each of the past five years. And Duke, well, more of the same.

So, have things been different during the past few weeks when it comes to college commitments? Here is how the last month ended looking like:

  • Oklahoma State (1): Cade Cunningham (no. 2)
  • Kansas (1): Bryce Thompson (no. 20)
  • Texas Tech (1): Nimari Burnett (no. 24)
  • LSU (1): Cameron Thomas (no. 25)
  • Kentucky (1): Isaiah Jackson (no. 26)
  • Miami (1): Earl Timberlake (no. 29)
  • Marquette (1): Dawson Garcia (no. 31)
  • Illinois (1): Adam Miller (no. 32)
  • NC State (1): Josh Hall (no. 42)
  • Arkansas (1): Moses Moody (no. 43)
  • Ole Miss (1): Matthew Murrell (no. 46)
  • North Carolina (1): Puff Johnson (no. 49)

Yessir! We did it! Twelve players, twelve different colleges, only one Kentucky Wildcat and no Duke Blue Devil to name! Only one of the four players inside the top-25 picked one super duper college (Thompson, Kansas) but I’m very happy with the overall outcome of November as things couldn’t have been more spread all around.

With this last batch of commitments, the 2021 season keep shaping in terms of who’s getting the most talent and positioning in a better position to contend for the national chip come March 2021. Kentucky, obviously, keeps going up and up and the addition of Isaiah Jackson have locked them into the no. 1 spot in the 2020 team rankings. Their current 99.17 average actually ranks as the 20th-best since 2003 and the Wildcats have already got word from four five-star players and two four-star kids. Duke (99.02) and North Carolina (98.85) round the top-3. Marquette (97.56) has jumped to the eighth spot with the addition of no. 31 Dawson Garcia.

When looking at the sum of the talent acquired instead of the average, Kentucky (70.5 points), Duke (70.07), and North Carolina (69.66) remain in the top-3 while Marquette ranks seventh (61.47). Illinois (12th, 58.86), Kansas (13th, 58.66), and Oklahoma State (15th, 57.94) have all got inside the top-15 classes with their November additions.