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Assessing The Top High Schoolers’ December Decisions

We’re about to flip our calendar’s last page to 2020, so it’s time to take a look at the commitments some of the best players from this year’s class have made during the month of December and how things stand around the nation.

2018 Hoophall Classic: Archbishop Molloy vs DeMatha Catholic David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to 2020! After a 12-month marathon we’re finally past 2019 and with the end of December came the end of another year full of commitments. Not that we care a lot about how NCAA universities do here and there, but given our passion for high school hoopers around the nation, one has to oblige.

As the month of December has been one of festivities and family time, not many kids pledged their word to the NCAA circuit members during the past few weeks. No problem for us, though, given that we missed on a couple of late November commitments that we’re assessing here along with those two to pick a college this month. Even with that, I’ve been forced to widen the ranks up to the top-100 prospects (always by 247Sports Composite) to reach four commitments to cover in this article. Such slow were the past four weeks... Remember, we had 12 players—all inside the top-50—committing in November alone and we still missed on some late ones, so you can compare. Let’s take a look at the players, the universities, some trends, and more about all of our four December commitments!

Who Are The Players And Where Do They Come From?

Three months, three times it has happened: two teammates paired up to announce their colleges of choice, this time from Oak Hill Academy; No. 72 KK Robinson and No. 90 Jamari Sibley were the two. Again, no internationals worth considering committed in December but two kids from Arkansas did so and surely made their hometown college happy.

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

There have been no 5-star players committing in December of 2019, yet all four of them boast 4-star ratings and are ranked between the 34th and the 90th positions in 247Sports Composite rank.

As for the players themselves, it was a month of clear contrasts featuring a true point guard and three big men: two centers and a power forward.

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

While DeMatha Catholic and Oak Hill are two of the best talent-producing high schools in the nation and have quite the track records, Northside is an under-the-radar public school not known at all for the development of star basketball players. In fact, Northside (Fort Smith, AR) has their best prospect ever in this month’s featured commit and 2020 No. 69 Jaylin Williams. Other than him, the next-best player to come out of the school was Isaiah Joe in 2018, who committed to play college ball at Arkansas.

Both DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) and Oak Hill Academy (Mouth Of Wilson, VA) have been at the top of the HS-to-NCAA pipeline for years now. Markelle Fultz, Jerami Grant, and Victor Oladipo attended the former, while Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Jennings, and Josh Smith are just a few of the heralded names to play for Oak Hill.

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 leader board 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:

  • Arkansas (2): Jaylin Williams (no. 69), KK Robinson (no. 72)
  • Michigan (1): Hunter Dickinson (no. 34)
  • Georgetown (1): Jamari Sibley (no. 90)

Only four commitments, I know, but none of them went to a blue blood. Those are some good news for the rest of the colleges out there and everyone looking for a leveled field when the 2020-21 season rolls around.

Given the small number of players involved in this month’s update, things have not changed a lot in terms of which colleges are ruling the recruiting process. Kentucky (99.11 average) keeps the No. 1 spot followed by Duke (98.99) and North Carolina (98.87). The addition of its second 4-star player has helped Michigan jump to the sixth spot in the national ranks for 2021 with an average of 98.64, although having just one 5-star player and two 4-star ones the university is still ways below the top-three, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

Speaking of the Razorbacks, they jumped over Michigan to the fifth spot after adding a couple of 4-star prospects, although Arkansas’ average (97.03) is lower than that of Michigan because the Razorbacks have not recruited any 5-star player for 2021 yet. Lastly, Georgetown has the 82nd-best class as 2019 comes to an end, having just Jamari Sibley and unranked Dante Harris in their recruiting class.