The 2021-22 season is finally rolling, folks. It was a hard and long hot summer, but college hoops have arrived once for all and with them a good bunch of freshmen doing it on the court for the first time ever. It feels like the decisions were made ages ago, but the likes of Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Shaedon Sharpe, and über-hyped Emoni Bates are already playing basketball around NCAA institutions... while no. 4 prospect of the class Jaden Hardy has already debuted as a Pro for the G League Ignite. But that’s past-tense stuff and we have to keep moving ahead when it comes to HS Seniors.
This month saw 12 top-100 kids pick places while having an average rank-position of around 41 on the 247Sports Composite board. It’s a rather high mark, and the group includes three top-12 prospects to go with three more inside the top-35 and none outside the top-75 talents to graduate as part of the 2022 class. With one more month of decisions in the books, it’s now truly down to just a handful of players without a college of choice—only one top-10 player, one top-15, and one top-25 have yet to name their next squads, and all-top-100 players considered the count doesn’t grow that much sitting at nine names.
Who Are The Players And Where Do They Come From?
Two top-10 players committed this past month compared to none back in October, so that’s already an improvement. The month of November was a little bit top-heavy with three top-12 players and then six outside of the top-50 group, but overall it was a packed-full-of-talent four weeks of decisions in which Alabama came out the clear winner landing three top-62 players while Kentucky (surprise...) landed the best prospect of those committing in the 11th month of the year.
The players themselves are listed next, including their national ranking, position, current high school, bio, and star/ovr rating per 247Sports:
2022 HS Class - November 2021 Commitments
|2022||6||Cason Wallace||Richardson (Richardson, TX)||CG||6'4||185||5||9.973||Kentucky|
|2022||10||Brandon Miller||Cane Ridge (Antioch, TN)||SF||6'8||200||5||9.953||Alabama|
|2022||12||Jarace Walker||IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)||PF||6'8||220||5||9.949||Houston|
|2022||18||Adem Bona||Prolific Prep (Napa, CA)||C||6'9||225||5||9.929||UCLA|
|2022||30||Chance Westry||Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix, AZ)||SF||6'6||190||4||9.883||Auburn|
|2022||35||Collin Chandler||Farmington (Farmington, UT)||CG||6'4||170||4||9.862||BYU|
|2022||53||Ty Rodgers||Thornton Township (Harvey, IL)||SF||6'6||200||4||9.778||Illinois|
|2022||61||Noah Clowney||Dorman (Roebuck, SC)||PF||6'9||205||4||9.738||Alabama|
|2022||62||Rylan Griffen||Richardson (Richardson, TX)||SG||6'5||180||4||9.736||Alabama|
|2022||65||Tre White||Prolific Prep (Napa, CA)||SF||6'6||190||4||9.727||USC|
|2022||68||Richard Isaacs||Coronado (Henderson, NV)||PG||6'2||180||4||9.715||Texas Tech|
|2022||74||Ven-Allen Lubin||Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, FL)||PF||6'8||220||4||9.685||Notre Dame|
The kids picking places in November make for a nicely varied group of players containing all sorts of playing profiles. There is a true PG, a couple of combo guards, one GS, as many as seven wings, and a true big man—though PF-by-label Noah Clowney measures at the same 6-foot-9 of center and upcoming UCLA Bruin Adem Bona.
Speaking of colleges, Alabama was able to make a late statement landing three players on the month of November including the best prospects to come out of South Carolina and Tennessee and the sixth-best out of Texas. Kentucky got itself the no. 6 players of the class, and the two other five-star prospects remaining on this month’s list of commits will be playing for Houston and UCLA.
Have Those High Schools Any Track Record Of Top-Player Production?
Richardson (TX) has a couple of kids making the cut, and they’re no slouch: no. 6 and no. 62 of the 2022 class, not bad. Prior to that, though, there is not a long track record for the school as they’ve only three more prospects in the 247Sports database and only one of them barely made the top-150... all the way back in 2003.
Can’t get much higher than IMG Academy (FL) levels of amateur-talent pumping. The Florida prep is a powerhouse when it comes to building young hoops careers, and their 86 kids in the ranks more than prove it. There are 12 players coming out of IMG in the 2022 class of Seniors alone, and as many as nine of them are ranked inside the top-90 as I’m writing this. That’s absolutely crazy, though the pipeline might get cut next year as just three of their players are currently ranked in the 2023 HS class.
The young collective from Prolific Prep (CA) dropped a kid in the ranks for the first time as late as 2016 and he wasn’t anything otherworldly (no. 203 overall). That said, they followed that up with two top-60 prospects in 2017 (including MCDAAG participant and NBA star Gary Trent Jr.) and can claim Jalen Green (the last draft’s no. 2 pick) as one of their own. They’re sending two guys to opposite places this month: no. 18 Adem Bona to UCLA and no. 65 Tre White to USC, both remaining in Cali for their first (and probably lone) college basketball season.
I guess if I’m calling Prolific Prep a young thing... Hillcrest Prep (AZ) is just a newborn? The Zona prep put his first kid in the Composite ranks just two years ago as part of the 2019 class of HS seniors, just imagine! But they have already pumped seven top-100 players into the system while becoming an important institution at producing prep-to-pros players: three of their kids made the jump to the pros between those part of the 2020 and 2021 classes, and three more are still to name their next destinations as part of this and next year’s classes—including top-48 prospect Kamari Lands.
Thornton Township (IL) hasn’t been around these places for a good bunch of years, as the last kid that made the cut as a nationally (highly) ranked prospect was part of the 2010 crop of HS Seniors. Reggie Smith was the man, the 130th-best player in his class, but he never truly got his talents to the level that rank projected and he played for three colleges after enrolling and spending one year in Marquette, ultimately never reaching the Association. Ty Rodgers is by far the best prospect to come out of the Harvey school, and he’ll stay in Illinois playing for the in-state Fighting Illini next season.
If you know, you know, and if Dorman (SC) rings a bell in the NFL part of your brain, then that’d make all of the sense. That’s because the first player to make it to the 247Sports Composite board was a certain JJ Arcega-Whiteside back in 2015. Yes, that’s Arcega-Whiteside the current Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver. He ended not committing to any college with a basketball scholarship favoring American football, but it’s quite an interesting bit of information to drop here. No players prior to JJ nor after him were able to break into the list until 2020, when a couple of below-160 players did so. Noah Clowney, this year’s no. 61 player, is clearly the best kid to come out of Dorman High and he’ll ball for Alabama next year.
There is something interesting about Coronado (NV) when it comes to two of his top-ranked players ever—that is, last year and this one. Both Jaden Hardy (last year’s no. 3 player) and Richard Isaacs (no. 68 in this year’s class) left Coronado in 2019 to come back later after spending time at other preps to graduate in their hometown of Henderson, NV. Jaden Hardy went straight to the pros and is playing for the G League Ignite these days while Isaacs has committed to play for Texas Tech. The last time a ranked prospect from Coronado went to TT was back in 2017... and the man was no less than current NBA player and former 6th-overall pick Jarrett Culver.
There is clearly a name on top of all recruits to come out of Orlando Christian Prep (FL), and that’s the one of Nassir Little. He was the no. 3 prospect of the 2018 class of Seniors, went to play a year in North Carolina, got drafted by Portland with a late-first-round pick in 2019, and he’s playing more than ever before this season for the Blazers still at age-21 (18 games, 22 MPG). The best talent playing at OCP this season isn’t as highly ranked (no. 74) but he has already committed to Notre Dame and also plays the PF/wing position and role.
No prospect had come out of Cane Ridge (TN) nor Farmington (UT) prior to those part of the 2022 class of HS Seniors.
And The Most Important Thing... Where Are They Going To Play College Ball?
Here is the recruiting leaderboard from the past five years—which includes the senior HS classes from 2018 to 2022 and only accounts for top-50 players in their respective years, updated to include this month’s decisions:
- 20 Commits - Duke, Kentucky
- Prep-to-Pros - 10 players
- 10 - North Carolina
- 9 - Oregon, Kansas
- 8 - Michigan
- 7 - Florida, USC, Memphis, Texas, USC, LSU
- 6 - UCL, Gonzaga, Villanova, Tennessee
- 5-to-1 - 48 Other Colleges
Kentucky and Duke are clearly the top two universities at getting (top) talent. On average, they have gotten four top-50 players per class in each of the past five years and are leading the way, as they have done for most of the last couple of decades. Not even Coach K’s departure seems to be affecting that, not at least for now. We’ll keep an eye on how this thing progresses, though.
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:
- 3 Prospects added — Alabama
- 1 — Auburn, BYU, Houston, Illinois, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC
Staggering month for the Crimson Tide after landing two four-star prospects and a five-start kid to put the cherry on top of everything. The aftermath? Alabama rocketed past a bunch of teams and is now sitting at the third spot on the 2022 Team leaderboard, only behind Arkansas (no. 2) and Duke (no. 1). The Blue Devils saw Kentucky stay strong with their five-star addition from November, now ranking eighth in the 2022 team ranks.
USC is clearly edging UCLA in the Cali War, with the Trojans ranking no. 5 to the Bruins’ no. 10 current place even though the latter are the ones with two five-star prospects committed to playing ball for them.
Houston, which comes off landing a top-12 player this past month, is now clocking in 12th boasting a one-five-star, two-four-star class with some players still out there having not picked places yet. Notre Dame (16th), Illinois (18th), Auburn (36th), Texas Tech (47th), and BYU (64th) all remain outside of the top-15 teams in terms of their 2022 classes of recruits with all of them missing on landing any five-star prospect for next season.